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Novell Software Linux

With OES 2.0, Novell Moves NetWare To Linux 125

Posted by kdawson
from the xen-underneath dept.
apokryphos writes "Novell's long journey from NetWare to Linux is finally complete, with Open Enterprise Server 2.0. Linux-Watch takes a look at the newly-released OES 2.0: 'Now, with OES 2.0, the NetWare operating system kernel, NetWare 6.5 SP7, is still there if you run it, but it runs on top of the Xen hypervisor. You can also run the NetWare services, or a para-virtualized instance of NetWare, on top of Xen with the SLES (SUSE Linux Enterprise Server) 10 SP 1 kernel. So, if you're wedded to NetWare and its way of doing things, you don't have to wave good-bye to it.'"
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With OES 2.0, Novell Moves NetWare To Linux

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  • by pegr (46683) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @04:58PM (#20917375) Homepage Journal
    I could have sworn they sold this product ten years ago...
    • by rubycodez (864176)
      well, it's easy to see the source of your confusion, what with the similarities between SCO and Novell, taking money from Microsoft to make FUD based "fear of IP infringement" attacks on Linux.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by pegr (46683)
        Mods must be kids. The org post was a joke. They did sell a NetWare that ran under UNIX. It was their UNIX, called UNIXWare. It was ten + years ago. It was the product that got Norda ousted. Learn your history folks!
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by nick5546 (1157253)
          Unixware was NOT Netware under Unix, it was Unix Sys V R4.2. Netware for Unix was a product sold by Novell before they even acquired Unix from USL well.. http://www.faqs.org/faqs/unix-faq/unixware/general/ [faqs.org] Anyway, know your history :-) good advise indeed
          • by pegr (46683)
            Ahem... I didn't say UnixWare was NetWare, I said it ran under UnixWare. Kinda like the product the article refers to, so yeah, we did see that 10+ years ago. History is fine but reading is fundamental! ;)
        • On that note - Noorda saw a future in Linux. When he was ousted he went off and founded the Canopy Group, which provided financing to Ransom Love when he started Caldera.

          It should also be noted that none of SCO's later actions under Darl McBride were under the direction of Ray Noorda in any way... Alzheimer's had set in before any of that happened. Ray Noorda believed in INNOVATING, not LITIGATING.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SCO_Group#History [wikipedia.org] goes over some of this.
  • Skeptical (Score:5, Interesting)

    by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @05:01PM (#20917425) Homepage
    Presumably the reason you are sticking with a platform that has not really changed much in a decade is because you are too risk-averse to jump to something else. That said, is swapping out your NetWare servers with "Nu-NetWare" running on top of a Linux kernel really less risky than just switching to Linux -- or to Windows with Active Directory, for that matter? If it's taken you this long to even consider replacing those servers, couldn't you have spent some of that time constructively -- by coming up with a longterm migration strategy that would enable you to minimize risk? Seriously, I have heard some arguments why NetWare is so much "better" or "more elegant" (or whatever) than a Windows network, but these arguments usually seem to hinge on some specific minor capability. It seems to me that you can get pretty much everything NetWare gives you on a Windows network with some third-party management products, with the upshot that your platform is not obsolete.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by pegr (46683)
      Obsolete? It's been obsolete ever since Windows 3.0. What killed NetWare was their bloated Windows client. That's when Microsoft came in and ate their lunch.

      The same thing happened with Word Perfect. They, too, couldn't manage the transition to Windows in a timely manner. Microsoft Word was pure joy compared to Word Perfect for Windows v1
      • Re:Skeptical (Score:5, Informative)

        by Orange Crush (934731) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @05:45PM (#20917999)

        Ummm, Netware was going strong long past Win 3.1. MS didn't really get their act together until Win2k. Even as just a file server, Netware was way ahead of windows with easy-to-manage folder-by-folder (if you want) ACLs. Heck, Netware 4 still plays nicely with Windows XP.

        Also, any idea how much of a PITA it would be to migrate from Netware without having to re-do all file and user permissions? Yeah, there are tools, but I've never had much luck with them.

      • And yet it still soldiers on. Trying to get an old WP expert to switch is hell.
        • Re:Skeptical (Score:4, Informative)

          by Ash Vince (602485) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @08:20PM (#20919709) Journal

          And yet it still soldiers on. Trying to get an old WP expert to switch is hell.
          No, it does not unfortunately. What soldiers on is the believe that WP5.1 was a better product, but WP for Windows was shite and I think most people who liked WP before then would agree with this.

          The reason I greatly preferred WP5.1 was because it was not a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) word processor. Some of us actually liked the idea of What You Want Is What You Get. It might take alot longer to get used to a word processor where you can't just jiggle stuff about until it looks right but the rewards are far greater when you put in the practice.

          The whole idea of a WYSIWYG text editor was a novel idea (no pun intended) but you only need to look at why no professional web dev uses dreamweaver in layout mode to understand why it is a failure in the long term. The results are sloppy. You end up with a document full of bloated markup that does not actually change what the page looks like, instead it just contains loads of elements that countermand each other.

          eg: <B></B>some text<B></B>

          Now most of the time this is just inefficient, but on some rare occasions it becomes an issue. When this happens you have a few choices:

          1) Keep tidying up the document until you can make it look professional, unfortunately this can sometimes involve alot of tidying for very little reward.

          2) Keep pushing stuff about in another WYSIWYG layout program until it looks right but is now even more inefficient that when you started (and hence harder for anyone else to work on). This still might take longer that expected (ie - quoted).

          3) Bodge it and hope the client does not notice the minor layout issue you were unable to fix properly.

          Since none of these are exactly ideal I would recommend thinking the choice through. I personally would recommend point 1, and since alot of companies are now crying out for websites where the code validates against W3C guidelines alot of companies obviously think the same way.

          I know there are differences between an HTML page being as small and efficient as possible and a word document, but that doesn't change why I prefer WP over Word. WP allowed you to view and edit the markup directly more easily ten years ago than Word does today.
          • Re:Skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

            by drsmithy (35869) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (yhtimsrd)> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @09:03PM (#20920091)

            The whole idea of a WYSIWYG text editor was a novel idea (no pun intended) but you only need to look at why no professional web dev uses dreamweaver in layout mode to understand why it is a failure in the long term. The results are sloppy. You end up with a document full of bloated markup that does not actually change what the page looks like, instead it just contains loads of elements that countermand each other.

            It's not a failure at all. It allows people who would not otherwise be able to produce even a slightly well-formatted document, do so. For those who are genuinely interested in "proper" layout procedures - and have the discipline and knowledge to use them - the ability to do so is not impeded by the existence of WYSIWYG tools.

            The only way WYSIWYG is a "failure" is if you subscribe to the view that "we are worse off now that more people can be productive".

            • by Ash Vince (602485)

              It's not a failure at all. It allows people who would not otherwise be able to produce even a slightly well-formatted document, do so.

              This would be true if they produced a well formatted document, but usually they do not.

              If you expect people to produce a well formatted document, the best way to do ensure they do is making sure they are correctly trained in that piece of software and what consitutes a decent document. It is certainly not by giving a very complicated tool to an untrained monkey and expecting them to produce something decent.

              For those who are genuinely interested in "proper" layout procedures - and have the discipline and knowledge to use them - the ability to do so is not impeded by the existence of WYSIWYG tools.

              Only someone who has never seen a document with a carriage return at the end of every line instead

              • by drsmithy (35869)

                This would be true if they produced a well formatted document, but usually they do not.

                No, you are creating a false dichotomy. The choices are not "a well formatted document" or "a badly formatted document", they are "a formatted document of some description" and "nothing".

                If you expect people to produce a well formatted document, the best way to do ensure they do is making sure they are correctly trained in that piece of software and what consitutes a decent document. It is certainly not by giving a v

                • by Ash Vince (602485)

                  You sound just like all the other elitists lamenting about how much it sucks now you don't need years of study and experience to be competent with a computer.

                  Nope, you miss my point entirely. My opinion is that it does take years of study and experience to be competent a computer. Someone with no experience soon gets out of their depth and needs support performing even the most basic of tasks. The main difference nowadays is that most people start using computers alot earlier so don't notice the experience they have.

      • by Macfox (50100)
        Buzzz!!! Wrong!!! MS Killed Netware when they sabotaged the RPC's/API in SAMMGR.DLL, that NDS for Windows NT used. This was the product that was going to make ADS obsolete. It did more and far better than ADS today. It basically was a SAM replacement and you didn't need to use the Win32 or VLM Clients. Hence Novell had to change strategy and continue with the (agreed) bloaty clients.

        Novell subsequently took MS to over the Word Perfect and other antitrust issues (as above) and settled for $536,000,000 US.

      • by sjs132 (631745)
        Obsolete? It's been obsolete ever since Windows 3.0. What killed NetWare was their bloated Windows client. That's when Microsoft came in and ate their lunch.

        The same thing happened with Word Perfect. They, too, couldn't manage the transition to Windows in a timely manner. Microsoft Word was pure joy compared to Word Perfect for Windows v1


        I don't know how you get scored "informative"... Other than Hating, you provide no information. Mods! Please use some REAL Judgement before casting your Karma to the win
    • by Slack3r78 (596506)

      Presumably the reason you are sticking with a platform that has not really changed much in a decade is because you are too risk-averse to jump to something else.

      The State of Georgia is one of Novell's single largest clients. When I worked for GA DHR [georgia.gov] about two years ago, we weren't technically even allowed to put any Linux boxes on the network.
    • I can only speak of my own experiences, but I've had Netware servers with uptimes in the > 365 days time frames. I run Mac OS X, Windows 2003, Redhat and Suse Linux servers, and to date, no server platform has given me less downtime or fewer problems than my Netware servers.

      Besides Netware, Novell has also produced some pretty cool technologies such as iFolder, but I digress. /* puts on flame-retardant suit */ :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Glonoinha (587375)
        More than a year of uptime? That's child's play for Netware. I've seen plenty of boxes with several years uptime - all running Netware 4.x
        I've heard stories of Netware servers that got lost, physically misplaced (one, according to legend, was drywalled into a building by a work-crew that didn't know it was there) that ran for a very long time (years) without anybody knowing where they were.

        It pretty much takes a hardware failure to bring down a Netware box. A bad cpu fan killed one of mine, and a bad pow
        • Ay-men, brother. I have used every major OS out there, and I've never seen anything that can touch the uptime of a properly configured Netware server. Even running on garbage, underspecced hardware, I've personally seen Netware 4.x and 5.x run for years uninterrupted without breaking a sweat more times than I can bother to count.

          I'll pour out a little liquor for the "real" Netware on this, its death day, for that operating system let me sleep soundly through the night more often than anything else when I
        • by Kadin2048 (468275) *

          one, according to legend, was drywalled into a building by a work-crew that didn't know it was there

          Oh, come on -- now you're stealing IBM mainframe lore? I think I first heard that story about the System/360 or something. The key point in the story was that nobody knew where the machine was until an IBM tech showed up to swap out a part that had failed (IBM big iron had ways of phoning home when something went bad and it switched to a spare; then the technician just came out to swap the FRU).

      • by PCM2 (4486)

        I run Mac OS X, Windows 2003, Redhat and Suse Linux servers, and to date, no server platform has given me less downtime or fewer problems than my Netware servers.

        Well guess what. When you migrate them to NetWare running on a Xen hypervisor, you're going to have some downtime. ;-)

        Seriously -- the "NetWare is 100 percent reliable" argument, I get that. The "change a reliable NetWare system into a different system that looks just like a NetWare system, but isn't, yet is just as reliable" argument ... like I

    • Re:Skeptical (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @05:16PM (#20917597)
      Part of the reason netware hasn't seen drastic changes recently is because it was doing directory services and things like that for years. A lot of the 'neat' stuff that everyone else is doing now was there in netware 4, now its more of the same using protocols that are much closer to public standards, like ldap for the directory services, smtp support for mail, ect. There are plenty more things like this but I'm too lazy to go get a feature list and point them out. :)

      Personally, I can't stand netware. But, the did a lot of the good stuff way before MS or Sun picked up on the concepts, hence they haven't had a major reason to make any massive changes. In case you haven't noticed, Unix, linux included, hasn't had any massive redesigns in the past 10 years either. Its all just minor updates to things along as needed to cope with new hardware technologies.
      • by PCM2 (4486)

        Personally, I can't stand netware. But, the did a lot of the good stuff way before MS or Sun picked up on the concepts, hence they haven't had a major reason to make any massive changes.

        Except, I guess, to change it so that henceforth it runs on top of Linux.

    • That said, is swapping out your NetWare servers with "Nu-NetWare" running on top of a Linux kernel really less risky than just switching to Linux -- or to Windows with Active Directory, for that matter?

      Nope. If anything, it is MORE risky because now you have Linux added to the bottom of the stack. That is where Novell went wrong with this. Instead of putting everything on top of Linux (including DOS which boots NetWare), they should have replaced DOS with Linux. Yes, DOS is still needed to boot NetWare.

      If i

      • What a hoot (Score:2, Informative)

        by postbigbang (761081)
        > Yes, DOS is still needed to boot NetWare.

        Next thing you'll be telling me is that you need to boot Linux to get to VMWare ESX!! LOL, ROFL!!!!

        > The problem is that Novell has (at best) remained a static target. Microsoft has been improving Windows. Linux has been improved. So now, there's really not much of a reason to run Novell's products IN A NEW DEPLOYMENT.

        We like those old deployments, the ones that have been working since about '89. Oh yeah, they dropped IPX for IP, and got a life after eDirecto
    • by mpapet (761907) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @05:36PM (#20917861) Homepage
      That said, is swapping out your NetWare servers with "Nu-NetWare" running on top of a Linux kernel really less risky than just switching to Linux

      Yes it is. I can test and deploy this easier than starting fresh with anything else.

      couldn't you have spent some of that time constructively
      I did spend that time more constructively. The boss said "I've got other things for you to do that will actually make me money. Don't worry about something that basically works."

      hese arguments usually seem to hinge on some specific minor capability
      It works in Netware and I can't do it as easily on any other platform. Don't denigrate something you know nothing about.

      One of the fundamental premises behind your opinion is the "constant upgrade cycle" mentality.
      Is IT's job making work for itself by breaking things that work or making users/systems more productive? My boss and I both choose the latter. That's why I'm happy and work lots of very regular hours.
      • Is IT's job making work for itself by breaking things that work or making users/systems more productive? My boss and I both choose the latter. That's why I'm happy and work lots of very regular hours.
        Ding!! We have a winner.
    • Re:Skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nip1024 (977084) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @05:42PM (#20917941)
      The Novell platform has changed a great deal in the last decade. I've been a Systems Engineer for 15 years in large and small companies and have had to deal with just about every server OS out there. So far Netware is still the one I would choose for most applications. Linux is just now getting to the point where I would consider them before Novell. Microsoft Windows doesn't even come close to the stability or security I want and Active Directory is a joke. I've worked with Netware servers that have never been shutdown or rebooted for the entire lifetime of the system they were on (over 3 years). I have yet to see a Windows server that didn't need to be rebooted several times a year.

      For comparison, one company I worked for had 3000 users, 280 servers and about 3600 workstations/laptops. They were a Windows shop and had over 180 full-time IT personnel. Another organization I worked with, though not for, had 1800 users, 40 servers and about 2200 workstations/laptops but they were a Novell shop. They had better service uptime (email/file/print/web) and faster workstation services (break/fix/moves/upgrades) and were able to do it with less than 25 IT people.

      Novell networks are easier to maintain, more secure and much more stable than a Windows environment. The only areas where Windows beats (soundly) Netware is in ease of installation and application selection. Unless you absolutely must have an application that runs exclusively under Windows, there is no compelling reason to use a Microsoft network.

      • Funny, I hear this argument again and again from netware zealots, yet none of them have ever spent a day administrating a windows network. Just because a company has 180 people, doesn't mean they're good, or trained. At the end of the day, 25 experienced admins are going to do a better job of keeping systems up and stable, than 180 inexperienced people with a certificate of completion from your local tech school of choice. Netware, windows, linux, unix, doesn't matter. If you were talking about windows9
        • by lorenlal (164133)
          Parent is right in that 25 good admins will out-do 180, 200, 1000, etc bad admins. In fact, the reliability will go down for each bad admin... Based on my experience at least.

          But.. Given patches, and installation of software, security fixes, etc, reboots "several times per year" isn't necessarily a bad thing... assuming they're all planned.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by oatworm (969674)
          As a Windows system administrator, I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

          There are, as I see it, some big problems with Windows:
          1. You're much more likely to get an inexperienced boob running your network than you are with any other system out there. Most people I know (insert witty comment about "plural of anecdote != data", etc.) start off with Windows, then go to Linux or something else once they have their feet wet. Put another way, if you started off with NetWare, it's because you started off
          • Your comments remind me that the objective "everything to everyone" very nearly defines a general purpose computer, including the entry level server. There exit better ways to implement complex systems, even though like the general purpose computer which are intended to meet, to a large degree, this somewhat nebulous objective. One architectural principle, which is very important in helping to produce a complex system, and which seems to elude Microsoft is that of "loose coupling".

            Some layers or comp
        • I was one of several dozen people administering the Windows environment. This was from mid-98 through late 2001. We were using Windows NT workstation, NT server and I was one of the people who did the migration to Windows 2000. As of November 2000, there were still stability issues and security issues needing regular updates from Microsoft. Both of these things required rebooting the servers. I've seen several 3.x and 4.x Netware servers (from early to late 90's) that have stayed up for years at a time
        • by Spleen (9387)
          >If you're rebooting windows2000+ "several times per year", you either haven't figured out how to use a firewall, or you shouldn't be administrating anything.

          Or it's patch Tuesday. We run a mixed shop. Fairly balanced too. I have 12 Windows servers, 15 Netware servers, and 8 Linux servers. Netware and Linux both issue patches, but I find myself rebooting those servers far less then once a month. When I hear about Netware or Linux servers running for years on end, I think.. Wow don't these people p
        • If you're rebooting windows2000+ "several times per year", you either haven't figured out how to use a firewall, or you shouldn't be administrating anything.

          If you're rebooting Windows2000+ "Several times per year" you aren't applying patches in a timely manner.

      • by PCM2 (4486)

        Novell networks are easier to maintain, more secure and much more stable than a Windows environment. The only areas where Windows beats (soundly) Netware is in ease of installation and application selection.

        So Novell networks are great for IT managers, but lousy for end users (because of poor application selection). And it seems to me that this has been the main problem with NetWare for years and years now. I guess it depends on your organization's priorities.

        Unless you absolutely must have an application

      • by afidel (530433)
        Hmm, I run a Windows shop of 800 users at 100 sites with 150 servers and we have a total of 11 technical staff including helpdesk and telecom. I have a large number of servers that were last rebooted last summer when we took our datacenter down to double its size and upgrade our UPS system. I would have to ask if the 40 servers in the Novel environment included Dev/Test/Prod servers because that's pretty much a requirement for publicly traded companies today.
      • Re:Skeptical (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rickb928 (945187) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @09:38PM (#20920395) Homepage Journal
        Actually,most of what has changed about NetWare over the past 10 years has been new 'features': iFolder in particular comes to mind.

        And I recall getting my NetWare 5 server running at home sometime around 1998, or was it 2000? I had my trusty modem autodialing into my own ISP bank. BorderManager as my firewall, happily blocking ads, logging the few (back then) attempts to probe my connection. I ran the NAMP stack (NetWare/Apache/myQL/Perl/PHP) and having fun. I ran Websphere just to see if it would. Tomcat, the Advantage xBase engine, Mercury SMTP alongside GroupWise. At the time, Microsoft didn't have all of that so well done.

        Oh yeah, and my personal record on a NetWare server is 1300+ days. My home server ran over 960 days at one stretch. The story of a NetWare server being walled in by accident is attributed to a New York-based Fortune 50 headquarters. Perhaps the only other platform that can easily claim that sort of reliability would be the AS/400 series, which is also reputed to have had at least one server walled in and 'lost'. It was looked for only when the lease expired. I don't doubt it.

        None of that really mattered. Microsoft was running NetWare over and backing up to go over it again.

        The NetWare Client for Windows was bloated mostly to accomodate the problems of Widows Networking. For one thing, if the Windows AD client did a lookup for something and didn't find it, it would happily look 'everywhere else'. The NetWare client, if not finding it in NDS or Windows, stopped and said 'not found'. The concept of looking everywhere else when it wasn't found within the directory you had struck me as ludicrous. But for Windows, it was SOP. And cost you a minute or two waiting for the inevitable failure. At least in NetWare you got an answer in 2-3 seconds, depending on network performance.

        I miss NetWare. But the fight is over. Just don't try and tell me Windows IS any better, even today. It's just more popular.
        • The story of a NetWare server being walled in by accident is attributed to a New York-based Fortune 50 headquarters.

          Actually it was the University of North Carolina, back in 2001. It's possible this has happened before or since. I just did a quick Google for netware server drywall. Everything I found referred to the 2001 UNC event.

          • by rickb928 (945187)
            Crap, there's two. I remember that story.

            I wouldn't be surprised. UNC and NC were both big NetWare houses until all hope was lost.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I have yet to see a Windows server that didn't need to be rebooted several times a year.
        You mispelled "week".

        Or were you talking about an ADP server? You mispelled "day", then.
      • by gubol123 (933609)
        I don't know what to say. We have a 7480 users, 140 servers, around 12000 workstations/laptops. We are complete windows shop and have 32 IT personnel, including 3 help desk employees. I feel either you are lying or your IT budget is completely over the top. If you ask me its time to trim your IT herd. Bring it down to 25 or so.
        • by wclacy (870064)
          We were running 50,000 workstations at 90 sites with 140 servers (120 Netware servers) and 85,000 users. We supported that with a Network Staff of 7 people. Everything went smooth until a virus came along and took down all 20 of our Windows servers on the same day. Most of the windows Servers we Converted to Netware the rest became really noisy workstations.
    • by nuzak (959558)
      > That said, is swapping out your NetWare servers with "Nu-NetWare" running on top of a Linux kernel really less risky than just switching to Linux

      Lemme think for a momen--yes.

      Seriously. They've even kept it binary compatible with NLMs. The same apps run. This is not your home network of three gentoo boxes you're talking about.
      • by PCM2 (4486)
        Soooooo... NetWare -----> Linux = Risk.

        NetWare ------> Linux + Xen + NetWare = Less Risk.

        Doesn't make sense to me. How can you assume that the NetWare services running under Xen running under Linux are 100 percent as reliable as the native NetWare services? That seems like an unlikely result.
        • by Degrees (220395)
          There is nothing wrong with being skeptical, and it's probably a good idea. Wait it out and see. :-)

          The biggest benefit to NetWare ------> Linux + Xen + NetWare is drivers. The Xen environment provides (standardized/generic) Novell written drivers to the NetWare OS, and it becomes SLES' job to fulfill those calls. NetWare can be pretty brittle (the trade-off being high speed). This new environment provides a whole additional layer to buffer the ugliness of actual hardware calls away from the sometimes b

    • by LWATCDR (28044)
      "Presumably the reason you are sticking with a platform that has not really changed much in a decade is because you are too risk-averse to jump to something else."
      Not at all. The reason is because it works.
      Netware still works just fine for a lot of companies. It really was/is a very good server. A company may have a LOT of money already invested in Netware Services that work just fine and dandy. So if you can still get support why go through the cost and time to re-write you code?
      There are still multi-milli
      • by PCM2 (4486)

        This is a brillant solution for people still dependent on Netware.

        Wait... if you're only using it because it "just works," how come you say you're "dependent" on it? "Dependent" sounds like you have a vested interest in not changing -- which is what I mean by "risk averse." Change = risk, always. (Note: "Risk" does not equal failure, just greater statistical chance of failure than you'd incur from changing nothing.)

        • by LWATCDR (28044)
          No actually my company migrated to Linux years ago. But we didn't have anything that was dependent on Novell. Our problem now is that we have two systems that are dependent on Windows servers. One is the accounting system the other is our CMS. We will be migrating our CMS soon. The Accounting system just works.
          The thing is change for the sake of change is worthless. If your systems work and are still supported which Novell is then there is no reason to rush into a migration.
    • A Novell shop is not only wedded to NetWare, but has made a huge time investment setting up, testing and perfecting the associated infrastructure.

      It only takes a day to set up a new server running whatever OS and copy the files over, but now you've got to reproduce the equivilent of your NDS (or whatever they call it now) database, your login scripts, your ZEN install packages etc. etc. That infrastructure has grown up over years, maybe even decades.

      %DEITY% help you, there might even be GroupWise in the mix
  • aixelsyd (Score:5, Funny)

    by slyn (1111419) <ozzietheowl@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @05:06PM (#20917483)
    Netware confirms it: Netcraft is dying.

    er... wait a second
  • Why use Novell these days? Linux builds are much more flexible and user friendly, not mention cheaper.
    • by Skiron (735617)
      Yes, and also no tie-in with the Devil and what that will entail in the near future.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @05:32PM (#20917815)
      eDirectory
      GroupWise
      ZENworks

      On the other hand, Novell has ported all of them to Windows ... but not to Ubuntu. So you can have all the Novell apps on your Microsoft network.

      Anyone care to comment on how nice it is to depend upon the good will of your biggest competitor for the stability of your apps?
      • Whoa whoa whoa. So Novell has a duty to port and support their authentication and application platform to every distro?

        Novell has ported eDirectory to SUSE Linux. They're working on a Linux GroupWise client. ZENworks integration is also being worked on.

        It's not their job to support the applications they've created on every distribution of Linux. Has Ubuntu relased LaunchPad for every other distro?
        • Whoa whoa whoa. So Novell has a duty to port and support their authentication and application platform to every distro?

          Did I say they did? No, I did not.

          Novell has ported eDirectory to SUSE Linux. They're working on a Linux GroupWise client. ZENworks integration is also being worked on.

          And Novell has ported eDirectory to Microsoft Windows. And who is Novell's biggest competitor?

          No, Novell is not working on a "Linux GroupWise client". They're working on a Java-based one that pretty much sucks right now. And

          • by gallwapa (909389)
            Uh, no. The new linux client isn't the java client. And fyi, GW7 client has been around for quite some time. The java (aka cross platform) client does suck. Most notably, it is missing spell check. ;-)
          • I think there are some fundamental things you don't know about the "new" Novell. I did the same thing at first - I thought to myself "Novell is dead, right?" when Novell first caught my attention (when I first read that they had bought SUSE out, in fact).

            Novell has made Linux and a lot of open source software its platform - everything from the Desktop to the Server, is on top of Linux.

            SUSE Linux Enterprise Dekstop is their desktop OS (SLED 10)
            SUSE Linux Ent. Server is the server in the back room.

            eDirectory,
            • I think there are some fundamental things you don't know about the "new" Novell.

              That's quite possible. I only run 6 of their servers (and GroupWise 7.02 and ZENworks). But let's see what you have ...

              Novell has made Linux and a lot of open source software its platform - everything from the Desktop to the Server, is on top of Linux.

              Again, no. It is "on top of" SuSE. Not Linux. I've already pointed that out.

              You asked if it was Novell's "job" to port it. I asked if it wasn't Novell's job, what REALLY was Novell

              • Isn't that picking nits?

                What Novell sells, Novell has to support. They have trained practically everybody in the company to use SuSE, and the tech support people have been trained enough to troubleshoot and isolate bugs - in SuSE. And now you want them to be subject matter experts for RedHat / Debian / Ubuntu / Kubuntu / Slackware / Damn Small / Joe's Own / ...?

                At what point does it end?

                And from a system administrator's point of view: if you can run Debian, can you run SuSE? Of course you can. ssh into t

              • That's quite possible. I only run 6 of their servers (and GroupWise 7.02 and ZENworks). But let's see what you have ...

                I have no idea what you know and what you don't know. The tone of your reply has an air of "looking down from a marble pedestal," and I really don't feel like wasting any more of my time trying to discuss this sensibly.

                In the future you would do better to not try to get in a duel with someone on the Internet. "You catch more flies with honey" as the saying goes.

  • Netware 6.5 can run virtualized, and the nlms are also ported to linux. So you can run 6.5 in Zen for your Netware, or just run some NetWare services right on top of OES.
  • Anyone remember how Novell struggled to get recognition with iFolder back when it was specific to Netware?
    They later produced a Windows version, then rewrote it in Mono. Still few customers were willing to pay for it.

    Then someone at Novell had a bright idea: "why not make it open-source?" This was back when Novell's Linux-bet was new and they had to prove themselves. They thought giving away YaST, iFolder and some other stuff would give them credibility.

    Since then, the iFolder project has struggled, wit
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by imemyself (757318)
      Since then, the iFolder project has struggled, with people leaving, some wanting to rewrite the whole thing in C again (mono had some scalability issues), etc. Finally when they've managed to put in some of the features people have been wanting (multiple ifolder-servers, encryption etc), Novell in all its wisdom has decided again to make iFolder exclusive to OES2.

      That's right: if you want to setup an iFolder server with the new 3.6 features, you need to buy OES2 at the premium price Novell is asking (and
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Linker3000 (626634)
        Is any of this likely to be of use to me - I have a legacy app that was written in Turbo Pascal using a file access unit that only works properly when the data files are on a Netware Server (it has close ties with NCP). We need to access the legacy data perhaps 2-3 times a year and at the moment, we just stick the caddy-based Netware disk in a spare PC fire it up for an hour or so and then close it all down - it would be ideal if there was a virtualised Netware 6.x (or even 4 or 5) that I could run on one
        • by imemyself (757318)
          I can't speak about the Xen stuff that Novell has put in OES 2, but I have ran Netware 6.0 and 6.5 in VMware (6.0 in VMware Server, and 6.5 in Workstation), and they work fine.
          • Thanks for that. Not having played with Virtualisation yet, are these things you have to package yourself or can you just download NW6.x as pre-virtualised runtime apps?

            Point me in the right direction and I'll take it from there!
            • by imemyself (757318)
              When I used Netware in VMware I just created a virtual machine in VMware and then went through the normal installation process for Netware(I don't remember any caveats, but it's probably been a year or two since I installed them.) I doubt that you could find a pre-made Netware VM, since you can't distribute Netware for free. Novell has some information on installing Netware as a VM under OES 2 here [novell.com]. I think there are sections for both VMware and Xen. It looks like their documentation is walking you thro
  • Now what is SCO going to sell?
  • This sounds like Novell's version of Microsoft's "good news! We're going to keep offering Windows XP until next June!". When OES was first released, Novell proclaimed "NetWare is dead! Long live OES!". OES is supposed to be a complete NetWare replacement, running eDirectory, NSS volumes, print services, etc, etc. So now Novell is saying that the ability to run their old "dead" product on top of it's new replacement is press release worthy? And if you're running OES with NetWare in a Xen hypervisor, then
  • To spite repeated assurances from the CEO Jack Messman when Novell purchased SuSE that "they were not dropping Netware, but adding linux", everyone saw through the market spin and prophesied this would happen. It's not the dropping of Netware that should concern Novell customers, but the lack of applications and features available for years in Netware that are still not in the linux versions, and the (still) glaring lack of a truly single management tool for all servers, applications, and services. (iMana
    • The entire point of having NetWare run in a Xen VM is to get the "best of both worlds."

      What I mean by that is NetWare can still run older NetWare-only NLMs, but it can run on platforms and architectures that don't have any NetWare support (AMD64, RAID cards that don't support NetWare but do have Linux support), etc.

      Why does Novell moving to a new platform that has a lot of industry buzz (Linux, open source) automatically make you sound the death knell for them?
      • by askegg (599634)
        Don't get me wrong - I do not hope Novell dies, but given their history they may well just become just another linux distribution. Their strength with some applications seems to be losing ground to the competition. eDirectory has AD (their both directories, right?), Zenworks has Novadigm (which is excellent), Groupwise has Exchange and others, and so on. I hope Novell finally hit upon a killer marketing campaign with great ideas such as iFoler, iPrint, Silverstream, etc
  • by flydpnkrtn (114575) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @06:17PM (#20918415)
    The reason this makes sense is mostly because of driver support. Anyone seen any major support for new iSCSI SAN devices for NetWare lately?

    By moving NetWare into Xen they gain the driver support SUSE Linux Enterprise Server will have, and at the same time create an environment that makes it easy to upgrade.

    To the top poster - it's not exactly easy to migrate away from a platform like eDirectory once you've committed to it, and yes Virginia, eDirectory does scale better than Active Directory any day.
  • There is a good reason to keep netware on a network, if its already there, and its not just laziness or fear.

    Actually, two things come to mind immediately - TCO, and the netware permissions.

    From my experiences when I ran netware servers, a system could be thrown together for about $5-600 (thats hundreds,
    not thousands...) that could serve directory services, files, and print jobs to 200 clients simultaneously without batting an eye, and do it nonstop for months. Its hard to get anything else to match those numbers for that little $$.

    Though one of the true hallmarks of netware is the permissions set that it has, that I really haven't seen an equal to in anything else. IIRC, there were 8 different permissions that could be set in netware, as opposed to the 3 in *nix. It is particularly valuable if you want to use directory structure as part of your workflow - for example a user could have a directory where they could write, read, but not modify or delete. I ran this for a newspaper, and the utility of this should be quite apparent.

    So just to answer it for all those people who are speculating why netware is still relevant - yes, it is. There are plenty of good reasons for people to keep it around. Though I'll admit it will likely become yet another good product killed by the micro$oft marketing machine.
    • by gallwapa (909389)
      Delete inhibit and rename inhibit are awesome :) Users have rights to modify their own folders...so they can delete or rename their own folder...DI/RI take care of this, thus preventing loads of calls about mapping errors woo!
    • Undelete was unquestionably the single greatest feature of netware (circa the 3.1 days) that I've not seen anywhere else.

      It's still better than windows for file and print services. I don't miss trying to get the BTrieve settings for ArcServe and Solomon to play nicely together, though.
      • Undelete was unquestionably the single greatest feature of netware (circa the 3.1 days) that I've not seen anywhere else.
        Actually, I have to confess I have seen undelete elsewhere - DOS 6.x. Maybe even DOS 5.0?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sciurus0 (894908)
      A fairer comparison would be among Netware permissions and POSIX [www.suse.de] or Windows [microsoft.com] ACLs.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Interesting comparison, except for the fact that the POSIX standard for access control was never formally adopted - and as far as I've ever seen, never been implemented in anything out of the box, and similarly, implementing ACL in windows is non-trivial.

        The permissions for netware, on the other hand, are all done server side, are very easy to set up (being as the server OS is made to do it), and virtually transparent to the user. In a good windoze / netware environment, the user doesn't even know when t
        • Yer right about netware, but the POSIX acl fiasco is both better and worse than you've described. POSIX acls are a formal standard adopted and supported by several major vendors, but unfortunately the standard is weak and their implementations are not totally interoperable. Try copying files from HPUX to an ACL-equipped linux or FreeBSD box with any tool other than star and see if it works - sure didn't last time I tried. ACLs in windows are a weak copy of Novell's system with the added burden of the reg
    • by a9db0 (31053)
      I know NetWare, and I know Linux, and you're absolutely right about permissions. If you are managing a file server for a large number of users who work in multiple groups the file system permissions in NetWare are far more comprehensive and flexible than those in Linux. The ability to give different groups of users different levels of permission to a directory structure is one I miss regularly.

      I look forward to the day that Linux's permission structure catches up to the level of twelve-year-old NetWare 4.
  • by angryfirelord (1082111) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @06:39PM (#20918683)
    ...Chuck Norris did.
  • MS-DOS, DR-DOS, OS/2, and now Linux. Netware has bootstrapped from various OS over the years.

    But I refuse to take anything seriously involving Novell and Linux. At one time we were expected to believe that Caldera would change the world, and look where that went. Nowhere.
  • Just a few things (Score:4, Informative)

    by Ath (643782) on Tuesday October 09, 2007 @10:01PM (#20920667)
    I've noticed a few fallacies in some of the comments that definitely need correcting. In general, people tend to combine arguments about Netware as an OS versus the services that have been bundled with it. Over the years Novell has been rather inept at developing , communicating, and executing a strategy on the inevitable migration from the Netware OS to something else. First they went through a period of simply supporting their services like eDirectory on Windows. Second, they acquired Suse and talked about parallel platforms with common services. Ultimately, it seems they made a rather smart decision in how they were going to continue to support their existing customer base that is utilizing Netware while giving a rather clear path to Linux. The problem Novell still has is that a lot of their services haven't been completely migrated to Linux yet.

    1) eDirectory - Done. Has been multiplatform for years. Continues to be the single best meta directory repository on the market. There is not a single environment of any decent size that can get away with one directory to service all the business requirements, but eDirectory continues to be the best option for consolidating the directory data using Novell's Identity Manager suite of drivers and tools.

    2) zenWorks - Pretty much anyone who has used it considers it the premiere tool for managing Windows clients. Only in the next release will they not require Netware for some of the components. The middle tier design and agent-based client make it a pleasure to work with compared to the fat Novell Client days.

    3) Management tools - someone else already said it, but Novell cannot seem to stay focused (and enforce discipline on their own development teams) to provide a consistent management tool. They have gone from NWAdmin to ConsoleOne to iManager - except you still pretty much need each of them depending on what you are going to manage.

    4) File permissions - The NSS file system is pretty damn good, has been ported and made available on Linux for a few years now. It still provides the leading access controls / inherited rights / filtered rights that other file systems should be ashamed of for not offering.

    For sure, Novell is just as if not more screwed up than any other company. They have squandered many opportunities to reestablish themselves as a significant technology player, but they are hardly on the verge of going out of business. They are profitable and still growing as a company. Product lines die out and Netware has been dying out for years, but they are considerably more than Netware.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Medievalist (16032)

      1) eDirectory - Done. Has been multiplatform for years. Continues to be the single best meta directory repository on the market. There is not a single environment of any decent size that can get away with one directory to service all the business requirements, but eDirectory continues to be the best option for consolidating the directory data using Novell's Identity Manager suite of drivers and tools.

      OpenLDAP connects all my operating systems and servers just fine, thanks. It is more difficult to implement because it requires more knowledge and skill, but we happen to have that already on site. Once it's up and running, it is as stable as NDS (and the underlying linux servers are more stable than post NW3, pre-linux Novell servers) and it's easier and quicker to modify (command lines instead of slow guis and java apps) and backup (just dump LDIFs every night). I have automagic replication and propag

  • I have been an Admin for several iterations of Netware and now OES1. I am keen to see the direction of where OES is headed and what sort of benefits this will have.

    I admit it is far harder to setup correctly, but once it's done, it's done! And Active directory... if anyone thinks it's easier then eDirectory, they obviously haven't really worked with both.

    Like many things M$, It's only better the M$ way because most people don't know any better.
  • This story sounds vaguely familiar... didn't Novell try to rewrite Netware to run on top of SVR4 Unix and call it UnixWare? Whatever happened to that, eh?

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.

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