Novell Introduces Virtual Directory Services to Enable the Identity-driven Enterprise

  • Novell Virtual Directory Services is an embeddable identity store that aggregates information from multiple LDAP data sources
  • Novell eDirectory 8.8 adds new features to enhance many of the capabilities required for a large-scale, high-end directory deployment

13 September 2004

Novell today announced two new products that eliminate many of the challenges associated with implementing directory services and identity management solutions. Novell® Virtual Directory Services allows developers to include a local identity store, which integrates with existing corporate directories, so they can identity-enable applications without adding additional standalone directories or modifying an existing corporate directory. Novell eDirectory™ 8.8, which enters open beta testing Oct. 29, features enhanced installation, performance and security to streamline large-scale, high-end deployments involving up to millions of identities.

“Novell is extending its expertise in directory services to provide powerful and flexible directory solutions for both application developers and large enterprises,” said Novell CTO Alan Nugent. “eDirectory 8.8 is a significant milestone that will simplify large-scale directory deployments, and Virtual Directory Services makes it easier for organizations to implement a strategic identity management foundation without adding to the complexity of their existing infrastructure. Since it stores application-specific information locally while still integrating with existing LDAP directories, customers no longer need to deploy a separate directory service or update the corporate directory schema to support every new identity-enabled application.”

Novell Virtual Directory Services

Novell Virtual Directory Services eliminates the dependency on a separate directory service or requirement for modifications to the corporate directory in order to identity-enable applications. By using Novell Virtual Directory Services as an integrated component, an application is able to store specific directory data locally while still making policy and authorization decisions using identities stored in Microsoft Active Directory*, Sun Java System Directory Server*, Novell eDirectory or other enterprise directories.

With Novell Virtual Directory Services, ISVs (independent software vendors) and developers can reduce their development costs and simplify customer support by building identity management capabilities as part of an application and offering out-of-the-box integration with virtually any corporate directory. Customers will save time and money by not needing to deploy and manage a separate directory service and by avoiding the political battles associated with trying to make modifications to an enterprise directory service in support of a single application.

Previously, Novell eDirectory customers have been able to easily adopt Novell's directory-enabled applications, but other corporate directory customers had to install an additional directory. Virtual Directory Services will allow Novell products to natively support other LDAP directories, making Novell's directory-enabled applications more accessible to new customers.

Earl Perkins, META Group vice president, Security & Risk Strategies, said, “In the past, customers who have deployed directories in their environments used them to develop and deliver directory-enabled applications but were reluctant to introduce other corporate directories due to the complexity and cost of such efforts. With the development of embedded, local directory stores by vendors such as Novell, LDAP integration with existing deployed directories is possible at a significantly lower complexity and price.”

Novell eDirectory 8.8

Version 8.8 marks a major milestone for the Novell eDirectory product line, enhancing many of the capabilities required for high-end deployments. These features, in conjunction with the proven scalability of eDirectory, provide a secure and reliable foundation well suited for massive enterprise, business-to-consumer or business-to-business identity management deployments. The following key enhancements will be available in eDirectory 8.8:

  • Installation and Updates – Completely scripted server installation saves time, while automated health checks ensure that a new directory roll-out or upgrade is seamless. In addition, improved integration with ZENworks® Linux Management simplifies the process for providing installs, updates and patches to multiple servers.
  • Performance – Significant speed improvements allow customers to rapidly import large amounts of data; multiple instances of eDirectory can be hosted on a single server, helping customers maximize their investments in high-end hardware; and password changes are simultaneously shared with multiple servers, so users have an instantaneous and seamless login experience.
  • Security – eDirectory now accepts case-sensitive passwords, and the directory can run as “non-root” on Linux* and UNIX* servers, giving administrators the option of granting rights to specific services instead of full access to all server resources.

Novell Virtual Directory Services will be generally available in the first half of 2005. Developers interested in testing it now can contact Novell eDirectory 8.8 will be available for open beta testing on Oct. 29 at

About Novell

Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) is a leading provider of infrastructure software and services to over 50,000 customers in 43 countries. With more than 20 years of experience in data center, workgroup and desktop solutions, Novell's 6,000 employees, 5,000 partners and support centers around the world are meeting customer requirements for identity-driven computing and Linux solutions. By providing enterprise-class software and support for commercial and open source software, Novell delivers increased operating flexibility and choice at a lower total cost of ownership. More information about Novell can be found at

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