Red Hat Linux integrates Netscape

Red Hat's decision to add Netscape's security and directory tools to its Linux distribution is good news for enterprise Linux...

Red Hat's decision to add Netscape's security and directory tools to its Linux distribution is good news for enterprise Linux users, analysts said last week.

The Linux supplier is to acquire Netscape Security Solutions from Netscape's parent company America Online and plans to integrate the products into its own architecture over the next six to 12 months.

The tools, Directory Server and Certificate Management System, will speed up and improve security, manageability and productivity for open source architectures, said Red Hat.

Netscape Directory Server is an LDap server that centralises application settings, user profiles, group data, policies and access control information into a network-based registry. Netscape Certificate Management System is a security framework designed to authenticate users' identities through digital certificates.

Mike Davis, senior research analyst at Butler Group, said, "Red Hat has gained enterprise-class technology which is well respected. Total cost of ownership is a big problem with Linux because the underlying technology is not as mature as proprietary software. This will give it some credible security and directory technology."

Davis added that Novell became the number one European enterprise Linux supplier when it bought SuSE Linux, but Red Hat is a strong number two.

Red Hat chief executive Matthew Szulik said, "Directory Server and Certificate Management System have already been widely deployed in the enterprise and are mature pieces of software. The technologies will provide a secure switchboard with certificates for all traffic in the open source architecture."

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