Centrify Suite 2010
Strengths: User provisioning to Linux and Unix using Active Directory accounts
Weaknesses: Nothing that we found
Verdict: Good marriage of *nix and Active Directory
The Centrify Suite allows administrators to control a user's access to Linux and Unix machines using their already existing Active Directory accounts. It features the ability to place granular access controls on those users, such as what systems they can access and when, as well as what commands they can run.
This product is fairly straightforward to install and deploy. It consists of two main parts. The first is the management console that is installed on a Windows machine in just a few minutes, guided by an installation wizard, and has access to the Active Directory domain controller. The second is the connector that is installed on the Linux or Unix system. It is just as easy to install, even if you are not a Linux guru. The installer application is deployed through the command line and does a number of pre-install checks to ensure communication between the systems is working properly.
After installation is complete users can be added to policies via the easy-to-use management console. Once a user is assigned to a policy that user can use their Active Directory credentials to log in to the assigned Linux machine just as if they were logging into a Windows box. Administrators can also streamline accounts to ensure that users do not get more permissions and rights than they need.
Documentation consists of several PDF configuration guides, as well as an in-depth administrator guide that provides full installation and configuration steps and procedures, as well as how to manage users and policies to get the most out of the features. We found all documentation to be easy to follow, with many step-by-step instructions and screenshots.
Standard support includes phone and email technical help, as well as access to an online knowledgebase, case submission tools and product updates. Premium support includes all of the same features and adds 24/7 assistance 365 days a year, faster response times and named contacts.
At a price starting at £229.86 per server we find Centrify Suite 2010 to be good value for money. It provides solid account tools for granting and managing user access to machines other than Windows, without having to create local accounts on those machines.