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Vines grows into NT

Banyan Systems announces the next version of its Vines network operating system with Microsoft Windows NT-compatible directory services.

Banyan Systems announced today the next version of its Vines network operating system with Microsoft Windows NT-compatible directory services.

Banyan's directory services product, StreetTalk, now provides directory services on NT, Unix and Novell NetWare networks. This is key for the company because StreetTalk is viewed as Banyan's technology advantage.

Vines 7.0 and StreetTalk are both based on TCP/IP protocols.

The new StreetTalk version will allow Windows NT interact in large enterprise environments, yet another indication that the Microsoft network operating system is scaling to large networks. StreetTalk lets users access information quickly no matter where that data is stored in a heterogenous environment.

Bob Rentsh, product line manager for Vines and NT solutions, said Windows NT customers will find StreetTalk attractive for exactly this reason. It will help the operating system scale in large networks and Banyan users will benefit from having Windows NT on a Banyan network.

StreetTalk for Windows NT features the 32-bit StreetTalk Explorer, an administration tool based on the interface of Windows 95. StreetTalk also integrates with Web servers.

The future of Vines, with the emphasis on Windows NT compatibility, remains a major question. But Banyan officials said new revisions of Vines will continue. Even so, analysts remain unconvinced that the company can attract new customers with its products.

"They have superior technology, but they have never been able to sell it beyond the Vines base," said Paul Zagaeski, an analyst with the Giga Information Group, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based consultancy.

Vines 7.0 will be available in October and StreetTalk for Windows NT will be available in September. Both products have prices starting at $2,995 for 10 users.

Banyan officials also said the company's Intelligent Messaging backbone software will also be available for Windows NT in the fourth quarter of this year.