CrossNodes Briefing: Is Your Network Directory-Enabled? - Page 2

By Gerald Williams | Posted Oct 8, 2001
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Security Concerns
A directory-enabled network centers transactions on the directory. A corrupt directory can cause serious disruptions, so network managers must take steps to protect it. This requires full security. Microsoft's definition of directory-enabled networking includes support for authentication schemes, including hardware authentication, smart card recognition, and public key infrastructures. Security should be a key concern for IT and network managers. The presence of the directory database on each server represents a potentially rich source of data for any unauthorized user. Therefore, the information must be preserved and protected.

Next Steps
Some companies must consider directory-enabled networking now. The demands of e-commerce and the integration of supplier and buyer networks require the new technology. Many companies, however, view directory-enable networking as a future issue.

If network managers want to investigate the technology, they need to determine the types of network operating systems and identify the capabilities of all devices on the network to determine if upgrades are needed. Managers also must ensure that all the platforms supported within the network support directory-enabled networking. Finally, the network manager must estimate the cost of adapting legacy systems and software to operate correctly in a directory-enabled environment.

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Gerald Williams serves as director of quality assurance for dolphin inc., a software development company. williams has extensive background in technology and testing, previously serving as editorial director with national software testing labs (nstl), executive editor with datapro research, and managing editor of datapro's pc communications reference service.

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