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Red Hat Opens Netscape Directory 229

suezz writes " Eweek is running a story that Redhat is releasing Netscape Directory (LDAP) under the GPL - this is huge at least from my point of view. I know of at least two huge companies that have standardized on Netscape Directory for their web applications."
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Red Hat Opens Netscape Directory

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  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:22PM (#12641586)
    Ever used the Active directory on Windows? I mean a properly created one in a larger organization. Had to search for an email address of someone in another branch or division? Ever had to log into another machine on that network? Search for printers on another floor?

    Well, you can actually do that and more with any LDAP server.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:32PM (#12641644)
    $20M is not a lot of money in Silicon Valley, especially for an enterprise product. Probably nothing compared to Netscape/iPlanet's development costs.

    Plus, after years of hotair, RedHat just became credible Windows alternative for internal applications. cheep.
  • by LnxAddct ( 679316 ) <> on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:38PM (#12641680)
    In the short term no they wont make this money back right away, but in the long term they'll make it back a thousand fold. Anyone who has ever tried to setup and configure OpenLDAP knows that its not worth it and will send you to a mental hospital fairly quickly. Netscape Directory (or whatever they're calling it now) is not only extremely easy to configure, but it was designed by brilliant engineers. Back a few years ago the engineers were claiming that one typical server running Netscape Directory could handle 200,000 clients. I haven't looked at the code yet, but according to some Red Hat enginneers that I've talked to that have seen it, they confirm that this is probably possible and were generally extrememly impressed with the code quality. Netscape Directory is high quality from its core all the way out to its exterior with easy configuration, how often do you see that in any environment(commercial or open).

    I know that a few of the Fedora devs commented on how they also got a whole bunch of additional code that they hadn't even asked for but came along with Netscape Directory that they are still trying to figure out what to do with. In a worst case scenario, they'll just open source it and let the community find uses for it (Red Hat open sources everything they do, they even allow any open source projects free use of any patents they may hold, patents btw are only held as legal defense). This a great advancement for the community and should allow many more businesses to start migrating to linux. Back to my original point though... this will allow many more companies to switch to linux, whether it be Red Hat or some other distro it doesn't matter. Overall it will increase linux's marketshare and as a result make linux more popular leading more businesses to look at it as an alternative. A good percentage of those businesses will probably become Red Hat customers so everyone wins.
  • by kjs3 ( 601225 ) on Wednesday May 25, 2005 @11:59PM (#12641779)
    This isn't particularly big news for the SMB market, but for the enterprise market, this is a huge open source win. Quality, scalable, enterprise capable LDAP solutions are a hot topic in all of the Fortune 500 sized companies that I deal with, and ND has a track record of being able to play ball there.

    Now if they would only open source Netscape calendaring...

  • by kjs3 ( 601225 ) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @12:05AM (#12641813)
    I'm familiar with a SunOne install with somewhat more than 32 million users on a Sun cluster about to go into production for a major cellular provider (in pilot for something short of a year). My impression is that you're comments are spot on correct.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 26, 2005 @12:06AM (#12641819)
    Almost, but OS X is not open source, and Apple's policy of promoting software patents in Europe forces me to avoid their software at all costs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 26, 2005 @12:49AM (#12642012)
    Exchange "killer" is a bit of an overstatement -- featurewise they were about the same -- in fact relying on IMAP can be considered a downside in a corporte environment.

    The big downside to the product is that you had to use Netscape 4 client, and the calendaring was kinda clunky. That killed when my company did a comparison with Exchange.
  • by KarmaMB84 ( 743001 ) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @12:50AM (#12642015)
    Configuring anything for serving 32 million user on a cluster isn't going to be pretty ;)
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Craig Ringer ( 302899 ) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @01:01AM (#12642058) Homepage Journal
    Er ... my point was that lots of custom hacking would be required to do with LDAP on *NIX the things that come BUILT IN in AD. I thought it was pretty darn obvious, actually.

    My whole point is that you don't get anything even remotely like Group Policy under any *nix LDAP authentication scheme I'm aware of unless you do a lot of custom hacking.

    AD is pretty awesome, and I'd really LIKE most of the power it offers on other platforms. As far as I'm concerned that's the biggest thing the Windows platform has going for it. That, and it's documented ;-)

    As for AD problems ... what you say is probably true. On the other hand, even quite large organizations often seem to fail to deploy it correctly. A national manufacturing outfit in Australia was bought down for a while because one of their branch offices lost its connection to the WAN, their AD secondary master promoted its self to primary, then the WAN was restored and everything went *splat*. Avoidable? Probably. Need an AD black-magic wizard? Definitely. What's needed is documented somewhere? Without a doubt ... but good luck finding it and understanding it then applying it correctly. The AD admins I've spoken to have all expressed the view that AD is great, but just too damn hard to configure robustly and that it tends to be fragile if not configured exactly right.

    I would ask you to, next time, take the time to ACTUALLY READ MY MESSAGE before flaming me out too much, OK? You've been just as bad as the people you're complaining about.
  • Re:Comparison (Score:4, Insightful)

    by alistair ( 31390 ) <> on Thursday May 26, 2005 @05:16AM (#12642794)
    I have used both and run both in production at a major corporation.

    In many ways eDirectory is far more sophisticated. It is more close to a true X500 directory and it has some very sophisticated tools for data replication and management. The admin console is streets ahead of the old Netscape Java Console for starters and the APIs are very well developed. It is very easy do do operations such as prune and graft on the Novell Directory than on the typical standalone LDAP directories (Open LDAP, SUN ONE) where you have to essentially delete and recreate the entry rather than just modify the base DN.

    One key differentiator is replication strategy. eDirectory and Microsoft AD are genuine multi-master directories, you can configure them to accept updates anywhere and the data then replicates among the cloud of replicated servers. Open LDAP and Netscape's LDAP are have pyramid structure replication, you update a master, it updates slaves and these can update further consumer servers. This approach can have some advantages if you want to secure updates and be able to take a consistent snapshot of your data at a particular point in time.

    Speed is also an issue. I feel that SUN ONE is currently the leader in raw search speed, Netscape produced a very fast server on the same database backend and a suspect Novell is a little slower as it is more feature rich. You will probably only notice this if you are making in excess of 20 searches per second to your box.

    So I would advise people to check out eDirectory. Novell have a great history of making some superb product which they then do their upmost to keep secret from paying consumers. If it is free it could well meet most of your needs, especially as the console makes it very easy to set up and populate with sample entries.
  • by hyc ( 241590 ) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @05:45AM (#12642867) Homepage Journal
    Yet another mindless raving rated as "Insightful" - where do you guys get this stuff?

    The above post is a stream of empty claims and not even a hint of factual support. How can you rate someone saying "I haven't looked at the code yet .. it is high quality from its core to its exterior" as *Insightful* ?? There is ZERO insight here.

    Nobody here knows what kind of server the Netscape guys were talking about, what those 200,000 clients were doing, or what the directory data looked like. We have No Insight into what that claim means.

    But you can look here [] and see charts derived from documented benchmark procedures that You Yourself can repeat and verify, showing that Netscape's performance drops off FASTER than OpenLDAP's as the number of clients increases. You want INSIGHT - doing systematic tests and publishing the tests so that others can verify the results is how you get it. Not by factless gushing from a fanboy who has never seen the code in question.
  • by 10Ghz ( 453478 ) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @06:47AM (#12643082)
    Guess what : Apple Mac OS X is actually replacing GNU/Linux in some area now :

    And Linux is replacing Apple somewhere else. So what's your point? OS X replaced Linux in some university? Run for the hills! The world is coming to an end!
  • by ( 653730 ) on Thursday May 26, 2005 @07:40AM (#12643250)
    Because red hat is not just giving it for free - they've opensourced it. Under the GPL. This means it's really free, we can improve it, port to weird architectures, to freeBSD, etc. We can see the code, not just use it.

"Pull the wool over your own eyes!" -- J.R. "Bob" Dobbs