HP, Novell to Open Up More Code at LinuxWorld

Novell and HP are donating more software code to the open-source community, while IBM is beefing up solutions to get more users on Linux.

As the open-source and Linux faithful flock to Boston for the annual East Coast LinuxWorld Conference this week, they are going to be met with news that Novell Inc. and Hewlett-Packard Co. both plan to announce the open-sourcing of some new technology at the event.

Novell, which has embraced Linux across all its product lines, will announce this week that it has contributed some of its eDirectory developer interfaces to open source, allowing third-party applications to leverage eDirectory passwords for secure authentication.

For its part, HP, of Palo Alto, Calif., will use the show to announce that its HP Labs, in conjunction with the Cambridge University Computer Labs Xen team in England, will give the developer community some of the code from its ongoing work to support the creation of an open-source platform for virtualization. HPs work with Xen technology focuses on management, security and control of virtual machines.

/zimages/5/28571.gifMicrosoft mulls "open-sourcing" more of its technology. Click here to read more.

HPs code will be released under the GNU GPL (General Public License) and include technology to group virtual servers into secure virtual subnets across a WAN environment.

"As the technology matures, HP will leverage the results of this research into its commercial offerings, such as HP Virtual Machine Management Pack, which provides central management and control of virtual machines," said Martin Fink, HPs vice president of Linux.

Novell, of Provo, Utah, is contributing portions of the eDirectory code to the FreeRADIUS and Samba open-source projects, also under the GPL. The goal is to allow any open-source developer to tap Novells identity management infrastructure and use eDirectory as their authentication engine, said Tim Harris, Novells eDirectory product manager.

"The code that we are contributing is specifically designed to leverage some previously undocumented APIs in Novells existing eDirectory product in the security space. Open-source and third-party vendors have until now been unable to integrate with eDirectory and to directly leverage these APIs as they were not published," he said.

Novell has been looking for a RADIUS solution in open source to provide a wireless authentication solution for customers using its eDirectory.

In researching the existing open-source solutions, FreeRADIUS "popped to the top of the list as the best implementation from a technical perspective. So we worked with the maintainer there to provide integration with eDirectory, we wrote the patches, and we contributed the code back to the FreeRADIUS project," Harris said.

Alan DeKok, the project leader for FreeRADIUS, said LDAP provided an effective interface for many directory-enabled applications and now, with Novells contribution, applications and devices that were built on RADIUS have the option of providing secure authentication using eDirectory.

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