Novell Partners Beef Up Mgmt. Software

SALT LAKE CITY (03/24/2000) - Novell Inc. NetWare customers will soon be able to automatically distribute files from server to server and more easily monitor and troubleshoot their Novell Directory Services (NDS) with new software from NetPro Computing Inc. and PatchLink.com Corp.

This week, NetPro will announce a new version of its configuration management software, ConfigCentral 4.0, as well as enhancements to its directory troubleshooting product, DS Analyzer 2.0, at Novell's BrainShare meeting.

PatchLink will also announce a new version of WebConsole, its remote management package, and DS Doctor, a new utility that lets network professionals manage network directory services.

NetPro's ConfigCentral, a utility that handles NetWare server configuration and supports the automatic distribution of Novell support packs, will be enhanced to allow large database files and e-mail message stores to be copied from server to server. This feature lets network professionals create replicas of data with an eye toward increasing application availability.

The product also allows support packs and files to be copied to specific subdirectories and lets the customers make changes to more than one server at a time.

In addition, NetPro is adding a searchable database called a knowledgebase to its DS Analyzer product that will help network managers solve problems DS Analyzer finds. DS Analyzer notifies network managers of potential problems with NDS and suggests resolutions. The knowledgebase is a database that contains information, scenarios and tips for solving problems with NDS.

ConfigCentral 4.0 will be available in April for $249 per server. The utility works with NetWare 3, 4 and 5. DS Analyzer 2.0 will ship in the third quarter for $12 per user object.

Another Novell partner, PatchLink, a vendor of network management products, will introduce a new Web-based product that is similar to NetPro's DS Analyzer.

Dubbed DS Doctor, the software monitors the health of NDS on NetWare 4 and 5 networks. DS Doctor contains a knowledgebase that details the causes of problems and suggests possible solutions.

DS Doctor also has a scripting language that lets the network manager schedule automated monitoring and recovery of directory services errors. For instance, if a user leaves the company and is deleted from an NDS-enabled human resources application, an alert can be issued to the network manager to delete the user's access to the network.

"DS Doctor lets you manage and monitor networks remotely from a directory services point of view, whether you are at home or across the campus network," says Gary Porter, network systems programmer at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. "With it, we can determine if the directory is synchronizing properly, whether there are synchronization errors."

Porter spends about half his time away from his campus network. "It lets us run scripts on demand that will fix some problems or alert us, if necessary," he says.

DS Doctor will be available in May. PatchLink has not determined pricing. The company will also manage two mailing lists on which network managers can exchange scripts and problem-solving information with other users. This information will be incorporated into the DS Doctor knowledgebase.

PatchLink will also port DS Doctor to work with Microsoft's Active Directory and Windows 2000.

PatchLink also announced Gravitix Enterprise Edition, software that determines when patches need to be applied to applications on the network.

Gravitix works with PatchLink's site (http:// itsupersite.patchlink.com) that contains application patches and fixes. When Gravitix encounters a problem that requires a software update, it automatically retrieves the patch and applies it. Patches can be moved from server to server depending on need.

Gravitix will ship in June for $100 per server.

NetPro: www.net pro.com; PatchLink: www.patchlink.com

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