Shortly after acquiring SUSE and its enterprise-focused Linux distribution, Novell announced that its follow-on to NetWare 6.5 would ship as a set of network services that could run atop the NetWare and the Linux kernel, OES (Open Enterprise Server) 1.0. OES, which began shipping in April 2005, was the first major step in Novell moving NetWares services from its native operating system to Linux.
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 youre wedded to NetWare and its way of doing things, you dont have to wave good-bye to it.
Management tools such as ConsoleOne, iManager and Novell Remote Manager are still present and work the same as ever. You can also use Linux management utilities and terminal programs.
The virtualized NetWare uses the same binary code that runs on bare metal machines for the most part. According to Novell engineers, "More than 95 percent of the NLMs [NetWare Loadable Modules] required no changes to run on a NetWare virtual machine. When changes were needed, it was typically because the NLMs contained privileged or sensitive CPU instructions, accessed hardware directly or expected to run at ring zero."
OES 2 also features full 64-bit support of NetWare software services, along with storage-management enhancements. Open Enterprise Server also combines NetWares workgroup services with SLES services. According to Novell, this completes the Open Enterprise Server shift to providing workgroup services entirely on Linux.