Novell Ships Internet Messaging Service

Novell has released its Novell Internet Messaging System (NIMS) 2.1, which leverages Novell Directory Services (NDS) eDirectory, to enterprise customers as well as to ISP and ASP companies that are members of Novell's Internet Commercial Service Provider Program.

With ISPs and ASPs as the "number one target," NIMS 2.1's release shows Novell's intentions to strongly push its enterprise directory services into the provider market via directory-enabled applications, according to Terry Ulanch, Novell product marketing manager for collaboration.

NIMS 2.1 is an Internet-based messaging service supporting POP, IMAP, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocols. The messaging service includes spam blocking and Web-based management features.

NIMS users can access mail in other standards-based accounts, such as Novell's GroupWise, Eudora or Microsoft Exchange Internet Mail Service. NIMS is currently available on NetWare, with Windows NT, Sun Solaris, and Linux support expected in 2000. However, NIMS also requires eDirectory or a version of NDS.

"[NIMS] gives us the same things you're seeing from eDirectory in terms of being able to go out and manage billions of objects -- we're taking advantage of that in the NIMS space," said Ulanch. "Everything about NIMS is operated or performed or managed from within the directory, and NIMS is one of the first products coming out that's starting to show our Web momentum, the way that we're moving with our technologies into the Web space."

Novell has a NIMS 2.1 beta site running at, which now has over 20,000 users on a single server. "We're not even hitting the meter whatsoever in terms of the use of it. We're doing 100,000 messages a day with it, and if we extrapolate out, we figure that one particular box can use probably 300,000 email users on it -- that's what it could support," according to Ulanch.

With Novell looking to expand the use of directories in the enterprise and Internet markets, the company is positioning NIMS to attract ISPs and ASPs looking for an extremely scalable e-mail solution as well as for enterprise users who may not need a full-collaboration messaging solution. Novell hopes the directory services tied to NIMS and other applications, such as its digitalme identity-management tool, will prove to companies that directories are an invaluable piece of infrastructure.

"The thing that NDS eDirectory really does here is, it helps Novell build a modular, service approach to the Internet, which gives us the capability to provide the Web infrastructure as a strategic company direction for Novell," said Leif Pedersen, director of product management for NDS and directory-enabled applications.

Enterprise pricing for NIMS 2.1 starts at $US20 per user including a run-time version of eDirectory in the box. Prices decrease with the volume purchased. Pricing for ISP and ASP companies -- which must first be members of Novell's Internet Commercial Service Provider Program -- is 15 cents per user per month for the package of both NIMS and eDirectory.

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