Novell begins BorderManager beta

Next stage in move to Internet/intranet network models

Novell said yesterday that it had begun a beta test of BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3, its software for Internet security management that is currently used by 4.5 million enterprises. After its seasons in the wilderness when it could do no right, in recent weeks the media have been taking a kinder view of Novell. There is indeed a tale to tell. Novell is reapplying its earlier successful formula, which was to provide file-and print for desktop applications. New times needed new men and new measures, so enter CEO Eric Schmidt with enough savvy from his days at Sun to realise that Novell Directory Services was indeed Novell's crown jewels, and that it could play a major role in making networking work on NT, which Microsoft has proved itself singularly unable to do. The problem for Novell is explaining to non-techies just why directory services are important. It's not so difficult -- it's just that Novell hadn't really set about this very well (and still needs to do better). But the techies did understand that it was possible to control not just NetWare, but also UNIX and NT from a single point of management. There was also the control of access to data that a directory gives, which is now becoming very important in these Internet/intranet/extranet days. BorderManager is a key part of all this, and as John Gantz of IDC said in Novell's press release yesterday, Novell is directly addressing the three major concerns of speed, performance and security with BorderManager. The product is scheduled for year-end shipping, and it would be better for Novell if it were not late with it. ®

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