IBM has released a single directory service, DSSeries, in a bid to pull together systems resources underlying its Network Computing Framework. Designed to offer a mixture of security, directory and availability services, it will integrate network computing applications, according to the company. IBM's DSSeries business manager, Bob Kalka, claimed the product will simplify administrative tasks for IT managers. "If you have a number of vendors you have a number of administrators that deal with multiple security mechanisms," he said. DSSeries consists of a directory server and clients supporting the industry standard Internet-based directory access protocol, LDAP. It is set to ship in six to 12 months. Also included in the product are a higher-end X.500 directory server and a DCE (Distributed Computing Environment) enterprise infrastructure product set. Both of these are shipping now, with DCE Internet support shipping in three months, according to Kalka. The product's security component will include public key support, which will be integrated with the Kerberos secret key authentication system. DSSeries will use LDAP to integrate with products such as Notes, cc:Mail, the Tivoli systems management product and Lotus' Soft-Switch directory publisher. The product will also include availability services including a software clustering layer, so that if one application hangs, control will be switched to another. Kalka said that the system will not require clustered hardware. Independent consultant Rosemary Rock-Evans praised the DSSeries announcement, claiming that it would bring some cohesion to IBM's fragmented middleware product set and added that it mimicked Microsoft's plans with its own Active Directory. "IBM is going very much the same way as Microsoft but it is doing it for all its different products," she said, but claimed it would not solve all of IBM's problems. "It still doesn't provide guidance as to which product to choose."
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