It’s becoming common to have both Windows NT and NetWare on the same network. There are several ways to handle the integration at the desktop. You can use CSNW (Client Services for NetWare), GSNW (Gateway Services for NetWare), Novell's ZENworks client software, or Novell's NDS for NT. There’s no one single way to handle the integration. The option you use may be dictated in part by the application software you’re using on the desktop and the mixture of network client software that the application software knows how to handle.
If you have a few clients that need to access information from the Novell server, installing CSNW may be the easiest way to get things up and running. You have the option of logging on to the NetWare server using Bindery or NDS connections. The only drawback to this approach is that you won’t be able to administer the Novell server from this workstation, because the APIs needed to run the Novell administration programs are supported by the CSNW APIs. If the number of users needing to access the Novell server varies to the point that you don’t want to have to constantly create and delete users on the Novell server, GSNW may be the solution. GSNW logs on to the Novell server, and the client workstations pass through the NT server to get to the Novell server.
Depending on the services you need to access from the Novell server, installing Novell's ZENworks client may provide the most seamless option. This new client software can take you one step further by automatically handling the local creation of the users at the NT/9X desktop, automatic deployment of the printer drivers and print queues based on user profile information, and automatic cleanup of the user when logging out. If your users use the Novell environment more than NT, and your administrative strengths lie to the Novell side, consider installing NDS for NT. It will provide you with a single point of administration, and you’ll only have to create the user(s) once. This applies even if you’re using Microsoft Exchange for your e-mail solution, because NDS for NT handles the mailbox creation step without requiring the use of Exchange Administrator.
Ronald Nutteris a senior systems engineer in Lexington, Kentucky. He’s an MCSE, Novell Master CNE, and Compaq ASE. Ron has worked with networks ranging in size from single servers to multiserver/multi-OS setups, including NetWare, Windows NT, AS/400, 3090, and UNIX. He’s also the Help Desk Editor for Network World. You can reach Ron at Rnutter@ix.netcom.com .