You can read the whole patent on-line if you'd like all the details. I've cut out the summary and pasted it below for your reading pleasure.
Some interesting points from my perspective...
- If Reid is successful in his pursuit of damages then that number in the title of this post might be way too low based on the fact that nearly every company of any size in the United States is using Active Directory.
- With all the hub-bub around intellectual property and indemnification it will be very interesting to see if Microsoft does indemnify Halliburton - and all the other companies out there.
- Directories were in use before this patent was filed. Reid even mentions NDS. I wonder if Reid's patent can stand up to the scrutiny of prior art with respect to what Netscape did with their LDAP Directory Server (RTM in ~1996 if memory serves me) and a true WAN-based directory called "StreetTalk" for Banyan's VINES Network Operating System. Anyone remember Banyan VINES? I rolled out a world-wide network based on Banyan VINES StreetTalk in 1989 (Singapore, New Delhi, Cairo, Montevideo, Dhaka, Nairobi and Ottawa all networked using VINES over X.25)
The "invention" - "Enterprise Network Management Directory Containing Network Addresses Of Users And Devices."
The present invention extends the concept of directory services to the management and control of enterprise networks by integrating directory technology, router/gateway management, and server management to form an enterprise network management and network security solution. By integrating directory services to perform these extended functions, a firewall can be deleted or omitted and a stronger implementation of firewall functions can be integrated into other network elements controlled by a master directory. From an architectural standpoint, the present invention provides supervisory control in the network and data link layers, rather than in the application layers as such control is traditionally provided.
An enterprise directory residing on a directory server stores the names, workstations, router/gateways, servers, IP addresses locations, passwords, and encryption keys for individuals. Periodically, the directory server downloads to each router/gateway across the WAN router/gateway access lists (RALs), thereby controlling all network access across the WAN. Also periodically, the directory server downloads user control files (UCFs) to servers in the network, thereby controlling all server access across the WAN. This directory-based invention thus provides enhanced network control, and enhanced network security.
active directory, identity management