• United States

Australia’s national welfare agency mulls move from NetWare to OES

Apr 20, 20043 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Don't be left on the empty platform

I was reading “The Australian,” Australia’s national newspaper, last week (well, the online version at It’s a general purpose paper (like the “New York Times” or “The Washington Post”) but one which devotes more space to IT than any other general news source I’ve come across. What struck me this time, though, was a report that Australia’s national welfare organization, Centrelink, was considering scrapping its 400 NetWare servers in favor of a different server operating system.

The story also said that Centrelink IT Architecture Services National Manager Peter Gunning was thinking of replacing the 400-plus Windows servers running Lotus Notes with a different operating system platform. And, just to have something else to do I guess, Gunning also said there was a distinct possibility that several hundred machines running Sun’s Solaris operating system might be replaced, as well.

Replaced with what? You’ve probably already guessed, but Gunning is talking about replacing his NetWare, Windows and Solaris servers with Linux.

Not content to stop there, though, he’s also contemplating switching all 33,000-plus desktops and laptops to the open source operating system, as well as the many mainframes the organization runs. In short, the unofficial Australian anthem might have to be re-written as “Waltzing the Penguin”!

So why am I telling you this in a newsletter that’s supposed to talk about NetWare? Because Centrelink just might be moving towards Novell’s Open Enterprise Server as the platform of choice for its network. And maybe with Novell’s SuSE with GNOME running on the desktops. It just might be that losing 400 NetWare servers could end up being a big win for Novell.

You need to pay attention to numbers like that. Networks with hundreds, maybe a thousand or so, servers and hosts don’t change operating systems on a whim nor do they do it quickly. The story does say that Gunning is setting up test facilities to see if Linux can do the job. But just the fact that Centrelink is seriously contemplating this move should be enough to get you contemplating something similar. It should at least get you to start testing both server-based and desktop-based Linux for your enterprise.

Novell is deadly serious about the move away from proprietary systems to an open source future. Evaluation versions of both SuSE Standard Server and Novell’s Nterprise Linux Services are available right now from so you can’t claim a lack of software is keeping you from trying it all out.

The migration train to Linuxville is ready to leave from the NetWare platform – if it’s at all a possibility that you’ll want to make that move then the time to get your ticket (so you’ve got a good seat) is right now. Sure, that’s a trite metaphor, but there’s grim reality behind it. Don’t be left out.