Samba is having similar technical problems integrating with RADIUS, and so the Samba group asked for the same code, Harris said. There are protocols in FreeRADIUS and Samba that need to interact directly with the user credentials in eDirectory to function properly. Novell weighed whether to publish these APIs or build a proprietary solution that interfaced with those solutions.
Jeremy Allison, Sambas co-author, of San Jose, Calif., welcomes the move, saying it allows Samba to integrate secure, single-sign-on authentication for Windows clients using Samba Domain Controllers with eDirectory. CIFS and SMB clients can now share integrated authentication in the customer enterprise environment, he said.
"We want to be a good player and advocate in the open-source community in terms of making our software accessible, and so we undertook a rigorous security review of the code being opened up and some modifications were made, with some additional rules and safeguards added into the code to make sure security wasnt compromised by publishing this code," Harris said.
As this technology is accessed via an LDAP extension, other projects like OpenLDAP can take and use its technology contributions to provide a secure method of interoperating with user credentials within that project. "We are basically raising the bar from a security perspective and making sure that credentials that are being leveraged are done in a secure way and always over a secure tunnel," he said.
For its part, IBM plans to ratchet up its Solaris-to-Linux and Windows-to-Linux customer migration plans, which officials say are working well.
Recent research from Gartner Group Inc. showed some $1.3 billion in total Linux server sales, with the growth rate underneath that at 56 percent for Linux compared with the entire server market rate at 6 percent, IBMs Linux vice president Scott Handy, IBMs vice president for Linux, in Somers, N.Y., told eWEEK.
"Within that, IBM has 37 percent share of the total, and we took Linux share from both HP and Dell [Inc.] on the Linux x86 front last year. We also have Linux on the mainframe and Linux on Power, and in 2004 some 40 percent of our Linux server revenue was from Linux non-x86. So we are delivering on the cross-platform nature of Linux, and our customers are buying into that," he said.
Sun Microsystems Inc., which is fighting Linux, is wrestling with the fact that customers want Unix reliability at Intel Corp. and x86 price points and tried to address that with its Solaris x86 but had only a 1 percent share of the x86 market. "Thats not a good business proposition from an ISV equation, given the opportunity to port to Linux on x86," said Handy.
Big Blue is refreshing its porting guide from Solaris to Linux to reflect its thoughts about why Linux is a better business choice than Suns recently released Solaris 10 operating system.