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NetWare 3.12 Server Taken Down After 16 Years of Continuous Duty

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the served-us-well dept.

Novell 187

An anonymous reader writes "Ars Technica's Peter Bright reports on a Netware 3.12 server that has been decommissioned after over 16 years of continuous operation. The plug was pulled when noise from the server's hard drives become intolerable. From the article: 'It's September 23, 1996. It's a Monday. The Macarena is pumping out of the office radio, mid-way through its 14 week run at the top of the Billboard Hot 100, doing little to improve the usual Monday gloom...Sixteen and a half years later, INTEL's hard disks—a pair of full height 5.25 inch 800 MB Quantum SCSI devices—are making some disconcerting noises from their bearings, and you're tired of the complaints. It's time to turn off the old warhorse.'"

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Netware 3 (5, Interesting)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43324275)

Netware 3 ruled.

Netmare 2 on the other hand earned the name.

By version 5 it was back to Netmare (for different reasons).

I once walked into a dusty environment, remote location and could hear the drive bearings from 100 feet away through a fire door. Backed up successfully but never spun up again.

Re:Netware 3 (0)

subzero2008 (1338383) | about a year ago | (#43324393)

what has the sound of the hardware to do with the os ? - at the same time the longevity of this particular setup would give equal credit to the drives for staying up all these years.

Re:Netware 3 (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324561)

I doubt the drives were exactly 'up'. Spinning, yes.

I had a legacy Netware 3.11 server once upon a time... it was up for years and years, and by the time I got to the company it was like a legend. Eventually though there was a power outtage that outstripped the UPS system and required a re-start.

It wouldn't load. We sent the hard drives out to be recovered and they didn't actually exist anymore - the surface had been work away years before, and the server had been running purely in RAM.

Netware was awesome.

Re:Netware 3 (4, Informative)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year ago | (#43324659)

You can run Knoppix [knopper.net] like this also, with everything stored in ram using the "to ram" command line option when booting up:
knoppix lang=us toram no3d

This works better for the CD-sized version of knoppix [wikipedia.org] if you have only one-Gig of RAM, if you've got more than 6GB RAM, go ahead and use "toram" for the DVD-sized versions of Knoppix.

Re:Netware 3 (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325603)

Yes I'm sure that all the data on that server was cached in that tiny amount of ram.

I swear, some people think they know everything and are qualified to pontificate
on anything and don't even know a single bit about history.

Try Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325557)

It would have had you update and reboot 1664 times in that time span. You would have torn those old obsolete drives out long before they failed. That's the key advantage of Ubuntu.

Misread signature (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324597)

Unrelated, but I misread your signature as "when she was besetting us with donuts."

Re:Misread signature (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43325239)

That's a Montgomery Burns quote Homer.

Re:Netware 3 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324897)

I once walked into a dusty environment, remote location and could hear the drive bearings from 100 feet away through a fire door. Backed up successfully but never spun up again.

My experience with noisy drives from back then (and earlier) was that the most annoying, ear-grating screamers were simply the ground strap on the spindle either going off ceter or running dry and unlubed. They'd get LOUD, with the perfectly pitched scream that would produce the squeaky-chalk-on-a-blackboard effect in most people.

A toothpick with a drop of dry lube (carrier evaporated quickly, so you peanut gallery go elsewhere) would fix that nine times out of ten. The other ten percent required some judicious bending to re-center it, though that required powering 'em down..

Of course, a few would turn out having bad bearings, but they were usually in the minority.

Is this supposed to be a good thing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324287)

Great, an ancient unpatched EOL server.

Re:Is this supposed to be a good thing? (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#43324303)

Netware 3.12 was quite secure and rock solid. It did one thing (file and print serving) very, very well. It's a testament to good software design. The fact that you make light of it probably indicates that you were not in the IT field back then and have no sense of perspective. I wasn't a huge Netware fan, being more of an OS/2 and Unix guy back in the day, but I had a great deal of respect for the product.

Re:Is this supposed to be a good thing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324397)

Isn't the point that you just used the word "was quite secure ...", and not "is quite secure"?

Re:Is this supposed to be a good thing? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324569)

I wasn't a huge Netware fan, being more of an OS/2 and Unix guy back in the day, but I had a great deal of respect for the product.

I'm going to preface my blasphemous remark about NetWare with the fact that everyone refers to Linux as Linux and not GNU/Linux; i.e. when referring to an OS, no one cares about the userland.

Here goes: NetWare is UNIX.

Re:Is this supposed to be a good thing? (2)

desertfool (21262) | about a year ago | (#43324715)

I have very fond memories of 3.12, running a few site servers in the US, Mexico and Honduras. Although installing or patching was a pain with boxes of floppies to feed in to the server. It did what I asked it to do.

When I first looked at IPv6 addresses I had an IPX flashback. When we transitioned to IP from IPX (and to NT 4) I thought "these numbers seem finite compared to what is possible in IPX."

Whatever happened to the "Old Novell Guys" website from the late '90's? I am one. /Sorry if I am rambling.

IPX & IPv6 (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#43325353)

Why, did IPX have any layer 3 addressing mechanisms?

Re:IPX & IPv6 (3, Informative)

desertfool (21262) | about a year ago | (#43325409)

Kind of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internetwork_Packet_Exchange

Re:Is this supposed to be a good thing? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#43324931)

One of my clients ran PosgreSQL on their NetWare 3.12 server for years for an insurance agency app. No downtime, no app errors, not even abends.

Another ran the Advantage database engine through 2000. We had a 15 minute call 0002 EST when the app failed ot reload, and before I could get off the call the Y2K patch was in my inbox. Up at 0015, no further problems.

NetWare was my favorite server OS. Miss it still. Only Debian makes servers tolerable for me.

Security seemed to be a nonissue. Nearly every patch I recall was to secure the console - sitting at the keyboard was a prerequiste. Nothing like Windows NT.

Was it discovered in the wall?? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324289)

Re:Was it discovered in the wall?? (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year ago | (#43324523)

I remember this - oyg, was it 2001??

Re:Was it discovered in the wall?? (2)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43324899)

That's how we dealt with drive bearing noise back in my day, kid.

Now get off my lawn!

Typodot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324297)

News for people with OCD; stuff that drives you up the wall.

Man I want to see some DOWNTIME records (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324299)

I'd be more impressed if they booted UP Colossus after decades of DOWNTIME.

Re:Man I want to see some DOWNTIME records (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about a year ago | (#43325451)

I have stuff yet to ever come up.

If a server's lifespan is like a dog's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324319)

then it was 112 years old in human equivalents.

Must've had a steady diet of green tea and yogurt...

Re:If a server's lifespan is like a dog's (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year ago | (#43324537)

to borrow from "Mr. Merlin" (anyone remember that??):

"You're Merlin? You gotta be like... eight hundred years old?"

"I do forty push-ups a day and I don't eat fried food..."

Re:If a server's lifespan is like a dog's (2)

lobiusmoop (305328) | about a year ago | (#43324581)

Yup. [youtube.com]
(1600 years old and thirty push-ups, but yup).

Time to upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324321)

Netware 6.5 is the new kid on the block. This is a testament as much to the hard disks as it is to netware. Wonder if any of today's blazing fast drives will stay up 16 years ...even if using netware 3.x

Seriously? (-1, Offtopic)

filmorris (2466940) | about a year ago | (#43324331)

This was on Arstechnica like 3 days ago. This site is increasingly feeding on news carrion.

Re:Seriously? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324415)

So? Is there some rule requiring every tech website to report unique content?

I don't follow Arstechnica, so I'm glad that having been on Arstechnica doesn't disqualify something from being on slashdot.

Re:Seriously? (1, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#43325083)

Are you saying that every channel on the TV should show the same program?

Re:Seriously? (1)

CapOblivious2010 (1731402) | about a year ago | (#43325583)

That's a nice strawman you've got there - it's such a shame it has to go up in flames!

Of course every channel on TV shouldn't show the same programming, just like every website on the internet shouldn't report the same stories. But if one news report on TV covers a particular story, that doesn't mean it's wrong for a TV news report on a different channel (which might have a different audience) to cover the same story. Same with websites.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325105)

I don't follow Arstechnica

What a shame. You're missing out on what Slashdot used to be.

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324515)

You read /. for news? Why that's adorable!

Re:Seriously? (4, Informative)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#43325509)

This was on Arstechnica like 3 days ago. This site is increasingly feeding on news carrion.

This site has been doing that for years.

There's still no other site with the quality of exta information you get from the comments.

patch much (0)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year ago | (#43324333)

So pretty much they left a box running for 16 years without any updates that required a reboot. Oddly I expect there were a few missed security patches. Can not say for sure I was already running linux on the desktop and servers at that time.

Re:patch much (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324377)

"My linux systems require constant patching for them not to be p0wned by script kiddies. Therefore it follows that every other system is the same.".

Love that logic.

Re:patch much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325553)

I didn't realize that Netware was a formally verified software suite, and none of the mathematicians made any mistakes in their proofs about its security. Mea cupla.

Re:patch much (4, Informative)

The Second Horseman (121958) | about a year ago | (#43324763)

Essentially - other than tunneling IPX over TCP/IP, which the site may or may not have been using - this version of Netware had no TCP/IP support. No web server, no nothing. Odds are this this wasn't much of a risk. My guess (the article didn't say) is that they were using it for something really specific.

Re:patch much (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43324921)

My guess (the article didn't say) is that they were using it for something really specific.

It's pretty obvious the only thing they were using it for was to watch the runtime go up and up.

The drive bearings had been noticeably failing for quite some time. The operators might pay some lip service as to why that somehow didn't matter, but the bottom line is - if the risk of a drive failure during operation isn't a problem, the machine isn't serving any real purpose.

Re:patch much (2)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#43325027)

tcpip.nlm [tstc.edu]

I think I first ran Apache on NetWare 4.11. 5.0 had a full stack, even the Tomcat server. GroupWise offered a web server on NW 4.x forward.

No, 3,12 didn't do all it could with TCP/IP, which was a little of a bummer.

Re:patch much (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325137)

Obviously you have little knowledge of the product as 3.12 did support TCP/IP aswell as other protocols, filesystems and gateway/router software.
Installed quite a few servers myself on different hardware, once patched, very stable and needed little resources.

Re:patch much (3, Interesting)

rickb928 (945187) | about a year ago | (#43324959)

Most of the patches I applied to 3.12 didn't require a reboot, and those that did didn't require shutting down the power. Such requirements as reboots are uncivilized.

Re:patch much (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43325467)

Most of the patches I applied to 3.12 didn't require a reboot, and those that did didn't require shutting down the power. Such requirements as reboots are uncivilized.

Does any patch require shutting down the power? The last time I remember a patch that required shutting down the power, it was a wirewrap change on the backplane.

1989 (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324341)

Last year, I worked next to a system with DOS and IBM BASIC that has been up continuously on a production line since 1989, mind you, it was in a protective box with special filters and 90% of it's "functionality" is no longer used.

16 years and they did not run of space on it? (3, Insightful)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43324371)

16 years and they did not run of space on it?

also good hardware not to fail in some way other that time. Did they hot swap UPS batteries over the years as well?

Re:16 years and they did not run of space on it? (1)

zyzko (6739) | about a year ago | (#43324495)

The guy has replied to this in Ars forum:

"The only thing it's been connected to since 2004 has been my personal computer (laptop)." - so while impressive, for the last 9 years it has not seen production use.

He also says that he works in a big financial institution with big-ass central UPS system and that explains the lack of reboots due to power outages.

Re:16 years and they did not run of space on it? (2)

brunes69 (86786) | about a year ago | (#43324669)

Great so this guy has been running this server for the past 9 years sucking down $30 / month in power for what purpose exactly?

Re:16 years and they did not run of space on it? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325333)

Just to piss of pompous, holier-than-thou assholes like yourself. Mission accomplished!

Re:16 years and they did not run of space on it? (2)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#43324943)

16 years and they did not run of space on it?

also good hardware not to fail in some way other that time. Did they hot swap UPS batteries over the years as well?

The batteries, obviously, needn't affect the operation of the server, but that's some impressive record for the utility service in the area. Unless the location had a backup generator, no outages longer than UPS run-time over a sixten year stretch is incredible. As for the disk space issue, I strongly suspect that the server was the platform for some specific legacy application that "just worked, and was thus never messed with, while all the actual file and print service duties were shifted to newer platforms.

Novell's Top Uptime Contest - 2001 (2)

archer, the (887288) | about a year ago | (#43324379)

Novell asked people to send screen shots of their uptimes. http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/feature/103.html [novell.com] The winner then had an uptime of about 6 years.

Re:Novell's Top Uptime Contest - 2001 (3, Informative)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43324937)

I've run across a few Netware "sysadmins" who thought maintaining the longest uptime possible was their primary job duty.

I used to know some Linux guys like that as well, but in that case they were kids and didn't know any better.

Re:Novell's Top Uptime Contest - 2001 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325357)

And you're just a smug prick who THINKS he knows better.

Continuos? (2)

Cyfun (667564) | about a year ago | (#43324391)

You know those little squiggly red lines under words you type? I think they're trying to tell you something.

The star is not the OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324401)

The star is the hard disks. 16 years working, whereas nowadays you look at them wrong and they go kaput.

Re:The star is not the OS (1)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year ago | (#43324491)

They're solid states drives. No vacuum tubes used in the assembly.

Unused for the last 8 years (5, Informative)

artbristol (904315) | about a year ago | (#43324433)

From the linked thread:
"When I began work here in 2004, this system was completely orphaned ... The only thing it's been connected to since 2004 has been my personal computer (laptop)."
Way to spend (by my reckoning) 10,000 kWh of electricity.

Re:Unused for the last 8 years (4, Interesting)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#43324975)

Kids nowadays. No sense of adventure and wonder. Best use of 10,000 kWh ever.

Energy conservation only applies to other people (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325151)

Geeks argue passionately about green energy, electric cars, energy efficient light bulbs, and zero populations growth, but asking them to be energy efficient when it comes to computing is too much of a sacrifice.

The rush to get netware certified (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324445)

I remember being new net admin and trying to read the market. I remember rushing out to get certified and using memory newmonics to remember all the trivia on the tests that had nothing at all to do with knowing how to run a network. Getting great scores and then BOOM netware was suddenly the old horse. It started a lucrative career at the time though. NOW I couldn't see myself doing net admin work again, the job sucked, management sucked, and so didn't the end user politics. I am sure it's worse now. Now I just enjoy blogging about things that are more important, and hopefully making money off my kickstarter iphone accessories! http://rawcell.com [rawcell.com]

Re:The rush to get netware certified (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324573)

so your product does not yet exist?

Correct me if im wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324477)

But doesnt SCSI support hot plugging? Drive replacement should be an option, even if a non-optimal one.

Re:Correct me if im wrong (1)

crakbone (860662) | about a year ago | (#43324643)

They were probably running it out of pure curiosity on when it would fail. I've seen another company running a netware 4.1 for the same reason. Doesn't even have tcp still using ipx.

Re:Correct me if im wrong (2)

TheOldBear (681288) | about a year ago | (#43324785)

The special enclosures and controllers in server class hardware supported hot swap [e.g. rebuilding a RAID after disk failure]. The segments of a RAID array comprising a Volume could be on more than one disk controller. Really fancy systems had cold spare drives that would be spun up only when needed to rebuild the array.
Only volume sys: needs to be mounted at all times, other volumes could be mounted and dismounted by console commands. [And again server class hardware supported physically swapping the dismounted volume]

Time to go indeed (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43324637)

"are making some disconcerting noises from their bearings"

Rule 1 about hard disks.

When the hard disk starts making funny noises it hasn't made before(especially after 10+ years), its time to start looking for a new hard drive, failure is imminent.

Re:Time to go indeed (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#43324709)

Rule 1 about hard disks.

You can probably extend that to any electrical or mechanical system :)

Re:Time to go indeed (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about a year ago | (#43324963)

except there is no good way to really repair hard disks.

I'm pretty sure its possible, but I'm also pretty sure you'd need a clean room, and companies don't exactly sell spare parts for hard drives.

So you'd need a clean room, and a supply of same or similar disks.

Re:Time to go indeed (1)

chill (34294) | about a year ago | (#43325443)

Considering they were 800 Mb disks in 5 1/4", full-height form-factor, there are options.

Like opening the case up, ripping everything out and replacing it with a SCSI to USB adapter, hub and a multi-terabyte RAID array of USB memory sticks.

Re:Time to go indeed (4, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | about a year ago | (#43325247)

Once a drive starts failing like that, the worst thing you can do is reboot the box... The drive may continue running for years, but if you shut it off it may never be able to spin up again.
Best thing is to get any important data off the drive without shutting it down.

For industrial infrastructure such as pumps.. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year ago | (#43324649)

...sixteen years of operation is ordinary. It's sad that this considered outstanding for a router.

Re:For industrial infrastructure such as pumps.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324759)

Industrial pumps don't have constantly spinning drives to worry about, and can be taken down for regular maintenance.

Re:For industrial infrastructure such as pumps.. (1)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#43325483)

Industrial pumps don't have constantly spinning drives to worry about, and can be taken down for regular maintenance.

Pumps have constantly spinning shafts to worry about.

But I've never seen a grease fitting on a hard drive.

Re:For industrial infrastructure such as pumps.. (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#43324797)

Pumps generally have a less varied workload - they usually have to do just one thing. Also they are based on old, well understood and highly mature technology that doesn't see double efficiency every few years.

By the way, my wifi router is about ten years old, and still working.

No school like the old school (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324667)

This story, coupled with the story of the shutting down of a long running Sparc system a few weeks back simply point to the fact that since the pretty boy n girls of the MBA world conned their way into the tech world and quite literally coopted the industry, every thing produced for the last 15 years is just crap.

16 years without security updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43324735)

Please apply security updates and reboot to get them active at least once a month. Or at least a quarter if it is complicated. But 16 years is without security updates is horrible.

Re:16 years without security updates (1)

guruevi (827432) | about a year ago | (#43325021)

It's not Windows.

Most systems 16 years ago were very secure (except Windows). Also, most systems didn't need to reboot for security updates (except Windows).

Re:16 years without security updates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325045)

Please apply security updates and reboot to get them active at least once a month. Or at least a quarter if it is complicated. But 16 years is without security updates is horrible.

Snort. A Netware server like that is probably just serving files and printers. It's probably not even running an IP transport; probably just straight IPX. Whether or not there is any topological connection between the ethernet segment and the internet, there is no attack vector worth losing one second of sleep over. I ran a Netware server continuously for several years in the 1980s without any "security updates". Security concerns in those days were a theoretical oddity.

Just because today's infrastructure is designed and executed such that it is riddled with vulnerabilities does not mean that all infrastructure has to be so.

Put it down easy.. (2)

NormHome (99305) | about a year ago | (#43324777)

Put that old war horse down easy, it did it's duty and then some, it deserves some respect.

I loved Netware and worked on 2.x, 3.x and 4.x, it's a real shame what's become of Novell.

Re:Put it down easy.. (1)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#43325055)

Put that old war horse down easy, it did it's duty and then some, it deserves some respect.

I loved Netware and worked on 2.x, 3.x and 4.x, it's a real shame what's become of Novell.

Agreed. Netware "just worked". It was a pain in the ass to set up, but even that could be overlooked because the result was so solid. While they were the only game in town, the price for that performance was reasonable. Unfortunately, the marketing geniuses at Novell pretty much missed to the coming tsunami that was Windows networking. The effect was apparent after Windows for Workgroups 3.11 (the first one that actually sort-of worked) came along, causing an immediate dip in Netware sales. By the time NT came along, the die was cast and Netware's decline begun.

Re:Put it down easy.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325469)

Novell didn't mess up as much as you might think. Microsoft just started giving away inferior networking with every OS. As hardware got faster the performance advantage of NetWare servers became less critical. Also, by 1995 NetWare had saturated the market, so it was hard to continue to grow. Everybody had NetWare file and print services already.

Fun fact, if I remember correctly: NetWare 3.12 would run in 2 meg of memory, maybe 1 meg.

Re:Put it down easy.. (1)

snemiro (1775092) | about a year ago | (#43325441)

Ditto...I remember when I read about the "trick" to copy all the 3.12 floppies to the boot partition and install it from there.... no more floppy swapping!! ...I guess Novell's success was because it was *simple*... My record for a Novell Server was slightly more than 3 years without rebooting....solid rock...

30,000,000 miles (2)

Stavr0 (35032) | about a year ago | (#43324781)

Is the order of magnitude these heads have traveled (in a circle).

8000rpm x 60 x 24 x 365 x 16 x (5.25/2/2)*pi x 12 x 5280

Re:30,000,000 miles (2)

6ULDV8 (226100) | about a year ago | (#43324885)

So, no hope of catching Voyager?

Re:30,000,000 miles (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325023)

I thought you divided inches by 12 to get feet, and then divided feet by 5280 to get miles?

Re:30,000,000 miles (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year ago | (#43325141)

8000rpm x 60 x 24 x 365 x 16 x (5.25/2/2)*pi x 12 x 5280

Check me. Should be 3600rpm x 60 x 24 x 365.25 x 16 x (5.25/2/2)*pi / 12 / 5280 = 1.97 million miles.

Actually the heads don't "travel" at all except back and forth with every seek, but that's the average linear distance that the disc directly under the head traveled.

Re:30,000,000 miles (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325379)

You win the most unnecessary use of "order of magnitude" award, and by doing it incorrectly too.

Security Updates - Yeah Right (2)

FlyingGuy (989135) | about a year ago | (#43324867)

This was a NetWare 3.12 box and...

  • It was running IPX/SPX not TCP/IP.
  • My guess is that it was not exposed to the Internet in any way.
  • Netware was for all intents and purposes 100% secure unless you had physical access to either the server itself or the cable.
  • Netware 3.12 was THE fastest file and print server on the market, and I don't think anyone ever beat it.
  • Netware 3.12 was architected by Drew Major and was pretty much bomb proof.
  • I doubt it was running any VAP's ( value added Processes )

Once there was quality... (1)

lapm (750202) | about a year ago | (#43324875)

I would say thats testament to what quality once was. Try getting even 6 years out of current hard drives. Now everything has this planned obsolescence by manufacturers, since they want to sell you again soon as possible...

Time to install... Lantastic! (3, Funny)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year ago | (#43324945)

It's slower but more than fast enough, supports printers too although you'll really miss those Novell print queues. And Lantastic has evolved too, you are no longer limited to Arcnet, it supports the *new* 10baseT half duplex cards! Patches are available for the DOS stack to accommodate just about any combination of hardware IRQ and base IO PORT. Just be sure to load the network TSRs BEFORE you run Borland Sidekick.

Whoa! I was having 1984 flashbacks for a moment.

Bad admins (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325017)

Machines should be taken down for updates.

Re:Bad admins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325225)

Bad admins
Machines should be taken down for updates.

Good software.
Good software ships in boxes and doesn't require Internet connectivity. Physical boxes cost a fortune, so what's in the box has to fucking work the first time, and forevermore after it ships, because its developers built it knowing that it might never be updated.

It's not very agile, but it worked. (Corollary: It's not very agile, and that's why it worked.)

Re:Bad admins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325439)

Go back to patching your windows boxes and leave the discussion to people who know about this OS.

More Dead than Alive (1)

Mansing (42708) | about a year ago | (#43325089)

âoeNetWare 3.12 Server Taken Down After 16 Years ...â

Required a wooden stake.

those things ran forever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325149)

when i worked for a furniture companies MIS department back in 2004 we had a 3.12 server that had not been powered off since 1991, it might have been rebooted but power was never dropped.... till the day i overloaded a UPS after plugging a printer into the wrong power outlet (didn't notice the extension cord was on the UPS) and dropped power to all the devices on it. (our 486 3.12 server, and our AS/400 Midrange), we were worried as those hard drives where running for 13 years straight and where never powered down. when power was restored, all was back working. although we also had a linux pc doing novel netware logins and fileshares (Marse_NWE) at the time too as the netware server hit its max user logins (25 users). sigh i miss those days, although i do not miss the 3hour boot times for the as/400

The condition of software... (1)

verbatim (18390) | about a year ago | (#43325163)

Software outliving it's hardware... sigh.

There's something innately human about that which strikes me as... odd.

VAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325245)

I wasn't long ago that I was in a government computing facility. I was having a conversation with one of the old long beards in the NOC about the different technologies at the facility. Of in a distant forgotten corner of the center, he showed me an old dusty VAX still chugging along after who knows how many decades. It was small and blue, a little taller than a small beer fridge. The funny thing was, everyone new it was there, but absolutely no one had any idea what is was doing. It just sat there humming along wait for a vacuum tube to blow.

The question for the windows guys, then... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year ago | (#43325425)

... How many nines is 16 years of continuous duty? And how many times your beloved "six nines" is that?

YUo FAIL IT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325479)

Open source netware? (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | about a year ago | (#43325579)

What ever happend to the Open source NetWare [linuxtoday.com] ? I was never clear if it was a clone or not [informatica.co.cr] .

Now the other question I have is, why would anyone run it?

Organizational and infrastructural stability (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43325613)

Of course I'm impressed at the uptime (but then, it's netware). What I'm _really_ impressed about is that:

* The organization or dept is still around 16 years later.
* It hasn't moved anywhere.
* The UPS that backs it is still going (I hope there was a UPS?)
* The building power never had to be switched off for an extended period of time
* There were no other environmental disturbances.

What are the odds? Let me count back to 1996 (here in silicon valley), to the various places I've worked:

* SGI is dead (modulo its re-animated corpse moving around the valley)
* A variety of startups are dead, or acquired
* Even HP has downsized/moved its departments around (the one where I worked no longer exists).
* Other companies have moved around as they grew or shrank.

I can't think of a single place around here where such a feat could even be attempted.

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