For many organizations, Windows isn't the only platform supported by IT. In fact, a large number of organizations continue to rely on UNIX and Linux for truly mission-critical applications.

However, integrating Windows Server 2003 and UNIX/Linux can sometimes be a challenge. To help you out, Microsoft offers an add-on package for Windows called Services for UNIX (SFU) 3.5. This package includes a number of UNIX utilities to help administrators better integrate Windows into UNIX environments.

SFU 3.5 includes many features to help UNIX admins deal with Windows servers. Here are some of the major components of SFU 3.5:

* NFS: With both an NFS client and server available in SFU 3.5, a Windows server can seamlessly access UNIX servers using the NFS protocol as well as provide UNIX-based NFS clients with the ability to access the Windows server without requiring other intermediate software, such as Samba.

* ACTIVESTATE ACTIVEPERL 5.8: For years, UNIX administrators have enjoyed the power -- and sometimes frustrations -- of Perl. SFU 3.5 brings Perl to the Windows world.

* NETWORK INFORMATION SYSTEM (NIS) TO ACTIVE DIRECTORY INTEGRATION: SFU 3.5 includes a wizard for NIS to Active Directory integration as well as the ability to authenticate NIS clients against Active Directory.

* STANDARD UNIX TOOLS: Several familiar UNIX command-line utilities, including sed, awk, ls, kill, and ps, are available in SFU 3.5.

For more information about Windows Services for UNIX 3.5, check out Microsoft's SFU Web site.