We live in a society where someone armed with a credit card, computer, and Internet connection can purchase virtually anything. Every day, businesses around the world are turning to the Internet to attract customers.

Novell has acknowledged this trend with the newest release of its network operating system. NetWare 5.1 was released on Jan. 10, 2000, and it completely embraces the shifting paradigm toward e-business.

Novell has included both IBM WebSphere Application Server 3.0 Standard Edition and IBM WebSphere Studio 3.0 Entry Edition with NetWare 5.1. The NetWare Enterprise Web Server is also included with NetWare 5.1, providing e-businesses with a reliable open-standards Web server. These tools will allow e-businesses to quickly and easily develop, deploy, and manage Web-based applications.

A driving force behind e-business will be directory-enabled applications. The NDS eDirectory will provide e-businesses with a secure method of building relationships with their customers and partners via the Internet. A quick example is personalized Web presentations based on customer data collected in the eDirectory. One customer will see a presentation based on his or her own product interest or buying patterns, while another customer will see a different presentation based on his or her preferences.

Network administrators will find their administrative duties simplified using NetWare 5.1. The NetWare Management Portal (NMP) is a browser-based tool that allows you to manage IP-based NetWare 5.1 servers and the file system from any location on the network. Using the NMP, you can monitor the health of a server, check the server memory status, manage volume information, compress files, change file and volume attributes, manage the file system, view and modify server SET parameters, load or unload NLMs, and perform many other management duties.

Other features of NetWare 5.1 include:

  • A five-user version of Oracle8i for easy database management.
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) as a native protocol.
  • Increased security abilities with Novell Certificate Server 2.0.
  • The NetWare Wan Traffic Manager for managing network traffic.
  • The NetWare FTP Server, which supports all leading FTP clients.
  • Easy workstation and application management with the ZENworks starter pack.
  • The ability to hot swap PCI network interface cards.
  • The NetWare News Server for threaded discussion groups.
  • The NetWare Multimedia Server with support for Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), .wav, .rm, .ra, and .mpeg.

The hardware requirements for NetWare 5.1 are as follows:

  • A server-class PC with a Pentium or higher processor
  • A VGA or SVGA (recommended) video adapter
  • A DOS partition of at least 50 MB (It is a good idea to have a DOS partition of at least 50 MB plus the amount of RAM in the server, to facilitate memory dumps.)
  • A minimum of 1.3 GB on the SYS volume, and possibly up to 2.85 GB, depending on what’s installed
  • Between 128MB and 896 MB of RAM installed on the server, depending on what’s installed
  • Standard NetWare products: 128 MB
  • WebSphere Application server: 256 MB (512 MB recommended), in addition to 128 MB for the standard NetWare products
  • Oracle8i with WebDB: 128 MB (256 MB recommended), in addition to 128 MB for the standard NetWare products
  • One or more network adapters
  • An ISO 9660 compatible CD-ROM

Merging a very reliable network operating system with the various Web-based products has created an excellent platform for supporting the e-business of the future. NetWare 5.1 should save your organization time and money, while increasing efficiency and productivity. If you haven’t already started planning to implement NetWare 5.1, you should. The Web-based tools will help your organization embrace the Internet with relative ease and great success.

Steve Pittsley is a Desktop Analyst for a Milwaukee hospital. He has a loving wife, three wonderful children, and enjoys playing drums, bowling, and most sports.

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