Red Hat has stocked its open-source software arsenal with Netscape security and authentication tools.
The Linux supplier is to acquire Netscape Directory Server and Netscape Certificate Management System from AOL's Netscape division for $25m (£14m).
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"Directory Server and Certificate Management System have already been widely deployed in the enterprise and are mature pieces of infrastructure software," said Red Hat boss Matthew Szulik. "The technologies will provide a secure switchboard with certificates for all traffic in the open-source architecture."
Netscape Directory Server is an LDAP server that provides greater manageability of e-mail accounts by centralising application settings, user profiles, group data and policies. Administrators can also store policies and access control information in the directory for a single authentication source.
Netscape Certificate Management System provides a security framework that authenticates the identity of users to ensure privacy.
The acquisition is expected to be completed in Red Hat's third fiscal quarter of 2004. Red Hat plans to market the products as part of its open-source architecture over the next six to 12 months.
"Red Hat is committed to building a secure computing environment in the enterprise," said Paul Cormier, the company's executive vice-president of engineering. "Directory Server and Certificate Management System will enable the integration of the desktop with a network-wide set of computing services that up until now have only been available from a small set of proprietary suppliers."
Todd Weiss writes for Computerworld