Likewise moves into storage networks with Active Directory

If you want to use Active Directory to manage Unix and Linux servers, Likewise was one of your main choices. Today, the company is moving into providing AD storage management over physical, virtual and cloud storage networks.

It used to be so easy. They'd ask you, "Where's my data?" And, you could point to the servers. Then along came multiple storage virtual storage layers, then Storage Area Networks (SAN)s and Network Attached Storage (NAS) and more recently the cloud. What's a network administrator to do? Likewise Software has a plan.

Likewise, which has long supported multi-platform-Linux, Unix, and Windows-file and print systems with Active Directory (AD). I've used their products myself and they work well. Now, they're launching a new service, Likewise Storage Services, which brings Network File System (NFS) support to their Common Internet File System (CIFS) that's commonly used on Windows networks.

This works by providing client-side and server-side CIFS with SMB (Server Message Block) and SMB2 support as well as NFS v3 support so that Windows, Linux, and Unix clients can access folders and files over a network. On the Linux side, users install the Likewise Storage Services Filesystem in Userspace (FUSE) module that enables users and administrators to mount remote Windows shares on a Linux computer to access folders and files. With its AD compatibility Windows administrators can remotely manage Likewise Storage Services File Server on Linux and Unix machines using the tools they already know.

This in turn, offers the AD security model for file-based access across all the platforms. If your company is already committed to Windows Server, but also uses Linux and Unix servers, this makes life much easier for system managers.

In a statement, Likewise's VP of marketing and business development, said, "We're leveraging our leadership in interoperability for identity and access management to address these challenges. Likewise Storage Services provides our OEM partners key enabling technology for secure access to data living in the cloud or in virtual and physical environments while also addressing the need for cross-platform support on Linux of the CIFS/SMB and NFS protocols for simple to manage low cost NAS enabled storage."

Of course, if you're staff is very Linux and network savvy, you can do much the same kind of thing with Linux's built-in network file servers and, in particular, Samba. But, if you want a ready-to-go solution and you know AD better than you do say Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), then finding vendor that supports Likewise Storage Services will be well worth your trouble.

According to the company, "The Likewise Storage Services is available under a commercial license from Likewise Software. The modular code base includes multiple levels of publicly accessible APIs [application programming interfaces] to provide the foundation for Windows-Linux interoperability in a variety of IT products.

Likewise Storage Services is currently available to original equipment manufacturers (OEM)s partners from the technology licensing team at Likewise. Please contact Likewise at (800) 378-1330 or email

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