NDS partners are rock solid

By Robin Schreier Hohman, Network World |  Software

Technically, the rules are put in place by using a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) interface between the RealNet Rules policy server and the directory server. To apply the policies to network devices, you click an activation button and the policies are sent from NDS to the network devices. The devices then apply the policies to the traffic flowing through the routers and switches on the network.

RealNet Rules is installed as an application on Windows NT or Solaris, usually in a network management center. NDS can be on the same server or on a server locally accessible to it.

Lucent says RealNet Rules will be able to work with all devices in the Cajun switching family of multilayer LAN switches, as well as Cisco Layer-3-capable devices equipped with IOS Version 11.2 or higher. The switching products are expected to ship in the third quarter.

Parker-Johnson says Lucent will announce integration with other devices, including Lucent's WAN switches. With management in mind, Lucent is integrating NDS and LDAP into its QIP IP Address Manager. QIP IP Address Manager is a tool that lets network managers set up systems for grouping and allocating IP addresses throughout networks. The QIP product came from Lucent's acquisition of Quadratek Systems last year.

QIP IP Address Manager is shipping now, and its cost is based on the size of the server and the number of addresses in your network. QIP starts at a few thousand dollars and can go up to $100,000 for very large enterprise networks, Parker-Johnson says.

Lucent's most innovative tie-in with NDS is NDS' integration with Lucent's Definity enterprise voice switching product line. This integration means objects such as user names, application names or policy rules can be stored once in a directory system and reused by a variety of different network products.

Lucent also plans to use NDS in its Intuity line of integrated messaging servers in the same way.

One goal is to integrate diverse network systems into a common information infrastructure, which should simplify administration. Also, network managers should be able to deploy new services faster by using a common directory.

Nortel has a joint development and marketing agreement to integrate NDS with Nortel's Optivity Policy Services policy management application suite. Users will be able to deploy QoS by tying NDS' user information to Nortel's gear. The product will work with any routers using BayRS 13.20 or Cisco 11.0 routing codes.

Nortel will bundle NDS with the Optivity suite, which is slated to ship this month. The first version will list for $25,000 and will control multiple servers.

According to Michael Simpson, director of strategic market planning at Novell, more than 400 applications are being developed to work with NDS directly. He points out that many other applications that use an LDAP interface will also interoperate with NDS.

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