On the Novell strategy

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I was speaking with a Novell rep on Thursday night's Midwest Region party,
and in 30 seconds he explained the switch to Linux better than the CEO's did
all week. The nutshell version is...what SUSE does now for features is what
Netware 8 and 9 were slated to be for their development. Novell realized
that it would be far more cost efficient to switch to Linux and get the
features today rather than spend lots of money and time and develop the
tools for a Netware platform that won't be developed for another 5 or more
I can believe that. The direction that Novell was taking NetWare was to be more and more of an application server. One thing that NetWare doesn't do all that well is Application Serving. It'll serve things like this blog and MyFiles/NetStorage just peachy. But the development environment is, in a word, unforgiving. Linux, Windows, and Solaris all provide more forgiving development and operation environments.

In order to get to where Novell wanted NetWare to be, they would have had to made significant changes to the NetWare kernel. Including things like an improved thread model, enhanced process-space protection, and better memory management. These are fundamental features of an operating system and 5 years is a reasonable guess for developing them from where NetWare is today.

And Linux already has those, and just needs to have better file-and-print crammed into it. By the time OES2 comes out, Novell should have solved the file-and-print problem. 5 years of development solved in 2.

Bummer about the colateral damage, eh?

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1 Comment

you know a lot more about Netware than me, that's a disclaimer.It strikes me that once a company (or person) makes a decision, then all sorts of reasons suddenly become obvious as to why it's right.The execs chose to axe Netware before there were good engineering decisions.Now they are claiming that Linux is where they wanted Netware to be in 5 years.Firstly, it wouldn't take 5 years if their efforts were focussed. Secondly, the Netware development model has always been unforgiving. That's not a new excuse. Netware was always considered the "tough but superior" option in all aspects, including standard of administrators. Thirdly, i'll admit I'm not an expert on O.S. programming. But i see the process protection as fine (has kernal and protected mode), and the cooperative multitasking just needs a different approach - not so "throw it in and see if it works" like in Windows. The thread issue could have been developed. Just what applications is Netware supposed to serve? It does web better than anything else of same price, and web is built upon file service anyway. (you basically say that certain basic apps run fine on Netware).Database? Netware was okay in that department while Novell was keeping up with the play.Lastly, to claim Linux as somehow a future ideal of Netware is ridiculous to anyone who has used both extensively. I can only see this holding true in some kind of marketing trend meets engineering sense. A bit like "hybrid engines are where the future lies, so the Ferarri engine is not worth developing."Forgive my possible ignorance, but I really don't see attacks on the unsuitability of the Netware kernal as holding much weight. Far better would be for the Novell execs just to admit that the advantage of hundreds of thousands of free programming hours made Linux too cost-effective to ignore, and the diminishing returns of the possibly millions required to keep Netware versions going too expensive to continue.scorpius90 at yahoo.com.au