by November 17, 2001 0 comments



The latest version of NetWare OS from Novell reached the Beta stage recently. Considering its new features, it’s suitable for large companies, having 1,000 or more users. Its highlights include 32×32 node clustering, NSS 3.0 (Novell Storage Services), and an MP (multiprocessing-enabled) kernel that can distribute multiple threads from applications to different processors for simultaneous execution. It has also introduced what’s called Internet print services, and file server access over a Web browser.

There wasn’t too much of a difference in NetWare’s installation. It ran smoothly, and gives you the option of booting from an IDE, SCSI, or both CD-drives. After the installation, it runs ConsoleOne, the X Window-based graphical configuration tool. The application offers much better management than earlier versions of NetWare.

SNAPSHOT

  • Features: 32×32 node clustering, multi-processing kernel, Web-based management, Internet Print Services, Novell Storage Services
  • Contact: Onward Novell Software. Tel: 022-8342244
  • Fax: 8342223. 62 MIDC, 13th Streen, Andheri (E), Mumbai 400093.
  • www.novell.com
  • E-mail: apanjwani@novell.com

Some features we found useful were its Web-based operations. Whether you want to configure the server, or access files, everything is possible using a Web browser. In fact, there’s a Web browser on the server itself. This can be used to manage other Web-manageable applications. For administrators, there’s the Remote Server management tool that allows you to execute functions such as monitoring server health, checking out the eDirectory, and even restarting the server through a Web browser.

The other interesting feature is a Web-based client called iFolder, which lets you access all your critical data, whether it’s lying on your office desktop, your laptop, or even your home PC. When a user installs this, an iFolder gets created on his desktop.

Whatever files are stored in this get replicated on the server. The benefit of this is that you can access all your files from anywhere across the world. The other major benefit of the iFolder is that you don’t have to download a complete file every time you make a change in it. iFolder will just update the file with the changes you made. So suppose you have a 10 MB presentation, and you made a few changes to it worth a few kB, iFolder will not send this entire updated 10 MB presentation across the Internet to synchronize. Instead, it will just send that incremental 15 kB change you made. This helps users by providing anytime anywhere access to their files. It also provides administrators the ease of backing up critical data sitting on users’ laptops and desktops. As far as security is concerned, iFolder contents are stored and transmitted in the Blowfish encryption scheme. iFolder is also available for
NetWare 5.1.

Novell Storage Services

This is being used as the default storage and access system in NetWare 6. NSS can support billions of volumes and directories, with each volume capable of holding billions of files, and be up to eight TeraBytes in size. There are logical volumes resting on top of hard drives acting as a pool of storage space. The applications use as much space as necessary from the pool. The benefit of this service is that it eliminates wastage of hard drive space. Another benefit of this arrangement is that you don’t have to bring the server down to add more storage space. In fact, according to Novell, an NSS volume can be mounted in less than 60 seconds. All major file system protocols are supported by NSS, be it NCP (NetWare Core Protocol), CIFS (Common Internet File System) used by Windows, NFS (Network File System) used by UNIX machines, AFP (AppleTalk Filing Protocol) used by Mac systems, or even HTTP/WebDAV, used through a Web browser. This way, any platform can access files from a NetWare 6 server.

Internet Print Services

Printing is also possible through a Web browser using the new Novell Internet Print Services. In earlier versions of NetWare, a NetWare 32-bit client was needed to use its print services. Now, all that’s needed is a Web browser. If you have a large network consisting of lots of printers, then they can easily be searched for through a Web browser. The service works by installing an IP-Printing client. This client lets you find, and track your print jobs.

Overall, the Beta version looked quite stable, and worked quite well. The final version of the OS was also released as we were going to press.

Anil Chopra and Sanjay Majumder

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