Friday, February 23, 2007

Google? Samba? What does it mean?

Samba developer Jeremy Allison quit Novell in late December to join Google. In Jeremy's words he's going to continue his work and how it applies to Google.

Responsibilities will be continuing my work on Samba and working out where it fits for Google.

Today, Google launches Google Apps Enterprise Edition. The enterprise word is intriguing because clearly that means what it means: enterprise. What directory do most enterprises use for employee authentication? Answer=Active Directory. What problem is Samba designed to solve? Let's get an answer from Samba's website:

Samba is software that can be run on a platform other than Microsoft Windows, for example, UNIX, Linux, IBM System 390, OpenVMS, and other operating systems. Samba uses the TCP/IP protocol that is installed on the host server. When correctly configured, it allows that host to interact with a Microsoft Windows client or server as if it is a Windows file and print server.

OK, so put Samba together with Google and what do you get? Answer=Google integration with Windows and Active Directory. But, why would Google want to do that when end-users simply use a web browser to access Google's site? Will big enterprises want to trust the Internet for hosting their enterprise applications? I doubt it. The idea of financial emails and spreadsheets flying around the ether probably makes the legal folks in the executive suite all wiggly.

What if there was a Google appliance that they could deploy at their own premises? Well, that would solve the security problem wouldn't it? Now, what if that server - based "on a platform other than Microsoft Windows" could integrate with Microsoft Windows (and Active Directory)? Then employees would get single sign-on via Windows integration authentication to the Google Apps Enterprise Edition appliance.

Is there a Google Apps Enterprise Edition appliance in the works? Not that I know of... ;)

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UncleK said...

They already sell a search appliance - so it aint too much of a stretch to put on together. Eric Schmidt used to be CTO at Sun and knows a thing or two about servers.

Unknown said...

I totally agree. I blogged earlier about their appliance and how it could be used for audit compliance. They're close!