Likewise Does...Likewise

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If you've never heard of Centeris, don't worry: it doesn't exist anymore. Instead, it's chosen the slightly Zen name of "Likewise". More interestingly, perhaps, they've released something called Likewise Open:

Likewise Software, formerly Centeris, a leader in delivering mixed network authentication solutions, today announced the release of Likewise Open, an open source community project that enables core Active Directory authentication for Linux systems by joining them to Active Directory domains. Likewise Open provides organizations that are struggling with homegrown and do-it-yourself solutions with a proven enterprise solution for authentication. Likewise Open is hosted at www.likewisesoftware.com/open and the source code is available today to enable Linux vendors to integrate open-sourced Linux authentication solutions into upcoming versions of their operating systems. Specifically, the code is available under the GNU GPLv3.

That's particularly noteworthy because Centeris - I mean Likewise - has not been the staunchest of open source supporters in the past. With its new mixed licensing strategy it joins a growing club, as the 451 Group's Matthew Aslett notes:

The latest strategy effectively sees basic Linux-based support and authentication functionality given away as open source, while cross-platform support and additional functionality comes with a commercial license at a price. This is a common strategy in the open source systems management space, having also been adopted by GroundWork, Hyperic, and Zenoss. Perhaps the most illustrious member of this club is MySQL, which recently rather bucked the main trend of moving to pure-play open source by introducing a mixed licensing strategy for its new Workbench product:

One thing that has changed with Workbench - in contrast to our previous projects - is that on top of the open source edition we will have a commercial edition.

It's hard to tell whether this is significant new trend in the open source enterprise market, whether it's born of desperation, or is simply a few random fluctuations in the licensing space. We shall see.

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