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Novell extends NetWare’s lifeline to 2015

Mar 28, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Novell confirms that NetWare will continue to be supported for the next 9 years

What did Novell CEO Jack Messman at last week’s BrainShare actually say about NetWare?

Many computer publications sported headlines encapsulating, supposedly, Messman’s remarks from his BrainShare keynote speech. One typical example, in the U.K.’s Computer Weekly, proclaimed “Novell to support NetWare users until 2015.” But is that what he actually said?

Actually, it is. In the strongest statement we’ve heard from the Novell CEO in years, support for the next 9 years, at least, seems assured. A news story by the IDG News Service quotes Messman as saying: “We will support NetWare at least through 2015.” He adds: “We will support NetWare 6.5 for as long as customers want to support it. If you want to continue to run on NetWare, I would encourage you to upgrade to 6.5.”

That’s as unequivocal as you can get, in my estimation.

That doesn’t mean there will be newer versions of NetWare; there won’t be – 6.5 is the end of the line. But if you are running NetWare to support particular applications, and if those applications will run on 6.5 then you are assured that you can continue to run them with Novell’s support ad infinitum. Or until Novell ceases to exist. Whichever comes first.

Now this probably doesn’t mean you can continue to run a stand-alone NetWare server forever. Remember that, with the next version of Open Enterprise Server, NetWare will run as a virtualized session on the SuSE Linux platform. So you will need to test your apps to see if they will run in this space as (in my estimation) this is the version that will be supported for the long term.

This doesn’t, by the way, preclude your efforts to migrate your NetWare apps to a different platform. But it does give you the luxury of more time to thoroughly learn a new server operating system and test your applications so that the rollout can be as smooth as possible. We really can’t ask for much more than that. Thanks Jack!