Data Centers

Novell NetWare basics

Interested in using Novell NetWare on your network but don't know how it compares to Microsoft NT? During this Guild Meeting, Steven Pittsley helped TechProGuild understand the basics of NetWare.

On July 11th Steven Pittsley answered questions about Novell NetWare.If you couldn’t join us then, enjoy the transcript; and we hope to see you on our next live Guild Meeting. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail or on the Guild Meeting calendar.

On July 11th Steven Pittsley answered questions about Novell NetWare. If you couldn’t join us then, enjoy the transcript; and we hope to see you on our next live Guild Meeting. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail or on the Guild Meeting calendar.

Note: TechProGuild edits Guild Meeting transcripts for clarity.

Welcome to tonight's Guild Meeting!
MODERATOR: Tonight we have a really great speaker. Steven Pittsley is a regular contributor to TechRepublic and Novell expert extraordinaire. But before I let him have the floor, I'm going to do a little housekeeping. I want to remind everyone that we're doing our prizes just a little differently now. The person who asks Steven the most in number and most interesting questions “wins” the meeting. You can win as many meetings as you attend. At the end of the month, the person who has accumulated the most meetings wins our grand prize, a CNA Novell NetWare 5 Study set. So, don't be shy. Be sure to ask away. In the meantime, I'll give the floor to Steven.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Good evening. As Joan said, my name is Steven Pittsley, and I am a TechRepublic contributing writer. Does anyone have anything in particular that they would like to discuss?

NetWare vs. NT
MODERATOR: Steven, I had one member who couldn't make it but wanted to know what are the advantages of NetWare over NT?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: That's a pretty broad question, but I'll try and answer it.

HAROLD966: I used to work in a mix NT4, NetWare 5 environment. There were problems running them together.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Yes, definitely, Harold. NetWare is a very stable operating system. Novell has been developing it for years, and things such as NDS are very stable. I've seen NetWare servers that have been up and running for over a year. Since I work for a hospital, the more reliable our network is, the happier our staff and patients are.

When you mix NT and NetWare, you can run into some interesting problems. Harold, what types of problems did you encounter in your mixed environment?

HAROLD966: I used Access 97, and it would get frozen more often when the NetWare server was up.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Was Access being run over the network or installed locally?

HAROLD966: It was installed over the network. I have a database installed and shared in the NT server. My users had access to the database but also to other different files in the NetWare server.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: So you moved everything to the NT server?

HAROLD966: Not really.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Oh. Did you resolve the lock-up problems?

HAROLD966: The NetWare admin installed some kind of patch on the NT server.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Harold, did the NT patch fix the problem that you were having?

HAROLD966: Yes.

Evaluating NetWare 5.1
STEVEN PITTSLEY: Is anyone running NetWare 5.1 yet?

JCARLISLE: What are the advantages of NetWare 5.1 versus Windows 2000 Server?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Hi, JCarlisle. I haven't compared them yet. I personally like the fact that at this point, NDS is a little more stable. Have you installed NW 5.1 yet?

JCARLISLE: Not yet. We're still running a mixed environment of NetWare 5 and 4.11. We wondered what the advantages to 5.1 were over Win2k. Are there any reasons really to upgrade from 4.11 to NetWare 5.1?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Jcarlisle, that depends on your environment. The big change with 5.1 would be the Web support. If you are developing Web-based applications, 5.1 offers a wealth of services.

JCARLISLE: What's new with Web Support on 5.1? What kind of services?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: 5.1 has a decent Web server, FTP server, news server, Multimedia server, and DNS server. It also has the Oracle 8i database application.

While some of the applications are not new to NetWare, they have either been replaced with better products or upgraded substantially.

Linux competition
HAROLD966: Is Linux a problem for the Microsoft people? It isn’t the same for the Novell?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Linux is quickly becoming accepted. It seems like a decent OS, so I think that Novell and Microsoft should be a little worried.

JCSHEESLEY: Harold, Novell is aware of the opportunities with Linux. Linux has no real directory, so Novell has ported NDS to it. Plus, Caldera ships a really nice NetWare client for eDesktop 2.4, which allows you to connect your Linux workstations to you NetWare server. Unlike Microsoft, which tends to ignore competition like Linux, Novell is rushing to include them.

SLACKY2000: What would be the best test to take in the near future with the retiring of so many tests? Would network essentials be one or maybe NT4? Or, of course, any of the Novell or Cisco network classes?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Slacky2000, that would really depend on your goals. You will have to take networking essentials regardless of the track that you are working on.

SLACKY2000: Where's a good place to start to get practical knowledge and experience with Novell? What kind of businesses or operations should I try to get on with?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Slacky2000, if you are new to Novell, if at all possible, set up a test lab or home network and play with it there. I have a network at home, and it's really helped me learn more about NetWare and NT. The one big advantage is that you can crash the network, and it affects only you. Try and meet people who are already doing what you want to do. I would also recommend taking training classes.

SLACKY2000: It would be nice to earn a couple of bucks along the way. I'm a hard worker and can't do the business I've owned for 15 years because of knee surgery. I'm kind of at a crossroad. Please suggest a way to get started with Novell.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Slacky2000, the NetWare administration class is a really good starting point. You can take the class, then pass the exam, and you will earn a CNA certification. That might help you get your foot in the door.

JCARLISLE: Has Novell started the 5.1 CNE tracks, and when are the CNE 5 tracks and certificates going to expire? Does Novell use the CNE certificates to force its administrators to the newer versions by yanking older certifications like Microsoft is planning to do with MCSEs and Windows 2000?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: I'm checking on the 5.1 CNE track. I've taken the 4.11 to 5.1 upgrade class. Novell gives you ample time to upgrade your certification. All CNEs must be upgraded to NW 5 by August 31 of this year. It appears that the NetWare Administration class is offered in 5.1, so I would assume that the other classes are being offered now, or will be soon.

JCARLISLE: Do you have to take the 5.1 classes or are CNE 5 classes good enough?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: The version 5 classes are good enough.

JCARLISLE: Sounds like a forced march. Do CNE4s lose their certification?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: I wouldn't call it a forced march. I think that you should be able to prove that you are proficient in the next version of the OS.

However, Novell doesn't make you take multiple tests, or one very, very tough exam. You need to pass only the upgrade exam.

JCARLISLE: Yes, but it doesn’t mean you're any less proficient in the version that you're currently using and will continue to use. That’s the main argument against pulling NT 4 MCSEs.

SLACKY2000: Thank you all; those are good, concrete suggestions. Information is power, but the Internet is too much sometimes. Have a good evening.

JCARLISLE: 5.1 supports NDS 8... or what's it called, eDirectory now, right? Is that the native version of NDS or just an option?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: eDirectory is a native version of NDS.

JCARLISLE: No. I mean, does 5.1 run NDS 8 by default, or does it load a version of NDS 7 by default and you have to pick 8? And what are the implications of running 8 instead of 7?

GIRDLER: Novell 5.1 gives you the option.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: When you install 5.1, you can choose to either install NDS 7 or NDS 8.

JCARLISLE: Which is better? Will NDS 8 cause any problems with my 4.11 servers and my NDS for NT servers?

STEVEN PITTSLEY: They are both very good.

GIRDLER: I upgraded, but I could not tell the difference in performance or error tracking.

JCARLISLE: Can you even run NDS 8 on a 4.11 server? I’m pretty sure we can upgrade our NetWare 5 server to NDS 8 for free.

JCSHEESLEY: You can't run eDirectory on your 4.11 servers. If you have Support Pack 6 or later, they will integrate with it, but they don't run it. You must be running at least NetWare 5 to run eDirectory. Novell has shipped a version of eDirectory for Windows NT however.

JCSHEESLEY: You can download free upgrades for eDirectory and trial versions from

That’s a wrap
MODERATOR: Okay, everyone, it's time to wrap it up.

STEVEN PITTSLEY: Thanks to you all for stopping by tonight.

MODERATOR: I'd like to thank our speaker, Steven Pittsley. We really appreciate it.

Thanks everyone for coming tonight.
Our Guild Meetings feature top-flight professionals leading discussions on interesting and valuable IT issues. You can find a schedule of Guild Meetings in your weekly TechProGuild Notes TechMail, or on the Guild Meeting calendar.

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