Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Cisco and Novell to Provide NDS with Interoperability with Cisco Routers and Switches

Articles and Tips: article

01 Jan 1999

Novell recently demonstrated newly developed Internet management technology based on Novell Directory Services (NDS) that facilitates management and remote configuration of routers and switches from Lucent Technologies, Nortel Networks, Cisco Systems, Inc., and other vendors. Leveraging the intelligence of NDS and its user and resource data, this Java technology can enable customers to reduce network ownership costs while improving manageability and the quality of network service. Cisco, recognizing overwhelming customer demand, made a related announcement today of their commitment to provide interoperability between NDS and Cisco Assure products, Cisco User Registration and Tracking, and Cisco Network Registrar. This follows recent announcements with Lucent Technologies and Nortel Networks, in which the two companies committed to deliver similar interoperability and to also bundle NDS with their respective products in the first half of 1999.

"This new directory technology will be the basis for entirely new products, markets and means of doing business throughout the industry for years to come," said Christopher Stone, senior vice president, strategy and corporate development for Novell. "With NDS, Novell has long been the leader in directory technology. Demonstrating the reality of directory-enabled networking, as only Novell has, is a critical step in advancing that movement in the industry today."

Novell's technology demonstration at COMDEX, a proof-of-concept for directory-based hardware management, consisted of a Java agent for routers and switches enabling NDS to communicate with and configure the equipment. This technology allows network administrators to remotely configure virtually any router. For instance, a router in a branch office can be upgraded or replaced without having an administrator on-site. Among other potential uses for this technology are user identity-based auditing, management, billing and quality of service applications for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecommunications carriers. Such capabilities are also known as provisioning.

Beyond this, Novell's technology enables the centralized management and configuration of network hardware infrastructure through a simple Graphical User Interface (GUI). It can improve network reliability and reduce administration costs, particularly in remote offices, by providing remote control of routers, auto-discovery of router configuration, and remote auto-reboot or fault recovery of routers for automated system-wide upgrades or other maintenance. Each of these capabilities apply to existing hardware and to new systems as well. Similar functionality based on NDS is slated for inclusion in future Novell products.

In addition, Novell's technology allows customers to define and apply policies to the network based on their business needs and priorities, ensuring that network resources are used accordingly. Basing such policies on user identity or other objects as defined in NDS, makes it possible to apply them regardless of the user's location or IP address. Wherever a user logs in or wherever they access a key application, appropriate security and high-quality network performance are assured. Such integration between the physical network and directory-enabled software greatly reduces the costs associated with managing both.

Open Standards

Continuing the company's commitment to open industry standards, Novell's technology demonstration was a cross-platform agent based on Java and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), LDAP extensions, Common Information Model (CIM) for directories, and the proposed Directory Enabled Networks (DEN) specification. In fact, Novell is the only vendor shipping or demonstrating product implementations in all three areas of the DEN initiative including NDS-enabled Internet address management, dial-up networking and quality-of-service (QOS) network management. In addition, Cisco and Novell have committed to collaborate on directory-related standards for optimal interoperability.

LDAP is the industry standard protocol for access to directories. DEN is the Desktop Management Task Force's (DMTF) proposed specification for directory schema or directory definition of network equipment, such as routers and switches, in a directory service. In addition, Novell continually works to improve customers' ability to easily integrate heterogeneous private networks with the Internet by actively supporting Internet Protocol (IP), Domain Name Server/Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DNS/DHCP), and Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) standards.


The technologies demonstrated at COMDEX will become the basis for new product offerings or product enhancements from Novell available within approximately the next 18 months. No further details are currently available. Lucent and Nortel Networks will bundle and integrate NDS with the Cajun P550 switch and Bay Network's Optivity Policy Services respectively by the second quarter of 1999. Cisco plans to offer NDS integration with Cisco Assure, Cisco Network Registrar and Cisco User Registration and Tracking in the second quarter of 1999.

About Novell Directory Services

Novell's directory technology, NDS, is the world's leading directory service. It is the unifying, cross-platform infrastructure for managing, securing, accessing and developing to all the major components of a network. NDS supports more APIs, tools, standards and protocols than any other directory service. The advanced functionality in NDS offers a strong development foundation for delivering secure, manageable network applications. The market-proven and powerful structure of NDS streamlines administrative tasks to minimize management time and expense.

Copyright 1999 by Novell, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, for any purpose without the express written permission of Novell.

All product names mentioned are trademarks of their respective companies or distributors.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates