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Novell Announces NDS for NT Version 2

In June, analysts and developers affirmed that Novell Inc.'s Directory Services (NDS) for Windows NT was in deep trouble because Microsoft Corp. planned to release Service Pack 4 for NT and NT 5.0, which could entail functionality conflicts for users of NDS for NT.

While the industry has been patiently waiting for the release of either product from Microsoft, Novell decided to announce version 2 of NDS for NT, which is expected to ship by December. Michael Simpson, Novell director of marketing, says the new release wasn't about increased interoperability, but new features the company felt NDS for NT should include.

The product now controls file shares as well as users and groups, and the user and file manager is all one utility. Simpson also boasts the increased scale of the product. "We tested it with 35,000 user objects and we've migrated successfully," he says. Most importantly, the new version does not require a local network server. Everything can run from every office with the server just at one office.

Simpson insists that there will be no interoperability problems when NT 5.0 and Service Pack 4 are released. "We've run NDS with the beta versions of Service Pack 4 and NT 5.0 and there haven't been any problems," he says.

Paul Zagaesky, senior industry analyst for the Giga Information Group Inc., says it is highly unlikely that NDS will be inoperable with NT, unless Microsoft and Novell aren't working together. "There is a sense of cooperation that has traditionally been observed at a technological level," says Zagaesky. "I think it would be very short sited for Microsoft to do anything to make it more difficult to integrate the NT environment. It just doesn't sit well with a lot of customers out there with Novell licenses."

Meanwhile, Novell's Simpson believes that releasing the product now was the right decision for Novell: "We would want to be ahead of time. We worked on our product and shipped it when it was ready and we're not going to wait for a product that's going to be two years late." Simpson did say, however, that a more convenient situation would be for both products to come out at the same time. He explains, "It's easier for customers to compare products to products, not products to promises. We don't want to make people make an either/or decision." -- Brian Ploskina, Assistant Editor

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.