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XenSource’s upcoming XenEnterprise is good news for NetWare

Apr 11, 20062 mins
Enterprise Applications

* XenSource gives Novell managers another option for NetWare

As I mentioned last week, the big news out of BrainShare for the NetWare faithful was the announcement that a version of the NetWare engine would be developed to run as a virtualized operating system within the Xen hypervisor on a SuSE Linux Enterprise platform.

Then, out of the blue (to me, at least), XenSource, the people behind the Xen virtualization service, announced the XenEnterprise package – a combo of the Xen 3.0 hypervisor with some management utilities (formerly the “Optimizer” add-on for Xen) – would soon be available for either a Linux or a Windows platform.

Put those two announcements together and what do we have? NetWare running as a virtualized service on a Windows Server!

So just when we were all reconciled to learning Linux so that we could continue to use the NetWare NLMs that we’ve come to rely on, we’re once again faced with the same old choice – Linux or Windows.

The fascinating part of the choice is that the virtualization facility, the Xen hypervisor, should be the same on both platforms so it really comes down to which base operating system you’re more comfortable with. You may be much more familiar with Windows server, but also feel more secure with Linux.

Novell will include the 3.0 Xen package with the next release of Open Enterprise Server (codenamed “Cypress”), due in the middle of next year. But XenSource should release the Windows-based hypervisor late this summer. Still, it’s doubtful the “optimized for virtualization” version of NetWare will be available this year so the timing may be a moot point.

These announcements do present quandaries for NetWare managers, it’s true, but quandaries of the best sort: it’s no longer a question of if NetWare will continue, but on which platform you feel most comfortable continuing it.