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Novell NetWare Tips

Free-email newsletter Novell NetWare tips, news and resources from NetworkWorld.
Good night, and good luck
Microsoft survey says IT execs support Microsoft-Novell pact - hmmm, really?
That Novell-Microsoft agreement and deal will simply not go away. In reaction to the huge outpouring of criticism about it, Microsoft commissioned a survey and Novell actively participated in distributing the results. In the press release accompanying the results, Novell says: “A survey of technology decision-makers shows very strong customer support for the recent agreement between Microsoft Corp. and Novell Inc.” Well, it just might be that Novell is learning some of Microsoft’s marketing skills!
Give praise to Novell’s support team
Among the many people currently or previously at Novell whom I’ve admired and respected over the years is Mike Lyons. It was just a year ago that Lyons, Novell's vice president of Global Support and Services, and his organization won certification under the Support Center Practices (SCP) Certification program, still the only Linux vendor to do so. This month Lyons got a new boss.
Novell reports a profit, misses an opportunity
Only three issues of the NetWare Tips Newsletter to go after this one, and based on last week’s “preliminary” financial reports it’s probably a toss-up if Novell will last into the New Year. While the company did report a small profit in its fourth quarter, it was below Wall Street’s expectations and came from revenue well down from the same period last year.
Would there ever be an open source NetWare?
Back in 2000, the Timpanogas Research Group announced grandiose plans to release open source versions of Novell Directory Services and, yes, NetWare. The company made up of ex-Novell execs claimed it had released what was called the Metropolitan-Area Network Operating System, but it never saw the light of day.
Novell’s systems management initiative appears to have overlooked NetWare
Today, we have more of the fallout from the Novell-Microsoft deal which continues to dominate conversations about the networking company we want to love – and the one we love to hate. Backpedaling, “clarifications”, interviews and press releases are pouring out of Redmond and Waltham. But, as I said last week, we’re going to ignore that for now as we tie up the loose ends and get ready to turn the light off on the NetWare newsletter.
The future of our favorite operating system
While The Microsoft-Novell agreement continues to reverberate throughout the software industry, it’s really time for me to change the focus. As you may have noted, this newsletter will be ending in just a few short weeks. In fact, after this edition, there are only six left until we say adieu, sayonara, aloha, auf weidersehen. What I’d like to do with those six issues is to review the past 20 years of NetWare, the past 10 years of this newsletter and the future of our favorite operating system.
Fallout from the Microsoft-Novell agreement continues
Fallout from the Microsoft-Novell agreement continues unabated. Just about everyone who doesn’t work for Redmond or Waltham has jumped in and criticized the deal. Heck, even Microsoft’s own open source guru, Jason Matusow had some less then complimentary things to say about it! Even Novell’s open source honchos, Nat Freidman and Miquel de Icaza, admitted they weren’t consulted about the deal and would have structured it differently if they could.
Novell-Microsoft deal: Does it favor network and IT managers?
The Novell-Microsoft deal of a couple of weeks ago continues to be the major topic of conversation among Novell fans as well as those who follow Open Source Software. And rightly so as this is a major event on many different levels. There are parts of the agreement that favor Microsoft and parts that favor Novell. But what about the rest of us? Is there anything in it that really favors network and IT managers?
What Microsoft will get from Novell in their historic deal
It was just two weeks ago that Novell announced its unprecedented deal with Microsoft bringing in much needed revenue and (supposedly) making SuSE Linux the preferred Linux distribution for Microsoft Windows networks. There was the predictable outcry from the more rabid anti-Microsoft fringe element of the open source community. Even the usually more even-tempered open source advocate Bruce Perens told The Register: “Coming just as the SCO case is winding down, the timing is interesting. Novell is the new SCO.”
What does Novell get out of its deal with Microsoft?
There were a number of small earthquakes reported in Utah a week and a half ago. Most commentators attributed them to the earth shifting along fault lines, but one or two of us thought it might be Ray Noorda spinning in his grave. After all, according to the book “Bad Boy Ballmer”, by Fredric Alan Maxwell, Ray once referred to Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer as "the Pearly Gates and the Emballmer: one promises you heaven, the other prepares you for the grave."
Novell accused of spamming
Novell has been accused of many things over the years including clueless marketing, inattention to its best customers and inappropriate acquisitions. But until last week, “spammer” was never a term applied to the company.
EDirectory vulnerability is no big deal
One of the benefits of NetWare and other Novell products has always been their security. Major security problems only seem to come along about once a decade, on average. So when a vulnerability does surface, it can seem much bigger than it really is. Last week Secunia reported a potential denial-of-service exploit that leverages a bug in eDirectory.
Oracle’s shadow looms large over Novell once more
Not too long ago there was much speculation that Oracle might purchase Novell in order to acquire SuSE Linux. In a newsletter about this, I said that Oracle CEO Larry Ellison had decided that it makes little sense to acquire Novell as it would come with lots of unnecessary baggage. I thought that it would be much easier to buy out another distribution or for Oracle to simply develop its own.
NetWare at the cutting edge of storage
There’s a new case study up on the Novell Web site that outlines a NetWare-based service that could be useful when deciding what to do with your installed NetWare servers – or give you a reason to add new ones.
Mailbag: What users think of Novell’s sales efforts
I know I’ve said it before, but it never ceases to amaze me which topics and issues draw lots of reader comment and which don’t. Last week’s newsletter about Novell’s financial problems, is one example. I expected people to say something about the stock options investigation that Novell is conducting, or perhaps about the ties between and among Novell, HP, Compaq and Larry Sonsini. But no one said a word about that. Instead, there was an outpouring of comment about Novell’s sales efforts - a topic I thought was a tad dry, but worth mentioning in light of what former Novell exec Matt Asay had said about there needing to be a different way to “sell” open source.
ZENworks for Networks is alive and well
More than six years ago I wrote a lament for what I thought was a wonderful new product from Novell. In 1999, Novell acquired Ukiah Software and incorporated Ukiah's policy-based management software into what would be called “ZENworks for Networks.” Network World’s sister publication, InfoWorld, reviewed the offering and said that "ZENworks for Networks 1.0 offers a great deal to organizations that can't afford an ever-increasing Internet pipe and want to make better use of their existing bandwidth. It's a very good first step on the road to managing networks more efficiently, using familiar tools and well-understood foundation technology."
10 reasons why the NetWare faithful may not be keen on Linux
Today,a few items from the "you have to laugh, because if you don't you'll cry" department.
More about Novell's financial problems, plus the effectiveness of its sales force
Today, we're going to delve into Novell's business once again, because there were a couple of notes I saw recently that could impact how we view the company as well as how it will fare in the future.
Ray Noorda: A friend to network managers
A friend of mine died the other day. A friend of mine, and a friend of yours, too. You may never have met Ray Noorda, never have seen him speak or read anything he wrote. Heck, you may never have been in the same state as him at any time. But if you've used NetWare, then Ray Noorda was your friend.
Database server choices for NetWare
Last week's newsletter highlighting the availability of the Revelation database as a NetWare Loadable Module on just about every version of NetWare prompted longtime reader Joe Whited to remind me that there are also a number of other database servers that run on a NetWare platform.
Single sign-on is top priority for healthcare execs
HIMSS Analytics specializes in IT research for the healthcare industry and for the past 17 years, it has conducted an annual study called the "Leadership Survey." The latest one asked about single sign-on and included the remarkable finding that "79% of IT executives ranked SSO/identity management as the highest priority for the next two years."
Revelation: A NetWare Loadable Module that's still around
Many, many press releases cross my desk (including "news stories" that simply reiterate press releases). Well, these days, they usually just cross my inbox on their way to the trashcan. I rarely get past the headline and first paragraph before deciding that there's nothing in it for me or my readers. So it was odd a couple of weeks ago when I read the headline, "Revelation Software releases Universal Driver Heavy (UDH)," which the press release elaborated on: "The Universal Driver Heavy is client/server software designed to allow real time mirroring of Revelation Linear Hash data. It is designed to handle intensive Revelation applications that need to scale up and have high availability."
Is it worth going for the CNE 6 certification?
I had a note from a reader the other day with a question about Novell's certification programs, specifically the Certified Novell Engineer (CNE - formerly Certified NetWare Engineer) designation.
Novell feeling the pinch from Nasdaq
In the advertising business, there's an old saw that goes something like "any publicity is good publicity, as long as they spell your name right." Let's hope Novell feels that way because last week's headlines featuring our favorite networking vendor didn't appear to be good news:

Dave Kearns is a writer and consultant in Silicon Valley. He installed his first version of NetWare (version 4.61) in 1986, and has used, maintained or worked on every version since. His musings can be found at Virtual Quill. Kearns provides content services to network vendors: books, manuals, white papers, lectures and seminars, marketing, technical marketing and support documents. Virtual Quill provides "words to sell by..." Find out more by e-mail. Comments about this newsletter should be sent to him.

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