With the release of Novell Directory Services (NDS) for Windows NT 2.0, Novell plans to move into branch offices and departments with a version of the product that does not require a NetWare server to physically be on the site.
The first version of NDS for NT 2.0 was mostly limited to headquarters-only deployments, because it required the presence of a NetWare server. By allowing an NDS replica to reside on an NT server, NDS for NT 2.0 will avoid that limitation, according to Michael Simpson, marketing director at Novell.
NetWare not necessary
"With a data store on top of an NT server, the environment doesn't have to be NetWare," Simpson said after last week's release.
Other enhancements include the management of NT file shares, increased scalability, enhanced password synchronisation, and the capability to run Novell's ZENworks management solution on NT.
But the branch-office functionality is key for many users.
More work will be done before NDS for NT 2.0 can be used in a pure NT environment, Novell company officials said. The next version will move in that direction by adopting utilities such as DS Backup and DS Repair for NT, Simpson said.
"We will offer a pure NT version so if you're an NT-only shop, you won't have to wait for Active Directory," Simpson said.
Active Directory is the chief technology update in Microsoft's Windows 2000, formerly called NT 5.0. Microsoft has not named a release date for Windows 2000, now in its second beta release.
Simpson said the next version of NDS for NT will ship some time in 1999, regardless of when Windows 2000 is ready.