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Old Dominion University Success Story

Old Dominion University Success Story

Old Dominion chooses Condrey Consulting's IUAdmin software and eDirectory to provide and manage remote and wireless access for students, faculty and staff.

"IUAdmin is an essential part of our network and user-management toolset. The product's ability to provide ODU students, faculty and staff with easy and reliable remote file access from any operating system via Web browser is a huge time saver, and it reduces our help desk support."
Ken Saal Senior Systems Engineer Old Dominion University

Background

Located in Norfolk, Virginia, Old Dominion University (ODU) was founded in 1930 as a division of the College of William and Mary. Since then, ODU has evolved to become one of only 100 public universities in the United States with a Carnegie/Doctoral Research-Extensive distinction. ODU's combined business and research initiatives contribute more than $600 million annually to the regional economy, and enrollment currently numbers over twenty thousand full and part-time students.

Situation before Condrey development solution

Until recently, providing students, faculty and staff with remote access to Old Dominion's complex, multiplatform network was support-intensive, mainly because it was harder than it needed to be for end users to access their files and other authorized resources, which could reside anywhere on a multitude of backend servers. What's more, the addition of wireless access points across the ODU campus meant the need to support broader remote and wireless user access to files would only increase.

"We have Linux, Windows, NetWare®, Solaris, Red Hat, and Solaris running Oracle, said Ken Saal, Senior Systems Engineer for Old Dominion University. "We use NetWare 6 for file and print with Novell eDirectory™ 8.62 on our main production tree, and the Novell Client32 is installed on all our faculty, staff and lab workstations. 25 NetWare servers support file and print requests for the entire campus, and we are running ZENworks® for Desktops for desktop and application management, including Lotus Notes. We are also in the final testing phase of our Vignette portal running on Windows with eDirectory 8.7 being used for login authentication."

Prior to implementing IUAdmin, access to the NetWare file system was particularly difficult for users of laptops and PC desktops without Novell Client32 installed. "Supporting access to roaming machines is generally more difficult without the Novell client," acknowledged Saal. "However, ODU students, faculty and staff are increasingly mobile and require anytime, anywhere access to remote files. We chose IUAdmin to give our remote and wireless users secure access via eDirectory to files on the ODU network, and importantly for our help desk and support staff, allow end users to change their own passwords through any Web browser."

Situation after Condrey development solution

"IUAdmin is a Web-based utility with many potential uses," said David Condrey, President of Condrey Consulting. "In fact, even a short description of everything IUAdmin has to offer won't fit on this page. But most importantly for customers, IUAdmin provides management of and access to Novell eDirectory/NDS, as well as clientless integration with the NetWare file system. For example, IUAdmin extends the functionality of eDirectory/NDS to provide end users and help desks with a self-service password reset system, as well as directory-based access to the NetWare file system and other intranet and Internet resources via any compatible browser. It also includes a Web-based email utility for sending mail to almost any NDS construct."

"Deploying IUAdmin solved a couple of very specific problems for us," said Ken Saal. "The increasing number of laptops and wireless access points on campus basically ruled out the use of NetWare clients. We wanted to provide secure, managed wireless access to the ODU network, and connect remote users to their files without increasing our support overhead. We wanted to maintain the high level of security and flexibility provided by our eDirectory implementation, but provide our wireless and off-campus network users the easiest possible access."

IUAdmin provides a feature-rich Web interface to eDirectory for end users and help desk personnel, and is a low-maintenance, very cost-effective way to enable users to access their files remotely from any operating system and Web browser, with no additional client software required. IUAdmin lets authorized users access a personalized list of resources, including their files on NetWare, anywhere on or off campus without a Novell client. And because IUAdmin is integrated with Condrey Consulting's AuditLogin product, ODU administrators can immediately determine if a user is authenticated to any servers and list the connections along with each network address and login time."

Results

Today, every ODU network user can browse to a dedicated ODU site, log in, and access their files from any operating system on any browser, from any place. "File system drive mappings are the same with either a Novell Client; login or an IUAdmin login, so the process makes complete sense to the end user regardless of location or operating system," said Saal. "IUAdmin is an essential part of our network and user management toolset. The product's ability to provide ODU students, faculty and staff with easy and reliable remote file access from any operating system via Web browser is a huge time saver, and it reduces our help desk support."

"Another of the big selling features of IUAdmin is that it uses only one NLM (NetWare Loadable Module) which can be loaded on any NetWare server to read eDirectory credentials," continued Saal. "In this case, we have the IUAdmin NLM running on a NetWare server that sits outside the ODU firewall. The IUAdmin client fires off a thread to get files that users have rights to on servers behind the firewall. It's a simple but powerful solution for NetWare."

Conclusion

"Over the years, we've gained a lot of confidence in Condrey Consulting's software," observed Saal. "All are reliable, high-quality, load-tested products. We've used the AuditLogin product for at least five years, IUAdmin for 1.5 years, and we've just finished deploying Novell File System Factory, which was also built by Condrey Consulting. The list of benefits so far is considerable: AuditLogin helps us resolve login tracking. IUAdmin helps us address end-user access, and Novell File System Factory is addressing our file system provisioning needs by automating user access to the NetWare file system via eDirectory. We also value the synergy of Condrey Consulting products working together on NetWare and eDirectory, uniting our key file systems and directory functionality. We've got lots of powerful functionality yet to explore. One new project is creating an IUAdmin skin of 'My Files' to allow for file access integration with our new portal."

"The bottom line," concluded Saal, "is that Condrey Consulting products work very well in solving difficult problems."

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