Likewise Sells AD Bridge Assets to BeyondTrust
The Active Directory Bridge market saw a major shakeup recently as Likewise exited that niche to focus on cross-platform storage. Here’s the scoop, and what it means for the channel:
On June 30, 2011, Likewise announced the sale of its Active Directory Bridge software, including Likewise Open and Likewise Enterprise, to BeyondTrust. In a release announcing the sale, Likewise CEO Barry Crist positioned the move as part of an effort to focus more squarely on cross-platform storage solutions:
The storage software business has seen the highest growth and has been the most strategic part of our business. We’re doubling down on our commitment to building out our next-generation storage platform. This sale brings additional capital, allowing us to invest more heavily in our storage direction.
Crist then added in a letter:
For Likewise, the benefits are clear: we will accelerate our investment in creating disruptive storage software. Likewise sits at a very unique intersection of the storage, identity, and security markets; we plan to fully exploit this position. As many of you know, we have quietly become the foundational platform for many of the biggest names in the storage industry.
He also promised “much higher profile announcements” in the future.
The AD Channel
Storage isn’t a totally novel niche for Likewise — it’s been releasing products in this area for more than a year now — but its exit from the cross-platform Active Directory integration market is a significant one, especially since Likewise was one of only a handful of organizations offering commercial solutions in this domain.
For the time being, the announcement implies little change on the ground within the AD Bridge channel, since BeyondTrust has vowed to keep Likewise Open and Likewise Enterprise accessible. They will be rechristened as PowerBroker Identity Services, offered in enterprise and open editions.
Going forward, however, BeyondTrust’s policies on these products will be ones to watch closely. Their licensing and technical features could change directions, with major implications for the AD Bridge channel as a whole.
Meanwhile, the integration of the AD authentication tools into BeyondTrust’s existing lineup of access control tools presents some interesting possibilities, since they could help standardize control policies across multiple platforms.
And for Likewise, this announcement opens up a new future, centered on storage solutions spanning multiple platforms as well as physical and cloud-based hosts.