Microsoft Corp. today made the latest version of its UNIX interoperability product, Windows® Services for UNIX Version 3.5 (SFU 3.5), available to customers free via Web download at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/sfu/. SFU 3.5 enables customers to maximize their investment in UNIX-based systems while integrating the price-performance leadership of a Windows-based platform. SFU 3.5 offers customers enhanced performance of cross-platform tools and services, better UNIX command-line administration capabilities, and the ability to extend UNIX-based applications in a Microsoft® .NET Web Services environment. In addition, SFU 3.5 was nominated as a finalist for the LinuxWorld Product Excellence Awards in the Best System Integration Solution category.
“SFU 3.5 reflects Microsoft’s continued commitment to provide the best interoperability solution to Windows customers,” said Dennis Oldroyd, a director in the Windows Server™ group at Microsoft. “We’re seeing great demand from customers, who want to add the value that Windows Server 2003 can provide to their cross-platform environments. Windows Services for UNIX 3.5 can help them better integrate the capabilities of Windows into their cross-platform environment.”
“The vast majority of enterprise IT shops have both Windows and UNIX installed, and this will be the case for the foreseeable future,” said Al Gillen, research director of system software at IDC. “Achieving effective interoperability is not only critical for leveraging these investments, it’s essential for building flexible systems that can solve today’s business problems.”
Meeting Customer Needs for Interoperability
SFU 3.5 helps customers lower costs and improve the efficiency of their information technology (IT) resources by providing a full range of cross-platform services that integrate Windows and UNIX in the same IT environment. The Network File System (NFS) in SFU 3.5 has been substantially improved for better performance, providing users with a more seamless experience accessing files between machines running Windows and UNIX. Also, through improved two-way password synchronization, user-name mapping, and the Server for Network Information Service (NIS) in SFU 3.5, organizations are better able to integrate or centralize directory services across UNIX and Windows platforms with the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory® service. As a result, directory management becomes an easier, less resource-intensive process.
SFU 3.5 includes new tools to make administering a cross-platform environment more cost-effective. For example, it includes an expanded array of UNIX-based tools and utilities for administering the Windows platform, enabling companies to harness their IT administrators’ UNIX expertise and make it relevant on the Windows platform. Also new in SFU 3.5 are dynamic registry capabilities, which enable network administrators to make changes such as network performance tuning without incurring the downtime that comes with rebooting.
“Our company is using Windows SFU 3.5 to allow an existing UNIX application to operate unchanged in a Windows operating system environment, letting us direct our development resources where they are most needed: at improving the service we deliver to customers,” said Adrian Bowen, systems development manager at Group 4 Securitas Northern Ireland Ltd. “We’re pleased with the level of interoperability SFU has provided, and have already seen benefits in terms of scalability and manageability, which translate directly into cost savings.”
Helping Customers Extend the Value of Their Existing Investments in UNIX
Within SFU 3.5 is the enhanced Interix subsystem and Software Development Kit (Interix), a full application execution subsystem that lets customers compile and natively run UNIX programs and scripts on Windows operating systems. By using the Interix, customers get a better experience and more value out of their UNIX applications by running them on the Windows platform. Interix capabilities have been expanded to include support for running multithreaded applications, enabling customers to run a wider array of applications that have been developed for UNIX on the Windows platform.
About Windows Server 2003
Windows Server 2003 is a comprehensive, integrated and secure infrastructure designed to help customers reduce costs and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT operations. Building on Windows 2000 family strengths, the new server platform helps customers extend existing resources while laying the foundation for building a new generation of connected applications that improve business productivity. Windows Server 2003 is the foundation for the Microsoft Windows Server System™ integrated server infrastructure, designed for building, deploying and operating agile business solutions.
About Windows Server System
Microsoft Windows Server System is an integrated and interoperable server infrastructure that reduces IT complexity to enable IT professionals to deliver innovative solutions that meet the changing needs of business. With Windows Server 2003 at the foundation, Windows Server System is engineered from the ground up for XML Web services based on Microsoft .NET technologies to connect information, people, systems and devices. Based on a common software architecture that spans all facets of IT from design, development and deployment through ongoing management and usage, Windows Server System provides comprehensive IT infrastructure for operations (security, systems management, networked storage), applications (data management and analysis, e-business), and information work (messaging, communications and collaboration). More information on Microsoft Windows Server System can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/.