Confusion and scepticism from competitors and users greeted claims by Novell that version 8 of its directory services software will scale to one billion objects and be suitable for use by ISPs.
Novell claims the improved scalability will make the software a potential tool for ISPs looking to manage the millions of objects on their networks.
However, Karl Meyer, business development manager at UUNet, said he was doubtful that software conceived in the enterprise could translate to the complex network management needs of the ISP world.
"The ISP and enterprise worlds are very different. Our users are transitory and drift in and out of the network. I would be very interested to see how NDS will translate over," he said.
Novell's rival in the directory services space, Netscape, has also criticised version 8 for being too heavily tied into Novell's NOS NetWare.
Netscape claims that users will need to adopt NetWare in order to take advantage of NDS, which could be a real problem for companies using an exclusively NT environment.
Dusan Rnic, product marketing manager for Netscape, said: "The problem is that NDS isn't cross-platform. If you are targeting large corporations you are not going to convince them to solely use NetWare. NDS is multi-platform in terms of OS but not in terms of NOS."
Peter Joseph, corporate strategist at Novell, admitted that NDS version 8 would not work without NWadmin - a component of NetWare - and that the company was using this fact to "further advantage" NetWare's future.
Derek Venter, Novell's marketing manager, claimed version 8 was infinitely more scalable than Netscape's offering. "We are much bigger than they are. The performance of the Netscape directory dips at a certain number of users, while ours remains constant."
Rnic attacked what he termed "holes" in Novell's announcement, particularly if the one billion object scalability was on one server or across several. But he applauded Novell's decision to move away from its proprietary access protocol, which will allow it to provide native support for version 3 of LDAP.
For more stories see 17 March issue of Network News UK
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