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Novell to Provide Directory Services for W2K

Novell Inc. (www.novell.com) fired another shot in the directory services war this week by introducing its NDS eDirectory for Windows 2000.

Novell, which lost much of its NetWare network operating system market share to Microsoft’s Windows NT, currently has the more robust directory services business with Novell Directory Services (NDS). Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) very much wants to encroach upon Novell’s directory business with its Active Directory technology in Windows 2000. Microsoft and Novell have engaged in a war of news releases and white papers over the last several months as Microsoft readied Windows 2000 and the Active Directory for release.

According to Novell, NDS eDirectory for Windows 2000 enables users to consolidate the use, management, and control of resources both inside and outside the firewall, while Microsoft’s Active Directory provides directory support for managing Windows users and groups specific to Windows 2000 only.

Novell says its NDS eDirectory simplifies e-business by providing a cross-platform infrastructure able to scale for high-volume Internet services and that links all existing directories and underlying platforms in a network and manages them from one central location. NDS eDirectory is a full-service directory that will allow users to integrate their existing mix of Unix, NetWare, Windows 2000 and Windows NT servers and clients under a single directory structure.

A caveat is that Microsoft currently has NDS blocked from interoperating with the Active Directory. It's a relatively minor issue at this point, with so few enterprises having the Active Directory deployed.

Novell is beta testing a bi-directional replication tool dubbed "DirXML" that will allow NDS to play with Active Directory. Microsoft is also working on two similar tools that will probably ship with its Services for NetWare product.

NDS eDirectory is currently available. - Isaac Slepner

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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