Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Start Here - Quick Index and FAQ


I've written this post for those that are new visitors to the blog, this post is always work-in-progress.  Since the blog works chronologically most likely you can do a search but many of the postings have a context (like the Business Cases).  So this post has an Index/FAQ ring to it.  So let's get started.

If you are here...

  • You were sent here by me (via email or link from the YouTube channel or others)
  • You Googled something that has to do with Centrify because you're stuck - see Troubleshooting
  • You are looking to learn about Centrify
  • You are just curious!

What's this blog about?

This was covered in the very first post back in 2013, but in summary this blog is about Identity and Access Management.  I try to combine the disciplines of Information Security, IT Infrastructure, Project Management and Business Skills to solve Access Control issues with Microsoft Active Directory and Centrify Solutions.  The blog started only covering Server Suite (Unix, Linux), but now we are covering User Suite (Mac OS X, Cloud) as well.
There are several ways to use the blog:
  • You can read it sequentially (as a subscriber)
  • You can follow the business problems (to see use cases)
  • You can jump to the labs (but to understand them, you need to know the business issue they want to solve)
  • You can go by platform (e.g. Mac OS X)
  • You can use this Post as an Index or Search for Keywords (e.g. NFS, Samba)
  • If you'd rather watch, you can follow the videos in the YouTube Channel
  • If you speak Spanish, there's a section for you too.  (Unfortunately needs upkeep)

Who's Centrify?

Look at this video:

Some other facts:
  • Centrify has been around for 10 years (as of 2014) and has over 5,000 customers.  
  • Centrify's solutions adhere to the philosophy of leveraging your existing AD infrastructure
  • Centrify's solutions promote simplicity - to solve hard problems in a simple way.

Why do you write this blog?

  • To share the knowledge
  • To practice on how to write a book and make this a book sample
  • Because I love Centrify products and I'm a very proud Centrify employee
  • To make my life easier at work
  • Because Centrify products promote simplicity and operational efficiency; if you want to increase security control while increasing productivity - Centrify is your solution.

What don't you write about?

  • Centrify DirectManage Deployment Manager:  DM is a free tool provided by Centrify that used for software distribution.  Centrify's strengths are in Access Control, companies should use their own configuration management and software distribution tools for that. E.g. Puppet, Chef, Jamf Casper, System Center, etc.   Bottom-line - use the right solution to solve a problem.
  • Centrify Express:  Centrify express is freeware that quickly integrates to AD, it is an excellent product, however, by default allows everyone from AD to log into the UNIX, Linux or Mac computers.  It is aimed for non-commercial and academic environments and in this blog we tackle issues with highly-regulated enterprises.

Why Active Directory?

We spoke about AD back in December 2013.

Business Reasons
  • Because most likely it is already deployed in your enterprise,
  • Because most likely there's people who are experts on it on your enterprise,
  • AD is a mature, proven technology supported by one of the biggest software companies in the world,
  • Because most likely there are processes associated and established for it,
  • therefore reusing your existing expertise, processes, infrastructure and investment is THE RIGHT THING TO DO because it promotes Operational Efficiency, Faster Deployment, Less Complexity and Cost Savings.
Technical Reasons
  • AD is an LDAP directory
  • AD provides a Kerberos Infrastructure
  • AD provides a policy enforcement engine (Group Policy)
  • AD maintains it's own infrastructure (DNS, Sites and Services, Replication)
  • AD is highly available, massively scalable, and when properly deployed, very secure.
  • AD provides advanced services like PKI
So the question is, why promote duplicity and complexity?!!   Many IT organizations are slow to deliver because of the long legacy of promoting complexity.

Alright, so where should I start?

Choose your path:


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