Cisco Networking Services for Active Directory (CNS/AD) will not be capable of implementing security until a Windows NT 5.0 domain controller is up and running.
Speculation has been rampant that the release date of CNS/AD may precede the release of NT 5.0 because of Cisco Systems' knowledge of the inner workings of Active Directory. But CNS/AD will not become fully functional until the release of NT 5.0, company officials said.
Without the security piece in NT 5.0, which is an implementation of the Kerberos security specification, CNS/AD will not be able to implement policy-based network management.
Policy-based network management is the holy grail of directory services, without which its usefulness is minimal.
"Cisco felt they needed to get under the covers of the directory in order to tightly integrate to get the functionality they wanted, so they made the agreement with Microsoft for Active Directory," Lewis said.
Now that Active Directory is late, and Novell Directory Services is already shipping, many customers and analysts are asking whether Cisco will change course and make a deal with Novell.
Even though there have been no announcements, Novell and Cisco are cooperating on network device management standards.