Enterprise Software

Novell's eDirectory

NetWare is still important but eDirectory is playing a stronger role. John Sheesley explains why Novell is focusing on eDirectory and what it means to you.


On May 25John Sheesley explained why Novell is focusing on eDirectory and what it means to you. If you couldn’t join us then, enjoy the transcript and we hope to see you on our next live Guild Meeting.

Note: TechProGuild edits Guild Meeting transcripts for clarity.

Welcome to the Guild Meeting!
JOHN SHEESLEY: Welcome to tonight's Guild Meeting. The topic for this evening will be Novell's eDirectory. We'll talk a little bit about what eDirectory does, what it costs, what you need to run it, and things you should be aware of.

All about eDirectory
JOHN SHEESLEY: Of course, with Windows 2000 now shipping, most of the talk you hear about nowadays is Active Directory (AD). AD was one of the most important new features in Win2k. Microsoft was desperate to ship a directory for its new operating system because customers were familiar with NDS running on NetWare networks and demanded the same functionality on NT networks. Novell shipped NDS with the first version of Netware 4 back in the early 90's. After 6 years of revisions, Novell has pretty much squashed most of the problems with NDS. Last year, Novell shipped NDS version 8.0. This version blew away all previous versions of NDS. There were virtual now limitations on directory size. Some test platforms ran as many as 1billion objects.

Novell decided with the imminent shipment of Windows 2000, that they had to hit Windows 2000 where it was weakest... the directory. Having shipped it's own directory for 6 years, Novell knew that Active Directory 1.0 was going to be a very easy target. Novell had already begun the process of moving the directory to the Windows environment with NDS for NT. Version 1 of NDS for NT only worked in conjunction with a NetWare server. It couldn’t store its own NDS partition as well as a few other limitations. NDS for NT 2.0 included the ability to host an NDS partition. For the first time, you could host an NDS partition without having to run NetWare. (Though WHY you'd want to do that is beyond me. ) :o) Have any of you installed NDS for NT?

JCARLISLE: We use NDS for NT with some of our Exchange servers.

JOHN SHEESLEY: That's one of the nice things about NDS for NT. You can administer your Exchange users right from NW Admin. One of the major drawbacks I've found to NDS for NT however is the fact that you can't administer file and system rights from NW Admin. You still have to use traditional WinNT tools.

It’s useless?
MIKKILUSA: Ah, it make it useless then?

JOHN SHEESLEY: Well, not completely useless. You still administer the users and groups from within NW Admin. You don't have to use UserManager for Domains and deal with trust relationships and that type of stuff. But if you want to grant rights to a share, you still must use NT tools. You can't administer NT Shares like you can NetWare Volumes.

MIKKILUSA: Ok so what does eDirectory do then?

JOHN SHEESLEY: eDirectory extends NDS to other platforms as well. It extends the near limitlessness of NDS 8 to other operating systems. You can now administer NetWare, NT, 2000, Solaris, and even Linux right from NW Admin.

MIKKILUSA: In light of Novell’s recent financial demise why do this and not stick with what they know making the best networking operating system?

JOHN SHEESLEY: Because, unfortunately marketing dollars speak louder than technology. Most organizations now run a combination of NetWare and something else... usually NT.: And most of those organizations are going to be force-marched to 2K.

MIKKILUSA: But is what got them where there today I do not get it

JOHN SHEESLEY: You've seen the sales figures. NetWare has been losing market share almost every year for the last 3 years. That trend will only accelerate as Microsoft pours the marketing dollars into 2000. Novell can't seem to get the Novell message out anymore. So, they're trying to hit Microsoft where they aren’t... in cross platform directories. As messianic as AD is, it's a Windows 2000 solution only. It doesn’t even support NT 4. eDirectory will support it all. So, those organizations that are in a mixed environment can still have the benefits of central administration. As Red as some of us bleed, NT will still find a way in.

ANDY_DAVIS: Somehow I think MS isn't interested in supporting any environment but their own...

JOHN SHEESLEY: Nope. They’re not. I went to TechEd 99 last year and asked a Microsoft presenter if they were going to compare the then underdevelopment AD to NDS in a session. The response I got was "There’s not much percentage in that, is there?"

Multi-platform support
ANDY_DAVIS: So I can see them playing down multi-platform support...

JOHN SHEESLEY: Yup... multi-platform support isn’t in their interest, so they won't do it. That's evident by the way that Win2k's DNS system works. To run AD, you're forced to run Win2k's DNS. (Practically) eDirectory doesn’t force you to choose. You don’t even have to choose to run NetWare.

ANDY_DAVIS: What they'll probably do is let others develop extended support and then but it...

JOHN SHEESLEY: eDirectory comes in two flavors. eDirectory and eDirectory Corporate Edition. This is where it gets a bit tricky, and I don’t fully know why Novell did it this way. Corporate edition is essentially eDirectory with redirection. That means that in an NT 4 environment, you don't need NetWare to run it. I think it's essentially eDirectory for NT. To run eDirectory, you'll need to be at least running NetWare 5 and Support Pack 2. You can't run eDirectory on your NetWare 4.x servers. 4.x servers can exist in an eDirectory tree, but they can't directly host eDirectory.

ANDY_DAVIS: BTW Novell will be in booth 2222 at PC Expo (As of Thu 5/25/00) if you're going to be in New York Jun 27-29. I'll be there to see all this live...

MIKKILUSA: Cool Andy

JOHN SHEESLEY: You'll need the latest versions of NetWare 4.1's NDS patches and Support Pack 6 or later for IntraNetWare/NetWare 4.11

JOHN SHEESLEY: NetWare 5.1 directly supports eDirectory out of the box. Too bad Jack's not around. eDirectory plays very nicely on Linux. We hope to put it up on one of our Linux test machines in the near future.

ANDY_DAVIS: Linux, eh? Hm. Wonder if they'll have evals at PC Expo. Like to play around at the shop. My new boss is open to anything that works...

JOHN SHEESLEY: Yup... Linux, Solaris, NT, NetWare. All the biggies.

MIKKILUSA: Jack where is Jack?
Our Guild Meetings feature top-flight professionals leading discussions on interesting and valuable IT issues. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail, or on the Guild Meeting Calendar.
JOHN SHEESLEY: Novell ships a Windows 2000 version, but to use it, you must be running in mixed mode. Novell showed a new product at BrainShare called DirXML which allows you to run AD parallel to NDS. DirXML would then move updates back and forth between the directories. It's sort of a firewall to keep AD problems from infecting NDS>

PEGASUS_XXI: Did you say that eDirectory comes in the same package with NetWare 5.1 or is a separate item?

JOHN SHEESLEY: NetWare 5.1 supports NDS 8, which is essentially eDirectory.

ANDY_DAVIS: Maybe we could save some of our training and development dollars on something better than Win2K...

JOHN SHEESLEY: A lot of training $$$ will be burnt on Win2K.

ANDY_DAVIS: What is mixed mode?

JOHN SHEESLEY: Mixed mode in Windows 2000 is the mode that you run when you still have NT 4.0 servers and domains on your network. It allows Win2K servers to play in the NT4 environment.

PEGASUS_XXI: Yes, thanks

MIKKILUSA: I still cannot figure out why I need 2 clients (Novell’s and Microsoft’s client) in order to see my Novell print ques. Microsoft’s Novell client that is.

JOHN SHEESLEY: Why aren’t you using the Novell clients Mikk? Microsoft's Novell client is notoriously bad. Rumor has it; they intentionally slowed down the Microsoft NetWare client in the early versions of Win95 to make NetWare look bad in comparison to NT>

ANDY_DAVIS: Now I know what mixed mode. There, I saved some training dollars already :-)

MIKKILUSA: I am, but cannot see print ques unless I use Microsoft Novell client too. I tried to post this on Tech but Tech was wacko Wednesday

JOHN SHEESLEY: What workstations? 9x?

What workstations?
MIKKILUSA: Win2000

JOHN SHEESLEY: And you can't see regular NetWare queues or NDPS queues?

MIKKILUSA: Win2000 workstation I need use 4.7 Novell client but have to have Microsoft Novell client to see Printques, not ndps, Just NetWare print ques

JOHN SHEESLEY: Hold on a sec

MIKKILUSA: Weird thing is I buy 3 new dells 2 I need the Microsoft Novell client combo 1 I do not all the computers we put 2000 fresh I do

JOHN SHEESLEY:I didn’t get that one Mik

MIKKILUSA:I cannot find any differences in the 1 dell that does not need it then in all the ones that do

JOHN SHEESLEY: Wait... On 3 identical Dells, one can see the queues but 2 don’t, right? Running IPX, IP only? What versions of NetWare?

MIKKILUSA: Correct and neither can any computer we install Win2000 on form a fresh install yet upgrades see the ques, ipx only. NetWare 5. All service paks on too

JOHN SHEESLEY: Ok... Mik. It looks like a known problem.

MIKKILUSA: Known that Bill gates is a problem?

JOHN SHEESLEY: Be nice now. :) Go to support.novell.com and search for TID#10052408. Appears that you may need Client 4.71 or to make a few changes in the Registry. OK... sorry for that little digression all.

MIKKILUSA: I did 4.71 not registry though

JOHN SHEESLEY: The TID says you DO need to make a registry change. You may be able to push it using ZENworks, but if you’re not familiar with it, it’s best to do it one at a time. It's almost the top of the hour. Does anyone have anyquestions about eDirectory or other Novell topics?

Check out this show!
ANDY_DAVIS: Thanks, folks. I learned quite a bit and found a lot of good info here and at other sites. I'll also be heading to PC Expo Jun 27-29; Novell will be in booth 2222...

MIKKILUSA: Cool thanks

ANDY_DAVIS: Good night...

MIKKILUSA: Night Andy. Yea when is the ZEN meeting?

JOHN SHEESLEY: I don’t have the schedule, but we'll be doing it next month, I believe.

MIKKILUSA: I think we need ZEN month

JOHN SHEESLEY: We'll have some ZEN drill downs coming up soon Mik. Novell is about to ship ZEN 3.0. We'll probably go ZEN wild then. Thanks for attending. Too bad everyone else left so soon. :o)

MIKKILUSA: Cool thanks a lot. You rocked the house

JOHN SHEESLEY: Guild Meeting adjourned. G'nite all!
Our Guild Meetings feature top-flight professionals leading discussions on interesting and valuable IT issues. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail, or on the Guild Meeting Calendar.

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