There's talk of an 802.1x supplicant consortium

The Enterprise Strategy Group recently came out with a white paper proposing an open supplicant initiative. This initiative would ideally have wide industry support from commercial organizations, and be based on an Open Source supplicant.

I think it's a great idea.

Cisco has their NAC solution, and Microsoft has NAP, both of which rely on endpoint software for network integrity. As single-vendor solutions are always a concern to some people, there is now a standards body called TNC that's doing something similar.

However, the TNC body doesn't currently have an open supplicant that everyone can use. This is where an open supplicant initiative comes in. The supplicant can implement TNC, and whatever else anyone needs, in an open and standards-based approach.

This is not to say anything bad about Cisco or Microsoft. Their solutions are very interesting and useful. But some people prefer a vendor-independent, and standards-based system to a single-vendor solution.

I think it's high time for an Open Source supplicant to have signficant commercial backing. I hope this effort takes off.