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All About Redirect, NDS, and Windows 2000

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Ed Anderson

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Posted: 24 Feb 2000

Okay, so this isn't really "from the trenches" since we got this information from an actual NDS product manager, but the info seems so topical and timely, that this is where we're putting it.

There has been some confusion over what features will be implemented in NDS Corporate Edition product to integrate Windows 2000. Let me try to clear this up...

The current version of NDS Corporate Edition is really the bundling of two products:

  1. NDS eDirectory
  2. Redirection technology for Windows NT and Solaris

On Windows NT, user accounts are managed through the NT Domain. The redirection technology allows the NT Domain to be stored and managed in NDS providing a single point of administration for both NT users and NDS users. Requests destined for the local SAM database (where the NT Domain information is normally stored) are captured by the redirector and sent to the Domain information stored in NDS. Because it is redirecting native requests, the redirection is transparent to the end user, giving the appearance of a completely integrated solution.

When Windows 2000 ships the NT Domain will be replaced by Microsoft Active Directory. This directory service will provide the management foundation for Windows 2000 and some Windows 2000 applications. Novell has no plans to provide a redirection solution for Active Directory. We have investigated this possibility and have found that there are better ways to achieve the same functionality without having to "redirect" Active Directory requests.

The solution that Novell will be providing is based on the upcoming DirXML technology (in association with NDS eDirectory). DirXML provides a mechanism of synchronizing data between Active Directory and NDS. Additionally, there are management components that will allow administrators to manage the Active Directory objects once they have been synchronized with NDS. As changes are made either in Active Directory, or in NDS, the changes will be reflected in the other system providing a common view of the data in both systems.

Included in this solution will be some other technologies, that we'll be announcing shortly, which will give our customers a complete solution . . . on par with all the value they got from the redirection technology.

We believe that using synchronization technology will provide a much cleaner solution for our customers without compromising any of the functionality that they have grown accustomed to with our redirection solutions. Additionally, there won't be a way for Microsoft to "break" this solution because we integrate using publically available interfaces.

In summary:

  • There is no redirection planned for integrating Windows 2000 and NDS.
  • There is a synchronization solution planned for integration Windows 2000 and NDS.
  • For end users and adminstrators, the solution will be just as compelling on Windows 2000 as the solution we built for Windows NT.

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