Two crucial pieces of Novell's five-pronged turnaround strategy have fallen into place with the development of a far more robust version of its Novell Directory Services (NDS), called Scalable Directory Service (SCADS), that is aimed at ISPs and other enterprise service providers; and the signing of partnerships with network hardware vendors such as Lucent to integrate NDS with its equipment.
Novell's surround-and-conquer approach - through which it wants to populate all types of networks with NDS - includes recruiting partners across five primary markets.
The company already has a deal with AT&T to provide the latter with a high-performance version of NDS to be deployed by AT&T across its WorldNet service.
This SCADS flavour of Novell's directory for ISPs is slated for release in the first quarter of 1999. SCADS supports between 1 million and 2 million objects and could reach as many as 1 billion objects, according to company officials.
In addition to service providers, Novell hopes to ink deals with networking hardware vendors.
Novell last week signed an agreement under which Lucent Technologies will bundle NDS with its Cajun switches, and the company is also working with Lucent's development team on a policy-based bandwidth management application, code-named Cajun Rules, that is set for first-quarter 1999 release, according to one Lucent executive.
Another key networking partner would be Cisco, although interoperability between NDS and Cisco hardware is already planned via the Directory Enabled Networks (DEN) initiative. DEN was originally a Microsoft/Cisco project but was passed to the Desktop Management Task Force and now has a Novell executive as its chairman.
ERP market also targeted
Further extending NDS' reach, Novell also plans to target the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market by integrating NDS with ERP and database applications.
The company will announce at the PeopleSoft conference in San Francisco an integrated solution for unifying directory data with information stored in PeopleSoft's human resources applications. Novell is also in talks with SAP, which has traditionally been allied with Microsoft, and expects to solidify a partnership early next year, said Dave Shirk, Novell's vice president of product management.
On the database side, Novell wants to extend its relationship with Oracle in order to NDS-enable the Oracle database.
Operating systems, including Windows NT, are another place in which Novell will leverage its directory.
Novell already offers native NDS on NT and plans to release similar solutions for platforms including Linux and Solaris.
Novell also plans NDS integration with Sun's forthcoming Jini Java-based distributed computing environment, according to Shirk, and is working on directory-based relationships with systems management vendors including Computer Associates and Tivoli.
Currently, CA integrates with NDS via its DirectIT product. Future plans are likely to involve placing NDS information into the Unicenter repository, according to Yogesh Gupta, senior vice president of product strategy at CA.