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From the Inside Out: Novell eDirectory and the World of Linux-based Services

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Ted Haeger

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Posted: 2 Feb 2004

We thought it would be cool to have Novell's Product Managers produce a regular column for eDirectory Cool Solutions to give you some insight into current projects, plans, and other interesting tidbits. We're calling it "From the Inside Out." This column is from Ted Haeger, Novell Director of Product Management and Marketing for the eDirectory Product Line. Look for a new column weekly. And if you have any suggestions for topics for these guys, let us know and we'll drop some hints.

By now, you may think we mean it. What with Novell's recent acquisition of SUSE and previous acquisition of Ximian, perhaps you get the idea that Novell is very serious about embracing Linux. However, as a veteran user of Novell technology and Novell eDirectory devotee, you may be wondering: What does it all mean to me? So let me briefly give some perspective on how you can expect Novell's drive to embrace Linux to affect Novell eDirectory and vice versa.

Novell and Linux: Some History

Adding Linux to Novell's portfolio is not exactly brand-spankin' new. Certainly the focus has dramatically increased, but Novell has been working in the Linux space for some time. So let's start with some history. Novell's first major Linux-based product was Novell eDirectory, which first offered support for the Linux platform in 2000. Since the release of eDirectory on the Linux platform, Novell has continued to expand service offerings on Linux, such as DirXML (now Nsure Identity Manager) in 2000 and ZENworks for Servers in 2002. With the release of iManager 2 last fall, Novell made the complete eDirectory stack available for Linux. Now more than ever before, Novell eDirectory supports Linux.

Identity-enabled, Linux-based Services

Novell eDirectory remains a foundational technology for Novell, allowing Novell to deliver better-integrated products that provide personalized service to end users. (To some extent, it could be said that end-user services are not truly enterprise-class until they are backed by the personalization of service and security that only a directory can provide.) The recently released Novell Nterprise Linux Services (NNLS) exemplifies how Novell intends to take our core competency in using the directory to deliver over-the-top excellence in enterprise services on Linux.

For those who are not yet familiar with what Novell Nterprise Linux Services 1.0 offers, you should check it out. NNLS 1.0 delivers file, print, messaging, directory and management services all in an integrated package. Some of your favorite Novell technologies -- killer items like iFolder, iPrint, NetMail and Virtual Office-are all included in NNLS 1.0. Each of these extends a valuable end-user productivity benefit that is personalized because it's backed by the world's best directory service, Novell eDirectory.

You will also find that NNLS is managed through the iManager 2 Web-based management interface. By using iManager for eDirectory and the other NNLS components, NNLS provides the seasoned eDirectory administrator with a familiar management paradigm, even if you are just starting to ramp up on your Linux skills.

Linux and eDirectory: A Fast Track to Success

But you might still be wondering exactly how to get started with eDirectory on Linux. Maybe you have never installed Linux before. Perhaps you feel that the learning curve of installing both eDirectory and iManager on an unfamiliar OS is going to take too much of your limited time.

As a parting token, I'll point you toward an easy quick start to ensure success the first time you try: The "Novell eDirectory on Linux Lab Guide" provides a step-by-step walk through for installing and configuring a lab setup of SUSE Linux and then installing both Novell eDirectory and Novell iManager.

A Bright Future for Linux Services

Novell eDirectory has been on Linux for several years now. With Novell's recent acquisitions of Ximian and SUSE, the addition of iManager 2, and the release of Novell Nterprise Linux Services 1.0, the future of directory-enabled applications on Linux has never been brighter.

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