Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 21st Mar 2006 22:48 UTC
Novell and Ximian Novell will support its NetWare network operating system at least until 2015. However, its focus will be open source. "While not abandoning its current NetWare users, Novell officials on Monday made it clear that the company's focus is on open-source and open-standards computing. Kicking off the annual BrainShare conference at the Salt Palace, Novell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jack Messman and others praised how open source and open standards - and Novell products based on them - can help businesses work more efficiently, provide them flexibility and agility and save them money."
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RE[3]: Focus on What
by grat on Wed 22nd Mar 2006 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Focus on What"
grat
Member since:
2006-02-02

Well since you don't know what my problem with Novell is then you obviously haven't used Novell's products or dealt with Novell in a business. Go away then.

Oh dear. I guess those 10 years managing several hundred workstations connected to half a dozen Netware servers, ranging from 4.10 to 6.5 (including OES/linux), and Zenworks 3.x to Zenworks 7 was all a dream? Gosh, I'm so glad you cleared that up for me.

All that time I spent in NetAdmin, NWAdmin, ConsoleOne, and iManager was a massive hallucination! All those workstations that I could deploy software, printers, drivers to remotely, in 1997, while sitting in my office... Guess it didn't happen.

We'll gloss over my period developing NLM's to synchronize the campus account system (over 80,000 accounts, last I looked) with NDS. Because it was still NDS then, not eDir.

Idiot.

I actually use, and have customers who pay for, Novell software. And no, we're not getting all gooey eyed over XGL or Novell's supposed open source contributions because they are meaningless fluff. I could criticise Microsoft or Red Hat, but I'm not going to because they seem to have some idea what they're doing.

Based on your complaints ("open source is fluff" and "novell isn't open sourcing anything") I'm having difficulty figuring out what you actually want from them. Insults aren't exactly the way to make your position more clear, so how's about you explain what products you use, and what you would rather see Novell doing, instead of it's current path?

Oh, and while openLDAP may be "open source", it sucks compared with eDirectory. The management tools are lacking, the backend support is minimal, and by the way, I can manage eDir through LDAP just fine, thank you very much.

Neither you, or Novell I might add, know what their product line is.

Well, there's a cool sounding sentence, I suppose, but totally lacking in proof, details, or information. So, +10 for cool factor, -100 for content. You should write Microsoft PR.

Wow. And it means what to me, or a customer, as to whether any of that stuff runs on Netware or Linux? It's the same software.

[...]

I'm not particularly interested in stuff running on Linux or Netware. If they're discontinuing Netware, as long as people can move seamlessly I don't care. If they're moving lock and stock to Linux then they should at least just tell people and let them know. They, themselves, are contributing to the uncertainty around Netware. Everyone knows what the score is, or what it should be, with Linux apart from Novell itself.


Well, gee. You complain about seamless migration, and say you don't know what the benefits of their services running equally well on linux or netware is. If the service can run on either Linux, or Netware, that suggests a pretty seamless transition path to me. But then again, I don't actually have any experience managing Netware environments, so I must not know what I'm talking about.

Ahhh. The usual open source bulls**t from the idiot open source person who thinks he knows what Novell does. Novell does not sell OpenOffice, XGL or Hula, and no one who actually uses and pays for Novell software in businesses use that stuff or know what it is either. Novell's core stuff is eDirectory, Zenworks, Groupwise and Netware/Linux/whatever they're angle is this week.

Actually, Hula was a project known as NetMail which they've sold to a number of Real, Paying Customers, and which formed the basis for the massive rewrite of Groupwise from 5.5 to 6.0. At least, that's what a number of Novell engineers told me.

As for why Novell cares, it's because they want a corporate desktop they can offer with their servers. Not a microsoft killer, because Novell knows such a beast doesn't exist, but a centrally managed client, that can be easily locked down, and remotely administered. Ideally, it should be as aesthetically pleasing (XGL) as Windows, and should offer equivalent functionality to Microsoft Office (OpenOffice). I suspect they open sourced Hula simply because they'd gotten what they wanted out of it (Groupwise 6).

Oh, and identity management is the other area you forgot where Novell consistently scores high marks.

Since you don't know what Novell's actual paying products are, apart from the non-existant open source rubbish everyone regurgitates on these forums, no you're not ;-).

I really don't know what you think your qualifications are to decide what my work experience is, without knowing me, or meeting me, but it's certainly typical of your attitude. If the first couple of paragraphs didn't convince you that I really do know Novell's product line, and have administered it for years, then you're pretty much a lost cause.

Rrrrrrright. Who says they're going to give anything away just because someone mentions using open source software sensibly to boost the usage of old, and dead, proprietary software, which Novell has not actually moved from?

You did, when you suggested that they can only survive by switching completely and totally to open source. Or something. Your posts are a moving target when it comes to what you think Novell should be doing, but it seems to boil down to "Novell Sucks".

And how does that translate into success for the business and increased revenue? I'm afraid that's yet another clue that you're not a Netware admin, nor have you used any of Novell's actual products.

Again with the unfounded insults. I'll answer you anyway... 3 years ago, you mention the word Novell, and most of the IT community's reaction was "They're still in business??!"

Today, everyone knows Novell is in business, and they know they're a linux vendor, that they bought SuSE, and a lot of the open source community is aware (and less bitter than you) of Novell's open source contributions.

That's reputation building. It's not quite marketing, but it's better than they've had for years.

Stomping on SCO publicly doesn't hurt their image either.

Unless you failed to grasp what Jack Messman was saying, they haven't actually migrated from that proprietary legacy environment. Oh, and remember that eDirectory and Groupwise are a part of that proprietary, legacy environment ;-), which very, very, very (and decreasing every day) few businesses are using these days. Groupwise is definitely a dead dodo.

Groupwise isn't dead, it just isn't sexy. It doesn't get press (sadly). Novell would be completely mental to ditch eDirectory, instead, they've made it more standards compliant (ldap access), and they're providing a USEFUL path for migration off of the legacy kernel.

Now, here's an exercise for you. Given that you're a Novell consultant or reseller, it should be easy. For the following products, name a competing product that scales as well, has the same feature set, and is as easy to manage:

Zenworks
GroupWise
iFolder
iPrint
eDirectory
Novell Identity Management

Now... how many of those competing products are open source?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Focus on What
by segedunum on Wed 22nd Mar 2006 16:13 in reply to "RE[3]: Focus on What"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess those 10 years managing several hundred workstations connected to half a dozen Netware servers, ranging from 4.10 to 6.5 (including OES/linux), and Zenworks 3.x to Zenworks 7 was all a dream?

Certainly looks like it.

Based on your complaints ("open source is fluff"

Nope, didn't say that. Novell's marketing and usage of it is though.

I'm having difficulty figuring out what you actually want from them.

Novell needs to create a fully open sourced Linux distribution, from top to bottom, that will allow people to take their Netware stuff (users, settings) etc. and move them off Netware and on to Linux. None of this "we will support Netware" tosh. Everybody knows it's over.

They need to ditch Groupwise and move to an open source groupware system, one like Kolab or OpenExchange - which SLOX was based on ;-). As an open source product and project Novell will benefit from more people using and being familiar with it than Groupwise ever did. It's also become clear that Novell are having trouble maintaining Groupwise and pushing it forwards.

They need to open source eDirectory, as Red Hat has done with RHDS, or improve and use OpenLDAP. They need to get people out there using eDirectory, improving it, being more involved in its development and sharing the load of developing it. That's called actually using an open source community.

Following Red Hat's fairly sucessful open source business model they would then sell support for these products and gain mindshare, community support and innovation rather than continuing to give CPR to products they obviously cannot push forward any more. They need to do all this before Red Hat create open source versions of software (i.e. RHDS) that has the same functionality as Novell's software and marginalises them even more in their own market.

I can manage eDir through LDAP just fine, thank you very much.

Can you really? Wow. Very few others are doing that because they're not using eDirectory. This whole thing is an exercise in why.

Well, there's a cool sounding sentence, I suppose, but totally lacking in proof, details, or information. So, +10 for cool factor, -100 for content.

Based on the fact that you went on about Mono, XGL and Hula. You know, the meangless tat?

If the service can run on either Linux, or Netware, that suggests a pretty seamless transition path to me.

Novell are moving to Linux and Netware is going, period. Everybody knows that. Everybody gets that. What people want to know is how Novell are going to ditch Netware, but allow people to seamlessly move to a new Novell Linux environment without having to do anything other than go through an install process. No one cares about new stuff running on Linux and Netware. They want to move to Linux to run the new stuff.

People don't want to see Novell saying "Oh, um, der, err" to itself about Netware and its future. They want to know that the product is ending and what they have to do to move over to the new stuff Novell has. That's all. No one has a deep emotional attachment for Netware itself that Novell thinks people do.

Actually, Hula was a project known as NetMail which they've sold to a number of Real, Paying Customers, and which formed the basis for the massive rewrite of Groupwise from 5.5 to 6.0.

Really?

At least, that's what a number of Novell engineers told me.

Ahhh. Mystery solved ;-). Here's a hint. Believe less of what you hear from Novell, and other companies, and more of what you see yourself.

As for why Novell cares, it's because they want a corporate desktop they can offer with their servers.

Considering how many servers (OES, SLES etc.) Novell is selling these days I wouldn't have thought that would be too much of a money spinner given their current financial circumstances. As their core server software declines that non-existant desktop market will get ever smaller.

They could do something with the desktop, but they're not concentrating on what actually works and what's required.

Oh, and identity management is the other area you forgot where Novell consistently scores high marks.

Oh, identity management. That other market that Novell thinks it's in all the time, but doesn't quite know what it is ;-). The identity management Novell has is simply having a central user store for single-sign on that's been round for years - and considering that the Windows world that Novell has to fit into relies on Active Directory, that future looks decidedly uncertain. That's all identity management is currently.

I don't see any moves on using biometrics, fingerprinting, smart cards (and making such hardware work with a Linux system ;-)) or sign-on systems for internet use that Novell is innovating on and using. I do see the same old bullsh*t though about how their core business is Linux, open source and identity management.

You did, when you suggested that they can only survive by switching completely and totally to open source. Or something.

I never said they were going to give anything away. Quite the opposite. They'd give away and get in return.

First rule as a company. You have to know what you're about and you can't afford to send mixed messages. You can't preach open source and then stick with old proprietary software that has an obvious and ready-made replacement in the open source world (used by Red Hat mostly), because that's what people are moving to.

Your posts are a moving target when it comes to what you think Novell should be doing, but it seems to boil down to "Novell Sucks".

Arrrrr. There, there.

Again with the unfounded insults.

Arrrrr. There, there.

3 years ago, you mention the word Novell, and most of the IT community's reaction was "They're still in business??!"

If you were a Netware admin with his ear to the ground you'd find that is still the case ;-).

Groupwise isn't dead, it just isn't sexy. It doesn't get press (sadly).

It's dead.

Novell would be completely mental to ditch eDirectory, instead, they've made it more standards compliant (ldap access)

Unfortunately, less and less people are using it. Novell need to get more people using it, get more people involved in its development and still sell support for it. The answer? Open source it, contribute more to OpenLDAP or use RHDS. The only way is down as is.

Zenworks
GroupWise
iFolder
iPrint
eDirectory
Novell Identity Management

Now... how many of those competing products are open source?


None of those Novell products are open sourced, and unfortunately, it really doesn't matter how good they are (although they all have their annoying quirks) less and less people are using them and Novell is finding it increasingly expensive to develop and maintain them.

The only way you can get people using them is to get the software out there, have people actively contributing to it, gain mindshare and sell the support everyone wants for it. It's also a decent weapon in fighting Microsoft and Windows lock-in, which will eventually kill Novell, because whatever they do they will have to fit into a Windows infrastructure with Microsoft products that already do the same thing.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[5]: Focus on What
by LanRx on Wed 22nd Mar 2006 18:33 in reply to "RE[4]: Focus on What"
LanRx Member since:
2006-02-22

It's not a stretch to embrace both sides of the software world, F/OSS and closed source. The market is starting to realize the importance of decoupling applications and services from individual platforms. Datacenters are looking to move away from "vendor lock". Subsequently, positioning their service/solution offerings in such a manner as to be able to provide value to those datacenters is a strategic win for the company.

It's very easy to point to reasons why OpenLDAP and whatever flavor of ldap RH is offering are not sufficient to replace eDirectory. eDir is MUCH more scalable and it has better replication. Active directory is nothing short of a joke in this regard. GroupWise is a product that is probably going to fall prey to the same marketing woes that NW itself did, though it does have features that are still, to this day, better than MS. For instance, default SSL communication back to the post office, encrypted data stores, and that's not to mention the improved security of the Novell authentication algorhythm.

DirXML/IDM2/3 is still lightyears beyond MIIS and the like. The Novell products are simply more mature, better products. The only place that they lose, consistently, is in the court of public opinion, which is primarily because of the fact that so much of middle management are nothing more than lemmings that buy the trade rags who think that Redmond does nothing wrong.

Embracing open standards based computing and the open source model does not mean that every facet of their business needs to receive the RMS stamp of approval.

Reply Parent Score: 3