Novell upgrades Single Sign-on

By Paul Ferrill, Network World |  Networking

Installation and configuration

For this review we ranked installation and configuration at a higher level than normal because these processes are key to the overall operation of the product. Installing NSSO requires that you load software on the server and the client. The server installation process installs the password SecretStore repository for keeping track of all user passwords and makes a required extension to the NDS schema. Both the server and client rely on Novell International Cryptographic Infrastructure (NICI) components for passing secrets between the server and client. Be aware that you will have to shut down and restart the server twice to complete the installation process. The server components also work on an NT or Windows 2000 server running Novell's NDS eDirecttory for Windows.

The client software comprises NICI, the NSSO client and v-GO for NSSO. A full version of v-GO is available for an additional cost, adding unlimited sign-on to most Web sites and Web-based applications, unlimited Windows applications, full terminal emulator support, disconnected access to stored logon data, and additional administrative functions. Licensing the full v-GO version consists of adding an object to the NDS tree using ConsoleOne and modifying the properties to enable full v-GO support.

When testing the installation process we found one hitch that you' ll want to be aware of. If your network includes older workstations that do not have true Pentium processors, the NICI components may not function properly. We tested the software on an older system with an IBM/Cyrix 6X86 processor, and the NICI VxD driver crashed. Other workstations based on Intel Pentium chips or newer AMD processors worked fine with NSSO.

For sites with ZENWorks for desktops, Novell includes a sample ZENWorks .AOT file for distributed installation of the client software. Otherwise you' ll have to do the installation manually or use some other software distribution tool. Overall the process was relatively painless with the exception of troubleshooting the failure on the older workstation.

Administration

NSSO has several features for the administrator to implement specific password policies. If you want to use most of the advanced administration features, such as establishing password policies, allowing disconnected logons and enabling terminal emulator support, you' ll have to license the full version of v-GO. All administration takes place using Novell's ConsoleOne utility. ConsoleOne can be installed on a single workstation or to the server for easy access. An NSSO snap-in for ConsoleOne provides the added functionality needed to manage the different settings.

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