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Reasons to stay with Novell

Reasons to stay with Novell

Reasons to stay with Novell

I imagine this will be a controversial topic in this forum, but I still wanted to ask.

We're a small operation running a single OES-NetWare server and about 25 clients. The server is used for file sharing and for our accounting database (MAS90). We use it for nothing else-- the printers are not managed by the server, and they work perfectly fine for our needs.

Currently, we're in a precarious situation regarding compatibility, since MAS90 only supports Windows and NetWare servers, and appears to have no intentions of supporting future (linux-based) versions of OES. It is also pretty rigid regarding the Novell Client versions we can use.

Additionally, we have had problems with Kaspersky Antivirus  and our Novell Client (causing BSOD on some machines).

At the very least, we will have 1 Windows server for MAS90. But, I'm trying to decide what to use for our file server. I like a lot of aspects of Novell (pricing, security, stability, etc), but then I face the issue of synchronizing between AD and eDirectory. I have set up a test environment using Identity Manager to do so, but so far it seems to introduce another level of complexity that we may not want.

If we were a large enterprise with hundreds or thousands of servers, I would absolutely stay with Novell, because it clearly scales more gracefully than an AD network. But, at our size (and no large growth in the foreseeable future), I'm tempted to just get another Windows server for file sharing and have a pure AD environment with no Novell Client issues and no need for synchronization.

Am I missing something? I acknowledge that Novell is superior in a lot of ways, but I'm thinking that, for our needs, we would not reap those benefits.

Thank you.

RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

I would go with simplicity and seamless management of your workstation via Group Policies and WSUS.  Dump Novell.

I really hate to say that, but with one or two servers, a Windows server fits the bill in more ways.  Having both just adds complexity in synchronization and authentication.

RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

You're not using 1% of the functionality of Novell, what's the point. Get rid of it if you don't use it.  That's a no brainer. Why even argue the point.

Marvin Huffaker, MCNE
Marvin Huffaker Consulting, Inc.
A Novell Platinum Partner

RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

Thanks for your input... sounds like I was on the right track.

Sorry Novell!


RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

Well, you can actually stay with Novell.  Make sure your client is up to date, or find a stable client (we run 4.90sp2 still and it has been very stable). Also, change your AV!  We evaluated Sophos and McAfee, and we have no issues b/w the clients and McAfee, or the server and Sophos.  Furthermore, you can migrate your Novell server to the SLES10 or 11 and run Novell as a virtual machine on the SLES box, and get the benefit of staying with a more stable, more secure file server platform.  This means you can continue to run MAS90 on the SLES box.  I am moving our OES servers to SLES with Netware running virtually so that we can continue to run our MRP program w/o having to invest in a new OS and new client licenses and having to re-do everyone's system for the new setup.   

RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

Ummm... you would have to be familiar with SLES installation and that's not quite the same thing as having Netware Kernel experience.

RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

We have found that the XEN hypervisor (Built into SLES) has limitations that make it not very scalable. Also it's a bitch to manage.   If you went the VM route I'd go with VMWARE ESXI, it's free and much much better.

I evaluated Kaspersky antivirus for a long time.  I loved the product, but saw similar problems with bluescreening that was absolutely related to the Novell client.

Marvin Huffaker, MCNE
Marvin Huffaker Consulting, Inc.
A Novell Platinum Partner

RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

Evaluate carefully before you migrate. M$ has some charms and a lot of products seeming easier to integrate for small companies - choices seem to be freer for enterprises.
Reality is, since we have left Netware we have hard times  seeing so many applications hosted on single machines in a stable mood. If you
Surely SLES as well as Redhat Enterprise are not always top of configuration. But choices are growing. We use a growing number of both as application and databaseservers on ESX and standalone hardware.

RE: Reasons to stay with Novell

Microsoft is expensive compared to Novell, that is for sure. More servers doing less, less stability, if you are running groupwise on Novell, then migrating to fully to AD will not be possible(groupwise requires edir).

If you choose to migrate to Exchange from groupwise you will need to invest tons of money in new hardware, and software licenses.

But like you said you only have a few servers, and you did not say anthing about email so maybe all of the problems I said can be avoided.


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