Active Directory vs e-Directory

  Bonzy 16:27 05 Sep 05

Hello networking friends, I need a neutral mind to help me make a choice between Microsoft's Active Directory and Novell's e-Directory. I'm a member of an evalation team debating what to deploy in our enterprise network - Active Directory or e-Directory. Our enterprise network deploys a number of NT4 servers and lots of other microsoft products/technologies. We have also made investments in other products/technologies, eg Novell's eDirectory. Presently, we have a proposal on the table to consider a redesign of the organisation-wide architecture with specific attention to directory design. Novell's eDirectory is already in use on our network. Now our debate focuses mainly on whether to replace eDirctory with Active Directory, or keep eDirectory as the sole product, or add Active Directory by interfacing it to eDirectory with the use of an appropriate interfcace. At this point we'll need to really compare the 2 products in detail in order to make an educated choice. I would be very grateful if you (my network friends) could help with the kind of comparative analysis in this regard. No commercial biases, please. Let's have a strictly technical comparison here please. Thank you all in advance.

  BigMoFoT 20:19 05 Sep 05

what a question. In my professional opinion Active Directory would be my preference simply because I am used to it. However we do use Novell as an application and file server and thus have a dual logon. My Novell server is extremely reliable stable and fast.

I think the key here would be what other applications\systems that you have running. What are your future plans? For a situation as you describe a Windows Network with Active Directory running, SQL & Exchange for example will be very integrated and feature rich (2003 versions). Adding ERP systems such as Sage will work fine in a Windows based environment and Active Directory can be propogated over such solutions as Exchange and Sharepoint Portal server for example.

Unless you run applications that specificallly require or work better with Novell I would recommend AD and the Microsoft route, but take nothing away from Novell it is very stable...

  Gaz 25 01:15 06 Sep 05

Novell - Stability, security, configurability, reliability...

Microsoft ActiveDirectory - Somewhat reliable, 2003 is feature advanced and full of great intergrated features, added support for Microsoft Products.

  Taran 03:55 06 Sep 05

Without knowing your future intentions on a broader level an answer is impossible to formulate.

Active Directory is hugely capable, in the right hands. That said, Novell eDirectory can go about as far as you can stretch it.

Like BigMoFoT I'd like to know far more about your future intentions and current use before commenting to any serious degree.

I'm sure you don't need me to tell you just how powerful Novell eDirectory is, or, for that matter, Active Directory.

My concern is not for your AD/eD dilemma, but is more focused on the obvious difficulties you will face with an NT4 full scale migration which, I would suggest, should be a prime concern, regardless of the outcome of your AD/eD problem.

Perhaps you could elaborate on how you intend to function and the services you would like your network to deliver ?

If this cannot be detailed for any reason (security, privacy etc) then try to hint at scope.

It is largely pointless (again, my opinion) to offer a product comparison here without knowing the requirements you actually have to meet. You could easily research an A, B, C feature by feature comparison between both platforms without any assistance from us.

I always tell clients this: The Devil's in the detail.

Requirements analysis can and will drive product choice in most cases, and without knowing you requirements other than the brief outline you mention above, it is almost impossible to suggest one over the other.


  Bonzy 15:18 08 Sep 05

Thanks so much friends.
Our large organization has invested in many IT products and these dispersed systems ca no longer support the demanding changes in the enterprise. We have therefore decided to have designed and implemented an organisation-wide architecture to provide a common platform. We have invested in products/technologies of mixed make eg Microsoft, Novell's eDirectory, Lotus Notes, Oracle et. We want to keep all these mixed tchnologies, maximise the Return On Investment(MOI) and achieve the ff:
1. Provide a scalable and integrated Identity Management infrastructure tha supports Single sign-on in the enterprise,
2. Cenralise IT policy formulation, implementation and enforcement(eg password policy, security etc), while decentralising departmental operations eg users etc,
3. Address the inefficiencies of the current infrastructure,
4. Achieve a long-term strategic and business needs driven goal.
At present, the organisation uses directories to store, organize and retreive information for a variety of functions eg, email, identity etc. Directory Services and Messaging are 2 key components of this organization.
A consortium was engaged to design an organization-wide architecture blueprint to accomplish the above objectives. This blueprint addresses identity management with Microsoft Active Directory Services and Exchange Messaging Services in addition to MIIS to enable integration with the other vendor specific technologies such as eDirectory, Lotus Notes etc. We also know about Novell's IdM which is a replacement for Dir/XML.
We have decided to add Active Directory to the existing eDirectory. Given the circumstances as above, do we choose MIIS or its Novell counterpart to facilitate this integration? Also, if there are any links on this issue please let me have them. Thank you all in advance.

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