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Cool Blog: Domain Services for Windows

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jaimon Jose

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Posted: 11 Jul 2007

Novell just released Open Enterprise Server Beta3. It included the first beta of Domain Services for Windows, the much talked about feature from Open Enterprise Server2. Domain Services for Windows received a lot of attention ever since it was demonstrated in the Brainshare this year.

Domain Services for Windows provides the ability to access both Novell Linux and Microsoft Windows services while leveraging the user store without multiple logins or object synchronization. Windows users can get away with the Novell client and still access Novell file and print services from Windows workstations seamlessly. In addition, administrator will be able to setup cross forest trusts between the existing Active Directory forest and Domain Services for windows. This will enable the Domain Services for windows users to access services from a pure Active Directory Forest. ( The reverse is not possible now )

With Novell Domain Services, the end-user file and print activities will be identical, regardless of whether the user resides in eDirectory or AD, and the operating system that the file and print services reside on. This will help the user administrator to use the same tools to administer users and groups, irrespective of where the user resides.

The desired user experience for each of the roles is given below:

  • End Users can use the same default client operations from Windows XP or from Windows 2003 for mapping file system resources and getting access to print services.
  • Help Desk Agent will have the ability to use Microsoft Management Consoles to fully administer users and groups located in eDirectory or AD. Administrators can also use iManager or any legacy eDirectory tool to add users and groups.
    Note: Windows administrators will not be able to use iManager or legacy tools to manage Microsoft specific attributes, policies, etc. They must use MMC for this.
  • Directory Administrators will have the ability to use the default vendor tool to administer shares, printers, policies and servers (MMC for AD repositories and group policies and iManager for eDir policies, printers, etc.)
  • Network Administrators will have the ability to install and configure using YaST for Linux and Default Windows install and configure tools for AD.

Use Cases

A typical heterogeneous network may look like the following diagram.

The above deployment diagram has a real AD forest ( and a forest configured with Domain Services for Windows. A replica ring of a configured domain can have Domain Services for Windows servers and supported eDirectory servers - eDirectory 8.8.x and 8.7.3. Administrators can manage the domain using iManger connected to any of these servers while, MMC connects to one of the Domain Services for Windows server. The same set of users can access resources from an Active Directory forest using the cross forest trust ? a two way Kerberos based transitive trust between an Active Directory forest and Domain Services for Windows forest.

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