I saw an announcement today by Symark that they are now entering the AD/Unix/Linux authentication space already populated by folks like Vintela, Centrify and Likewise. Symark has been around for a while but were focused more on policy-based management of Unix/Linux system security rather than Windows integration. But that changes with their new ADVantage solution, which puts them squarely into this crowded market. Most interestingly for me, they are yet another vendor offering Group Policy management of Unix/Linux systems. From screenshots on their site, it appears that they’ve taken the same approach as some of the other vendors of extending Group Policy using custom ADM templates that get read and translated by non-Windows systems into meaningful configuration commands for those platforms.
It will be interesting to see where this goes. That now makes 4 vendors that I know of who are doing heteregeneous Group Policy management, so it will be interesting to see if this market moves forward from managing basic configuration options on non-Windows platforms to doing the real interesting systems and application configuration tasks that could be done using this technology. So far, from what I’ve seen, most of these folks have taken baby steps in terms of what is possible. Maybe a new player in the space will urge all of them forwards!