Before a standing ovation from the crowd, Novell Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt took the stage last week to discuss what he dubbed the second wave of the Internet and the second phase of the directory - relationships and identity.
Speaking at Novell's Brainshare '99 conference, Schmidt and Novell's Chris Stone introduced Novell's new digitalme technology, directory-enabled technology for personal control of identity on the Internet.
"There are at least 30 versions of me on the Internet and I want to be able to control those identities," said Stone, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Novell. Stone also pointed out that storing his name in the directory translates into needing to store and manage 30 directory objects for his persona alone.
Novell demonstrated at Brainshare its recently announced Novell Directory Services (NDS) Version 8, and showed the directory supporting 1 billion objects. NDS Version 8 is slated to ship within 60 days.
According to both Novell executives, being able to manage and secure digital identity has become a critical issue for consumers and businesses on the Internet.
Digitalme offers a flexible architecture that lets users deploy virtual "meCards" which enable them to control what information they share, what types of information they receive and from whom, and how and by whom their identity is being used, according to Novell.
Whole new market
Services included in the directory-enabled digitalme suite include instant chat, auto-register, single sign-on, messaging, and document sharing.
"Digitalme creates a whole new market for the directory," according to Michael Simpson, director of strategic market planning at Novell. "If I go to Amazon.com and they give me a form to fill out, digitalme automatically fills it out for me with all my information. It gives me single sign-on to any Web site."
Digitalme leverages NDS to store and manage meCards, as well as control access and creation of policies. Novell demonstrated the technology, which is still in early preliminary testing, at Brainshare with both a Win32 client and with a Java version.
Caching appliance architecture
Novell also announced on its Novell Internet Caching System (ICS) a scalable caching appliance architecture that is now available for licence by Intel architecture-based OEMs.
ICS, which has already been licensed by Dell, is designed to increase the capacity of any Web server 10-fold, according to the company.
Novell ICS offers a scalable Cache Object Store with fault tolerance capabilities that enable companies to optimise bandwidth and deploy complex Internet-based applications. The "plug-and-accelerate" architecture of Novell ICS can be installed in a Cisco, Unix, Microsoft NT, or other switch and router environments in less than 10 minutes, officials said. The system supports SNMP for integration with enterprise management consoles.
Also at BrainShare '99, Novell had the support of more than 30 partners who announced support for and/or integration with NDS.
At the top of the list was IBM, which announced with Novell a bundling agreement to integrate IBM WebSphere with NetWare.
"This gives our customers true cross-platform application capabilities and a rich Java application development environment complete with tools," Stone said.
In other partnership news, Novell and Cabletron announced plans to deliver standards-compliant directory-enabled networking solutions that will lower the cost of network ownership and administration as well as improve quality of service.