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Is Novell Doomed?

Cliff posted more than 13 years ago | from the what-do-you-think dept.

The Almighty Buck 256

man_of_mr_e asks: "I recently had a bit of an epiphany, and wondered what other Slashdot readers think. It occurred to me that we haven't heard much from Novell regarding either Linux or the recent anti-trust developments. I began to wonder why. Then it hit me: Novell is doomed no matter what happens. With the exception of NDS, Novell has very little technology that makes sense in a Linux environment, and even NDS is losing ground to LDAP based solutions. So, Novell finds itself in the unusual position of hoping that MS wins its anti-trust appeals, since Linux could very well make Netware irrelevant. On the flip side, if MS wins it's anti-trust appeals, then Netware has to compete with NT/2000 and ActiveDirectory. Again, this could make Netware largely irrelevant, especially now that most network printers are all direct-IP addressable and have little need for a print server (or at least in the concept that Netware/NT have)." Is this a good analysis or does Novell have an ace in the hole that will guarantee some future revenues?

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256 comments

You just get your morning coffee? (2)

kwerle (39371) | more than 13 years ago | (#670022)

I thought everyone knew Novell was dead - since the late 80's!

Or was that Apple?

Or was that Castro?

I forget :-)

Novell's secret weapon (2)

Rupert (28001) | more than 13 years ago | (#670023)

They have cornered the market in goldfish bowls, and will soon take over the world with their brilliant advertising campaign.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

To answer the question "is Novell doomed", the assembled /.ers will take 200 posts to say: Yes.

--

Share price (1)

duke_trinity (228663) | more than 13 years ago | (#670025)

Novell's share price hasn't moved much since a major drop [yahoo.com] in May. I think that if they were doomed we would have seen more action recently... unless now is a good time to short NOVL :)
-Duke

Yes they are (1)

Hairy_Potter (219096) | more than 13 years ago | (#670026)

So you want to buy some Netware 3/x books and software? I have lots.

I knew they were doomed once TCP/IP trumped IPX.

What's the next Ask Slashdot, Is Data General doomed?

The ASP market ... (4)

RedDirt (3122) | more than 13 years ago | (#670028)

And I don't mean Active Server Pages. :) The last bit of news I've heard about Novell is their targeting of the Application Service Provider market. After all, this is where Unix (and to a lesser extent, NT) shine. File sharing services are ho-hum and directory services, while important, are being passed by in favor of returning to the mainframe style of computing. Dumb-terminals (web browsers) talking to mainframes (ASP applications) ... I guess what goes around comes around. However, Novell is going to find it impossible to get into that market. Their last-best hope is to find a buyer (Caldera or IBM) and roll NDS stuff into LDAP ...

Like I've been saying... (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#670030)

Netware has outlived its intended lifespan. Here at the college, there is a Netware server handling the printers and the main file server. Every time the printer runs out of paper, a dialog box pops up on EVERY computer signaling that the printer is out of paper. Print jobs take about four times as long as they would on a comparable NT3.51 network, and the shared files take too long to transfer. Also, the Internet access has the ping of a 56k modem, despite the T1 line coupled with the gigabit backplanes of the network.

I'm eager to see the Netware server be replaced or revived with BSD or Win2K Advanced server. Maybe then we can have Win2K Pro on the lab workstations instead of NT4SP5. Besides, 3DSMAX would look a lot prettier in full Direct3D splendor, as well as true DirectX sound acceleration.

Schools and Netware (5)

tuxrules (227341) | more than 13 years ago | (#670031)

Many schools continue to use Netware because of the huge educational discounts given them. It would cost too much money to switch to NT, and Linux servers don't have good enough Windows compatibility for them.

Novell silent but deadly. (2)

phusnikn (232888) | more than 13 years ago | (#670032)

Rumor Mill, Novell isnt dead its very much alive and ticking. Oracle and Novell have major plans coming soon. Oracle and Novell has been developing on a new NOS from the ground up for the past 3 years, all you share holders just remmber you heard it here first on /. ;)

Re:Like I've been saying... (1)

omniplex (29539) | more than 13 years ago | (#670033)

As for the paper out pop-ups, bad administrators, or should I say lazy if there popping up on every workstation

Ace in the hole = NDS (2)

Prep (26315) | more than 13 years ago | (#670034)

Sure, LDAP and Active directory are great things. But let's take a quick look at what they are. Directory based management of all nodes/users/devices/whatever jacked into a network. They meet the same need that NDS met when it came out around 10 years ago. Now, think back to the days when NDS first came out on the scene. Netware 3. Did anyone really enjoy that product? No. Novell themselves openly admit that it was the first attempt at a rather complicated project. It wasn't until Netware 4 that NDS really became a powerful and useful tool. So, NDS has had 10 years lead (give or take) over AD and LDAP. Am I certain that these will suffer similar problems? Of course now, but NDS is tried and true. Netware has a userbase tens of millions (this isn't exactly a Banyan here) And NDS can manage both LDAP, thereby making it a more useful tool than either of the others. Expect to see Novell begin to sidestage their other products, like Netware and Groupwise, and focus on the one key product which will allow them to move forward. Expect to see an even greater cross platform push for NDS, allowing them to be the central authentication and management point for all nodes.

What would you do? (1)

rob_from_ca (118788) | more than 13 years ago | (#670035)

Of course Novell is irrelevant; they've been that way for a year or two now. The question is, how could they fix themselves? Since "embracing" open source is so trendy these days, that seems like a likely route. They have decent resources and (presumably) developers; why not take a shot at changing NDS into an open standard (perhaps just changing into an LDAP based product), and building adapters for the various OS's? There's probably a lot of other options. Certainly they are no longer the market dictator that they once were (and probably never will be again), but I see no reason that they can't remain in business producing useful products.

They never should have sold off WordPerfect! (1)

SnakeStu (60546) | more than 13 years ago | (#670036)

(If you find no amusement in the subject line of this post, you won't find any in the body either.)

It will be a slow death... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#670037)

Novell, is doomed, but it will be a slow onsetting doom. They were very broadly installed in major corporations, and there is some effort involved in ripping out their existing services and replacing them with more long lived options. So, for the short term future Novell will continue to survive on service of existing clients. They'll also likely continue to sell their product to people who strongly back the "if it ain't broke" mentality.

In the long run though they haven't innovated in any significant way in a while. It seems like ever since the Internet came to town they've been struggling to figure out how to take advantage of it. I suspect it may be too late.

So, barring any miracle come backs I would expect to see them drift into obscurity/bankruptcy in the next 5 years or so.

Novell is cutting workforce by 16% (4)

kalifa (143176) | more than 13 years ago | (#670038)

Here [thestreet.com]. The explanations are full of PR twisted nonsense and fake optimism. Doesn't look good.

But this doesn't necessarily follow... (2)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | more than 13 years ago | (#670039)

This question assumes that, if MS doesn't win their case, that the world will suddenly be switching en masse to Linux. While such a thing might be good, I don't see any real evidence why it would happen. Therefore, Novell has no real reason to care if Microsoft wins or loses ... in fact, it might be best for them if MS loses, since it might erode their power base some.

A better way to ask this question may have simply been, "Is Novell going to come up with something to keep themselves afloat, or are Linux, MS, and everyone else going to eat them alive?" Of course, that doesn't have the magic MS antitrust, CueCat, or PS2 topics involved, and so probably never would have made the cut.

CNE man says (1)

ellem (147712) | more than 13 years ago | (#670040)

--Let's see got my CNE in 97, worked on a Novell system once since then...

--Doomed

Ace in the hole. (2)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 13 years ago | (#670042)

The ace in the hole that Novell has is a team of good developers and a strong presence in networks outside the US. It's the first that's the most important: technologies come and go, companies can retool and reorient and survive.

Novell (2)

omniplex (29539) | more than 13 years ago | (#670043)

Novell supports LDAP, Oracle runs faster on a novell server then it does on NT, and is cheaper if you want, say a 5 license version (Comes with Novell 5).

I prefer a Novell server for a file server or print server then say an NT server, as with Novell inherent design, no one does much from the console, where as in some (I do say some) people running NT servers, all of a sudden start installing office and other applications on the servers.

Then again, I lock my linux box up, and don't let people do anything from the console.

Novell is just that, a file server, and for performance, it's pretty sweet. Everyone just seems to get lazy and prefer pretty graphics on there machines, nothing wrong with that, but it's a server, your not supposed to have to actually sit at it to do everything (yes yes, I know you can remotely administer NT servers, but some people like to customize desktops (ever seen catz or dogz running on your production servers? fun to play with while your waiting for something to happen))

My 2 cents

Re:Like I've been saying... (2)

Prep (26315) | more than 13 years ago | (#670044)

That's just crummy admin on your Admin's part. Segment off your users, rather than having every user under the same branch of the tree. This will both boost performance (by cutting the brodcast traffic on each subnet) and allow for easier admin. Just my thougths.

Huh? (2)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 13 years ago | (#670045)

On the flip side, if MS wins it's anti-trust appeals, then Netware has to compete with NT/2000 and ActiveDirectory.

Er, exactly how does NT/2000 and ActiveDirectory go away if MS loses its anti-trust appeals? He seems to think that the trial is about forcing Microsoft into bankruptcy.


--

Novell (1)

Bellesarius (236098) | more than 13 years ago | (#670046)

Novell has two money making ventures currently, their caching solution, which actually is selling very well, and NDS. Netware is not gaining marketshare, although it does continue to limp along. I think somebody will eventually buy them to get NDS.. perhaps IBM... it's been long rumored they might buy them up at a firesale price. It would make sense and give them a hedge against active directory. There are lots of cool things you could do with the netware filesystem and NDS. How about a peer to peer file sharing system for linux whereby different servers could mount and access remote filesystems easily, through firewalls with integrated NDS authentication. Just a thought.

Antitrust case doesn't matter... (1)

ave19 (149657) | more than 13 years ago | (#670047)

Really, if you look at it, it doesn't really matter whether Microsoft wins or loses that case.

Active Directory isn't going to go away. It might land with the OS people, or the Applications people, or whatever, but it will still be out there, and I think they're right: Microsoft's saturation will make it rather difficult for Novell to compete against them. They're DOOMED!

I think though, with LDAP being as solid as it is, and considering its openness, it's really only a matter of time before speciallized commercial directory services shrivel up and die. They just won't be worth paying for.

Eh, that's worth at least $0.02 :)

Not doomed yet... (4)

Alcoholist (160427) | more than 13 years ago | (#670048)

I think Novell has known for years that the current evolution of their product line is probably doomed. Normally a company which has been around as long as Novell doesn't miss that kind of thing. I suspect that Novell is probably moving away from their proprietary Netware products, and is beginning to focus more on network management stuff.

Never underestimate the laziness of a sysadmin. Easy, fast, large scale network management is in great demand these days, but is largely untapped. This is reason why Microsoft is getting into it, and I suspect that Novell will too.

NDS & LDAP (2)

AShuvalov (6816) | more than 13 years ago | (#670049)

I think LDAP is supported by Novell.
If you need a directory service, what will you use if not NDS?
I agree that Novell will shrink a little bit, maybe twice, but it will be alive as long as NDS is alive, i.e. all the observable future.

Yup, you're right (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#670050)

Most Novell installations are run because the particular server program that they were using required it. Instead of migrating to Novell NetWare 5, most companies tried to make their servers as homogenous as possible to keep cost-of-ownership down. That meant, for the most part, Windows NT. If a company had a sizeable investment in Novell, they might make the leap to NW5, just to protect their assets (also, internal techs that only know Novell are screwed if their company migrates exclusively to NT)

The number of people getting their CNE (Novell higher certification) is dropping. There are currently 300,000 MCSEs, and the source materials for studying the new 2000 track are abundant. The market has been decided in the certification track.

Companies are also trying to run IP-only backbones for greater routing policy controls / QoS (try running an IP phone when IPX is transferring SAP updates). I know that Novell supports IP now as well, but they were even later into the internet game than Microsoft

Also, try getting drivers for "non-standard" cards (including some 3com NICs). I tried installing NW5 with the proper drivers, and it refused the driver and wouldn't install (NW is really client/server, so a server without a NIC is inconceivable; NT server can install a NIC after the OS install). Flacky things like that, along with no really strong reason to adopt such different tech than workers are used to, means that Novell is dying a slow death.

Anonymous coward,

CCIE candidate, MCSE

Just because it's obsolete... (1)

D_Gr8_BoB (136268) | more than 13 years ago | (#670051)

Sure, the products Novell makes are going out of style pretty fast, no matter which direction you see the market going in, but simply because something is obsolete doesn't mean that it's going to stop being used. After all, if something works for the job, there's no reason to replace it. How many slashdot readers still have old 486s lying around because they're cheap and effective for certain tasks?

At the university I attend, a large number of servers are run on what I would consider to be outdated hardware and software (think VMS/VAX), and there is little talk of replacing it. Also, the local school system in my area uses Novell servers for simple file sharing, and I fail to see why money should be spent to either buy expensive software (Win2k) or hire expensive administrators (Linux) to replace something that does its job perfectly well.

Oracle pulls plug on Netware support. (3)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 13 years ago | (#670052)

Please see http://eltoday.com/article.php3?ltsn=2000-10-20-00 1-13-PS

Imminent death of SomeBigCompany predicted (5)

anticypher (48312) | more than 13 years ago | (#670053)

Dont sell Novell's NDS technology short. It is years ahead of M$'s active directory technology. Their sales might be weak, but enough to keep them alive long enough to win in the directory market.

I've been in the tech industry for more than a couple of decades now. I've heard at least 10 times of the immiment death of Apple. 4 or 5 times the imminent death of Novell. More times than I can count "imminent death of the internet". IBM, micro~1.oft, and many others have their death predicted on a regular basis. Ignore these death notices, instead go play on fuckedcompany.com [fuckedcompany.com] and pick off a few feeble dotcoms. You have a good chance of being right.

the AC

Agreed... (1)

DrLoveMD (52217) | more than 13 years ago | (#670054)

i have worked in both the university and private sector, and have had to use novell in both. to say that they have outlived their life span is a mildy safe assumption. unless novell puts out some REALLY good products in the next few quarters, i expect to see them listed under the corporate obituaries. netware is slow, obsolete, and a waste of time with new advances made on both the *nix and M$ fronts. that's just my $.02, i guess...

not sure it's Netware (3)

operagost (62405) | more than 13 years ago | (#670055)

For one, what version are you running? NW 5's IP implementation is worlds better than 4.x. I really suspect you have a network problem, really, because you mention both slow printing and high latency. What are you pinging? An internet machine, or another device on the network? How many hops to it? Do a tracerte. I realize you have a gigabit backplane, but what about at the workstations? If you are file serving over IPX, can your switches give preference to this protocol? Can you dump IPX and go to all IP to reduce traffic? Going to Netware 5 is the easiest way to accomplish this. Do you have a recent version of Client32?

BTW, there is a CLient32 for Windows 2000. No need to dump the Netware server just to run it.

unused land in the silly valley (2)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 13 years ago | (#670056)

near where I used to work (near rt101 and brokaw) there was a HUGE lot of land that had a big sign on it (about 2 yrs ago), "Coming Soon: NOVELL".

well, I never did see anyone build on that land. perhaps they finally realized that not even the wonderful Radia (routing guru from DEC who went to work at Novell, last I heard) could save their sinking ship. (btw, is Radia still there? anyone know??)

--

question too narrow (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 13 years ago | (#670057)

The real question should be: If you woke up one morning and realized you were irrelevant, what would you do to make yourself relevant again? Technologies come and go but a decent answer to this question could make alot of people's lives easier.
--
Peace,
Lord Omlette
ICQ# 77863057

Caching.. (1)

draggy (30660) | more than 13 years ago | (#670058)

Novell's Caching engine is very strong and they've had a lot of luck licensing it around...

--
Let's not all suck at the same time please

Yeahhhhh..... (1)

rhino777 (96243) | more than 13 years ago | (#670059)

I'm going to have to ask you to move your desk back as far as possible...we need to put some boxes in here....yeahhhhhh.....
rhino

Re:Like I've been saying... (3)

Shadok8 (58859) | more than 13 years ago | (#670060)

Netware is not the problem at your college. The problem is the server is mis-configured. It sounds like they are talented bunch of individuals capable of bringing any network to its knees. The problems you describe are about human incompetence, not product capabilities.

If your college sets up a BSD or Win2k server as badly as the Novell box you describe, you will not see improvements.

Novell popular til they cracked down on licensing. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#670061)

In the old days, Novell had rigid licensing control. There was a hardware dongle that Netware checked for periodically. Made piracy nearly impossible. Then one day, Novell decided to drop the dongle. Novell was then, over time, widely pirated BY BUSIENSSES (let's not just portray pirates as l33t h4x0rz). Then Novell one day decided to 'crack down' on unlicensed Netware installations. Companies quickly forked over cash to license all their software. Novell made a fianacial killing. Compamies were caught with their pants down.

Well, if you made an ass of me like this, I'd probably quit dealing with you in the future. Looks like that's what happened with Novell.

Well enjoy your strict license enforcement. You think it protects profits. I'll just shop elsewhere and prove that your practises will have the exact opposite effect. Maybe go with a Linux solution. Fuck you Novell.

Yes, but ... (1)

WillSeattle (239206) | more than 13 years ago | (#670062)

Look, they are doomed. Either they'll be sucked up by some other company or they'll follow the overwhelming majority of the B2B, B2C, and other Net IPOs into the grave.

So let's move on. Why do we still not have IPv6?

ignorance abounds (1)

kuzinov (155239) | more than 13 years ago | (#670063)

If you worked in a business enviroment like a grocery store,you would realise using Novell as a file server makes sense.Novell isn't going anywhere.Novell provides a great secure file server in such applications.Especially since a lot of programs used in such cases run in DOS,it's a great solution.Linux isn't worth it due to retraining the workers. .

Odd analysis (1)

TheAncientHacker (222131) | more than 13 years ago | (#670064)

So, let's see if I understand this:

If Microsoft loses the appeal then Linux becomes the dominent and only relevant operating system in the world and Windows 2000 is dead.

If Microsoft wins the appeal then Windows 2000 becomes the dominent and only relevant operating system in the world and Linux is dead.

There's so much wrong with this picture I don't even know where to start!

Novell ain't dead, but on the back burner (5)

Magorak (85788) | more than 13 years ago | (#670065)

Well, I can't agree with most of these posts who say that Novell is dead. Yeah. Novell & Netware aren't exactly on the high ranks of NOS's anymore, but they are far from being shot in the dark and dead.

I work in a Netware 5 environment and we have run Netware here since v3.11 and they have absolutely no intentions of ever switching to Linux, NT, or any other OS. Netware has always performed beautifully and NT won't scale to the size and stability that we need. Linux is a great OS and I love it, but the work required to change our corrugated cardboard system here to Linux would be way too expensive.

Norampac (the company I work for) is very dedicated to staying with Novell & Netware and I imagine there are plenty of other companies that are out there that are in the same situation. Yes, perhaps other companies are producing products that can do things in the same fashion, but that doesn't mean the company is dead. Novell produces some extremely reliable and rock solid software and the companies out there using it, know that.

Don't say a company is dead just because they're old.

------------

Re:The ASP market ... (2)

Bishop (4500) | more than 13 years ago | (#670067)

I local DSL ISP offered pay per use software using Novell tech. This wasn't fancy web apps but full blown software like MS Office. Last I checked none of the costomers cared. All they wanted was an Internet connection.

Novell is branching to the web (1)

cat_--help (248310) | more than 13 years ago | (#670068)

At yesterday's Novell security seminar the big topic was edirectory services, which provide a one stop access to databases for prospects, customers, salespeople, etc... This service is active at CNN.com and of all things... Redhat! Their new apt like software update system is controlled by edirectory, but running on linux. edirectory is an extension of NDS and Novell is requiring all sales people to become RHCE, since they are supporting their product on Linux. Linux was mentioned many, many times during the seminar and the rep was using a laptop running caldera linux with vmware, and using Powerpoint under Windows to do the presentation. That was cool to see being done by a major vendor.

Of Course Novell Is Doomed (1)

Darknessrainz (195982) | more than 13 years ago | (#670069)

Novell yes, I remember it well. The recent thinning of their staff, and the fact that 90% of the networks I have run into are NT and Unix leads me to cast my vote for the longevity of Novell... NotGonnaMakeIt... The network OS is a consisitantly shaking foundation, 'what's replacing what' is a common enough phrase these days. Novell, unless they can find a niche in this newly formed marketplace they dont stand a chance. Oh well, their building in Utah is nice enough to look at. Heh..

Re:Novell still has some good products (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#670070)

Ummmmmmm, no. The box I used, the Dell 6350, was disqualified and not used in the test. Not that I cared, because the bakeoff tested only forward-proxy performance. My project used reverse proxy only, which at the time there wasnt a standard benchmark for. I cooked up my own and the Novell won hands down, both with real and simulated load. The linux box would start to drop sessions at around 2k simultaneous, I've seen the Novell go over 30k without dropping any. Im more of a linux fan than a Novell fan btw, but they really did a good job with the ICS.

Re:unused land in the silly valley (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 13 years ago | (#670071)

Novell has some buildings on that land, but they must have sold the other sections because BEA and a number of other companies now have buildings there.

Not really doomed. (1)

Gus (2568) | more than 13 years ago | (#670072)

Novell has lost all the customers they're going to lose, either to Windows NT, Linux, or other vendors. There are still Novell shops, and believe me, they are committed to Novell for the long term. They probably won't win back any ground, but they should be able to stay afloat supporting the remaining clients they have.

Smaller Co's Unlikely to Move (1)

tarsi210 (70325) | more than 13 years ago | (#670073)

From the: If-it-runs-without-help,-why-bother-it? dept.

One of the main reasons that people in the industry I'm in don't switch from Novell to something else is its reliability and stability, even when running on old, dusty hardware. Sure, very few of my clients know how to configure a Novell server, but they don't have to. The same box that they bought 3 years ago is still sitting in the same old corner, headless, and has been messed with perhaps twice when some over-zealous cleaning lady tried to dust it. That's it. It's a reliable fileserver, never crashes, and requires no maintenance. Doesn't lose its shares, data, etc. The backup runs nightly and reliably.

Sure, Linux has some of these great features, too. But why change over when what you got is working? Some of my clients have moved. They've moved to NT. Suddenly they are suprised that they need to buy a top-of-the-line computer, monitor, etc., and it takes hours and hours of man-work to set up. And even then, it requires routine maintenance, needs rebooting, resetting, and maintenance. They feel cheated, blame their hardware provider, and go storming off to their CEO with death in their eyes.

Novell has a chance still because of this. Novell-lovers will upgrade to a higher version of Novell more than moving to a different OS. Bigger companies, sure, they have IT depts. and need the extra work an NT machine has to offer. :P~ But the smaller ma-and-pa shops aren't going to stand for it. They want their dusty little box in the corner.

Re:Novell (3)

platypus (18156) | more than 13 years ago | (#670074)

... , Oracle runs faster on a novell server then it does on NT, and is cheaper if you want, say a 5 license version (Comes with Novell 5).

uum...
s/runs/ran/; s/is/was/; s/Comes/came/;
You might be interested in this [linuxtoday.com] ; message to linux-kernel from Jeff Merkey.

Short quote

This wa[s] sent to TRG by NetWare customers using Oracle who wanted an
easy path to get from NetWare to Linux.

Oracle cuts NetWare support

Oracle is to drop its support for Novell's NetWare in a move which
analysts say will kill off the operating system as a database
platform.


Novell is doomed at least w.r.t. their OS.

NDS, BlueSky, Catalog Services... (1)

loki4eng (218727) | more than 13 years ago | (#670075)

I've been working on hybrid Novell/MS/*nix network for about 5 years and I will claim that there is no substitute for Novell. 1)LDAP and Active Directory are about 5-10 years behind NDS. I haven't found anything half as usefull for network administration as NWadmin. 2)Novell 4.11&up servers are not only way more robust that M$ reboot-"servers" but just about as stable as *nix. I've seen high traffic Novell servers go over a year w/o reboot. 3)Client32 is easier to connect and keep connected than Samba in my experience 4)ZenWorks is a great way to keep users off your back. I've tried VNC, which is cool, and PictureTaker Enterprise, which is also cool, but ZenWorks seems to have the technological lead. 5)I've had an easier time ncpmount(ing) Novell file systems on Linux than doing file-sharing other ways. 6)Contextless "blue-sky" logins are are a great solution when you have a wan. 6)Novell has moved to pure IP and is making NDS run on Linux and Solaris. 7)Groupwise is under-rated. I believe it beats Outlook/Exchange hands down and virus/Trojan-wise its like being a pine tree in a forest full of Dutch elm disease. Well, that is my big promo for Novell, thanks for reading.

NDS, Printservers... Novell (2)

SpamapS (70953) | more than 13 years ago | (#670076)

NDS is, and always has been, a great technology. The same goes for most of Novell's products. The problem is that it is a proprietary system, and such things are going away right now. LDAP and ActiveDirectory(yes I know its proprietary too) are taking over for NDS.

Print servers are still very much needed. An organization with many many printers doesn't want to have to change 100 client machines every time they upgrade. They want to go to the print server, change the IP, or LPT, or whatever, to the new one, and be done with it.

Novell itself had everything at one point, but the world has changed. I don't think there's anything they can do but continue to support their current customers. I couldn't care less, as any open system provides me with so many more options than something closed such as Novell.

Re:Schools and Netware (1)

jspayne (98716) | more than 13 years ago | (#670077)

You are wrong on both points: 1) Microsoft has monstrous discounts for educational users 2) What service can a Windows based server supply that a Linux server can't? Some schools have more NFS servers than SMB servers...

Novell's ace in the hole (4)

Mr. Neutron (3115) | more than 13 years ago | (#670078)

I work in a Novell environment, and have done so for the past three years. The entire university system here is one giant NDS. And I'm one of the guys who make the network go. So, I can tell you with some amount of certainty that there is no network directory as mature, feature-rich, and easily manageable as NDS. Active Directory doesn't come close, although they are scrambling to catch up.

Can Microsoft leverage its OS hegemony to oust NDS in favor of AD? Perhaps. But there are a lot of us Novell people out there who will fight it tooth and nail. We like NDS, and we are not going to let bonehead management get fooled into an inferior system like AD.

Now, if Microsoft loses... First, what makes you think that if MS gets broken up, everyone's going to flock over to Linux? We're still going to have tons of Windows boxes that need to access network objects. And even if everyone does go to Linux, there is not a UN*X answer to the power of NDS. I would say that if MS gets broken up, things would look very good for Novell. Why do you think that NDS doesn't make sense in a Linux world? We will still have desktop workstations that need to access network objects. And NDS STILL is (IMBO) the best way of managing large users, groups, and network objects.

--
"How many six year olds does it take to design software?"

Re:answers to your queries. (1)

AFCArchvile (221494) | more than 13 years ago | (#670079)

I have no idea what version Netware it is.

I've been pinging the Q3 authorization server; here's the output (Slashcode's gonna mangle this, but all that counts is the end):

C:\WINNT\system32>tracert authorize.quake3arena.com

Tracing route to authorize.quake3arena.com [192.246.40.56] over a maximum of 30 hops:

1 2 10 ms 3 10 ms * 4 200 ms 80 ms 150 ms 3.ATM1-0-0.BOS-0.WINSTAR.NET [216.172.250.17]

5 50 ms 60 ms 40 ms 9.atm4-0.nyc1-bb1.winstar.net [63.141.227.5]
6 130 ms 130 ms 160 ms pos9-0-0.new-york.winstar.net [63.141.111.62]
7 40 ms 10 ms 30 ms winstar-gw.new-york.savvis.net [216.172.248.154]
8 220 ms 230 ms 211 ms atm9-0-030.CR-1.usdlls.savvis.net [209.83.222.30 ]
9 70 ms 90 ms * idsoft-1.CR-1.usdlls.savvis.net [209.176.32.178]
10 190 ms 190 ms 231 ms monster.idsoftware.com [192.246.40.56]

Trace complete.

And, a ping:

C:\WINNT\system32>ping authorize.quake3arena.com

Pinging authorize.quake3arena.com [192.246.40.56] with 32 bytes of data: Reply from 192.246.40.56: bytes=32 time=230ms TTL=119

Reply from 192.246.40.56: bytes=32 time=231ms TTL=119
Reply from 192.246.40.56: bytes=32 time=260ms TTL=119
Reply from 192.246.40.56: bytes=32 time=200ms TTL=119

As for the rest of the questions, I'm not the admin, so I'm powerless to change anything.


Re:Huh? (1)

barooo (72078) | more than 13 years ago | (#670081)

Er, exactly how does NT/2000 and ActiveDirectory go away if MS loses its anti-trust appeals? He seems to think that the trial is about forcing Microsoft into bankruptcy.

You mean it's not???
--

Network-aware printers (3)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 13 years ago | (#670082)

Again, this could make Netware largely irrelevant, especially now that most network printers are all direct-IP addressable and have little need for a print server (or at least in the concept that Netware/NT have).

Network-aware printers don't make Netware (or any other server-based print management solution) irrelevant any more than SAN hardware makes file servers irrelevant; it's a bitch to manage a medium sized LAN's printing needs without one or more print servers, and effing impossible to do so with a large LAN.

Although it's possible that Novell will go away, or that Netware will go away, network-aware printers will have nothing to do with it. In fact, companies that run server-based LANs are more likely to buy network-aware printers, in my admittedly-unscientific anecdotal experience.

-

Since when does quality count? (1)

arfy (236686) | more than 13 years ago | (#670083)

Having the best Directory Services in the industry didn't save Banyan. Why should NDS save Novell?

If quality of technology counted for much in this business, Windows wouldn't've made it past version 1.03b.

Don't underestimate NDS (1)

BlackHawk (15529) | more than 13 years ago | (#670084)

Novell has had years of head start when it comes to directory solutions that really work. The ease of administration, across an enterprise-size network, has proven NDS to be an excellent solution, if not a superior one. The recent improvements to the way NDS handles replication, as well as its cross-platform capabilities, I believe, ensure it's survival. As long as Novell hangs onto NDS, it'll be all right

Of course, it might be a good idea for Novell to merge with someone... Caldera, maybe, since they're already related.

Actually... (1)

Squeekybobo (229566) | more than 13 years ago | (#670085)

I'm rather surprised by the apparent lack of Novell administrators on Slashdot. I'll admit that I'm not one either, although some of my clients do use Netware, and I do have to do some work with it. Everything I've seen lately from Novelll is pretty slick. Netware 5 is great(once you close all the Java apps that try to make it more like Win2K). ZENWorks is just plain incredible. One of the things that impressed me most was how ZEN Imaging uses linux LILO to set up partitioning, choose which OS gets booted to (works with all versiuons of windows, even 2K), and once you have that on, the (l)user can completely trash their system and the administrator can push a new image and have it fixed without ever leaving his desk. They can do remote admin with it as well.

I admin mainly windows environments (sue me, it's my job, k?) but I'm all kinds of impressed at what Novell has come out with lately.

Re:Novell ain't dead, but on the back burner (2)

Syberghost (10557) | more than 13 years ago | (#670086)

FedEx runs our entire LAN, servicing something like 145,000 employees in various ways, on Novell.

While I can't speak for corporate policy, I highly doubt that we're going to just suddenly up and switch to Windows 2000.

As long as Novell has huge customers like us paying for their overpriced products, they aren't going anywhere.

-

One of our IBM reps (1)

SigVn (166099) | more than 13 years ago | (#670087)

Swears that IBM is looking to buy Novell...

Of course that still could mean that Novel is doomed.......

let's see... (1)

hugg (22953) | more than 13 years ago | (#670088)

A couple years ago, it was the Mondo Super Cool Kernel Level Java VM that was supposed to save Novell. No matter how fast & cool your VM is, it doesn't matter if no one is interested in using your platform. Novell just hasn't been innovating nearly as much as other companies, and they're paying for it.

Novell Lost, but... (1)

Wiggin (97119) | more than 13 years ago | (#670089)

Novell may have lost the race, but it will take *years* before they are completely replaced. Corprations react so *slowly* that it could easily be 5-10 years or longer before most of corperate america moves from novell to something else.

novell dead? (3)

Lurking Grue (3963) | more than 13 years ago | (#670090)

Novell admits that it is trying to reduce its dependence on Netware sales. NDS is solid, and by definition LDAP will not displace NDS. (The "L" in LDAP stands for lightweight. There is nothing lightweight about NDS.) They are trying to find ways to leverage their expertise, such as the ASP area.

If you think Novell is sitting still, or even deteriorating, check out this link [cnn.com]. It's just another example of Novell continuing to find ways to extend their technologies.

I'm not claiming that Novell is preparing for world domination. But Novell's death has been rumored for years. If anything, I'd bet that they would be bought-out by a big player. (Oracle, IBM, AOL?)

My employer will keep them going (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 13 years ago | (#670091)

I work for a city government. We should keep Novell going for at least another 5 years as much money as we waste on their crap.

Between Netware, ZenWorks, Groupwise, and whatever else Novell has, we buy. But yet we still couldn't do a secure remote login without buying some stupid device that requires you to use some sort of card to connect with.

Re:Schools and Netware (2)

scrytch (9198) | more than 13 years ago | (#670092)

> 2) What service can a Windows based server supply that a Linux server can't?

ACL's on file servers. Or local servers for that matter (do NOT tell me about ext3, I need something that ships now).

Auto-installation of printer drivers (hm does Samba do this yet?). I hack emacs lisp, I can hand-edit sendmail.cf (to some degree), I write perl, but jesus christ printing under Unix is still something I despise doing.

Cross-domain authentication. Kerberos you say? Show me a linux server and client that has everything kerberos-enabled out of the box. I won't touch NIS+ with a 10 foot bargepole. Even Sun won't (now they're moving to LDAP for all services, hope Linux keeps up)

So I guess Linux *can* do it all. Just by way of numerous crocks and kludges that even an experienced admin is loathe to touch, much less an intern.

netware is dead & novell knows it (1)

AlfaWolph (194087) | more than 13 years ago | (#670093)

i read recently that novell has halted development on any further netware releases and will begin to dissolve it's tech support for existing netware versions. apparently they realize they're headed for a dead end and are backtracking by restructuring themselve to offer software services for business (whatever the hell that means)

Re:Smaller Co's Unlikely to Move (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 13 years ago | (#670094)

Doesn't lose its shares, data, etc. The backup runs nightly and reliably
Out of curiosity, how do you know, if you never touch the server? Do you test your backups? Do you try restoring random files occasionally to see if it works? Do you test your tape drive to make sure it's not out of alignment, thusly rendering it's tapes useless on other drives? No machine with moving parts is SUPPOSED to sit in the corner for three years, covering in dust. That's bad.

My employer should keep them going! (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 13 years ago | (#670095)

I work for a city government. We should keep Novell going for at least another 5 years as much money as we waste on their crap.

Between Netware, ZenWorks, Groupwise, and whatever else Novell has, we buy. But yet we still couldn't do a secure remote login without buying some stupid device that requires you to use some sort of card to connect with.

Novell's not dead, just quiet. (1)

LoRider (16327) | more than 13 years ago | (#670096)

I am a Master CNE, and love Novell's NDS. Novell is by no means dead. They just don't advertise like MS does. And they aren't trendy like Linux is these days.

Novell will never be cool, and that is why /.er's are going to slam them as well as the media, but they aren't going anywhere. Novell is rock solid, financially, and they own a ton of patents. If anything someone would buy them, but Novell has nothing worry about. NDS rules, anyone that says it doesn't, either hasn't used it or used it without knowing what they are doing.

Novell History? NOT (1)

Lare (248320) | more than 13 years ago | (#670097)

I think the biggest problem for Novell is 'free' Linux, because it's free... This means that new people entering into the NOS arena start by using Linux and grow with it. When you're familiar with something that works you tend to continue. Now I'm not knocking Linux, I'm just saying that the war for mind-share is being lost due to cost-per-user licensing, not NOS superiority. We use NetWare for our web services (Java based) and we find it much easier to manage and extremely stable. In this environment cost-per-user is not an issue, though we did have to purchase the software. Reduced management costs have more than made up for the cost! We need diversity in operating systems, and meaningful competition. Apple is still around folks, and Novell will be too. (By the way, I think Active Directory is very limited and if you understood NDS better your opinion might change! Novell has a great story here that needs to be more widely understood!) Microsoft has always been good at marketing, but reality is what we need to focus on, not spin and selective comparisons. One size does NOT fit all. I hope Novell, Linux (all flavors) and Microsoft are around for a long time. Nobody's perfect. Not even Linux. So??

dead (1)

VAXGeek (3443) | more than 13 years ago | (#670098)

yep, novell is dead just like:

usenet is dead
java is dead
unix is dead

etc...
------------
a funny comment: 1 karma
an insightful comment: 1 karma
a good old-fashioned flame: priceless

Incorrect information (5)

bsoutham (248327) | more than 13 years ago | (#670099)

There are a few facts floating around here that are incorrect.

NDS did not appear until NetWare 4.0 - not 3.x. 3.x did have a utility to sync info from one bindery to another, and later from NDS to a bindery, but NDS did not appear until 4.0.

Several places people ask why use NDS when you can use LDAP, or that LDAP make NDS irrelevant. LDAP is a protocol not an implmentation. NDS is LDAP v3 compliant. NDS implments LDAP. It just also happens to do lots more.

Novell does have a very good web proxy server. It has been a leader in the price/performance ratings for the last serveral bake-offs. But there is more to a proxy than just speed. Setup, administration, etc. Dell, IBM, and Compaq all OEM Novell's ICS (Internet cache system) product.

I have no idea on where the rumor above about Novell and Oracle developing a new OS from scratch for the last 3 years has come from, but I can tell you it is false. Not happening. Don't hold your breath.

Direct IP addressable printers still need a server (1)

ShieldWolf (20476) | more than 13 years ago | (#670100)

HP direct for instance is only usable without a print server in a VERY small workgroup. The problem is that these printers either have no queing ability or extremely limited queing ability. Throwing a print server up makes the situation MUCH more reliable and hassle-free for end users. Novell fits in well here as does NT/2K or to a lesser degree *nix.

Say what you will about Novell but their 3.12 version of Netware was one of the most stable apps EVER.

-ShieldWolf

Re:Novell popular til they cracked down on licensi (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#670102)

so why was this downmoderated?

Cuz moderators have brooms up theis asses.

Re:Ace in the hole = NDS (1)

Shadok8 (58859) | more than 13 years ago | (#670103)

You are completely correct about NDS being a mature and proven product (not perfect! but nothing is!). Those facts are not given enough credit. To many MCSE's incapable of independent thought, all jumping on the AD bandwagong because MS says it is good.

However, Netware 3 did not have a directory. It was somewhat analagous to MS' domain model. When NDS first came out on Netware 4 it was very rough. By the time Netware 4.10 came out it was quite stable.

Equally important to the underlying technology, NDS has a well developed suite of management tools. Microsoft's MMC plugins for AD pale in comparison.

I think if Linux had NDS, it would be a very powerful combination and open a lot of doors for Linux.

If you have ever used a novell product... (1)

apeman (19995) | more than 13 years ago | (#670104)

- Well If you have ever used a Novell product you will notice that they are very robust. It is also worth noting that NDS Corporate Directory and eDirectory now run on linux, as does NIMS (novell internet messaging server).
- NDS Provides a common interface to manage any novell service.
- Active directory is a joke compared to NDS, and another way for M$ to try and squeeze novell out of the enterprise

I would give novell some time before you pass judgement, they don't need to justify their existence with press releases touting linux like the rest.

From an old Netware hand... (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 13 years ago | (#670105)

Before I got into Unix, I used to do Netware installs and consulting. I've always said that the Novell file system is one of the best around, they have had "journaling" for over a decade. And their Software Fault Tolerant system (AKA SFT) that allows two servers to mirror one another is awesome. When they first introduced that feature, they had a great demo at COMDEX Canada in Toronto where they dropped an anvil on a server that was in replication with another, and it took a couple of sections to switch over...but all the applications didn't even notice...they only paused for those two seconds.

I would love to have that SFT level available for Linux! That would be a killer app!

ttyl
Farrell

Re:let's see... (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 13 years ago | (#670106)

I don't think Microsoft have innovated yet and Windows is on 90% of the desktops. Innovation is trivial, it's the clever marketing lies and buzzwords that sell it to the business graduates that actually sign the cheques, and that's where MS excels (no pun intended).

Re:Novell's ace in the hole (2)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 13 years ago | (#670107)

Your almost 100% correct there, but there is "a UN*X answer to the power of NDS"..

Its called NDS.

Since NDS can be exposed with LDAP unix/pam will play nicely with it. In fact, I have a NDS/LDAP server on a linux box for testing purposes now, with no netware in sight.

The core question assumed that NDS was loosing groud to LDAP bases solutions.. Um NDS is a LDAP solution. Will openldap (or whatever) support a couple of hundreds of objects? Sure. Tens of thousands of objects? Maby. Millions? Proabably not.

Netware may be largely irrelevent, but NDS/eDirectory is the future. Judging from last winters trade show theme of "One Net", Novell dosent even realy care about netware anymore (or at least is focusing on NDS/eDirectory.

If you dont understand why NDS is a good thing then you havent ever had to administer a non trivial network with more then a few dozen objects.

I think there are some things to be cleared up (2)

zerodvyd (73333) | more than 13 years ago | (#670108)

First, NDS is an LDAP based solution. At least if the CNE course material is to be believed.

Second, I've seen Novell's software in use in places since the late eighties, and for the past five to six years I have heard from numerous places that 'Novell is dying'. I'm here to tell you that it is putting up a rather decent fight. Surely since the barrage of Microsoft's NT Server platforms became prevalent around '96, they have had to change their tactics a bit. However, simply saying that they're dying off is ridiculous.

I am very pleased with NetWare as a server OS. I have never seen a single Microsoft empowered server stand up in sheer up-time. In fact our company had a Novell 3.12 Server that had an uptime of well over 18 months. Then a power outage occured that the battery backup couldn't handle...and well, the drives, heh..hmm, let's not go there (it was a sad day all around, poor computer). By comparison, our NT Terminal Server (avec Citrix Metaframe 1.8), needs a fresh boot once every few weeks...our NT4 Server (avec Exchange) about once every two months.

We've got two NetWare servers in the company now, and I'm impressed by the application serving that is going on with GroupWise and such. This shows that Novell has not just rested on their already potent file sharing, but has moved on to compete in the app-server arena.

I think that due to several factors we'll see Novell around for quite some time. NDS, ZenWorks, GroupWise...they've got a few things they can market if they choose to do some porting to other platforms. Whether or not linux and MS are threats, there has been enough of a niche market for years (education, die hard IT guys in businesses), small business alone is a good place for Novell.

Rock hard stability is something that is hard to give up. The expense of a sweeping platform migration is even more deterrent for some places.

In the end, third party application support may be Novell's down fall. This is sad, since it is such a great platform.

ok, I'll end my rambling now ;)

Who dare to say Novell's dead? (2)

Ektanoor (9949) | more than 13 years ago | (#670109)

It's alive and well alive I may say. Yes it is not in the tops as years before. But then, the main stream was "File Server War". Microsoft decided to beat Novell and failed miserably then. Yes Novell also made the dumbiest thing of trying to overcome Microsoft. By fighting M$ in its own Motherland: Windows. Novell tried to launch a an Office series that would preform better than M$ Office. Yeah the thing was more innovative then M$. But the launch of Win95 killed the enterprise and Novell had to sell the whole stuff to Corel.

Meanwhile Novell remained the ONE file server enterprise. No other file server system preforms as well and good as Netware. In this point, the specialization of Novell managed to overdevelop this core task. Netware servers are not only fast but highly perfect. They possess a powerful set of tools to help in major and secondary tasks for file transfer and storage. Their reliability is extraordinary if we compare to other systems. In 8 years of work, I had only two serious cases of filesystem crash (!). And one of them was overcome because these guys are excellent developers. Their filesystem is an excellent piece of art. I know this because I had to see a whole GB in hexadecimal to recover it. FAT is a Frankenstein compared to it.

What about NDS? It is GENERATIONS ahead of anyone else. When you have thousands of users working on a a fileserver system it is a life in the clouds compared to the dumb NT file sharing world. And their emulation of 95/NT workstation administration, is several orders ahead of Microsoft. Under NDS you can administer stations, users and several other resources through an easy centralized interface with a level of control much higher than M$. In fact NDS is supposed to center all system administration around itself. And it does this in a way that can be only classified as "highly positive". Maybe it possesses some drawbacks. One of them that NT stations do not work better with it...

In the mean time there are some things that are not well with Novell. First its overlook on Linux. Until now I haven't seen tools and resources on Linux that could be compared to the Windows ones. Things are still too raw here. Second its closed source environment. Sincerly this is what hinders Novell. Developers and experts are few due to this situation. Yes they distribute SDK's, tools, docs and have a powerful support for developers. But the fact that they sell an "extravagant OS" in such way blows the whole thing.

Anyway I would say that this is a closed source OS that deserves a good look. Note: file server services work with the new Linux kernel and things seem not bad in preformance. This is not NFS.

I wish... (2)

dark_panda (177006) | more than 13 years ago | (#670110)

... just think, a DOOM interface for NetWare...

Load your NLMs by selecting weapons. Kill user connections by blasting marine zombies. Run DSREPAIR by destroying the Cyberdemon.

It would be like that Jurassic Park scene where the mad haX0r kid runs the park through a virtual reality environment only with much more blood and Spider Masterminds.

Kind of like this: http://www.cs.unm.edu/~dlchao/flake/do om/ [unm.edu].

J

Of spades... (2)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 13 years ago | (#670111)

does Novell have an ace in the hole that will guarantee some future revenues?

Strong existing user base. That's an ace in anyone's ... ahem...nevermind.

Yes, it's eroding. Yes, it's aging. But, it is there.

At least Novell made it longer than Bayan Vines!

Now hiring experienced client- & server-side developers

Hmm... (1)

Gedvondur (40666) | more than 13 years ago | (#670112)

This article by Art Wittman of Network Computing might help shed some light.....BTW by experiance is that NDS is WAY ahead of active directory.... http://www.networkcomputing.com/1116/1116f1.html Give it a try Gedvondur

Re:Like I've been saying... (1)

mikem2002 (246838) | more than 13 years ago | (#670113)

I AGREE! Can you imagine how much worse off the network would be with guys fiddling with BSD rather than Netware? If you can't get Netware straight, BSD is NOT in your network's future!

Re:Direct IP addressable printers still need a ser (1)

sleighb0y (141660) | more than 13 years ago | (#670114)

Point well made. I was thinking about that myself. Also I must say that Novell's file system and object security blow any M$ junk i've worked with.

Re:Novell ain't dead, but on the back burner (1)

Kitanin (7884) | more than 13 years ago | (#670115)

I work in a Netware 5 environment and we have run Netware here since v3.11 and they have absolutely no intentions of ever switching to Linux, NT, or any other OS.

I think the fact that you're the exception to the rule is probably the easiest reason to say ``Yes''.

Most people I've talked to stopped upgrading at 3.11. Novell put out a product so well-done, they didn't see any reason to upgrade. So they didn't. So they stopped sending Novell money.

The simple fact of the matter is: Perfect Software is Bad for Business. That's why we have managers: to screw up the software development just enough that upgrades and support calls can become a revenue stream. :-)

long time changing.. (1)

ledbetter (179623) | more than 13 years ago | (#670116)

People will continue to use Netware for the same reason that they still use Token Ring networks--It takes effort to change. Effort and $.

But is anyone implimenting NEW Novell solutions? I don't know, maybe in Russia.

Re:Novell ain't dead, but on the back burner (1)

haroldhunt (199966) | more than 13 years ago | (#670117)

> Don't say a company is dead just because they're old No one said Novell was dead because they were old; rather, Novell is dead because they don't have any vital signs. A /. poll regarding the last memorable Novell product release would probably settle on a date in the mid 1990s.

Re:Schools and Netware (2)

mikem2002 (246838) | more than 13 years ago | (#670118)

Point #1 is why institutions are contemplating switching to a Windows network.

Point #2: Samba is only good for about 100 users. Check out www.networkcomputing.com They have an article from a few months back about Linux/NetWare/and NT-2000 and what stands up or what shakes out. Linux works, but still isn't ready for enterprise adminstration and still needs Samba tuned to hold 500+ users per box.

We have a P133 Netware 5.0 box that holds 200+ users on IP and IPX. AND a Ppro box that holds IP, IPX, and AppleTalk users on Netware 5.0 that never needs rebooting. Netware may be old, but it works well!

Mike

Re:Oracle pulls plug on Netware support. (1)

mikem2002 (246838) | more than 13 years ago | (#670120)

That would explain why getting any cooperation out of Oracle on NetWare recently has been extrememly difficult.

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