Novell's Schmidt: "Defining Identities" To Drive Networking Innovations - InformationWeek

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Novell's Schmidt: "Defining Identities" To Drive Networking Innovations

Novell CEO Eric Schmidt, delivering a keynote address at the NetWorld+Interop trade show in Atlanta today, said the "notion of identity" would drive the next wave of innovation in networking.

The first wave, which started around 1995, brought us the World Wide Web, Schmidt said. "It was all about publishing and all about interconnection." The second wave, starting now, is being driven by the need "to bring order to this chaos," he said. The technologies that will be crucial in this phase, he said, are those that help to establish user identity--at a time when individuals have several phone numbers, E-mail addresses, and passwords--and to locate resources across increasingly distributed networks.

"If we do not address this problem of finding and defining identities," Schmidt said, transacting E-commerce will become increasingly difficult. He added that the problem of defining identities is exacerbated by the fact that most users aren't throwing away their legacy systems. "People do not throw their old networks out," he said. "You have to solve these problems of identity and location in the context of the networks you have."

Novell Directory Services, Schmidt said, will play an important role in this second wave because it offers a way to establish, authenticate, augment, and transport user identities, and the relationships between users. A group of Novell staffers demonstrated these capabilities of NDS after Schmidt's address.

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