Systems Integration

Although Microsoft OS’s are the most prevalent in businesses throughout the world, there are still many things left to be desired. Whether it’s due to cost, security, compatibility, usability, or performance, other platforms such as Linux, Unix, and Solaris can usually address those needs.

Sometimes, the best solution is a hybrid solution composing of different platforms. The main hurdle is usually the complexity of making these platforms work together harmoniously.

NetCal’s IT Consultants have a great level of experience working with multiple operating systems and the integration between them. We will integrate between software solutions to provide the most seamless convergence of different environments for maximum efficiency.

Linux / Unix / Solaris / Mac OS X in a Microsoft environment::

With the security and efficiencies of a Linux/Unix/Solaris environment and the usability and user-friendliness of a Microsoft environment, it is not uncommon to have the best of both worlds. The backend of your firm’s network environment can be ran by the solid and reliable Linux/Unix/Solaris servers. These servers include, but are not limited to compute servers, file servers, email servers, web servers, database servers, firewalls, and routers. Furthermore, the end user can rely on the Microsoft Windows operating system for the user desktops.

The proper integration between the two platforms would lead to the collaboration of security and directory services and file and printing services.

Integration challenges

One challenge that faces administrators is the centralization of account information. Many organizations are standardizing on Active Directory as their LDAP directory of choice for centralized account storage.

However, this leaves many non-Windows systems to still have their own unique directories. This often leads to three major problems:

  1. Administration isn’t centralized – Administrators are often running around to various systems. For instance, if someone’s name changes (say, due to marriage) the administrator must hunt down each and every directory the user is in
  2. Costs are increased due to inefficiencies – The more resources that have to be managed each platform demands more time, which means more money.
  3. Passwords are not synchronized – If the administrator misses one directory, that user will most certainly be prompted for alternate credentials on the missed system. Also, multiple password policies would make it a nightmare for users. In the end, this causes pain for the user and certainly a call to the help desk.

The solution is to provide unified account storage which permits the user to log on to both Windows and Linux with the same set of credentials is ideal.

Integration answers

Active Directory Services

Windows Server 2008 also includes the capability to integrate UNIX security and directory services. The optional Active Directory schema update includes NIS schema and Kerberos authentication extensions that enable customers to synchronize the Network Information Service (NIS) with Active Directory. Additionally, the Identity Management for UNIX (IDMU) is a complete solution for managing UNIX identity and security, including administration components, password synchronization, and a Windows-based server for NIS.

File and Print Services

Microsoft Services for the network file system (NFS) in Windows Server 2003 R2 includes everything you need to share files between UNIX and Windows systems, manage file security from Windows using Active Directory accounts, and manage file and print services across Windows and UNIX platforms.

The following components are included:

  • Mapping Server
  • NFS AdminUI
  • NFS client
  • NFS server
  • Portmap
  • Server for NFS authentication
  • RpcXd