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Seamless Simplicity: Domain Services for Windows Now Supported in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2

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October 31, 2008 2:10 pm

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Seamless Simplicity: Domain Services for Windows Now Supported in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2
by Ken Baker
Novell Connection Magazine – October 2008

Here’s an excerpt:

Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Support Pack 1 will include the much anticipated Domain Services for Windows service, another significant element that provides greater simplicity and interoperability.(See Figure 1.) Last year, Novell Connection magazine provided an in-depth look at how this new component would deliver seamless cross-authentication between Windows Active Directory environments and Linux eDirectory environments for file and print services. (See Domain Services for Windows.) This article extends that discussion by providing you with guidance on when you should take advantage of this new service.

Since one of the main benefits of Domain Services for Windows is the ability to authenticate to a Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Linux server without the Novell client, some might wonder how Domain Services for Windows differs from the CIFS protocol support also included in this upcoming support pack. (See We Are Here For You.) The answer is that CIFS aids users who want basic access to the Linux file system using a Windows share without all the overhead of an Active Directory-style presentation. In other words, users don’t need the Microsoft Management Console or Windows Group Policy support; they just want to be able to map a drive. (See Figure 2.)

However, Domain Services for Windows is for organizations that want to consistently present their users with a complete Active Directory-style environment, regardless of whether those users need to access Linux servers or Windows servers. In fact, the basic premise behind Domain Services for Windows is the power to enable a Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Linux server to appear as if it is an Active Directory server. This ability allows users to log in and authenticate to an Active Directory server with a native Windows client using their eDirectory usernames and passwords. In environments with both eDirectory and Active Directory, administrators can create a cross-domain trust between these identity stores that allows cross-forest authentication and authorization.(See Figure 3.)

Why Should I Use Domain Services for Windows?

For many organizations, the ability to standardize on an Active Directory-style desktop environment can be a significant benefit. By no longer using the Novell client and moving to a completely native Windows desktop environment, you can simplify desktop image management and reduce its related costs. For example, you might have a mixed environment with a set of Novell Open Enterprise Server users, a set of Microsoft Windows Server users, and yet a third set of users leveraging both. If this is the case, you likely have to maintain a separate image library for each set of users at considerable cost and effort.

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