It’s time to share my notes, quotes, and observations concerning a recent survey we did with our US customer base concerning Linux/Unix/Mac Authentication. This survey was targeted at customers who use Quest Authentication Services (QAS), a patented technology that addresses the authentication needs of more than 5 million installed seats by extending the security and compliance of Active Directory to Unix, Linux and Mac, as well as to many enterprise applications.
When asked about what versions of Unix/Linux/Mac hosts that Authentication Services is deployed on, over three-quarters were running on Redhat versions, with around 50% running QAS on Solaris and AIX, with additional strong showings of Suse Linux, HP-UX, and Mac. Overall, QAS supports over 100 flavors of Unix/Linux/Mac operating systems. Redhat dominates the Linux space in the US, but it would have been interesting to see the breakdown of Linux distributions using our product in Europe, where Suse has a much stronger presence.
When surveyors were asked about the impact that QAS has had on their organizations since deployment, the results showed a high degree of impact ranging from high ROI, to enterprise security and compliance. Let me share a few of the quotes –
The survey confirmed that there are multiple reasons why customers love the QAS Active Directory bridge solution. It solves the problem of compliance and security by allowing secure password policies setup in Active Directory to be used to authenticate on Unix/Linux/Mac, and at the same time allows for easy central administration and management ( via Group Policy) of these hosts.
It also confirmed a trend being touted by Gartner and IDC, that is, “Mac in the Enterprise”. We see more and more enterprises that are no longer able to “ignore” Macs, and they need a way to keep them secure and manage them centrally.
Authentication Services provides the Active Directory authentication for Macs, and allows your Admin to easily push out settings for drive mappings, application settings, security settings, and other Mac system preferences, all from standard Active Directory Group Policy settings. The same management tools that are used to manage Linux and Windows, can manage your Macs.
When asked about the products stability, quality and support, the results were highly positive with very few negative comments. Typically in the cases where customers ran into configuration or other support issues, they were able to quickly get a resolution. These are typical comments that were made –
I am not touting the product is perfect – no software is, but the respondents overall were highly positive when speaking positive about the stability, ease of use, flexibility and support of the product.
The final question, asked about the reason for purchasing the product. The responses were similar to the answers given about the impact the product had on their organization. The following are quotes from the survey respondents:
In most organizations, Active Directory is the standard database used for user authentication. It provides secure password policies, compliance and central administration of users, groups, workstations and servers. Bringing your Linux/Unix and Mac hosts into Active Directory can provide the same security, compliance and central administration enjoyed with Windows. The survey shared reveals real world responses from Fortune 500 companies that are using Quest Authentication Services today to bridge the gap between Unix/Linux/Mac and Active Directory.