In an apparent move to counter the strengthening Cisco-Microsoft alliance, Bay Networks is teaming up with both Novell and Netscape to use their directory servers.
Cisco is working closely with Microsoft and will be using its Active Directory, which will compete head-on with Novell's Netware Directory Services (NDS) and Netscape's Directory Server when it ships with the NT 5.0 operating system.
Bay says it will use directories to offer "policy-enabled networks". "You can, for instance, choose a group of users, or a group of applications, to get better service from the network," explained Jeff Alfford, director of technology at Bay Networks UK.
Information in the NDS directory will be used by all network components - for instance switches - to prioritise certain traffic and thus offer guaranteed quality of service on the network. Alfford said the first products that benefit from this integration with directory servers will appear in 1998.
Bay does not exclude the possibility of working with Microsoft's Active Directory too, however. "We?ll be looking at Active Directory," Alfford said.
Bay has also announced it is joining the Directory Enabled Networks Initiative, an alliance set up in September by Cisco and Microsoft but also membering about 20 companies including 3Com, Cabletron and Compaq. The alliance promotes the integration of networks with directories that use the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). NDS, Netscape Directory Server and Active Directory all support this standard.
The products that result from the integration with the Netscape and Novell directories will be a part of IP Services, a series of products and technologies for enhancing IP networks that Bay introduced earlier this week. IP Services is to consist of three components - enabling services, interworking services and application services.
The Enabling Services include NetID, developed by Isotro Network Management, a company that was acquired by Bay earlier this year. NetID manages IP addresses on a network.
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