Release: Centrify Express 2011

Mountain View based company Centrify has announced the release of Centrify Express 2011, a major new version of its suite of free solutions.

An interesting product inside the Express Suite is CloudTools, an integration collection of free tools meant to enable organization to extend their Active Directory based authentication and ACLs to Linux systems running on remote clouds, without any doubt a sought-after feature for Microsoft centric organization launching cloud-based Linux-powered services.

Quoting Centrify:

“IT administrators can now rapidly launch and secure Linux servers in the cloud and obtain the operational visibility that enables them to meet their security and compliance requirements”.

Other features provided by the suite include solutions for authentication, single sign-on, remote access, file-sharing, monitoring and cloud security for cross-platform systems – everything leveraging Active Directory as the central repository and core “trust node” for the entire company’s cloud initiative.
Centrify provides ready-made machines for the Amazion Web Service and RightScale Server Templates, thus enabling customers to quickly test their solutions. Notably, Centrify also provides free, enhanced versions of popular open source tools integrated in their environment: packaged and internally tested versions of Samba, OpenSSH and Putty meant to be deployed on machines to integrate authentication and authorization with the Centrify suite. As it is always the case with such products, a key evaluation parameter will be platform support and maintenance, since packages can quickly become outdated and lock administrators to specific versions – and with such critical services, the vulnerability window (the time it takes to deploy patches) is a relevant issue.

Administrators with more advanced needs may evaluate Centrify Express and then switch to Centrify Suite 2011, which contains more capabilities and enterprise features such as role-based access control, privileged identity management, user-level auditing, server isolation and encryption of data-in-motion.