Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 30th Nov 2006 22:51 UTC
Novell and Ximian Novell on Nov. 30 announced its latest NetWare upgrade operating system, the Linux-powered Novell Open Enterprise Server 2. OES, which will be based on Novell's SLES 10, is designed to be a drop-in replacement for Novell NetWare servers, and a direct competitor to Microsoft's Server 2003.
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OES: Where Do I Start?
by segedunum on Fri 1st Dec 2006 11:50 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

For a start it isn't a Linux distribution, or a Netware OS for that matter. You have a choice (get that) of Netware or Linux kernels. How meaningless is that? You pay for Novell to make these choices, since it's meaningless for you to make them. All you want is a functioning OS.

Additionally, just what is the point of having OES and SLES? There's simply no reason for the distinction. Red Hat gives you RHEL, and you know where you stand, not to mention the administrative and support overhead for Novell.

Various relevant parts of Netware should have been open sourced so they could be combined effectively in one true Novell Linux distribution, and that should have been built on top of with all the pretty management tools people could want. This would have meant less confusion for existing Netware customers and would have brought many of the advantages of Netware to the Linux world and Linux customers - competitive advantage. As it stands, Netware usage is declining in whatever form, OES or pure Netware, you care to mention, and sales of SLES are non-existant in the Linux world in the face of Red Hat. In a nutshell, that's Novell's problem.

It's not that Novell is ditching, or should be ditching, Netware as the base OS for Linux that is the problem and why customers are complaining. It's because Novell just haven't thought about the issues involved in doing this and how to wrap customers in cotton wool to make it utterly painless. Sadly, although they are making progress in moving completely to Linux they're alienating existing Netware customers at the same time (customers ask, not unreasonably "Why move to a different OS that does exactly the same thing?!"), and have nothing to stop the general trend of people moving to Windows Server. Replacing Netware is simply not enough. It's usage was declining before any move to Linux, and simply telling people "Hey, it's Linux!" isn't going to help.

The value added stuff they need to smooth this transition and to be meaningful is non-existant. The graphical and unified management tools they need to take on Windows and gain advantage over Red Hat are not there or are woefully inadequate, and sadly, they're using all the wrong tools for trying to achieve this. They're going to spend more time, effort and money developing and troubleshooting their own development tools than they are producing anything meaningful that will make them money.

It could all have been so different, but the inevitable Novell politics and management dithering duly took effect. Oh well.

Edited 2006-12-01 11:53

Reply Score: 4

RE: OES: Where Do I Start?
by Windows Sucks on Fri 1st Dec 2006 14:01 in reply to "OES: Where Do I Start?"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Actually, this release they are fully getting rid of the netware kernel.

They kept the netware kernel in the first version so people who were comfortable with netware could just drop OES in using netware (Which was updated from 6.1) and then test their apps etc on Linux before they took OES fully to Linux.

Now that their customer base has tested and must have given good feed back they are totally moving to Linux. They will still support Netware but will not be putting out any new versions of Netware or OES with the Netware kernel.

Also the reason that they have not opened up things like edirectory is because right now it's the only thing they are actually making money on. Most of Novell's money is coming from current Netware users, not new Linux users (Yet)

Also because in the Enterprise space no one has directory services and identity services like Novell. Even Active Directory is weak compared to edirectory. And no Linux vendor can come close to it.

Novell knows that Red Hat is #1 but it also knows that in most enterprises the directory services are being run on Windows. And that is their target with OES. You get Linux and you get directory services for less then what you will pay for Windows and for sure what you will pay for Red Hat with weak directory services and no identity services.

Novell REALLY needs to get some marketing lessons from MS and IBM since they are in Bed with both of them. :-(

And IConsole and Imanager are pretty cool management tools for their netware services.

The thing that sucks is that edirectory is HARD as crap to install on Linux / Unix.

Anyway, my company uses Suse Enterprise 9 for our mail servers and I love it. Never have any problems. Got 2500 users on 4 small servers and almost never have down time. But I don't need all that netware stuff that comes with OES.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: OES: Where Do I Start?
by segedunum on Fri 1st Dec 2006 22:54 in reply to "RE: OES: Where Do I Start?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, this release they are fully getting rid of the netware kernel.

It's not out until well into next year though.

Also the reason that they have not opened up things like edirectory is because right now it's the only thing they are actually making money on.

The problem is, its usage is still declining. That was and is the problem. Of course they're still making money out of Netware, but Novell has to get people using it and its successors again if they are going to survive.

Most of Novell's money is coming from current Netware users

Unfortunately, they're not keeping those Netware users happy and they're not addressing the reasons why Netware usage was declining even before Novell got into Linux.

...not new Linux users (Yet)

That will be some time never. There's no real compelling reason for using SLES now, apart from the fact that it's a RHEL wannabe now, and looks like it. It's such a limited market, commercial enterprise Linux, and there just isn't enough there to sustain Novell as a going concern with Red Hat so far in front.

Even Active Directory is weak compared to edirectory.

The problem here is that you need Active Directory to manage Windows desktops and servers, so eDirectory will always be jockeying for room with Active Directory and AD will always be there. That's something Novell needs to try and get around after it's sorted out its pressing problems.

Novell knows that Red Hat is #1 but it also knows that in most enterprises the directory services are being run on Windows.

The sole reason for that is because of Active Directory, and the lock-in of Windows desktops, regardless of how much better eDirectory might be.

Now, the question is are Microsoft going to open Active Directory and its protocols to allow implementations on other platforms and to allow other directory services software to manage Windows desktops as a result of the Novell deal? The answer is a big fat no.

And IConsole and Imanager are pretty cool management tools for their netware services.

They're OK, but they're not great. The problem I have with Novell's tools is they have a tendency to change them every five minutes. It seems now that they're on an all-new quest to create some new, unified, uber management platform on Mono or .Net - which won't provide anything better than the Java or other tools are doing.

The thing that sucks is that edirectory is HARD as crap to install on Linux / Unix.

Yer. It's much easier to install on Windows, as is all of Novell's software, like Groupwise. Not a ringing endorsement, is it?

Reply Parent Score: 1