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TechProGuild Feedback Forum: John Sheesley

Welcome to my TechProGuild Feedback Forum! What are we going to discuss here? You tell me. Windows Server 2003... NetWare... Linux... Professional Wrestling... The Presidential Election... (Not to confuse the two.)

You pick the topic, and we'll talk about.

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NetWare over Windows??? Bah...

I dont know of any one else here at TechRepublic that bleeds Novell Red more than me, but even I recognize the fact that NetWare does not, nor will it ever, dominate the networking operating system market the way that Windows does.

Now, you made reference to NetWare Linux... unfortunately there IS no such thing. Novell indeed does own its own Linux distribution now in the form of SuSe and is in the process of porting some NetWare services over TO Linux, but it's still not NetWare. NetWare was and is a seperate operating system running its own unique kernel. A kernel which Novell itself has said that it probably wont continue to develop.

Therefore, with the NetWare/Windows debate essentially settled in the marketplace. The question is whether Novell can get traction with Linux against the Microsoft onslaught. RedHat certainly hasn't had a whole heck of a lot of success. Novell does bring a name to the Linux brand and a track record of understanding and being able to work with business. Sadly, they don't do a very good job of marketing or working with the vendor channel.

Even so, except for for the things you've sited, you dont hear a whole heck of a lot about people ripping out Windows installations and replacing them with Linux. Mostly you hear about people retiring old reliable NetWare 3.x and 4.x boxes and 'upgrading' to Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003.

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Again in from US perspective.

by Oz_Media In reply to Novell coming on strong, ...

Novell has been VERY actively marketing in BC as well as the rest of Canada and Europe.

I have been to more than seven Novel seminars this year and have only seen ONE Microsoft booth at a trade fair in Vancouver, MS just doesn't sit well here.

as far as Linux, HP/Compaq and IBM are already selling workstations AND servers with Novell Linux in them (Ximian and SUSE, which **** away any RedHat efforts) XD2 has MAJOR advantages over Windoze, Open Office is phenominal and pretty much handles any office document in it's first release, with the exception of some macros in Excell.

Novell has taken a MAJOR turn in incorporating the Linux kernel, on the contrary, I see more Novell installs than Microsoft. BC Institue of Technology ofers more Novell and Linux courses than MS because it is in higher demand. Novell is FAR more stable than Windows will ever hope to be, easier to maintain, more resourceful and a lot more affordable than MS. Ms is a dirty word in Canada, it just sucks and everyone knows it now.

Most people in Vancouver have turned against MS ANYTHING (whether server, desktop, games, office etc.) as people here despise Bil Gates and his typically American business tactics that as I've said before, just don't fly here. We aren't American or even remotely similar to Americans, in Canada.

When I was in Europe last, I saw nothing but Novell seminars, luncheons, product showcases etc. They are targeting hard, although their marketing efforts in the US seem few and far between.

I don't even know where to buy a copy of server 2003, I could probably get one from my reseller on order but it is not a product of interest here anymore. Those with SOME Network knowledge use the latest Netware 6.5 with GroupWise email as it offers a far better suite of STABLE tools than MS Server 2003 (such as i-Folder, which can't be beat) and for less money, thus providing better ROI. Those a little more savvy will jump on the Novell Ximian for Desktops package as it offers a full set of desktop goodies, email software (Evolution, Exchange compliant), Open Office a true office suite and much more in the initial box for less than $99.00. No more licencing everything you want to complment your desktop.

Until Microsoft can create a stable DESKTOP and NOS, that comes packaged with MS Office, MS Exchange and other fter market offerings, they will have their work cut out if they wish to remain on top. Novell's market share has grown drastically in the past two years, they have shown margins WELL above Microsoft and are gaining market share daily. They are certainly going to provide a viable alternative for all those milions who are sick to death of a MS products.

So will you be the next person to make a massive market prediction and be caught with his pants down?

"We will never need more than a 386."
"There is no use for anything more than a 750 MB hard drive"

"...but even I recognize the fact that NetWare does not, nor will it ever, dominate the networking operating system market the way that Windows does."

Right, and Japanese compact cars will never outsell the North American auto industry.

Instead of looking ahead 5 or even 10 years, look backward. Microsoft has done nothing except make personal computing easier. They have created more nightmares than ANY other player in the industry, their software is the most insecure product available, the most targeted and the most exploited and unreliable. People are getting sick of it, as they have for many years now, other players who once lead the market are now providing MUCH better value for money in their solutions, peace of mind and security. This is EXACTLY what businesses are seeking in network software now.

As for Ximian, I have just today been contracted to tear out yet another a mixed Unix MS environment to be replaced with Novell Ximian, XD2 for desktops and Evolution email.

It's always the guy who sits and smirks at the top of the hill that falls farthest.

Novell is going nowhere but up, MS products aren't going anywhere either, perhaps that's the MS problem, they are in a comfort zone and that is exactly when you start to get pushed around.

So to conclude, I wil agree that MS is going to dominate the US market, as you have all chosen to make it that way for some reason. It is definitely not a favorite in Canada, Gemany or England, or....

I think the difference for IT stff will be when they realize that being an MCSE is about as effective as having grade 12 and pays about the same.

Novell MCSE's are still in demand and reap higher pay as the budget isn't split between 12 IT staff members and there is less competition for work.
The high number of MCSE's, whether real techs or just thiose who cheated to get a quick cert and join the IT ranks, is another reason MS products are so widely reccomended in the US. Once the schools there start teaching mroe MCNE's, Novell will be reccommended more often and the scales will balance. Staff reccommendations are a GOOD portion of MS sales, not product capabilities.

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An Anti-Microsoft | Pro-NetWare rant

You dont usually see those types of things, but I guess as Novell embraces Linux, that sort of thing is to be expected.

Again, let me restate my fondness for Novell and NetWare. I've been working with NetWare for closing in on 20 years now. I've supported it as a network administrator in both governmental and industrial settings. I've acted as Senior Editor and Editor-in-Chief for two different organizations primarily focused on NetWare. I *bleed* Novell Red.

As you say, Netware is much more stable than Microsoft Windows. Even Linux has a reputation for stability that far eclipses Windows. And with Novell working on a Linux kernel, Im sure you'll see their technical expertise and the understanding of business come to bear to make Linux and even more acceptable business alternative. You wont get an argument from me there.


What you're presenting is a very Vancouver, BC, Canada perspective. I would argue that as a model for the world, it's a little less representative than the US model you so vehemently protested.

If Microsoft weren't so dominant in places like Europe, you wouldnt see the EU taking them to court to wring cash out of them for competitors.

It's a matter of free market economics. Does Microsoft make the best network operating system and solutions for business? Probably not. Does it make the most SUCCESSFUL network operating system and solutions for business? Clearly.

Now why's that? Why would Windows so dominate if it's not good? The fact of the matter is it's not great in comparison, but it's good enough. Windows 2000 Server was much more stable than Windows NT, and Windows Server 2003 is even better. Exchange has also improved over time. There's a margin of difference in quality, that's neglible to the average person who's non-technical and in charge of purchasing, than the person who actually has to support the box.

Microsoft survives by being good enough and by the marketing relationships it developed with computer manufacturers, vendors, and the marketing channel. As a Novell Engineer you know that one NetWare 6.5 server can do the same tasks that you need 4 or 5 Windows servers to do when you factor in such things as file and print, email, DNS, DHCP, and directory services.

How do consultants make their money? How do hardware vendors make their money? How do resellers make their money? How do software manufacturers make their money? By selling and supporting boxes. If you had the choice between selling one solid operating system on one solid machine... or by selling and supporting 4 or 5 machines that you'll have to make frequent support calls on, which are you going to push? And which will dominate sales reports as a result? And which will grab mind share, which will also result in market share? That's what I thought...

You can talk about IBM (and others) all you want, but they might as well have given their vaunted $1 billion investment in Linux to me for all the good it did them in denting the Microsoft market share.

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Novell let the lead slip and its going to be a long road back

by JimHM In reply to Novell coming on strong, ...

Novell let the lead slip through there fingers to Trash Windows and the old IBM Network using Netbios and the NET USE commands.

It is going to be a long hard road back to the leader again. But if they play their cards right - price the product to make it cheap to migrate back - set up training course that are within reason (a few hundred dollars) easy installation and setup.. then they will come back.

There still is no better service for Applicaitons services than Novell - Microsoft is a marginally acceptable file services - and is a non-functional application services ... (just look at how much trouble it is to share the Office suite... pain) ..

I see Red in the future of companies - not pure red as at one time - but coming back. The Old SAA was one of the best Host connection emulators on the market.. If you configured it correctly..

I am an old Red CNE/SAA services person ... and loved every minute of that environment...

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John at one time you were correct

by JimHM In reply to Novell coming on strong, ...

JohnS - at one time in history I would of agreed with you 100% of why MS is the market leader - it was good enough - at one time it was free. The old bate and catch - system of selling product.

But now MS has gone the way of the IBM 1,000 pound grilla - only MS is the 100,000 pound elephate that is sitting on the back of business and sucking money .

This killed the grilla and knock it down to a smaller monkey - Lets take what they are doing with Office - you can purchase you upgrade pack for 3 years at $Y cost - but they aren't planning on releasing anything for 3+ years if they hit their target dates... so why spend the dollars..

Their greed will knock them down to a baby elephate - if they aren't careful - I see the day went Linux/Novell kicks in (which is slowly happening today) - and open source runs the world for a few years...

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NetWare as an application platform???

Gotta disagree with you there JimMH, NetWare was never a good applications server. It excells at the basic file and print services.

The problem with NetWare as an application platform was the fact that it was always very difficult to develop NLMs for the OS. Novell did a horrible job of creating a suite of developer apps to properly support the creation of NLMs.

If there's one thing Microsoft did a good job of, it was creating an applications platform in Windows. You can do just about anything with a Windows server, and get an application to do it with from people other than Microsoft.

You can count on one hand the number of database vendors that USED to support NetWare and on one finger the number that support it today. (Im thinking Oracle is done with NetWare and all you can get is MySQL). As far as a Web Server, you can get an outdated version of NetScape server or your can run Apache. But if you're gonna run Apache, you might as well run it on Linux because it scales better on Linux.

Nope... Directory Services and File And Print... that's where Novell always ruled.

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Open Source Ruling vs. Microsoft Arrogance

Microsoft seems to be very aware that their inability to ship products is starting to conflict with the licensing system they've set up. I think that's why you're hearing so much about interim releases of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 before they ship Longhorn in 2006.. or 07... or 08.

If one thing does do them in, I agree it will be a level of arrogance or just getting too big. But, they've been able to turn the ship before.

As for Open Source Ruling, Im not so sure about that. Without the profit motive, I dont see the movement succeeding in a long term, especially if they do get lucky in bringing down their main motiviation, which is Beating Microsoft.

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Concur with you both

by Oz_Media In reply to Novell coming on strong, ...

Yes Jim, one day we will once again see the N as player in North America again.

One reason I see a LOT of clients using MS boxes is simply that is what their IT staff recommended when they built their network. I have asked many client why they chose MS and it wasn't their choice perse, but that of the staff.

Now MCSE's used to be few and far between, nowdays there are more MCSE's than cab drivers ion the world, everyone thoght it was the thing to do, 'the most popular cert' (what about an inundated market?).

So with all these MCSE's runnig around to new and existnig businesses that were JUST starting to get networked and recommending they but MS productsm who is the boss to argue? He as hired a professional that knows what is best and safest for his business, plus he probably had Windoze at home, so why not?

Ms had it's marketing well timed, MCSE training was cheap and found everywhere, and MANY (not all) MCSE's were just guys who would cheat through school to launch a new career and jump on the IT bandwagon. Now who are they to actually voice a fair evaluation of the best NOS for the company? They are just MS pawns, being used to spread the word. Everyone agress Micosoft sucks, even if thay can get it to work, I don't think there are many techs EVEN MCSE's that think Microsoft is the best NOS, for security, stability, setup time and management costs, reliability, uptime or anything that makes a NOS useful, they just know how to make it work.

Now as for repeat business due to flawed product, I agree, MCSE's are always busy, I work like the Maytag man. I am also under an annual fixed contract will billable time not included ( I get a salary to manage networks for a couple of clients, but my time is still billable for most things they need).

I also make mroe money in less time, therefore need to work less hours.

Now as for what would I rather have, four boxes that stay running or four that I am constantly called back for, well I would choose the former. If i can put in a three hour day and head out in teh kayak for the rest of the day, I am happy. If I am logging into one domain then the next all day to repair it, I wil soon find a better solution.

So when I was looking for training I considered the following, do I want to work 8 hours at $80.00 hour or 4 at $150.00? I decided to work less for more even if at the end of the day I coulda pulled in another $40 or so. I have residual income from the music industry so that pays the bills, IT just keeps me busy, but not too busy thank god.

Novell isn't going anywhere though, they were one of the first, one of the best and had slumped, they aren't spending time and money building video games, but will ALWAYS make a better NOS. With the aquisition of Ximian Networks, Novell is once again seeing red and hammering the market effectively.

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The value of certification

Oz brings up a decent point here...

I mentioned his comment about MCSE's being more prevelant than cab drivers to our Editor In Chief of Premium Products, Erik Eckel who is also an MCSE which drew a hearty "TPTH..." in reply.

But both Erik (offline) and Oz here beg the question about whether there still is value in certification? Back in the day when Novell ruled the Earth, there were plenty of Paper CNEs that were pumped out by schools that effectively diluted the CNE certifcation. That was completely crushed by the MCSE certification deluge that followed.

Now with everyone and his cousin certified in something, is there any real value to a certification? Or at least keeping a certification current or pursuing new ones?

Personally, I never chased the certification. I already have a Bachelors in Information Systems with 15+ years experience in IT. I always thought that was more important than donating money to Microsoft and Novell for a piece of paper. What do you think?

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Agree completely

by Oz_Media In reply to Novell coming on strong, ...

I actually spent two years as a quality assurance manager for the CRTC with no cert.
I then took on three different contract jobs, building and designing databases and sales tools, training tools etc. with no cert.
I then took on a full time (was pushed into a full time)position as a Novell Net admin for a telephone company. They ended up paying for my Novell certs after a year or so but I cetainly didn't need them to find work, word of mouth and experience were worth far more than a cert for me.
I used to be in sales management positions, marketing and advertising, sales trainer etc. Again with no formal training just on the job ability and good referrals, it got to the point that I didn't look for work, I was just offered it.

I currently operate a promotion/management company in the music industry, I have built my contacts and moved bands from North America into the European and Asian markets very successfully with no formal training or certifications.

The only formal school I attended was six years studying for my automotive journeyman's licence and air care certs. I didn't even graduate high school, I was offered a full time sales job in grade 11.

So I am not trying to **** my own horn here, we all have different vehicles to get through life our own way, but in my case, certifications have done nothing to help me find employment (outside automotive but that's people's lives in your hands not computers).

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