Likewise Offers Cross-Platform File Sharing

Software company Likewise announces open-source software to share files among Linux, Mac, and Windows computers.

Integration and identity management solutions provider Likewise announced it would offer open-source software to share files among Linux, Mac and Windows computers by using Server Message Block, the networking protocol for file and print services known as SMB and CIFS. The file server will include support for the SMB2 protocol to provide access to files across servers and clients running different operating systems, such as Linux and Windows.

The company said Likewise-CIFS, available in beta today, and in Likewise Open 5.2 under GPLv2 licensing terms, would be the only commercially supported CIFS/SMB file server available to storage vendors and enterprises. Likewise will also license the software under commercial terms that allow an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), to embed the product in its network attached storage software or its network appliance.

Likewise provides integration and identity management solutions to improve security and operational efficiencies and to help achieve regulatory compliance in mixed networks. Likewise Open lets organizations securely authenticate Linux, Unix and Mac systems with Microsoft Active Directory. Likewise Enterprise includes all the core authentication technology that comes with Likewise Open, plus migration, group policy, auditing and reporting modules.

"Likewise-CIFS is an important building block of our distributed systems foundation that we are creating across Linux, Unix, Mac, and Windows platforms," said Likewise CEO Barry Crist. "By delivering significant performance advantages as well as providing SMB2 support, Likewise-CIFS offers the highest performance option for technology companies that require a cross-platform file server."

Earlier this year, the company announced its Likewise Enterprise offering would ship as part of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 from Novell. Likewise Enterprise securely connects computers running SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 with Microsoft Active Directory -- making it easier to authenticate users, control access to applications and data, centrally manage settings with group policies and create reports for regulatory audits.

The group policies in Likewise Enterprise let system administrators manage the security settings of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop computers and users from a central system. Likewise Enterprise also includes GNOME group policies to control SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop user and computer settings -- policies that are based on the GNOME GConf project to define preferences like the default web browser or when to lock down a desktop.

Under the terms of the agreement between Likewise and Novell, all Novell customers who buy SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 will get Likewise Enterprise, and it will be part of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop software repositories. Likewise Enterprise is offered as an upgrade for customers who have installed Likewise Open and want to use group policies to manage their mixed environment and use the auditing features of Likewise Enterprise to view access reports. The auditing features help companies comply with regulatory requirements, such as those of Sarbanes-Oxley.