Microsofts Services for Unix 3.5 to Tackle Linux

Microsoft's secret weapon in its fight against Unix and Linux will feature P-thread, enhanced clustering support and more.

If Microsoft cant beat outright Unix and Linux, it can at least improve its interoperability with these operating systems. And from Redmonds standpoint, one of the best ways to do so is via its Services for Unix (SFU) technology.

Microsoft is set to take the wraps off the newest version of its SFU 3.5 technology this week, a week in advance of the LinuxWorld Expo show in New York.

SFU is a collection of more than 300 Unix utilities, tools and cross-platform services. Microsoft began beta testing its most recent version of the product, release 3.5, in July 2003.

In December, the company held a Webcast where Program Manager Paul Cayley outlined some of the new features on tap for SFU 3.5. Among the enhancements:

  • P-thread support. (P-threads are "Posix threads" that allow developers to write applications that support multiple tasks running concurrently within the same program.)
  • Increased availability in the form of enhanced clustering support; mapping-server redundancy and increased component scalability. (The mapping server is designed to provide identity and security management. It matches Unix/Linux and Windows identities by user name.)
  • Faster performance via better performance tuning, faster NFS client/server functionality and faster NIS server support. (In SFU, NIS server support allows users to set up a server as an NIS Master Server. It also consolidates Unix/Linux and Windows identity servers into a single user object under Active Directory.)

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