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VNU Net: Novell promises more multi-platform support

Mar 28, 2000, 14:54 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Linda Leung)

By Linda Leung, VNU Net

Novell has pledged to add multi-platform support to all its products as part of an ambitious project which executives describe as "the fabric of the net".

The project, codenamed Denim (directory-enabled net infrastructure model), forms part of the company's bid to help businesses create "one net", which ties together corporate intranets with the internet.

Speaking to delegates during the first day of Novell's annual Brainshare conference being held in Salt Lake City this week, Eric Schmidt, the company's chairman and chief executive, said organisations need to take down their firewalls that separate their intranets from the internet. This will enable them to do business freely with their customers across the public network by adding extra security layers to each network component rather than erecting walls between intranets and the net.

"We built networks and put huge firewalls between the good guys [within intranets] and bad guys [in the public network]. The trouble is your customers are out there too. There's now a shift to allow people talk to each other while still dealing with the bad people," he said.

Denim forms the basis of "one net", and according to Steve Adams, Novell's newly appointed senior vice president of worldwide marketing, the company will put all its marketing budget behind the initiative.

Despite the publicity surrounding the project, no major new Denim-based products were unveiled at the conference. However, company executives said Novell's immediate goal is to add multi-platform support to all its legacy products, including its Managewise network and systems management tool.

Novell's high-profile products such as Novell Directory Services (NDS) and Zenworks desktop management tools already run on a variety of operating systems, including Solaris, Windows NT and Windows 2000 and Linux.

The project is the latest strategy in Novell's bid to reposition itself as a network infrastructure company developing cross-platform software and move away from its Netware-based file and print legacy.

"Back in the 1900s we were a network management infrastructure company, now we are a network services and software company," said Adams.

Novell officials said having products that support a variety of platforms is key, particularly as Microsoft begins targeting NDS with its Active Directory, which was released as part of Windows 2000.

Schmidt said Novell does not view Microsoft's directory server as a threat because customers want cross-platform applications and Active Directory only supports Windows 2000.

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