Wednesday, September 23, 2009

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Novell Support goes off the deep end.

Novell Sr. VP Colleen O'Keefe justifies their current support money grab with claim that "We absolutely believe there is tremendous value in Novell's patches, service packs and other intellectual property and that the cost of providing these services should not be solely born by current maintenance customers."

What's the brouhaha about? This Novell announcement:

"To further encourage more customers to take advantage of the comprehensive benefits a maintenance contract provides, Novell is announcing that as of November 15, 2009, maintenance or subscription authorization will be required to access service packs and patches (excluding stand-alone security patches) for most Novell products. In early 2010, we will extend this initiative to include Technical Information Documents (TIDs) in the Novell Support Knowledgebase for products in the general support phase of the product lifecycle."

That's right, Novell is asking you to pay for its mistakes.

Maybe there's a business plan here for me - are you willing to pay $10/month to get the errata pointing out the corrections to stuff in the newsletter? Do I have to start making more mistakes before you'll pay up?


Friday, January 19, 2007

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Novell FUDdy duddy...

Sometimes the people who pull the biggest bonehead plays are those who should really know better. Novell's Volker Scheuber has attempted to explain what's wrong with virtual directory systems vis-a-vis metadirectory systems. Note that Novell is not currently offering a virtual directory system - even though they had the advantage over everyone in launching one, they just couldn't agree (both politically and technically) and how to get it done. It eventually got so bad that the product manager, Samm DiStasio, up and left for Redmond (where he's now director of the Windows Server Product Management Group at Microsoft)!

Scheuber states:
  • All data is always available as long as the central identity vault is available. In a virtual directory implementation, some of the delegated data source may not be available and requests may return no or only incomplete data.
  • A central identity vault is usually easier made high-available and fault-tolerant than a conglomeration of separate data stores.
  • In heavy load/request environments the identity vault absorbs all client requests thus protecting the backend systems from having to handle the whole load.

While that may have been true 10 years ago when Novell was first developing what became DirXML, today's Virtual Directory uses what can be characterized as proxy technology to handle all of these situations. As Radiant Logic, one of the major providers of virtualized directory services, puts it, today's virtual directory can "...access data sources dynamically and integrate on-the-fly, or use synchronization services and integrate at the back-end in conjunction with virtualization; store identities in the internal directory store for stand alone directory service, or write back to another directory or database."

Any technology needs to be able to withstand legitimate criticism. But the sort of FUD that Scheuber is spreading neither helps him, his organization or the industry. And it certainly does no good for the potential customer.

UPDATE: Matt Flynn, reacting to the Novell posting, goes into great detail as to why the hybrid model is superior.

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