Set to renew its identity as a dominant networking services provider, Novell this month will detail a wave of technologies and partnerships to help customers scale on the Internet.
Novell will use the BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City to introduce product updates that reflect this move. Critical partners such as Compaq and Lucent also will join hands with Novell in technology alliances.
The core of Novell's strategy is Novell Directory Services (NDS), Version 8, the highly scalable version of the company's directory that recently entered open beta testing.
"Previously we were focused on enterprise challenges and corporate issues," said Michael Simpson, director of strategic and market planning at Novell. "The challenges on the Internet are different, but customers don't want to build two different directory infrastructures for these environments."
It is this gap between the enterprise and the extranet that Version 8 was designed to bridge.
One telecommunications provider servicing millions of users has tested NDS, Version 8, and said Novell is moving even beyond the Web and into directory-enabled identity management.
"This really makes sense in the service provider space. When you think about directory objects as identities, you can have hundreds of objects for one individual," said Monte Sharma, chief technology officer at Maritime Telegraph and Telephone in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In addition to deploying NDS, Version 8, Sharma said he is looking forward to Novell and its partners -- including Lucent Technologies -- delivering on the Directory Enabled Networks (DEN) initiative. These deliverables will include capabilities such as router management and user-account management, according to Novell officials.
In addition to its directory enhancements, Novell at BrainShare will detail the next release of its NetWare operating system, code-named 6 Pack.
One addition to NetWare in the next version is support for Document Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV), which is the same Web publishing protocol to be used in Microsoft Office 2000, according to analyst Jamie Lewis, president of the Burton Group, in Midvale, Utah.
"WebDAV points to a future in which the Web becomes that big file server in the sky. The old Novell would have hemmed and hawed on this," Lewis said.
In another effort to help its customers handle the growing demands of the Web, Novell is expected to announce the next version of its BorderManager FastCache Services and has already received support for these efforts from Compaq.
Compaq is expected to announce at BrainShare plans to market proxy servers designed to optimise Novell's caching software, according to a Compaq source.
Additionally, Novell plans to announce the first beta release of ZENworks 2, the next version of Novell's popular directory-based desktop management solution.
Novell also will discuss the future of its Managewise network management product, which will involve new server-based management functionality, according to company officials.
Novell will announce at BrainShare the Novell Internet Messaging System (formerly code-named Liberty), a Post Office Protocol (POP3) and IMAP4-based messaging server targeted at Internet service providers.
Novell and Puma Technology announced an agreement last week to integrate Puma's IntelliSync technology with Novell Groupwise, to enable users to access a GroupWise system from handheld devices.
Novell scales with new wares
Network OS and directory management enhancements are key to vendor's plans.
6 Pack (next release of NetWare)
* Better multi-processor support WebDAV
* Improved Java implementation, support for the Internet Printing Protocol* Replaces bundled Netscape FastTrack server with Netscape Enterprise serverZENworks 2* Added reporting capabilities for software distribution* SQL background for asset tracking* Policy-based software delivery* "Lights-out" software distribution for automated delivery after hours