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.
** 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
** CommVault Galaxy 3.7.1 has added support for recovery of individual attributes
from an Active Directory backup to its already-comprehensive cross-platform
** 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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Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.