Compaq has struck a deal with Novell to port Novell Directory Services (NDS) to its Tru64 Unix variant in an apparent snub to Microsoft and its proposed NDS rival, Active Directory.
The deal was announced last week by Enrico Pesatori, senior vice president of enterprise services at Compaq, who made clear the vendor's intentions by stating that NDS will become the strategic directory for its Unix operating system (OS).
Two weeks after Microsoft and Compaq admitted they will not port the long-awaited Windows 2000 OS to the Alpha processor, Pesatori said as part of the deal the two giants will back NDS on all Alpha servers. Support will also be provided on Pro-Signia and Pro-Liant machines.
"This will be NDS' first 64-bit port. It's all about having an infrastructure that will grow with your business at internet speed without breaking the bank or IT department," he said.
NDS for Tru64 Unix is expected to ship early next year. Compaq claimed the ability for NDS to work cross-platform was a key selling point for customers with multiple operating systems, including Windows NT and Linux.
Mary McDowell, vice president of the server division at Compaq, said: "Active Directory will still be there for Windows centric users, but NDS is a more mature structure."
The agreement could help NDS gain acceptance at a higher level in the enterprise, according to Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Novell. "It may become a mainframe alternative. Customers deploy NDS but complain that they don't have it on every platform."
The deal, which has been in the pipeline for the past year, will also lead to a joint partnership on consulting and services.
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