Interviews by Stephen Ibaraki, I.S.P.
Interview Eric Schmidt: The Novell Netware 5 Review
Here is the latest Tech update on Netware 5 -- Regards, Stephen Ibaraki
The Novell Netware 5 Review follows:
A truly significant event in the history of Novell is about to happen -- their release of Netware 5. With many new features and enhancements, Netware 5 will be a leading and dominant force in enterprise networking operating systems.
Novell, currently, is the worldís largest producer of networking software with more than 81 million nodes operating under their Netware servers, and Novell ranks within the top five largest software companies. Under the direction of Dr. Eric Schmidt, Novellís CEO, the company has refocused its considerable technical capabilities into their Netware 5 network operating system.
In this article, Iíll provide a technical overview of a few of the major technical features in Netware 5.
With something like 300,000 copies already shipped in Beta, the feedback has been very positive. Why is there so much excitement about this release? Why is it mandatory to test drive this new release?
Here are a just a partial list of the scores of features:
Security for Open Networks: The Mission of Novellís NetWare 5
Networks are everywhere, changing the way we work and live. Every day we witness new forms of electronic commerce, new applications, and new gains in productivity enabled by a networked economy. A common theme in all these successes is the elimination of barriers to the flow of information. The traditional boundaries of geography, politics, and organizational structure that once impeded communication and commerce are falling away. As the walls come crashing down, new opportunities come into view.
At the same time, a world with fewer boundaries presents new challenges and problems. On the geographical and political level, for example, businesses everywhere must reinvent themselves as global enterprises. On the organizational level, we are learning to work within flatter, less-hierarchical business structures that reflect the open flow of information. And on the technology level, we must takes steps to manage and secure the critical information that is the lifeblood of an interconnected world.
With these goals in mind, Novell has added new directory-enabled security capabilities to NetWare 5. These new features leverage the unique administrative and management capabilities of NDS*, Novellís leading directory service, and will advance NetWare 5 as the leading platform for secure business transactions. NetWare 5, now shipping , is the first version of Novellís flagship server operating system to utilize a pure IP environment. It provides an intelligent network infrastructure based on NDS to bring NetWareís strong level of manageability and security to environments based on open Internet technologies.
Bringing Public-Key Security to Corporate Networks, NetWare 5 includes new Public key security that allows organizations to secure their networks by verifying the identity of the server with which the user is communicating. Novellís Public Key-Infrastructure Services (PKIS) enable organizations to issue and manage identity-verification messages, or ďcertificates,Ē to ensure secure communications using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). With Novellís PKIS, customers gain the ability to generate and manage their own certificates. They can also choose to leverage commercial certificate vendors but still benefit from the proven manageability of NDS.
NDS in NetWare 5 now addresses the need of global companies to deploy the strongest cryptography allowed even when standards differ from country to country. Developers often have to create numerous versions of a single application to account for the varying cryptographic standards. In NetWare 5, Novell will deliver the first international cryptographic infrastructure that developers can leverage to receive the appropriate level of encryption for their application (based on the region of the world where the application will be used) without embedding cryptography in the application. Because the infrastructure is integrated with NDS, the cryptography level in the application can be managed according to per jurisdiction policy controls. Application developers will also be freed from lengthy export legal evaluations since Novellís architecture has already been approved for export. Applications using the NDS international architecture will merely need to go through a one time check to validate their use of the infrastructure.
Integration of SSL version 3 and LDAP version 3 in NDS extends the advanced access control and manageability of NDS to secure LDAP-compliant applications. This allows developers to deliver applications to market quicker with stronger security since NDS provides the necessary infrastructure. NDS secure authentication services provide an infrastructure that enables future support and integration of additional methods for authenticating users to applications, such as Kerberos, SOCKS, tokens, smart cards and biometrics.
ďNovell is committed to providing its customers with industry-leading, directory-enabled security features,Ē said Michael Simpson, Novell director of marketing, administration and management. ďNovell and our CEO, Eric Schmidt, continue to assume a leading role in advancing cryptography and other vital security technologies that will help companies conduct business across public and private networks. By distributing PKI Services free with NDS and NetWare 5, we are bringing this advanced technology to the masses for quicker and more widespread adoption.Ē
NetWare 5 security features were developed to leverage open standards and widely recognized and accepted technologies. For example, PKIS support enables customers to issue and manage server-side certificates based on the X.509 v 3 standard which can be used to establish a secure LDAP session using SSL v3 encryption. Certificate-based authentication provides an increasingly accepted way for distributed applications to establish identity and trust between systems. Prior to PKIS, customers were required to integrate their own solutions working with multiple vendors, creating an expensive and complex environment. PKIS provides integrated support for server certificates, making it possible for customers to operate their own enterprise certificate authority (CA), while retaining the option to work with commercial certificate providers. Novell also supports user identity and signing certificate products from Entrust via LDAP v3 in NetWare 5, right out of the box.
With NetWare 5, Novell is enhancing NDS to be the cornerstone of effective and reliable security encompassing business LANs and WANs, intranets, and the Internet. Because NDS allows network administrators to easily set and change access rights through simple directory-enabled policies, managing and deploying network security becomes quick and painless. Novellís goal with NetWare 5 is to deliver networks that are both open and secure, with no contradiction or compromise. NDS makes this possible by adding distributed intelligence to the network. As a result, organizations can help people find the information resources they need, while keeping the wrong people from finding too much.
Novell is a solidly different company today than it was one year ago--focused on directory technology for networks, led by a new management team and delivering new products based on Internet standards. Our recent financial results reflect this solid progress.
NetWare 5 is a point of departure for Novell, our customers, and the entire software industry. This is the platform that moves NetWare to pure IP and Novell to center stage in the Internet marketplace.
With NetWare 5, we enter a new era where customers no longer have to wait for directory-enabled networks and applications. Directory services allow the network to recognize every user, locate every information resource, and support every critical computing task.
Novell's success, as always, depends on delivering the solutions that customers need today to make their networks easier to manage, easier to use, and much more affordable to own and maintain. This is what we are offering with Novell Directory Services (NDS) and the hundreds of solutions from Novell and third parties that use the power of directory services for network access, management and security.
NDS and NetWare 5 address the two critical issues facing businesses in a networked world: identity and location. First, organizations need to provide each user with a digital identity, or persona, that determines access to resources. Second, they need an intelligent network that can help users locate network resources.
Growth without Disruption is a major goal of IT organizations worldwide, especially with the year 2000 approaching. NetWare supports mixed networks and open Internet standards that protect customer investments while maximizing flexibility and freedom of Choice. In addition, Novell has designed and timed NetWare 5 to provide organizations with a Year 2000-ready solution.