Gartner Research

Active Directory Bridge Products: Reducing Management Complexity

Published: 08 March 2011

ID: G00208115

Analyst(s): Kevin Kampman


The Active Directory (AD) bridge market continues to grow and is helping organizations to reduce the complexity of their administrative environments, demonstrate compliance, and improve usability. The customer base for AD bridge product is healthy and expanding, representing more than 3,000 organizations and starting at the top of the Fortune company list. AD bridge products provide AD authentication, Windows Kerberos single sign-on, and Windows Group Policy Management for Unix (e.g., Linux, Mac OS, and Solaris) users and systems. Market expansion also includes incorporation of functionality by OEMs, as well as privileged user management, broader identity management functionality, and virtualization support.

Table Of Contents

Summary of Findings


  • Drivers
    • Compliance
    • Cost Reduction
    • Productivity
  • The Fractured Unix Identity
  • Deployment Models
    • Unix Server
    • Unix Workstation


  • Market Impact
    • The Conflation of the Unix Security Market

The Details

  • Unix Workstation vs. Server
  • AD Authentication
  • SSO
    • SSO to Unix Servers
    • SSO from Unix Workstations
  • Identity Management
    • Multiple Unix Namespaces
    • Provisioning Integration
    • UID Normalization
  • Group Policy Management
    • AD Bridge Group Policy Management
    • Unix Security Product Settings
    • Mac OS Policies
    • Resultant Set of Policy
  • Auditing and Reporting
  • Pricing
    • Core Pricing
    • SSO Pricing
  • Administrative Consoles
  • Integration with Unix Security Products
    • BeyondTrust PowerBroker and Quest Privilege Manager for Unix
    • Platform Support
  • Kerberos 101
    • Privilege Attribute Certificate
    • Pluggable Authentication Module (PAM) and Name Service Switch
    • Account Mapping
    • Support for Stronger Authentication
  • Windows Group Policy 101
  • The Evolution of Unix Authentication
    • The Password File
    • Network Information Service
    • LDAP
  • The UID Problem
  • Clean Your Windows
  • Normalize the Unix User Namespace
  • . . . And Keep Really Good Records
  • Integrate the Identity Provisioning System
  • Choose the Right Vendor


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