Microsoft has announced details of an improved suite of tools with which it hopes to tempt Novell users on to the Windows 2000 platform.
Services for Netware 5 (SFN5) provides tools to synchronise user account information between Novell Directory Service (NDS) and Microsoft's Active Directory. The software also includes file migration, as well as file and print server migration support.
Mark Tennant, Windows 2000 Product Manager at Microsoft, said the tools are designed to foster integration between Microsoft and Novell environments, and ease migration from Netware to Windows 2000.
"Users will be able to get the benefits of Windows 2000 without having to rip and replace," he said.
Microsoft's immediate target is the roughly 30 per cent of Netware users who are on version 3 of the software, for which Novell will end support by the end of the year.
Kirsten Ludvigsen, director of analyst IDC's European Unix, client server and workstation research, said Microsoft is trying to provide a better degree of interoperability and compatibility between its technology and Novell's.
"Microsoft is going after Novell's installed base," said Ludvigsen. "In response Novell is trying to get more web related than it used to be. It is trying to move up the value chain to applications, built into the infrastructure by NDS."
SFN5 includes three tools designed to simplify the adoption of Windows 2000 Server, reduce overall network administration and facilitate migration. These include Microsoft Directory Synchronisation Services (MSDSS), which allows Netware users to deploy Active Directory without having to replace existing directories or bear the cost of managing two separate directories.
MSDSS provides bi-directional synchronisation between Active Directory and NDS and one-way synchronisation with Netware 3.x binderies. MSDSS also provides password synchronisation capabilities, including a web-based password administration utility that allows network administrators to change passwords in either Active Directory or NDS.
Also included in SFN5 is a File Migration Utility, which allows users to migrate Netware to Windows 2000 while preserving their access control permissions and file and print services for Netware 5, which emulates a Netware file and print interface while using Windows 2000 as the back-end server.
Evaluation copies of SFN5 are available now and the product is due to ship in the UK early next month.
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