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Cisco to add NDS support to CiscoAssure

But it still prefers Active Directory

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Cisco and Novell announced their intention to ensure broad compatibility between their software and hardware products, as predicted (see earlier story). The agreement covers Cisco's CiscoAssure policy networking products and Novell Directory Services (NDS). The first fruits of the deal will be Cisco's Network Registrar IP Registration Services, which is interoperable with NDS, and the User Registration and Tracking Service, which will gain NDS support in the first half of 1999. The two companies will also propose extensions to the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) to the standards body in charge of the standard, the Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF). However, Cisco reiterated its support for Microsoft's Active Directory (AD) as its core directory service -- "CiscoAssure products will use the standards-based Active Directory client to operate in multi-directory environments," the company said. AD is due to ship as a component of Windows 2000 (aka NT 5.0) next year. The company said it intends to offer a new Cisco-branded product that ties into AD. Development of that product is separate from the CiscoAssure line. Cisco's press release also mentioned its Cisco Service Management product, but didn't indicate whether it too will be made to interoperate with NDS. Instead, it too will use "Active Directory client to operate in multi-directory environments". In essence, all this amounts to Cisco offering NDS for those who want it, but not recommending it as an alternative to AD. The deal may not have been as wide-ranging as pundits predicted, but Novell does come away from it with another big-name supporter under its belt to add to Lucent and Nortel. ®

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