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NDS for Linux to boost OS in corporate networks

Caldera's forthcoming port of Novell's directory system will give Linux a helping hand

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Novell is to announce a port of NDS (formerly Novell Directory Services, now a free-floating acronym) to Linux this month, according to sources at Caldera, the company that's doing the port. NDS is one of the key 'secret weapons' for Novell in its campaign to position NetWare 5 as an integrating platform for heterogeneous networks, so by supporting it for Linux, the networking giant will be officially accepting that Linux has a place in corporate networks, and will be easing the OS' route into them. The Caldera port is being undertaken via a two-year old alliance between the companies. This has already produced NetWare for Linux, but the latest phase of development increases NetWare Linux support to bring it into the NetWare 5 sphere. With 5, Novell is aiming for seamless multi-platform support, allowing network administrators to manage different platforms from a single console, and 'contextless login' for users. The pitch Novell is making sounds remarkably like the one Microsoft makes for NT 5.0, the key difference here being that NetWare 5 is shipping. Also key is the fact that despite years of claims to the contrary from certain quarters, NetWare is still by far the leading PC networking platform in the corporate space. Much of the installed base in of course earlier versions, but Novell is now optimistic about its prospects of migrating them to 5, securing its lead, then going onto the attack. Supporting Linux via Caldera, which via former Novell boss Ray Noorda has a long (and sometimes fraught) relationship with Novell is a shrewd strategy. Novell thinks Microsoft has bitten off more than it can chew with NT 5.0, and that it can capitalise on this, while much of the Linux community seems to hold a similar view, and figures it's time to get Linux into the enterprise. As Novell is in the enterprise, but doesn't want to own all the platforms Microsoft-style, this could be a marriage made in heaven. ® Click for more stories

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