Basic Cable for the Internet
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
  Mac OS/Linux/Windows Single Sign-On
Yes, Centrify and Vintela allow you to do much much more to integrate your Mac, *nix and Windows environments, but what do the *users* really want? They want Single Sign On. They don't care about the rest of it... centralized inventory and management, blah blah blah. That's for nerds.

You can give them single sign-on in ten minutes (if you already have an AD domain set up, that is...). This site gives you the details. Yes, you'll have to go to each machine to do it, but it's a quick win, and if you only have a handful of non-Windows machines in your environments, it's a slam-dunk.

Heh heh. "Quick win". It's pun night.

Plus, your users will love you. And isn't that why we got into IT? For the user love?

No? Just me? Fine. Here's a different site, Linux-specific, similar info.
We use Centrify at work. We're not especially impressed with its robustness (version 1.x was terrible, version 2.x is decent but still requires the agent to be restarted on occasion because it stops authenticating).

Right now we still haven't deployed it fully because we need to run an audit on all passwd and group files across the UNIX servers, and despite my best efforts to keep stuff sane, it's a real mess out there. And we have around 150 UNIX boxes... oy.

So where were these people six months ago, anyway? Bah.
I've heard a lot of similar comments on both products (Vintela, Centrify), which is why in my mind we should stick to providing the basic capability that the users want: SSO. Until they clean things up a little.

The fact that this sort of reconfiguration is free and can be done relatively quickly on each machine is a huge bonus. Of course, it really only makes sense to do in an environment where you have lots of Windows and just a handful of *nix or Mac boxes. If the ratio is inverted... not so much.
The problem, as ever, is convincing management that you can manage the solution and that it's not baling wire and chewing gum. Because all they want is an "enterprise" solution. Maybe i should hire a cousin as a consultant to deliver this as a product or something.

I'd say that our UNIX/Windows server ratio is about 50/50. But everyone has a Windows desktop (even i now mainly use my XP-running Stinkpad instead of my lonely FreeBSD box... *sniff*).
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