No More NetWare, Now What?

By Donna Moyer

If you are like me, you’ve been a fan of NetWare for quite some time. The stability, the dependability and the security have been terrific. But as we all know, Novell is bringing an era to a close by discontinuing support for NetWare.

By Donna Moyer

If you are like me, you’ve been a fan of NetWare for quite some time. The stability, the dependability and the security have been terrific. But as we all know, Novell is bringing an era to a close by discontinuing support for NetWare.

Why? The most basic reason is that NetWare is a 32-bit operating system. While it was a great file/print server, developers did not write applications for it and eventually – with Windows having gained a strong foothold – the demand simply wasn’t there for the product.

Since Novell’s purchase of SUSE Linux, of course, Novell has had a server platform for which developers are writing applications. However, since Novell’s directory services run on Linux, they decided to focus their energies there, rather than split their efforts between developing two server operating systems. Like many of you, I will miss NetWare. But I will continue to work with Novell because one of Novell’s strongest products, eDirectory, is not leaving us.

So how does Novell recommend that you move from NetWare to Linux? Through the Open Enterprise Server. This product has a NetWare version and a Linux version and you can choose the kernel you want to install when you start the installation.

Now the choice is before you as a network administrator. Do you stick with Novell and explore what Linux has to offer? Or do you move to a Microsoft Active Directory and Window's server operating system? As you weigh your options, here are a few points to consider:

  1. Active Directory is not eDirectory on Windows. The management tools are different and the overall design is different. Training is a must for proper Active Directory design and server placement.
  2. Windows 2003 is soon to be replaced by Windows 2008. How different will it be and how will your current skills transfer?
  3. A move to Windows is a rip and replace – always an expensive proposition. Consider licensing, consulting costs and hardware costs.
  4. A move to OES 2 Netware can mean that you can add OES 2 Linux servers to your tree as you replace hardware. This gives you a chance to try Linux without fully committing to the migration.
  5. The majority of your network administration is probably centered around eDirectory. The same tools you use everyday – ConsoleOne, iManager, even Novell Remote Manager – all work on the Linux platform.

Whatever your decision, keep in mind that you don’t need to discontinue using other Novell products, even if you change server operating systems. Novell has developed their other products to run on the Windows platform. I have clients who have migrated to Active Directory, but have kept GroupWise running on Windows because the migration to Exchange would have proved too expensive. ZENworks as well has long been used in Active Directory environments. The bottom line is that Novell is providing you with choices, not vendor lock-in.

© Copyright 2008, Uptime NetManagement, Inc.

Article Source: http://www.uptimenmi.com/

You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. This article is not to be sold or included with anything that is sold.

About the Author:
Donna Moyer is Principal/Senior Network Consultant of Uptime NetManagement, Inc. (http://www.uptimenmi.com/). Uptime is a Novell Gold Solutions partner providing technology solutions, customized training, and consulting services. If you are interested in finding out exactly what Novell can do for your business, or are seeking to maximize the benefits from your current Novell systems, call us today at 610-621-1244!

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