Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Oct 2006 15:04 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Novell and Ximian Ray Noorda, the son of Dutch immigrants who drove Novell Netware to become the dominant local area network operating system in the 1980s, died Monday at the age of 82 after a long bout with Alzheimer's disease. Noorda was the first to clearly articulate that the many interoperating parts of the computer industry meant that one company needed to cooperate with another to ensure their products worked together. In some realms, they might be both partners and competitors, he noted, in a relationship he summed up as 'co-opetition'.
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Goodbye, Ray...
by tomcat on Tue 10th Oct 2006 21:04 UTC
tomcat
Member since:
2006-01-06

Without question, Ray Noorda was a brilliant guy, but I think that two of the reasons that Novell fell were that (1) they hung onto vertical integration too long, and (2) they failed to embrace a GUI for server administration. On the first point, there was a time when you could only buy Novell servers prepackaged on proprietary hardware. The problem was that Novell's competitors -- namely, Dell, HP, and others -- started selling servers running commodity hardware and software (Windows NT). Novell's solution was more expensive, with little practical benefit. Don't get me wrong: Novell produced a good product ... but it was difficult for them to compete against this juggernaut. It's the same dynamic that Sun ran into on low end servers (and eventually Apple, on the desktop). As for administration, you can whine and moan about how "real administrators don't use a GUI" but that's backwards thinking. NT started taking significant market share away from Novell based on ease-of-use. Nonetheless, Noorda should be remembered for popularizing LANs and WANs.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Goodbye, Ray...
by IanSVT on Tue 10th Oct 2006 22:49 in reply to "Goodbye, Ray..."
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

I have to disagree with you. NetWare was/is built in a way that little or no server based administration was needed. A majority of the work done on the server was NDS, which is a multi master database. There were/are plenty of gui based tools for Novell's products, in fact, too many. Novell's biggest issues were two fold. First, they didn't offer a good development tools. You have to buy Metroworks Code Warrior to built any NLMs, which run on NetWare. Even then, NetWare is known to be a difficult platform to develop for. It's memory protection has always been an issue. Only in the past half decade or so(NetWare 5.1 maybe?) did running NLMs in protected mode become available. It's file systems, while advanced for thier time in terms of pure file storage and permissions, is not the best file system for applications. I'd still pick NSS over every file system out there for file server duties.

So in turn, NetWare was not a viable platform for third party development. Without that, management would look past Microsoft's failings in file/print/directory services so some new app which only runs on Microsoft's platform made Netware less and less apealing. That's why Novell got into the Linux arena. 3rd party development. There's no other reason. That's why they bought UNIX and created UnixWare with the idea of merging it with NetWare. It was going to be their way of getting third party developers. Someone made the bonehead mistake of canning that idea and selling it to SCO...or licensing it...the courts have to sort that out. ;)

And for the GUI administration tools, for short sighted IT management with little or no technical knowledge, yes, that might have been a reason.

Reply Parent Score: 1