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The "key" you're talking about is probably the NICI key; this is now
done automatically since eDirectory 8.8.0 so no more need to tinker with
that stuff thankfully.

Having 8.7.x an d8.8.x should be fine. We still have customers with
8.8.x and 8.7.x mixed environments.

What I would probably do to split the difference is first install 8.8.7
on a test system somewhere just for about ten minutes. During those ten
minutes use ndsrepair on SLES and dsrepair on NetWare to import the
other tree's schema. Do it each way, from one environment to the other,
then from the other environment to the first one, a couple of times.
Schema will then be current in your old tree. Nuke the test SLES system
and install eDir on your three new servers and join the tree. Should be
fine.

Good luck.
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