Lufthansa flies to Novell to secure its network

Airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG has appointed Novell Inc. to provide secure network and directory services for its 70,000 employees, Novell announced Wednesday.

Novell is developing a metadirectory, or overall directory, for all Lufthansa employees, based on its eDirectory administration and authorization product. It is also helping to set up a PKI (public key infrastructure) security system from Entrust Inc., said Markus Krauss, Novell's director of enterprise solutions. It will then tie in over 600 software applications to this secure environment, he said.

A worldwide Novell license entitles Lufthansa to the use of all Novell products. To date, Novell has implemented its eBusiness and netservices software within the company. Some of the planned implementation projects have been put on hold since the terrorist attacks in the U.S. in September, Krauss said, but he expects them to be running again soon.

Novell will provide 24 hour support in running Lufthansa's 600 servers, across about 400 locations, for the "next several years," and will offer training services too, said Krauss.

The contract is worth "several million euros," or several million U.S. dollars, and is one of Novell's biggest ever deals, according to Novell.

Lufthansa was not available to discuss its previous IT infrastructure, nor the reasons for choosing Novell. Asked about what Novell was replacing, Krauss would only say that "it can be hard to convince customers of why security is necessary," until they see the benefits of a fully integrated system.

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