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April 4, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:34pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Novell Inc seems at last to be getting excited about a vision of the future that puts the intranet at the hub of everything and Novell Directory Services at the hub of the intranet. The vision includes a new set of technologies known as Wolf Mountain. The company released a raft of announcements at its recent BrainShare conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, which apparently all tie together with the vision of the NDS-enabled intranet. Novell believes the intranet will fundamentally change the way companies use and perceive networks, one of the major changes being the fact that unlike the original personal computer networks, the intranet is not proprietary, and is geared to the plethora of different systems that must co-exist within companies and those they do business with. Novell obviously recognizes the threat to its own intranet operating system, IntranetWare, from the likes of Windows NT – although Microsoft Corp has apparently retracted figures quoted in the US showing Netware losing out massively in new sales to NT (CI No 3,128) – but the company believes it has just about the only existing Directory Services that will run on pretty much any hardware, any operating system, with any database, and which will, it hopes, become the de facto standard for the intranet. The Novell Directory is a relational database that stores all resources, be they users and their attributes, network devices and their attributes or systems and services available on the network. The services enable controlled access to the network resources by specified users or groups of users and management of all system resources. Tom Schuster, managing director Novell UK, Ireland, Middle East and South Africa, says Novell sees the intranet of the future as having layers of directory-enabled services including applications, data, user interfaces. The company hopes NDS will be the basic access point for all of these layers. To enable this vision, Novell’s president and chief operating officer Joe Marengi has been out and about negotiating with the great and the good to get them to take NDS on a ‘zero royalty basis’ or in other words, for free. Oracle Corp, Sun Microsystems Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co and Netscape Communications Corp through the two companies’ new joint venture Novonyx (CI No 3,128) have all signed up. The company is going for both the hardware and software vendors, and is in turn licensing technologies from these companies, such as Sun’s Project Studio Java development technology, which it will integrate with future versions of IntranetWare. Where Novell hopes to make its money is in selling the bridge technology to bring the separate NDS-enabled systems together into the intranet. For the future, Novellers are all very excited about the company’s recently announced Wolf Mountain technologies, (named after a mountain in Utah and no relation to Microsoft Corp’s Wolfpack), which, still in alpha stage, have been demonstrated to support clustering of 12 nodes, each containing four processors, dynamic load balancing and failover, and advanced file systems and storage sub systems. The technology is not expected to launch for another 18 months to two years, and will run on Intel Corp’s forthcoming 64-bit Merced processor.

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