Services for Unix to Ship in 2Q

Microsoft prepares to ship new version midsummer. Plus, news from Compuware, UltraBac, CBTVision, CommVault, Sybari Software and Security Bastion

Microsoft is preparing to ship a new version of their Services for Unix product. Services for Unix 3.0 will combine the existing product (whose features include NFS client and server support, a Korn shell implementation, NIS server facilities and two-way password synchronization) with Microsoft Interix (which provides an environment for recompiling and running Unix applications under Windows without source code changes, as well as several shells, many utilities, and full scripting support). There are also many enhancements that are new to this version, including tighter integration with the Windows operating system, better setup, full support for both Windows and Unix remote file systems, better internationalization support, support for active-active clustering in NIS and NFS environments, and increases in scalability and performance.

SFU 3.0 will run on Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6, Windows 2000, and Windows XP Professional. The product will also be certified for Windows 2000 DataCenter Server and will be fully compatible with Windows .NET Server. The goal of SFU is to help customers preserve existing Unix investments (in infrastructure servers, applications, and training) while enabling them to integrate Windows servers into a Unix environment or migrate existing Unix applications to run on Windows servers. The tight integration between the SFU tools and Windows makes it possible, for example, to recompile a Unix application on a Windows server, and then to tie it into other Windows applications via COM or Web Services without modifying the existing source code. The product can also lower TCO for mixed Unix/Windows environments by centralizing functions such as password and file service management into a single environment, and is a key part of Microsoft's strategy to interoperate in the enterprise. As another part of that strategy, Microsoft is ramping up to offer a full suite of service and best practices support to help organizations migrate applications to the SFU environment.

As you'd expect from an enterprise-level product, SFU 3.0 continues to emphasize security. Password synchronization between Unix and Windows systems is protected by Triple DES, for example. It's also worth noting that although Microsoft has been accused of trying to destroy Unix or open source software in the past, SFU is explicitly designed to be an interoperability product to help vendors run Unix and Windows applications together. There's even code in SFU that's covered by the General Public License (GPL) and Microsoft respects that license by making source code to those pieces available.

SFU 3.0, is scheduled to ship before the end of June, with pricing (including upgrade pricing from either SFU 2.0 or Interix 2.2) to be announced in May.

More products:

** Compuware Vantage 8.0 has been enhanced to identify and analyze SOAP and XML traffic. This positions the product as the first infrastructure management suite .NET Web Services applications.

** Ultrabac Software announced UltraBac 7.0, a new version of the company's backup and recovery program. New features include live backup of Exchange 2000 databases and automatic failover if a backup device fails.

** CBT Vision has released its Windows Examiner testing product for the 70-218 MCSA exam. It has an Exam Pass Guarantee that can make the product free if you don't pass.

** CommVault Galaxy 3.7.1 has added support for recovery of individual attributes from an Active Directory backup to its already-comprehensive cross-platform backup product.

** Sybari Antigen for Exchange 6.5 is shipping. The new version includes content filtering, MTA connector message scanning, and VSAPI 2.0 support to provide a complete Exchange 2000 virus and spam prevention tool.

** Service Pack Manager 2000 Lite provides free scanning capabilities for vulnerability detection on Windows networks. The Lite version lacks the patch download and installation features of the full version, but has the same functionality for detecting security holes throughout your network.

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About the Author

Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.


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