SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- September 23, 1997 -- Today at the MicrosoftProfessional Developers Conference, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq:CSCO) and MicrosoftCorp. (Nasdaq:MSFT) announced an industrywide initiative to integratedirectory services and networks, enabling the development of rich networkapplications that will work with offerings from a variety of network anddirectory vendors.This is the latest in a series of agreements between the two industryleaders, aimed at accelerating the deployment of next-generation,network-based applications.
The draft specification for directory-enabled networks will extend thescope of the existing Cisco and Microsoft directory services initiative toall network equipment vendors, directory service vendors, Internet serviceproviders (ISPs) and independent software vendors (ISVs). This initiativeis supported by more than 20 companies, including 3Com Corp., Ariel Corp.,Ascend Communications Inc., Berkeley Networks, Cabletron Systems Inc.,Compaq Computer Corp., CompuServe Network Services, Comtrol Corp., ConXion,Digex Inc., Digi International, Digital Equipment Corp., ECI Telematics,Fore Systems Inc., GridNet International, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel Corp.,MSN, The Microsoft Network, Net Access, New Oak Communications Inc.,Packet Engines Inc., RAScom Inc., South Carolina SuperNet and SwitchSoftSystems Inc.
"The real power in computing lies in harnessing the power of thenetwork," said Ed Kozel, senior vice president and chief technology officer ofCisco. "This initiative is the critical link in delivering next-generationintelligent networks and applications. Cisco and Microsoft share a commonvision of unleashing the potential of the network by jointly developing opentechnologies that embrace the best ideas the industry has to offer andthat protect customers' investments."
As a result of the announcement last May, Cisco and Microsoft havejointly developed a draft specification and reference implementation to provideadvanced management of network elements and services. This week, Cisco andMicrosoft demonstrated the ability to provide advanced network serviceson a per-user basis through Active Directory in the Windows NT. Servernetwork operating system version 5.0 and a Cisco Powered Network.
The draft directory-enabled networks specification is the first tointegrate user profiles, applications and network services. This integration isachieved by providing a standard schema for storing network state and anextensible information model for exposing network information. This workcomplements theDesktop Management Taskforce (DMTF)-sponsored Common Information Model(CIM) specification and uses LDAP as the core access protocol. Suchintegration delivers optimum bandwidth utilization, policy-based management, lowertotal cost of ownership, and a single point of administration of allnetwork resources. It also enhances the services that end users can relyon, regardless of their physical location. Active Directory in Windows NTServer 5.0 will be the first directory service to include support for thisinitiative, and Cisco Systems is the first networking vendor to provide areference implementation, incorporating its network devices and the CiscoIOS network services. Together, these efforts provide developers witha platform to begin developing a new class of intelligent networkedapplications immediately.
"This is a huge win for customers. For the first time, they will be ableto benefit from a unified network model for integrating users,applications and network services," said Jim Allchin, senior vice president, personaland business systems group at Microsoft. "This draft specification willspur the development of powerful applications that will simplify themanagement of networks and give users personalized services."
As part of the initiative, the companies released the draft specificationto enable the development of personalized network services on a per-userand per-application basis. Cisco and Microsoft are working with othercompanies to develop this specification further and plan to host a designpreview in the fourth quarter of 1997 as part of an open design reviewprocess, the results of which will be submitted to the Internet Engineering TaskForce (IETF) for publication.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software forpersonal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services forbusiness and personal use, each designed with the mission of making iteasier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power ofpersonal computing every day.
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