Analysis of Novell's Announced Support for Sun's Solaris 8 Operating Environment

  • Written By: P. Hayes
  • Published: February 4 2000


Event Summary

NEW YORK, Jan. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Novell, Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL - news), a leading provider of Net infrastructure software, today announced support for Sun's newly launched Solaris* 8 operating environment. In cooperation with Sun, Novell delivers Net Services solutions for Solaris such as NDS eDirectory(TM) and GroupWise. These cross-platform Novell solutions run across all major operating systems, providing critical infrastructure for integrating Solaris platform with other Net resources.

Market Impact

Novell's key offering for the new Solaris Operating Environment is the NDS eDirectory, which is based on the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) industry standard. According to Novell the NDS eDirectory will eliminate the gray area between the Enterprise and the Internet. The product will allow clients and partners to utilize the Internet or World Wide Web as the primary source for conducting business.

Novell has displayed industry acclaimed Directory integration for the past four years, coupled with a competent web server. Novell has also developed NDS for Microsoft Windows NT, which prompted Microsoft to state that they would not support any NT server with Novell's NDS installed. Needless to say, Microsoft clients concerned with the daunting spectacle of losing support for either a whole or part of their network operating system (NOS) never installed the Netware product. In Novell's defense, the product did and does work seamlessly under Windows NT.

We do not see Sun Solaris administrators implementing any Novell NDS package. The Sun Solaris 8 operating system is a 64 Bit LDAP enabled system, which is far from needy in the Directory Services arena. We do not anticipate any anti-competitive measures which would emanate from Sun, in light of Novell's offering, simply because we believe the product will not sell into UNIX shops.

Novell has also compiled a version of the GroupWise Messaging/Groupware server specifically for the Sun Solaris 8 operating system. We do not see the demand for GroupWise on Sun nor do we see the demand for GroupWise as a collaboration server. We view these product releases as wasted Research and Development funds for Novell.

User Recommendations

UNIX shops have no need for NDS eDirectory. With Sun's robust DNS and LDAP enabled system, we fail to see the advantages of implementing NDS on Sun. Furthermore, any mail system running on a Sun Solaris server will most likely be performing one or two functions, routing and hosting.

Sendmail, Inc. has a very strong foothold on the UNIX mail market with a lion's market share of 75%. Sendmail will also be expanding its current offering through strategic partnerships with messaging vendors within the Unified Messaging (UM) space. If UNIX administrators want a well-rounded collaboration system, the appropriate route will be through Sendmail Pro coupled with UM add-ons. Users should avoid implementing either the NDS eDirectory or GroupWise products on Sun Solaris 8.

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