Likewise Software, which specializes in getting Linux and other Unix systems to work with AD (Active Directory) authentication, management, and auditing is offering a middle ground program between its open-source version, Likewise Open, and its enterprise edition, Likewise Enterprise: Likewise Open with Cell Module.
Any version of Likewise comes with WIS (Likewise Identity Services), which enables you to use AD authentication for your Linux, Unix and Mac PCs. This includes a full implementation of the DCE/RPC framework with support for Kerberos, NTLM and SPNEGO security protocols. Likewise also comes with LAC (Likewise Administrative Console). With this administrators can manage AD users, computers and access rights from Linux.
What Likewise Open with Cell Module brings to the table is that it lets system administrators manage Linux, Unix, and Mac users and groups by assigning them UIDS (user identifiers) and GIDs (group identifiers) in AD. Before this edition, this feature was only available in Likewise Enterprise. With this, managing users and groups becomes much easier.
The Enterprise edition adds AD Group policy management. While this feature is a must for large networks, a SMB (small-to-medium business) might well be able to handle all its Mac/Linux/Windows network management needs with the Cell Module version. I have used both the open-source and the enterprise versions of Likewise and each works quite well. Based on that, I’m sure this version will also meet the needs of SMB network administrators.
In a statement, Barry Crist, Likewise’s CEO said, “We created this new offering in response to the many requests we’ve had for adding the UID/GID function with Likewise Open. Now we have an offering that fits squarely between the freely available Likewise Open software and our flagship offering, Likewise Enterprise 5.0.”
To get this new version, users must buy for a 3-year service plan for it. Prices range from $179 to $224 for a server and from $39 to $44 for a workstation, depending on the desired service level.