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  • #2291687

    Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?


    by bratt ·

    Alright it’s getting to be about that time where we are re-evaluating our server software and getting ready to upgrade or change what we are using. Currently we have Novell 4.11 and it’s been rock solid, but (don’t get mad Oz) I need to look at what is right for the company as far as integrating other software and ERP applications, the users, and TCO figures. Opinions anyone? Why Windows or why not, why Novell or why not? No this is not for a college paper this is for my research I was asked to do for work. I need to hear from others with hands on experience what their opinions are and why they think what they do.

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    • #3346855

      by oz_media ·

      In reply to Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

    • #3346792

      Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

      by infini-t ·

      In reply to Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

      Bratt, just off hand & some of the things to keep in mind. Firstly, what is your precursor. Are we keeping up with technology or do we have a need to optimise the current systems. Secondly, do we have a budget to execute the Project and how much? Then, a high level integration diagram & possible systems required. If this is going to affect Users/Management, who’s going to train them? Next, identify your options in terms of compatibility and support for your DB’s and Applications. Don’t forget annual royalty and Licensing – you know who ;-). Keep in mind that you have to also plan for resources (inhouse/vendor) to support and maintain your OS, DB & Applications.

      The Why’s
      Microsoft – If you can fit in budget + do not need a Financial Consultant, I’m sure anyone can install and configure any M$ OS/APP by tiral & error / shooting in the dark | No offence 😉 – (60 Days Trial)

      Novell – Personally, never liked it or bothered to invest my time. Have a look at what comes with the SuSE Linux Solutions they’ve got in place.

      Mandrake Linux ( – Have been running 10.0 Offical for about 1 year now (DEV Box):-
      All on Apache, MySQL & PHP (via IE/Mozilla clients)
      – ERP
      – CRM
      – Document Management
      – Postfix/Cyrus (Mail)
      – Amavis AV
      – Samba + LDAP + Domain Auth(File Server)
      – Firewall/Proxy | On separate box (

      Linux Distro Rating: says it all.
      Also see

      NOTE: The Solutions you choose obviously depend on the size of your organization. You have to invest time if you want to cut costs down to a minimum. Are you going to be recognized for it?

      REMBEMBER: If you are involving Vendors >> Prove of concept ALL THE TIME… for your Business Case.

      COST RECOVERY: Negotiate Hardware/Software trade-in/discounts if you are upgrading/integrating from the same Product Vendor.

      Good Luck!
      IT Planner/Specialist, Telecoms, South Africa

    • #3326172

      Novell wins on features, but that’s not the only consideration.

      by jkozura ·

      In reply to Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

      If you compare Novell 4.x to Windows 2000 Server feature for feature, you will find that Novell wins. Newer versions of Novell win over 2003 Server by even more. Windows Server 2003 attempts to emulate some of the more useful functions of Novell, but still lacks functionality when you look at the details.
      Compare the Salvage function of Novell 4.x with Volume Shadow Copy in Win Server 2003. In later versions of Novell, the users can salvage the files themselves.
      Netware has reliable and efficient volume compression. Have you ever used Windows file compression?
      Active Directory vs eDirectory/NDS? I’m not even going to get started.
      NWAdmin vs controls scattered all through Windows Explorer and the Control Panels?
      BUT, and this is a big BUT…the majority of everyone else is using Windows. So if you want to do the mainstream thing that will not raise any eyebrows, and will work with just about everything, but without some features you may be used to, then Windows is your choice.
      If you want something that works just a little better feature for feature, go with Novell. I can’t speak to your software and ERP compatibility, but I wouldn’t expect that to be a dealbreaker here.
      You haven’t mentioned Linux at all, which is another option. If you are going to stay in the Novell world, you will want to start familiarizing yourself with Linux also. I think that people who like working with Novell, also tend to like Linux, and pick it up easily.
      John Kozura IV
      IS Manager

      • #3326095

        A little out of date, I must say!

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to Novell wins on features, but that’s not the only consideration.

        Firstly, your comments for the most part are accurate.

        As far as NWAdmin, hasn’t been used for years now, the morse robust and remotesly administerable Console One replaced that several releases ago.

        as for Linux, in case you are not familiar with the newer Novell, they have aquired Ximian in 2003 and have been releasing NOvell LInux Desktops, XD2 and the more popular Suse Linux for a couple of years now. The new NOvell 7 will be completely basedon the linux kernel. All the major server manufacturers, IBM HP et al. have been spending millions and working closely with NOvell to provide NOvell LInux servers form the manufacturer.

        So you comments about Novell’s strengths were accurate, the technology you spoke of is a little old and outated. We have actually been discussing Novell Suse Linux in depth here.

      • #3326822

        You have made some good points

        by bratt ·

        In reply to Novell wins on features, but that’s not the only consideration.

        Thank you for the post you have made some good points.

    • #3326106

      What are you doing with it

      by komodo ·

      In reply to Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

      If you are going to do file and printer sharing anything that works with your workstations will be fine and the choice then becomes what can you support.

      If you are running applications like accounting, crm and so on you are limiting your options by ignoring Windows as at least part of the solution. Yes, there are open source options for these applications but the functionality does not compare and the level of knowledge needed to get them running is quite different.

      Choose your applications then use those choices to determine the best network OS.

      • #3326092


        by oz_media ·

        In reply to What are you doing with it

        Yes I also suggested a hybrid (mixed) environment with NOvell as the backbone and MS running the ERP.

        One point you did raise that just doesn’t stand up is dektop functionality.

        NOvell and Suse Desktops look, feel and act exactly the same as Windows desktops, as do the software offerings.
        Remember MOST good CRM’s and acounting packages are NOT MS products at all, but are simply made to work WITH MS. Most of these vendors also offer Novell solutions that are pretty much identical.

        In fact, MOST more well known accounting solutions are Unix based, which is a piece of cake with Novell. Keeping in mind, Novell works and manages a mixed environment, with MS you need to be a magician.

        As far as user training, I haven’t had any issues swapping users form MS to SuSe, in fact support calls dropped by a long shot.

        So I agree that you have valid points in that it is best to check the application needs and support first I disagree with your assumptions of usabiility.

        Either way, in BOTH of these cases, Novell still holds up most of the time, while offering greater security, managability and uptime.

        • #3326024

          What are the well-known accounting solutions?

          by komodo ·

          In reply to Hybrid’s

          I am very curious to know what the good, well-known accounting and crm solutions you refer to are.

          I have been looking for a good mid-market accounting solution that works well on Linux for some time now but have not found anything I could use outside of unique needs that cannot be met elsewhere.

          Compiere: how much does Larry want for his database again? Oh yeah, he has to compete with Bill for the largest, most expensive house in the US! The rest of Compiere looks fairly good if it can add FIFO and LIFO inventory costing as well as a database other than Oracle. DB2 Express is not unreasonably priced so it could be one option.

          On the desktop I disagree that Windows and Linux desktops are equivalent. If your users have very specific functions they may be equivalent but for most users I have encountered I would have more problems than benefits generated by a switch from Windows.

          Some other items to consider are what Linux _equivalents_ are there for the following:

          Crystal Reports
          Accounting (mid-market and above)
          Project Management
          Time & Billing
          Warehouse Management
          Serialized Inventory

          BTW, when I say equivalent I mean functionally equivalent not just targeting a similar functional sub-set for the application. For example, the accounting solution must support multi-currency transactions correctly, be a proper double-entry system, provide decent security and work with some good tools for reporting (see Crystal Reports).

        • #3326003

          Samco Power accounting for one

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to What are the well-known accounting solutions?

          Samco is Unix based, they have ported it to Windows but not very well, also they have a Novell copy but ut is pretty nasty as it is a small windowed option only.

          “n fact, MOST more well known [b]accounting[/b] solutions are Unix based,

          Running Unix it’s great though. I think it a Real World product underneath, but I forget now.

          Mixed with the Sales Analysis tools it will also offer a tightly integrated sales cycle tracking solution.

          As for CRM, other than the obvious that you mentioned, I generally have worked with much larger client bases than most businesses require (300,000#’s +) such as the Davox Unison System software or custom from Database Systems.

          Another more industry focused solution I like is TigerPaw software but it is pretty much only good for interconnects unless modified.

    • #3325875

      Novell is still much more reliable than Windows.

      by tkf ·

      In reply to Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

      The newer versions are just as rock solid as the older versions. I currently have 2 Netware 6.5 servers that haven’t had an abend since their startup 2 years ago. They have been taken down for updates on service packages, but that’s the extent. They handle the traffic quite well and the new inovations that Novell continues to come out with makes this option very viable for the future. My question to Windows server advocates out there, when was the last time you could say that about a Windows Server and their blue screens of death?

      • #3326496

        Being that you asked

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to Novell is still much more reliable than Windows.

        “My question to Windows server advocates out there, when was the last time you could say that about a Windows Server and their blue screens of death?”

        NEVER in a production environment. 🙂

      • #3326427

        Windows is just as reliable

        by kardinal ·

        In reply to Novell is still much more reliable than Windows.

        We have about 15 Windows servers in our environment, and in the six years I have worked here, I have never had a Windows server abend (BSOD or otherwise) in a production environment.


        BSODs are due to bad drivers. Always. Use certified, tested, known-good drivers, and you’ll have no issues.

        • #3326422

          “Production environment”

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Windows is just as reliable

          I like that term, I suppose M$ coined it as you certainly wouldn’t want to do anything IN a production environment.

          NOvell doesn’t understand the words production environment. Although I have a server at home for playing learning and testing new software, I have always been able to apply all Novell patches,fixes and updates directly on production servers with a quick reboot.

          I have updated an email server to a newer version during lunchtime and had it update across multiple sites and be up and running within the lunchbreak.

          Production environment? I guess that means the company invests in hardware and tech times for testing purposes and then pays to have the techs recreate it on th eproduction server AFTER testing?

          So technically that entails double the install time (doing it twice) and HOW much time testing?
          1 day? 2 Days? Who so they pay to do the teasting and monitor/report on it before they have to pay techs to implement it in the production environment?

          I wonder how they do it with ‘just a guy form Spain’ who has 40,000 users on his Novell servers?

        • #3326401

          Production Environment

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to “Production environment”

          Production Server = ‘Live’ Server = Hands Off System. No service or maintenance is permited on a live server unless scheduled through Change Management.

          Testing? Absolutely…..if the Royal Bank or the CIBC would have tested their program change last year do you think they would have made the papers?

          The ‘just a guy from Spain’ said he worked for a place with a 40k node network. (Bit right on to that didn’t you?) They do it the same way anybody else does that work on large networks…they test…then they move to production.

          If your suggesting the administratorS (Note the S) of any of the servers on that network are ‘touched’ live….then…I don’t know what to think… 🙂

        • #3326394

          No that’s not what I said nor implied at all

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Production Environment

          NO I didn’t suggest a 40,000 node network would test live

          I don’t know of many under about 250 nodes that actually do run a Novell test environment though.

          Most Novell admins will test new, questionable third party products but Novell changes are seen as stable enought to implement live in small and medium networks, live, by many admins I’ve worked with, including a NW 5.1 to 6.5 w/Suse upgrade.

          Call it what you will, it worked it was stable and it was done without issue, or additional company expense. In this case, 12 stores a HO and a VPN, the owner would have had a bird if we wanted to test first. “Have it up by Monday morning” was his idea. Him not havign ANY interest in netwroks at all but he knew his operations manager wanted changes so he just went along, grudgingly.

          Starting on a Friday afternoon (4:30), it was up and being tweaked and customized Saturday Morning, after a 10PM finish and a few beers in Victoria Harbour the night before.

          Users were logging in without issue or complaint on Monday morning, having been ‘TOLD’ the network would be different. A few little desktop calls, for downloading stuff like Adobe, FLASH, a few browser questions and all was smooth again.

        • #3326383


          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to No that’s not what I said nor implied at all

          I see where your coming from….makes sense.

          Actually, the same is probably true for MS shops of – 250 as well…
          So, if I were them, all patching or upgrades could or would be done in a similar fashion.

          Friday night with low or no staff arround & then Saturday & Sunday to deal with issues or test.
          Possible crappy weekend but no issues on Monday morning.

    • #3326335

      Novell (marketing = NOT) – More MS more support

      by rswanson ·

      In reply to Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

      I am a old CNE from back in the day of 3.x servers. I love Novell and hope that the get their stuff in one corner and learn how to sell their product before the go the way of the Dodo bird! I love Novell so much I even named my company after them…so my heart goes out to all you CNE’s out there. I even attended the recent wave of Novell/SUSE boot camp classes of which I had to travel 6 hours to Atlanta to attend.

      All the emotion behind me or pushed to the side…the bottom line is this. Novell still does not market their products worth a tinkers @&#*&^% so we have no choice but to start working with the other OS’s. I look at it rather practically….if everyone drove Fords and I like to eat (which I do!) then I am damn sure going to learn how to fix Fords.

      This issue is this MS has went out of their way to develop relationships with their partners and companies that are working on new products. Novell has not…every time a new product comes out it will usually work on a MS or Exchange product….if you want it to work on Novell don’t hold your breath or you will pass out or you can just wait 6 months to a year and it might work by then?

      Sorry Novell I really love the product and love the stability but something has got to give and the product that can deliver gets installed and what gets installed gets supported.

      The Big Red wave is over but who knows maybe IBM can teach Novell how to market….I have not given up hope I just don’t see the sales happening in Novell land.

      • #3326295

        Don’t need a marketing team…..with Oz is arround

        by dafe2 ·

        In reply to Novell (marketing = NOT) – More MS more support

        LOL………. Really sorry……..I couldn’t help it…….LOL…………..LOL

        ***All due respect to Oz***

        • #3326290

          I was going to say that!!

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Don’t need a marketing team…..with Oz is arround

          Honestly that’s my point.

          For the previous post,

          MS has trained more techs, MS has spent more advertising dollars.
          MS has more reps, MS pushes themselves into your living room.
          MS makes Windows for desktops and has done for many years as PC’s became common in homes, common in homes means common at work. People wanted familiarality in the workplace, when it wasn’t available from others.

          Novell, always has had a better NOS, most likely always will. They were marketed by word of mouth for the most part, everyone wanted it as it was one of the few real offerings available.

          SO while MS is marketed better, as an admin (not a sales rep as in this case) it is your duty to know where stability and security reside. Yet so many are simply MS focused because they have studied it intricately that they feel it offers much more than Novell does. Often due to comparissons made in MCSE training courses many yaers ago too.

          So the mindset moves from true knowledge to simply FUD, “I was given reasons why I chose the better fireld 8 years ago, I am sticking to it because MS has only become better now.”

          Whereas that same person still taking an interest in Novell or working in a hybrid environment would probably say otherwise after working with both.

          I can tell you I have smiled mroe than once when another MCNE and I go to the pub at 4:30 and say goodbye to the few MCSE’s techs who are still tryig to resolve their issues (not because they are dumb but there were just more issues and concerns with the MS servers).

          So in a nutshell, IT staff and users sell technology, and not by an educated opinion in many cases.

        • #3326273

          Naaahhh………………see you at the Pub

          by dafe2 ·

          In reply to I was going to say that!!

          “Yet so many are simply MS focused because they have studied it intricately that they feel it offers much more than Novell does”

          You said it right there………..

          Your EXACTLY right about why MS has gained market share.

          * Of course we’ll disagree on the better NOS bit 😉

    • #3326808

      WOW they are allowing you to do research

      by james schroer ·

      In reply to Windows Vs. Novell – Who is better? Why?

      We were not allowed to research that choice here. The question was asked… What is erveryone else doing? And becasue of all the groups our company is with they came back and said M$. So the big wigs in the company said we have to move to M$. That was our research. I would of LOVED to keep a Novell server as my backend. That way I would only have to reboot it once a year, if that and every one would still be able to log in while I was doing work on a M$ application server. But now that we are all M$ I have to reboot the servers about once every 2 months and that doesn’t include the patching and testing I have to do on them just because of the OS! So if you already know Novell I would recommend using that on your back end but be advised that if there is an issue with it the resources are limited and may be expensive. BUT that is IF there ever is a problem. M$ on the other had is cheap getting support but the question is how much support, testing and patching is it going to take to put you over the edge?

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