IBM announced that the forthcoming update of OS/2 Warp Server will provide new levels of integration with Microsoft?s competing Windows NT Server. NT users and domains will be administrated from Warp Server.
'Aurora', as the new Warp Server release is codenamed, is expected to enter beta by the end of the year and ship in early 1999. The operating system will be geared towards network computing.
Network administrators will be able to create users and assign them to groups using a drag and drop interface in Aurora. The users, groups and passwords will automatically be replicated to NT Server. A single log-on will give users access to resources on OS/2 and NT.
IBM will not provide the same level of integration with Novell?s Netware, though a 'gateway' to Netware will be a part of the product.
Aurora networks will be based on a Domain structure, unlike Novell Netware and the forthcoming NT 5.0, which are based on directories. ?The idea is to build on what customers have today, and to maintain compatibility with the Domain structur," said Steven King, development manager for OS/2 Warp Server.
However, a directory may still be somewhere in OS/2 Warp Server?s future, he suggested. An LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) client will be included with Aurora.
Warp Server is moving from a general purpose network OS to a server for server managed clients (such as NCs or devices using IBM's Workspace On-Demand thin client for OS/2 Warp), and for ebusiness applications. When it ships, the new OS/2 version is likely to be called OS/2 Warp Server for Ebusiness.
The client version of OS/2, meanwhile, is evolving away from its standalone roots. OS/2 Warp 4 will be updated only by the posting of extensions on IBM?s Software Choice Web site. But Workspace On-Demand 2.0, a new release of the thin client version of OS/2 Warp, is due in the fourth quarter.
Workspace On-Demand allows the operating system and applications to be downloaded from a server and run locally on a PC or thin client device.
King denied that Aurora is the end of the road for Warp Server. ?There will be multiple years of further releases,? he claimed.
However, IBM has not yet committed to developing a 64-bit version of Warp Server to run natively on Intel?s next generation Merced processor, now expected to ship in mid-2000. This fact has prompted press reports that Warp Server will be terminated. But according to King, a 64-bit Warp Server is ?still under consideration?.
Other features expected in the Aurora release:
* Journaling File System will facilitate file recovery and provide added scalability, IBM promises. The technology originated in IBM?s AIX operating system.
* Y2K and Euro compliance.
* Integrated Java Virtual Machine.
* Some level of LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) support.
* Support for I2O.
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