Novell Inc. has announced its intentions to ship the next version of its flagship network operating system, NetWare, as a set of services that will run atop the Linux kernel as well as on Novells existing NetWare kernel. While these plans are a major architecture shift, Novell Nterprise Linux Services 1.0, a set of back-end enterprise server products that began shipping in mid-December, indicates that Novell is well on its way to achieving its stated goal. In eWEEK Labs tests, NNLS enabled us to outfit a server running Red Hat Inc.s Red Hat Enterprise Linux 2.1 with a set of Novells very good back-office services, including directory, file, print, messaging, calendaring and system management. NNLS 1.0 supports the Advanced and Enterprise Server versions of RHEL 2.1, as well as Novells own SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0. Although both distributions support multiple platforms, NNLS requires an x86 server.NNLS 1.0 is priced at $59 per user. For Novell customers with NetWare upgrade protection or maintenance agreements, NNLS is free. RHEL Advanced Server starts at $1,499 per server per year, and SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8.0 starts at $999 per server per year. To compare, NetWare 6.5 ranges from $995 with a five-user license to $18,400 with a 100-user license. In addition to any cost savings over NetWare from NNLS and Linux pairing, Red Hats and SuSEs enterprise Linux distributions offer wider hardware and software support than does NetWare. However, NNLS does not offer a range of Novell services as wide as is found in NetWare. Next page: Services Shine
We were disappointed that NNLS does not support Version 3 of Red Hats Enterprise Linux.