Clayton Donley

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Top Stories by Clayton Donley

In an environment with more than a few Linux servers, managing users, groups, and other information securely across those systems is critical. Pluggable Authentication Modules (PAM) and the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) give administrators a way to accomplish this without having to distribute flat files or rely on RPC services, such as the insecure Network Information Service (NIS). LDAP is a very mature protocol supported by everyone from Microsoft to IBM and Oracle. And reference implementations, such as OpenLDAP, have been available since the mid-'90s. PAM bridges the gap between traditional Unix and Linux login functionality and LDAP-enabled directory servers without requiring that applications or services be recompiled or reconfigured. Aside from the obvious benefit of centralized storage and secure access, using LDAP has other key benefits depen... (more)

A Virtual Solution to Real Identity Issues

To quote the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, "There are pieces of me here. There are pieces of me there." Thanks to years of independent evolution, user identity information also exists with bits and pieces in different places. This presents a challenge to application developers responsible for writing software that needs to take into account potential access from people across the enterprise who may be in any number of separate identity sources. It also presents a security challenge as allowing access to one application may open doors to others that are best kept shut. Metadi... (more)

Virtual Directories: The Pathway to Successful Portal Implementation

One of the unalterable laws of the universe is that no project, regardless of how uncomplicated it first appears, is really ever as simple as it seems. Anyone who owns a home can attest to that. Take something as straightforward as repairing a dripping faucet. Remove the handle, replace a cartridge and/or a couple of "O" rings, put the handle back on, and you're done, right? If you say "yes," either you've never actually repaired a faucet, or you've been very lucky. The more likely scenario is that you go to remove the handle only to find that the tiny screw that holds it in plac... (more)