Novells Shift to Linux Starts Well

 
 
By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2004-02-16
 
 
 

Novells Shift to Linux Starts Well


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.

Click here to read the full review of Nterprise Linux Services 1.0.

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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.

We were disappointed that NNLS does not support Version 3 of Red Hats Enterprise Linux.

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

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Services Shine

SLES and RHEL ship with the the same sorts of services that NNLS provides, but NNLS services are more polished and provide better integration.

We managed all NNLS functionality through a well-made Web-based console, called iManager 2.0.2. The NNLS management interface worked for us under Microsoft Corp.s Internet Explorer and under Mozilla, although the experience was nicer with IE.

NNLS ships with Samba, which enables administrators to provide Windows users with file services. To configure these services, however, we had to create home directories for each intended Samba user by logging onto our Linux server once as each user—a clunky process wed like to see streamlined in future versions.

We could also provide access to files on our test server over the Web with Novells iFolder and NetStorage components, both of which we could also configure through the iManager Web interface.

We provided mail, calendar, address book and to-do list services to users wed created with Novells NetMail 3.5, which ships with NNLS. We could access these services through a Web interface or via Novells GroupWise client.

NNLS includes Novells Virtual Office component, which gathers together access to e-mail and collaboration features as well as to the products file access and print functions in a single Web portal.

Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at http://linux.eweek.com for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

NNLS includes Ximians Red Carpet software management tool, with which we could pull down updates for the product.

Senior Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at jason_brooks@ziffdavis.com.

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