NetVision Bridges Gap Between NDS, Active Dir.

FRAMINGHAM (03/09/2000) - With IT executives caught in the Us vs. Them directory crossfire between Microsoft and Novell, NetVision is hoping to offer coexistence by providing real-time synchronization of user data between Novell Inc. Directory Services (NDS) and Microsoft Corp.'s Active Directory.

NetVision this week will add support for Active Directory to its Synchronicity product in an attempt to streamline user administration on networks that run Active Directory and NDS.

Specifically, NetVision is introducing Synchronicity 2.5, which includes an Active Directory module and a new feature that automatically synchronizes password changes and enforces password policy rules.

The Active Directory module is an agent that runs on Windows 2000 and monitors changes to users, groups and passwords. Those changes are synchronized with NDS and any other platforms Synchronicity monitors, including Windows NT, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Notes and NetWare 3.0.

"The fact that [the module] pulls over groups of users and makes it all seamless is a big issue for us," says Michael York, network analyst for Asante Health Systems in Medford, Ore. York is in the process of migrating from NetWare to NT and had to rely on users to keep their passwords for each platform in sync. "Synchronicity is really helping us manage our migration."

Make no mistake, though, Synchronicity requires NetWare to run, and therefore, is an NDS-centric product. By year-end, NetVision has plans to offer a native Active Directory version, say company officials.

"The issue here is not replacement, but coexistence," says Neil MacDonald, an analyst with the Gartner Group in Stamford, Conn. "It's a critical issue. A lot of Novell shops will not abandon NDS. They may have it for file and print and have Active Directory to support Exchange 2000, so they have to make the two work together."

Microsoft and Novell are also offering synchronization tools. Microsoft's Directory Synchronization Service allows bidirectional synchronization but does not work in real time. Novell is developing a technology called DirXML, but it is not yet available.

Synchronicity 2.5 ships this week, and pricing starts at $18 per user.

NetVision: www.netvision.com.

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