Novell Bolsters Directory, Mgmt. Packages

FRAMINGHAM (04/03/2000) - IT managers may find it easier to share business information with partners and manage end users when Novell Inc. releases directory and management software enhancements previewed at BrainShare last week.

The new features of Novell Directory Service (NDS) Corporate Edition and eDirectory include Domain Name Service (DNS) federation and the ability to export files from the directory into other applications.

DNS federation lets companies share portions of their individual directories to transact business or exchange information with trading partners or other divisions within their companies. For instance, an equipment distribution company will soon be able to use NDS to share the portion of its parts catalog that focuses on parts available for car restoration and repair, while keeping the remainder of its catalog secure.

"DNS federation solves problems for us when we acquire a company," says Chip DiComo, network manager for Hellman Worldwide Logistics in Miami. "The ability to [use DNS federation] buys us time to 'Hellmannize' their IT infrastructure and make their current data stores available quickly."

Hellman also has many partners around the world. "A federation gives us the ability to implement better controls over the data a partner can access," DiComo says. "The global logistics business [Hellman is in] is very competitive and an exclusive partner can become someone else's partner very easily. A federation helps us control the risk of data sharing."

NDS is also being enhanced to give network managers the ability to create files based on directory information and export them to applications that use the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).

The upgraded versions of NDS are in beta testing and scheduled for general availability this summer.

Novell also plans to issue a new version of ZENworks for Desktops software that lets network managers remotely install Windows NT, 95 or 98 on workstations or laptops. In the event of data loss or corruption, the software also will be able to put a new image of the operating system or applications on remote machines. The company will send ZENworks for Desktops to a public beta this summer with a formal release later this year.

The company will also expand its caching and security appliance portfolio. At BrainShare, the company showed off a network-attached storage appliance that works on Windows NT, NetWare, Linux, Unix and Macintosh networks. Like Novell's Internet Caching System, this new appliance will be marketed by system OEMs such as IBM, Compaq, Dell and Quantex. It will allow users on NetWare, NT, Macintosh or Linux/Unix workstations to share the same data files.

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