Novell aims to simplify directory management

Novell is expected to bolster its directory management tools with enhancements that will let IT staff more easily manage their NetWare, Windows NT, Solaris and Linux networks, as well as consolidate directories.

The announcements, at NetWorld +Interop 2000 in Atlanta, cover several directory products grouped under the code name Tao. These include Novell Directory Services (NDS) 8.5, Account Management and new drivers for Novell's recently released metadirectory, DirXML. The products will ship next month.

NDS 8.5 will include filtered replicas, federated directories and faster directory search capability. Filtered replicas let companies decide whether they will replicate an entire directory or only portions to other directory replicas on the network. Federated directories let companies form virtual merged directories among themselves and their trading partners that can be managed from a common interface. For instance, a user in Company A can access resources in Company B by signing into Company A's directory and using the Domain Name System to locate Company B's directory.

While users agree that the ability to share subsets of directories on an intranet is valuable, they question whether Novell will have much success getting companies to share confidential directory information with trading partners. They are further put off by the fact that only directories built on NDS eDirectory can be merged, and not directories from the likes of Microsoft or iPlanet.

Novell will also announce it has renamed its directory synchronisation and management tool, NDS Corporate Edition, and extended it to Solaris, Linux and Windows NT platforms. The new product, called Account Manager, lets network administrators manage directory resources and objects from within a common application and replicate those changes among the servers on the network. Account Manager for Windows 2000 will be available early next year.

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