QCD Microsystems has given a new lease of life to NT-based environments requiring a primary domain controller (PDC).

The company has released a Windows MMC snap-in, Samba PDC, that allows sysadmins to configure Samba as a PDC from the Windows box. It allows the Linux server to become integrated into Active Directory and creates network shares through the GUI, for instance, but do so through the familiar Windows interface.

The company plans to release a Linux-based version with the same functionality in a few months later, according to marketing manager David Finkelstein.

The launch comes a few weeks after QCD's release of Interstructures, a system of MMC snap-ins that allows Windows-based sysadmins to manage Linux boxes without needing Linux expertise. Instead, they can manage both Linux and Windows servers from the same console which "simplifies Linux dramatically and means you don't need training to administer Linux", said Finkelstein.

For example, a Windows administrator can manage Apache and Samba as if it were Microsoft's IIS Web server. The system can, said Finkelstein, simplify it so that, for instance, adding a Linux box to an Active Directory domain, which is normally a complex, multi-step process, now takes four clicks.

The advantage of the MMC snap-in approach, according to Finkelstein, is that, as well as requiring less training, the MMC snap-in approach means the various interfaces and configuration files with which Linux admins need to be familiar require familiarity with only one interface.

Interstructures works by manipulating the configuration files directly, communicating with the Linux server using SOAP. Interstructures works with Red Hat and SuSE Linux, and is kernel-independent.