Some 90 per cent of enterprises will not achieve the 'Holy Grail' of a single enterprise directory until at least the end of 2004 because none have a critical mass of support as yet, particularly in application terms.
Despite the emergence of a clear market leader to emerge, however, by the end of 2001, between 40 and 70 per cent of all new network hardware and software will be directory enabled, rising to between 70 and 90 per cent by the end of 2003, according to Neil MacDonald, Gartner Group analyst at the market research firm's "Windows NT in the Enterprise" conference in Palm Springs this week.
But, he cautioned, when selecting a directory service, users should not limit themselves to products that can manage only email and network operating file and print services, even though these are the most pressing requirements today.
Instead, they should look at directories that can support Ldap 3.0 applications such as Web and workgroup packages because they will drive demand significantly over the course of this year.
By 2003, however, users will primarily want such products to manage distributed security architectures and to deal with the storage, location, access control and validation of distributed objects due to an increase in component based applications written in either Enterprise Java Beans or Com+.
"If you're working on a directory services project, make sure that you set expectations. Trying to reduce the number of directory services and points of administration to add and delete information once from the enterprise is a realisable goal. Single sign-on is not, because application and operating system vendors continue to require their own native authentication architectures," MacDonald concluded.
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