How we did it

Details behind our test of Novell's OES

We installed both OES flavors, NetWare and SuSE Linux, on the following server hardware platforms successfully: an HP DL140 with a 3.2-GHz Xeon processor and 1G byte of DRAM; a Polywell 2200s (with two, 2.8-GHz AMD64 processors and 4G bytes DRAM); and HP585 (with four, 2.8-GHz AMD64 processors and 12G bytes DRAM); a NetFrame 160 (with two, 3.2-GHz Xeon and 2G bytes DRAM); MSI and ASUS-based whitebox servers (each with 3.2-GHz AMD K7 processors and 512G bytes DRAM); and, an ASUS-based mini-server (with a 2.8-GHz AMD processor and 2G bytes DRAM). We found no hardware detection errors, other than slow CD-ROM drivers.

We imported a 3,000-user LDAP database to judge speed differences between NetWare and SuSE-based OES both in terms of import time or tree-grafting functionality.

We subjected both platforms to our speed tests and found less than a 7% improvement in terms of measured speed. These tests included our Maximum TCP Open Connections measurements (which gauges session speed achievement), Maximum TCP Connections Per Second assessment (which measures session setup speed) and SSL Transactions Per Second test (which tracks the number of SSL sessions that can be built and sustained over a 10- minute period). All of these tests were conducted using Spirent Communications' Web Avalanche emulator. The Polywell-AMD64 platform, a common denominator for SuSE Linux testing, ran in mixed mode.

We also tested network-supplied installation successfully and tested an upgraded NetWare and an upgraded SLES installation to OES components. We connected the following clients successfully to both OES platforms with full-featured access: Windows 98, 98SE, 2000Pro, XP SP1 and SP2; MacOS 10.2, 10.3, 10.4; and, Linux 2.2-2.6 kernel (various distributions). We achieved NFS mounts with OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD, as well as cross-mounts with Apple Xserve.

We also successfully connected SuSE and NetWare OES to a departmental SAN (2FC with Brocade Silkworm Switch with a 2T-byte JBOD array).

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Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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