By Siobhan Kennedy In a bid to make it easier for companies to manage data from disparate directory sources, IBM Corp will today announce a series of enhancements to its eNetwork LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol) directory, along with a slew of new partnerships. The Armonk, New York based PC and services giant said it […]
By Siobhan Kennedy
In a bid to make it easier for companies to manage data from disparate directory sources, IBM Corp will today announce a series of enhancements to its eNetwork LDAP (lightweight directory access protocol) directory, along with a slew of new partnerships. The Armonk, New York based PC and services giant said it has signed partnerships with seven vendors – Allot Communications, Dascom, enCommerce, Netegrity, Persistent Systems Private Ltd, Security Dynamics and Triangulum – to integrate data from their proprietary directory technologies into IBM’s eNetworks product. Under the deals, the vendors (which all sell security products and thus bundle products with directories to store important user data) will market their hardware as supporting the eNetwork directory and recommend the software to their customers, IBM said. As part of the technical upgrades, IBM said it has rounded out platform support to enable the directory to reside on Windows NT and Sun Solaris platform. Previously, it could only work on AIX and AS400 operating systems. It has also added extra functionality from version three of the LDAP specifications and further refinement will be added in the first quarter of 1999, said Jamil Bissar, marketing manager, eNetwork directory. The number of directories and data stores that customers currently have means that all the data is scattered around the enterprise, he explained, this makes management very difficult, since none of the directories can talk to each other and each has to implement its own security issues and so on. LDAP is a means of overcoming those problems by enabling the different directories to interoperate with each other, he added. In addition, Bassir said IBM has integrated two key, middleware products; WebSphere and IBM Windows NT Suite so that data from the applications can be stored in the LDAP directory. Also, new versions of IBM Suite and the IBM Enterprise Suite for Windows NT, which integrate software from IBM and Lotus, will ship with eNetwork LDAP Directory version 2.1. Bassir said that IBM Global Services will also being offering support for users, giving advice on how to implement and integrate a directory infrastructure, as well as management of the eNetwork technology itself. Also, the company said it will host Directory Developer Workshops for education and training in LDAP technology. These workshops will be held in Austin, Texas in the first quarter of 1999. Registration details will be available in January 1999. Directory and directory integration is key to IBM, said Bassir, we see it as one of the most important ways to solve the high total cost of ownership and administrative costs of running a network. Bassir added that IBM’s main competitors were Microsoft, with its forthcoming Active directory (to be integrated as part of Windows 2000) and the now long-established Novell Directory Services. LDAP Directory version 2.1 for Windows NT and Sun Solaris is available free of charge from the web at http://www.software.ibm.com/enetwork/directory.