US Report: Novell to unveil directory services on Linux

Before the end of the month, Novell Inc. will unveil officially its plan to deliver a native port of Novell Directory Services on Linux.

Novell and Caldera Inc. are working jointly on the NDS project. The resulting technology will go beyond the NetWare for Linux product that Caldera began shipping in July, acknowledges Ransom Love, president and CEO of Caldera Systems Inc.

"The current NetWare for Linux port is based on NCPS [Novell Cross Platform Services], not the NDS that's part of NetWare 5.0," explained Love. "The new [NDS for Linux] product would be based on the latest and greatest technology, so it will include integrated IP." The NDS for Linux product will represent the culmination of an agreement signed in 1996, which called for Caldera to license Novell's network services for integration with Caldera's Linux.

Pricing, availability and distribution particulars have yet to be finalised, Love said, but "hypothetically speaking, we'd be likely to use the Novell [reseller] channel to distribute the product." Novell officials declined to comment on the project. But sources at Novell have hinted for some time that Novell was planning a major Linux campaign. Officials say that some of the staff currently working on NDS ports to HP-UX and Solaris are the ones involved in the NDS for Linux work.

In addition to including TCP/IP, the version of NDS included in NetWare 5.0 also includes a Novell WAN traffic manager and Catalogue Services, as well as DNS/DHCP services. Novell allies Oracle Corp. and Netscape Communications Corp. have been touting the benefits of Linux for months.

Microsoft, meanwhile, while proclaiming in its latest SEC filing that it believes Linux to be a threat has made no noise about any kind of Linux support that may be in its plans.

The only Microsoft products that have been ported to Linux to date are NetShow and the Windows Media Player, according to Microsoft.