3Com Licenses Novell Directory

WASHINGTON (01/28/2000) - Last week 3Com Corp. said it would license Novell Inc.'s directory service and use it as the underpinning of its policy-based network management technology. Terms of the arrangement, which was announced at ComNet 2000, were not disclosed.

Novell Directory Services (NDS) will let 3Com develop management products that let users delegate network access and resource policies based on user name, rather than media access control or IP address, says Mike Cookish, a 3Com marketing director. Eighty percent of 3Com's enterprise customers already use NDS, he says. "Novell is the clear leader in that area."

3Com will deliver a product that "binds" its Transcend Policy System to NDS servers in the second quarter of this year, Cookish says. This will enable customers to start to define user-based policies.

By year-end, 3Com will add user-based network access policies to the Transcend software. This will enable customers to use NDS to recognize LAN-attached or remote VPN users and assign network access and resource profiles accordingly.

In mid-2001, 3Com will integrate and ship NDS with the Transcend Policy System, Cookish says.

3Com users reacted to the development positively.

"It is exciting to have a policy system that can take advantage of our existing directory, eliminating the need to have several directories," says Gary Habermann, director of network operations at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. "This greatly reduces the amount of maintenance and overhead associated with deploying policy-based networking."

3Com will still support Microsoft's Active Directory, and will interoperate with directories from Netscape and Siemens via Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

"Directories are the future of network and policy management," Cookish says.

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