Data Centers

NetWare is alive and well on many networks

According to a recent TechRepublic poll, Novell NetWare servers are running on many members' networks. If given the chance to switch, many admins would decline. This article highlights the views of IT professionals who are still dedicated NetWare fans.


In a recent TechRepublic poll asking, “Are you running Novell NetWare servers on your network?,” 48 percent of the 373 respondents answered that they are not only using these servers, they have no plans to convert to another network operating system. Why do Novell servers rank so high on these respondents’ lists? Here are some of the reasons our members gave.

Easy management
To many TechRepublic members, Novell servers provide easy, less time-intensive administration. Kris Courter supports 2,500 users in a school district that’s based almost entirely on NetWare. Courter feels that Microsoft Windows NT/2000 is a good operating system for individual workstations but wouldn’t trade the Novell server that they have in place for anything from Microsoft.

“With the size of our network, it would be nearly impossible to manage on an NT-based network. NetWare is a lot easier to manage than NT.”

Like Courter, meyerj works in a K-12 school district and appreciates the ease of managing Novell servers. “Schools probably have the highest tech/computer ratio (we’re at 1:500), and without NetWare, my job wouldn’t be possible.”

TechRepublic member roman.johnson wouldn’t trade Novell and its timesaving characteristics. “My one NetWare server running 225 users requires much less of my time than our NT servers. Why would I want to switch?”

Just before ltheodoru came on board, the management of a seven-location school system hired a consulting firm to convert the existing NetWare servers over to NT 4. ltheodoru longs for the Novell servers that were once in place, but management won’t consider going back after spending the money on the conversion.

“I find that it takes a lot more work just to add a user….Gone are the days when I could toss a pluggable drive into a server, expand an array, and add a segment to a NetWare volume without even taking the server down.”

According to Nick Yonko, money spent on changing servers is money poorly spent. “Novell’s server is much less resource intensive and when you roll the cost of changing over to Windows NT, your return on investment goes out the window in labor costs and asset management.”

A master for networking
Many members believe that Novell servers are the optimal choice when networking. Member mhunter3 has 20 years of experience in supporting networks and currently maintains a cross-platform network. For mhunter3, there’s no comparison between NetWare and Win2K in networking.

“For a WAN or LAN NOS, NetWare version 4/version 5 and the upcoming version 6 are hands-down far better than NT 4 or Windows 2000….Novell has seriously taken a bite out of the ASP/ISP and caches far better than MS products.”

TechRepublic member dwayne16 also praises Novell for its control over LAN/WAN environments. “You can control the amount of replication and scale with NetWare so much more than NT. Security is granular, while NT is pretty much all or nothing.”

File and print servers
Member aparsley currently runs both NT and Novell servers and believes that Novell far surpasses others as a file and print server. In addition: “When [it] comes to administration, everything is in one place. If this was not so, Microsoft would not be trying to emulate Novell with ADS.”
These members don’t want to give up NetWare. Are you using a version of Novell’s servers? How do you feel about its performance in your network? Join the discussion and share your opinion.

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