Novell plans network management tools

Novell plans network management tools

Novell, hoping to leverage the strength of its Novell Directory Services (NDS), will release within the next three months a set of network-based tools to manage everything from single sign-on for users to digital security certificates, Novell chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt said.

'We will be an infrastructure supplier' not only to corporate information technology organisations but also to application service providers, which host corporate applications and data and deliver them through the Internet, Schmidt said at GartnerGroup's Symposium/ITxpo 99.

Using NDS as a low-level system to track users, network devices, applications and other IT components, the new tools will help IT administrators implement features such as single log-on, which allows users to sign on only once to access all of their applications, as well as manage their public-key infrastructures for security.

When asked whether this move puts Novell in competition with systems management vendors such as Computer Associates and Tivoli Systems, Schmidt said Novell was aiming for the 'low-end but high-volume' market for directory software that tracks objects such as users on a network, leaving the market for specialised management applications to more specialised vendors such as CA.

Schmidt was noncommittal when asked whether he would end a practice that requires customers to pay for a separate per-user licence to run NDS on either Microsoft's Windows NT Server or on Novell's own NetWare LAN operating system.

He gave no time frame for when Novell might allow a single licence for running NDS on multiple platforms.

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