I am a CNE, but haven't touched Netware since 2001. They probably don't like me anymore because I didn't spend the money to keep up. I always liked Novell. The performance, security, and administration, makes MS Server look silly. On the other hand, I sell MS SBS these days because it provides everything on one box, it all works well, and since the desktop computers are always Windows, the customer already owns the CALs, so Netware could never compete on price either.

Lately I've been thinking about supporting Netware again. I have no idea where they are at today. I see they are on the same version as 2001 except for the service packs. I don't know if they have anything that can actually compete with SBS, so I'm guessing they are only in big network space. My thoughts are to add a VMWare image so we can learn it, and have it available to reference when someone calls. Do they have programs like Microsoft where you can download about anything you want to, to practice with? Something like MS TechNet?

Unlike 5.x, later versions needed 4 different utilities to do anything, and it changed with every service pack. They were schizo. First Windows, then web, and before they got done with the web and changed web servers 3 times, and went to java. Sometimes it was dog slow. Did they ever get it back down to one?

NDS was supposed to work with Linux. When I used Netware with Linux it was a kludge. You add groups etc. on the Linux box with rights, and then make users members of groups in NDS on Netware, etc. Did Novell ever get Netware type functionality out of the Linux platforms or did that just turn into much ado about nothing?

I was around for the big splash when they bought SUSE. SUSE faded from the market. At least their are working with Red Hat too, which is good. But what does all of that mean? If they don't have a seamless integration with NDS, ZEN, and GroupWise, as Netware has, then the whole thing was a waste of the customer's time and money. If it does, that might be good, even though Linux may not be able to perform like Netware.

Ditto for Windows. What ever happened there? Netware has huge manageability advantages over Active Directory. Active Directory is so Mickey Mouse it's pathetic. But did that project ever make it to where you could actually manage the security of MS Servers from NDS and get the levels of integration with their other products that go into making up a Netware environment such as ZEN and GroupWise? If not, it too was an incredible waste. How did that turn out?

Help me make sense of where Novell is today, and what they have been doing with their time.

Thanks for your help!