Seeking to ease the pain of IT professionals tasked with centralizing identities to cross-platform systems and enabling single sign-on, Centrify Tuesday launched Centrify Express 2012, the latest version of its free solution for integrating Unix, Linux and Mac with Active Directory.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Centrify, a specialist in security and compliance solutions that control, secure and audit cross-platform systems and applications using Active Directory, first unveiled its free Centrify Express solution last year. Since then, the company said more than 100,000 IT professionals and users have acquired it.

Centrify Express is a free subset of the capabilities of Centrify Suite, which offers additional capabilities like role-based access control, privileged identity management, user-level auditing, server isolation and encryption of data-in-motion. Centrify Express consists of five Active Directory-based integration solutions designed to deliver authentication, single sign-on, remote access, file sharing and reporting capabilities for cross-platform systems, whether they are deployed on-premise or in the cloud. The newest version, Centrify Express 2012, adds a number of new features.

First and foremost, the latest release includes Centrify Insight 1.1, powered by Splunk. Splunk is enterprise software, produced by San Francisco-based Splunk, used to monitor, report and analyze the machine data produced by applications, systems and infrastructure. Centrify said Centrify Insight 1.1 delivers ready-to-use dashboards, reports and analysis for Unix and Linux users' identity, authentication and authorization data. With it, IT professionals gain the ability to monitor and create reports on users' login activity for Active Directory and local users, successful/failed login attempts, and login methods including SSH, talent and switched user.

DirectManage Express 2012 is another new element. It automates the discovery of systems, assesses their readiness to join Active Directory and streamlines deployment and integration with Active Directory. Centrify said it will be a boon to organizations that deploy dozens to thousands of servers, because it offers the ability to automate upgrades and updates of Centrify-managed servers to the latest release of Centrify Express or the full Centrify Suite, and it also gives administrators the ability to centrally manage local accounts whether or not the systems have been joined to Active Directory.

Centrify has also added new support for HPUX 11.21, AIX 7.1 and more than 25 additional platforms in DirectControl Express 2012. The company said it has also updated its pre-configured versions of OpenSSH to OpenSSH 5.9p1.

Thor Olavsrud is a contributor to InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.