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IBM Takeover Of Novell? 129

umjaja96 writes: "Reuters is reporting that IBM is rumored to be looking to buy Novell. Perhaps Big Blue is looking to strengthen its mid-range and lower end servers with something not from Redmond?"
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IBM Takeover of Novell?

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  • It's actually a decent solution for a client base of about 300 or so, if you absolutely have to have NT on the desktops. My last client had such a setup, where all the authentication, whatever, were handled by a Novel Netware box. It, and it alone (the Exchange server died horriably), survived the stupid I love you virus fiasco there.

    However, at the same time, I really don't see Novell bringing IBM much value. As another poster had suggested, is IBM that strapped for office space?

  • Troll? What the fuck were you thinking, moderator bitch?
  • And just how the fuck do you define LOW END!!!!, Mr. "I-gotta-use-4-exclamation-points-to-make-my-point "?

  • I run a Uni network with 15,000 regular users. We've got 30+ NW4.11 servers.

    Our 300-ish network is/was being served off of one NW box and one NT box, running exchange. 300 * 30 = 9000, which is almost the ballpark of your 15,000 figure :-)

    Seriously, I figure that the Compaq box that the thing runs off of can probably handle about 500 clients easily.

    A question, though. Does NW support clustering?

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 )
    First Lotus, now Novell, they sure can pick the winners can't they?
  • IBM is always looking to strengthen its presence in the network market. Hell money drives everything. A Novell addition is just going to make that presence a little larger. This will give IBM great chances for more out-sourcing and other ventures in the e-business and network market.

    Even the samurai
    have teddy bears,
    and even the teddy bears

  • If IBM buys Novell, IBM will have the final piece of the puzzle: a network operating system from which to integrate Linux/AIX compatibility.

    If you'll cast your mind back a few years you'll remember that at one point in time Novel bought USL which gave Novel the final piece of the puzzle: the SVR4 version of Unix which they could integrate into their network operating system.

    This integration was such an abysmal failure that Novell eventually sold their Unix division to SCO. If IBM is trying to solve a puzzle they need a few more pieces than Novell.

    Don Dugger
    VA Linux Systems

  • Bottom line - Netware can easily saturate a full-duplex 100Base-T connection (used in most real-world environments) on a 200 MHz Pentium Pro box and not break 30% CPU utilization. In more exotic environments running gigabit ethernet and / or ATM, I could see the being an issue, but I have yet to personally see an installation where lack of proper threading in the Novell protocol stacks caused a measurable performance hit. This issue mainly exists because of benchmarks.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    - NetWare: a very popular NOS in the enterprise space that is growing it's nodal count daily. "Loosing market share" means that as the entire market is encreasing, a bigger percentage of new purches are going NT, but on the whole, NetWare is still growing. Read between the lines. - NDS: a directory thats runs on NT, 2000, Solaris, NetWare, Linux and a few other IBM boxes. It replicates itself onto 1 to 1000s of servers with millions of objects on command. Shipping DirXML uses standards based XML to syncronize the directory with MS-AD, Oracle, Exchange, Notes, PeopleSoft, etc. NDS also is a perfect for mammoth LDAP directories for web authentication. - ICS: best selling cache appliances like Compaq's tasksmart boxes and dell's powerapp, and ibm's netfinity cache boxes all run Novell's ICS. - ZEN: for desktops, servers, and networks (routers and switches). locks customers into NDS and provides fantastic network management - GroupWise: 20 million installed users, currently outselling notes, and also runs with 0 netware on nt or unix - Increasing profits for three consecutive years. 1 billion on hand in cash. - a huge profit generating field services organazition with education, tech support and consulting - Only major problem is bad market perception.. I'd say novell's a bargan for anyone, particularly sun or ibm.
  • Damn, talk about an 800 pound gorilla. IBM and Novell would seem to me to be a real threat to Microsoft's server-side stuff. Add to Netware some Linux integration that IBM's been messing around with, and you've got a pretty attractive package.

    Speaking as a tech who works in a Novell shop, I can tell you that, at least in-house, there might be some pretty irate people if Groupwise got axed in favor of Notes. I'm no expert in it, but from what I've experienced, GW is a pretty stable, functional product. Never used Notes, but I've heard some horror stories. Still, considering that both products do essentially the same thing, a merger would almost guarentee one product being dropped: probably Groupwise.
  • Still have a few people using 3.x for various, strange reasons.
  • I remember a few years ago I was speaking to a friend of mine who was in upper management at Novell, and was told of many high-level IBMers in Provo doing due diligence work for a possible takeover. Nothing came of it (I'm assuming because at the time, Novell still owned Wordperfect, which would compete with SmartSuite, and still owns Groupwise which competes directly with Notes).

    Personally, I've always thought the merger made sense. Even though Novell has always had a terrific balance sheet to hold them through tough times (lots of cash, no debt), IBM's ownership could be a huge shot in the arm for them. I remember investigating Notes before IBM bought Lotus, but was put off by the price ($350 per desktop just for the client software). IBM bought them out, dropped the client price to a reasonable level, and Notes' sales took off.

  • This integration was such an abysmal failure

    The "integration" wasn't even attempted. Novell went from "UnixWare is the SuperNOS of the future" to "Netware + NDS is the future (with WinNT as your application server)" in a very short amount of time.

    Maybe the customer base didn't want UnixWare. On the other hand, they weren't so enthusastic about NetWare 4.x either. Anyway, now Novell has been spending years doing things like adding TCP/IP and turning NW into a web/database server to appease it's 15% marketshare of true believers. Too bad that a few years ago they owned all of that and more in UNIX.
  • Some companies and corporations swear by Novell, mostly because it's what they
    know. Novell works [for the most part], and for many companies the cost of
    migrating 100% over to another solution would cost them far more than just the
    software installs. For many years, Novell was the leader for the low-to-mid
    network end just because it was cheaper for them to throw down a Novell setup
    with standard *DOS, and hire a CNE for about the same MCSEs are going for
    these days, rather than pay for a UNIX and everything go for at leasttwice as
    much [administration and software, costwise. UNIX admins have, for the most
    part, been the high $$ ones]. Now, Novell's so highly ingrained in some places
    that it's practically irremovable [if such a word exists].
  • by codejnki ( 16214 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @01:55PM (#855763) Homepage
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft (NasdaqNM:MSFT - news) and AndoverNet (NasdaqNM:ANDN - news) on Monday declined to comment on rumors that Microsoft was looking to take over the electronic news service company.

    Shares of both companys did what is normally expected of over inflated speculative trading.

    ``We don't comment on rumors,'' said Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.

    `Typically we don't comment on these kinds of rumors,'' said Rob Malda creater of the overly popular Slashdot news board.
    "War doesn't determine who's right, just who's left"

  • It would seem to be a very good fit and very little work. Why not have a Novell server for file and print services and have *whatever* IBM Linux as the workstation/desktop OS. Combine the two into a package and away we go.. Integrated and bundled together we have an equivalent of Microsoft Enterprise Server - except that this would actually work..!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I don't think IBM would buy Novell for NetWare (tho it's a great server). Probably the real jewel is Novell's NetWare Directory Service. Essentially, it's a really, really, really scalable, extensible, directory which beats the closest competition (Microsoft's Active Directory) in every camp. Of course, you can run NDS on novell servers and Microsoft servers so you aren't required to keep IntraNetWare to keep NDS.

    If you weren't already aware, NDS has been tested to handle something like 4 billion objects in the directory. So... one NDS network could handle any Fortune 500 company's directory requirements. And don't tell me that's not where the money is right now. Directory services are all about integrating disparate functions.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar ( 4328 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @02:02PM (#855766) Homepage Journal
    If the rumor is true, IBM may be looking to do what we all know Novell needs to do to stay alive, yet doesn't have the guts to do: open-source the Novell Directory. What have they got to lose? Market share? That's trickling away already: Windows NT and Linux are absolutely clobbering Netware in the marketplace. Novell's crown jewels right now are NDS. NDS, a robust, scalable, portable directory service. NDS, a directory that's proven in Fortune 500 installations. NDS, a directory that'll get clobbered once Microsoft Active Directory begins to take hold.

    Novell needs to open-source NDS now, before it becomes irrelevant. IBM has the guts to do this, and the bucks to maintain the software as a loss leader to continue to sell services around it. If NDS is open sourced, it will become ubiquitous almost overnight, especially on Linux systems, where it will become the standard directory service. If they choose the GPL, even the Debian folks will adopt it. Imagine being able to write directory-aware applications for Linux, knowing that NDS will always be there.

    That's my $0.02, anyway. Personally I think the rumor is bogus.
  • ...and help reclaim some of the server market from NT/2k(a NOS that thinks it's a workstation)
    BR>No no, you've got it all wrong. NT/2k is a workstation that thinks it's a network operating system.
  • You know I have tried 6 times to get os2 to work and I cant. I cant get a ne2k card to do the network stuff and without that I cant download drivers, programs etc.

    Now I have genuinely tried and given it my best effort with the best possible will and I just have to conclude that it is hard to use (install). Not only does it seem to be hard to use but there is no sense of community that there seems to be with linux. So I would have to say that this is the reason that os2 didn't take off, not IBMs marketing (who BTW seem to be doing a fine job of marketing linux right now)
  • Welp, that was gonna be my comment, but I guess I have to say I agree with the AC... (*shudder*)

    However, M$ pretty much exploited the bugs in IBM's implementations of SMB. (Mostly OS/2) They later resurfaced in the SAMBA project. Perhaps it wouldn't be such a bad idea to look over SAMBA to see how they can fix OS/2 for version 6. (Or whatever the next version will be...)

  • Hmm... So, if IBM does, in fact, buy Novell, and creates growth, Novell/Linux will have higher market share than ALL other products on the chart. (True Unix, NT, and "Others")

    This sounds like a very wise plan to me... After all, if they integrate it into OS/2 e-business editon well, and use that for the in-house server, and advocate Linux boxen for the publicly available servers, and say that the desktops can run either, NT will seriously suffer. Companies will be able to offer a pair of OSes that suit needs appropriately. (Which is currently NT and Mac in many companies. Have you ever attempted to get the two to work together? Fun, ain't it?)

    So, is Novell really dead with this kind of potential to revive their current flagship OS?

  • Well if you open your eyes a bit you're gonna notice that the distro's that have the stogest following are Red Hat and Debian and they are the strongest open source supporters. The point of making NDS free software is that it would become ubiquitous on anything thant is not owned by Microsoft - almost overnight.
  • Anyone know where I could pick up a copy of WP6.1 for DOS? It's GUI rocked. And it was fast even on a 386/16 with 2MB RAM at 800x600x16.

  • :-) Novell's Netware release 4 and 5 are certainly quite good, but anyone remember back to version 3?

    Mmm, binderies. Binary-files like windows registries, that stored all settings and network objects, users, etc., and which mysteriously tended to corrupt themselves over time.

    (Leaving any hapless admin who had forgotten to back up these happy strange binderies to rebuild the entire system from memory and logs.) Fun!

    As it were, at least Novell realized how much the bindery sucked, and so they threw it out in 4 and 5, I think.

  • What a pathetic US centric view you have.

    While AFS may or may not be a hot technology anymore, I seriously doubt that shifting development to India should be taken as a guide to whether it is suceeding or on IBMs priority list.

    There's a lot of companies moving their operations overseas - not because they want to turn their US based development into your special open quotation marks [which would generalkly ], but because countries like Indoa and Ireland have vast quantities of extremely well educated people that speak English and hold advanced degrees in mathematical subjects [and more than the US, too]. Pay rates for most development work are around the same as the US and UK. A company I work for here in Australia was charged three and a half grand recently by a local [and quite well established] company to develop a basic page. Its a quarter mB of shitty looking Flash, using bitmaps for text, as a single file, with nothing if you don't have Flash installed but a white screen. There seems to be no way we can convince them to do a better job. So they paid them, and have since discovered an Indian company with a mich greater talent for work. That's not a reflection on the entire Australian web design market, just that connectivity allows talented foreign companies entrances to local marketplaces easily, and that talent wins over mediocrity. And India seems to have the talent all too often these days.

    There's a vast quantity of talent coming out of India, a number of rather large startups [for example, where do you think all those old Novell execs ended up - with a bunch of Indian folk at endix].

    India is not a third or first world, country, it is both, with one of the worlds greatest disparities between rich and poor.

    Here's a question: Whose the world biggest producer of software? If you answered Ireland, you win.
  • IBM hasnt forgotten about AFS and DEC/DFS, at least internally, we use it at work pretty extensivly (at least I do, i'm in AIX product test), and your DCE login id is key to almost every other id you get at ibm.
  • Someone needs to put some life into that poor old company

    Of course I'm talking about Novell, whaddaya think!?

  • What a pathetic US centric view you have.

    While AFS may or may not be a hot technology anymore, I seriously doubt that shifting
    development to India should be taken as a guide to whether it is suceeding or on IBMs priority list.

    There's a lot of companies moving their operations overseas - not because they want to turn their US based development into your special open quotation marks development [which would generally imply some sort of scaled-down operation], but because countries like India and Ireland have vast quantities of extremely well educated people that speak English and hold advanced degrees in mathematical and computer science subjects [and more of them than the US, too].

    Pay rates for most development work are around the
    same as the US and UK. A company I work for here in Australia was charged three and a half grand recently by a local [and quite well established] company to develop a basic web site. Its a quarter mB of shitty looking Flash, using bitmaps for text, as a single file, with nothing if you don't have Flash installed but a white screen. There seems to be no way we can convince them to do a better job. So they paid them, and have since discovered an Indian company with a mich greater talent for work. That's not a reflection on the entire Australian web design market, just that connectivity allows talented foreign companies
    entrances to local marketplaces easily, and that talent wins over mediocrity. And India seems to have the talent all too often these days.

    There's a vast quantity of talent coming out of India, a number of rather large startups [for example, where do you think all those old Novell execs ended up - with a bunch of Indian folk at (sorry, name currently eludes me. They're a web acceletation company)]. There's also Hotmail, Cybermedia, Exodus, and quite afew others.

    India is not a third or first world, country, it is both, with one of the worlds greatest
    disparities between rich and poor.

    Here's a question: Whose the world biggest producer of software? If you answered Ireland,
    you win.

  • Netware is a fine OS, even if you don't hear that much about it any more.

    The problem is that Netware never was that good an Application Server (Netware Loadable Modules...), although it will do just fine and then some as a file- and printserver. So users installed other OSes alongside and more and more instead of Netware.

    When they fixed that in Netware 5, allowing Java apps to run and making development much easier, it was too little, too late...


  • ``We don't comment on rumors,'' said IBM spokeswoman Carol Makovich.

    ``Typically we don't comment on these kinds of rumors,'' said a Novell spokeswoman.

    What a story! Someone starts a rumor, then reports it by asking the companies about the rumors.

    Of course, they didn't deny it, either.

  • Nah, IBM has plenty of office space, come down to austin, TX, the site was once a closed campus, but now the rent office space out, and not just office space, some company is renting the factory floor where the RS/6k's used to be manufactured in austin, of course all the good space is in the 900 bldgs :) although i personally thing 003 and 045 would make pretty decent doom / quake maps for some good deathmatch.
  • Super Thick Thin Clients?
  • Wonder how Novell could complement Big Blue to justify a buy-out....
  • I really like the "new" IBM alot but I agree with you. The only thing IBM did right was Lexmark. Make it it's own company with IBM as parent and let it run.
  • Not a flame - the story was rather short, and void of detail.

    Does anyone know what Novell have that is currently of value to IBM?

    Eg. you can see why Caldera snapped up SCO.

  • Ok, Food for thought... In a recent ad in PCCOMPUTING... (now "Smart Business" something or other) an Ibm ad specifically states that they "recommend windows 2000 professional." So, do they want to buy novell to bury it? This brings up all sorts of questions... too many people in bed together, and too many ties.
  • Not to mention that IBM has done a nice job with Lotus - sure, 1-2-3/SmartSuite is toast, but they've done a terrific business with Notes, and still have a substantial lead over Microsoft in the category.

    That's funny, cause Novell's got GW. Now granted I've heard this 'IBM buying Novell' a couple of times now, so there is probably little substance to it.

    I'm just trying to figure out what they would do with GroupWise. They've got tons of users still (I think they're third behind Notes & Exchange). So would they migrate them to an 'NDS enhanced' version of Notes? Keep both products? I guess if they combined the two into one big product (if it's even feasable), it would sure mess up Exchange. I don't know... It's just something to think about, I guess.

  • I wonder what the percentage of NetWare servers is these days in corporate networks.
  • you sure it's not just you? (are you, perhaps, behind censorware?) - it works fine for me from SF and from Chicago.
  • Actually I don't think it's silly at all, where I work we have a very heterogenous network with >1000 clients, NetWare and NDS are a big part of it. NDS has ~8 years of proven usage, does what it's supposed to very well and is crossplatform to boot.

    One of the big things Novell is pushing with eDirectory(new cheesy name for NDS) is that you can manage NetWare, Linux, Windows, etc from one NDS tree and if IBM gets ahold of NDS I'm sure that'll include everything they market also, which is very appealing to large companies.

    If this is true it's probably just a move against Microsoft/AD by IBM, and what better person to take down MS than the former heavy weight champ =)
  • That wasn't me, that was a TR0114X0R!
  • AD will be a success because of the monopoly desktop presence of Windows, the very large NT server penetration. There have been a number of "accomodations" to BIND to make it work better with Win2k DNS RRs.

    If you want to see where AD on Linux will be, look where Samba on Linux is now and the momentum it has. Do you think that Win2k/AD integration won't be important to the Linux world? The ability to work with almost any OS/protocol/hardware/network is whats helped Linux get as far as its come. Becoming an ivory tower and ignoring significant parts of the market won't help.
  • Fuck off you little coward I am a CNE and the shit is worhtless. They do not have any value to add to the market. It is going away the print services fell apart with this NDS crap, it does NOT work when you scale it up beyond fifty printers and when you wade past the first three levels of tech support to someone who has actually bothered to use the crap, they will admit that they do not know how to get it to work. Let see you sorry ass come out from behind the AC post and show a little spine if you want to actually have a conversation your prick.

    all persons, living and dead, are purely coincidental. - Kurt Vonnegut
  • NDS portability is something of a red herring; NDS ability to operate across platforms presumes that the hooks NDS makes into those platforms are stable across updates to non-Netware OSs. IE, Sun comes out with a Solaris patch that hammers a key NDS hook. Just because something exists on other platforms doesn't make it stable or reliable.

    NDS cost is the other issue. I think its much more likely that vendors of non-Win2k platforms are likely to come up with AD interoperability for their own OS. No need to rely on MS for AD portability, no need to worry about native OS updates clobbering AD interoperability, and the biggest one, no need to double or triple your per-user licensing costs just to run NDS.

    That last point is the thing that's going to keep multiplatform NDS out of the mainstream. It's really unclear to me that NDS adds enough value to warrant paying an additional $20-30 per seat when the OSs have built-in management. Maybe it's not as good as NDS, but its not costing extra, either.

  • by JCCyC ( 179760 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @07:28PM (#855794) Journal
    1) NDS, already talked about.

    2) The filesystem. It kicks ass, and reached its splendor in 3.12. From then on, it had to share CPU cycles & memory with NDS, but still was obscenely fast. Nothing, I tell you, NOTHING running on i386 ever matched the performance of a NetWare file server. NFS is a joke, Windows networking is a joke, Samba (although crucial for interoperability) is the emulation of a joke. I'd hate to see that code go up in smoke as Novell finally dies.

    Netware was a peculiar beast. There were about 5 or 6 different pools of memory allocation, with different management and different use, which you had to fine-tune for maximum performance. A sizeable chunk of the manual was dedicated just for that.

    Ok, that's enough nostalgia rant tonight. Now I really gotta sleep. Bye.

  • Speaking as someone who is being coerced (not really, but officially) into using groupwise:
    Groupwise has some real problems. The formatting of the calendar is uncontrollable, the printing is horrible, the mail feels like a bolted on kludge. I suppose that folk who use it without any choice eventually get used to it, but I don't know how they manage, and I've been easing into it for over 6 months. Until I finally gave up, and went back to a calendar that let me configure message classifications (Urgent, Important, ..., Personal). I added the names and color backgrounds for the calendar. It also allows me to set repeating messages without starting to immediately warn me about all the ones in the future (there's probably a way around that, but it wasn't worth bothering how to figure it out at that point .. I went back to the prior system).

    I don't know Notes, but I haven't heard anyone say anything bad about it, and I've been hearing about it for years.

    So, FWIW, my guess it that GW would be allowed to molder. IBM is pretty good about keeping old software working, but it also doesn't invest lots of effort in something that it has decided isn't central. Were the deal to go through, I would expect three more releases of GW. One for the version that Novell is working on now. One to integrate it more smoothly into the new IBM network plan. And then one to fix all remaining major bugs. Then a few maintenance releases. Of course, during this period IBM would be pushing ahead at normal speed on Network/OS development and linkages. GW would stop being pushed by the sales teams as other products acquired the features that GW was good at.

    OTOH, I would bet that you can still get a PLIXCLG module for your MVS system. IBM doesn't drop you cold.
  • It's not clear that vendors *won't* support AD. It's pretty clear that they're not setting sales records by "supporting" NDS. Novell themselves isn't setting any sales records selling NDS -- earnings are down 83% over this period last year!

    You may be able to sell the "but if we spend a zillion dollars we can make the network cheaper to operate" where YOU work, but here, it's never clear that the financial outlay is worth it either to me or the people that approve my budgets.

    The problem with large dollar outlays is that they DO show up in budgets and on balance sheets, but the "savings" never do. The savings are always theoretical estimates or wild claims from the always reliable people at whatever IT consulting group is big these days. To the people on top it often sounds like "the more you spend the more you save".

    The same arguments have been made for years about high-falutin' SNMP management products. "If we could only have the $1M or however much to buy/config/install HP OpenVue/Tivoli/etc we could manage our network so much better and save millions down the road." Meanwhile, two years later you're still configuring/installing/calling the consultants in search of the big management savings.

    The long and the short of it is that I'm not against NDS -- I use it every day! And I'm not *for* AD -- I still haven't even implemented it in a test environment. And I am VERY pro directory-enabled everything. What I am is skeptical that Novell's NDS (or eDirectory or whatever they're calling it today) is going to be *the* directory that makes it. I think Novell's business is too fsck'd up, I think they don't have an OS to subsidize NDS on other platforms, and I think they're charging too much to gain mass acceptance on operating systems other than Netware that they need in order for it to really be a success.

  • Maybe IBM wants to have a backup low-end server OS in their corner for when Linux crumbles.

    What you mean? They already have AIX.

  • So IBM is cheating on Microsoft.

    Someone should write a soap opera.

    BlackholeTV [] - TV that Swallows
  • The thing that BOTH Micro$oft and Linux could learn from Novell is integration. Netware Administrator (NWadmin for the uninitiated) does everything. No, I mean *everything*.

    This is exactly what Linuxconf [] is trying to do, and pretty sucessfully so far too. User administration, sendmail setup, apache setup, bind, wu-ftpd, system services, all from one app.
  • Nice point about the virus stuff.

    However, a client base of about 300 is way too pessimistic. I run a Uni network with 15000 regular users (30000 registered users, but like most students, most of them don't turn up every day of the week). We've got 30+ NW4.11 servers. The clients all run NT4.0. Spiffy.

    A lot of people have been passing comments such as "IBM's already pushing Linux", as though it's a valid competitor for medium installations (such as ours) or larger. Without some sort of directory, managing that many users is pig-awful (I know, I ran an NT3.51 service for a while). So far as I know, Linux alone doesn't have a directory, although you can run NDS on it.

    Finally, the Active Directory that Microsoft are pushing is just a kludge built on top of a fifteen year old kludge. I know full well it will succeed eventually, but merely by power of marketing. It will never match the NDS technically.

    Rob. (a happy NT Workstation user, who uses a proper NOS for serving, and tinkers with Linux to keep his nerdish instincts alive)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    As a former Novell employee this is old new. Every 6-9 months a rumor that Novell is about to bought (saved) by some benevolent company, usually it is IBM, Dell or Intel. The stock ticks up a point or two based on the rumor and the top brass cashes out.

    Basically this type of penny market scam is the only way Novell know how to make any money. Make the wise move and give you remaining Novell sock to charity, now you can be the one that is view as benevolent, while writing off some of the loss on your year-end taxes.
  • I think the idea of the NDS being open sourced is a great insight... in fact, don't know if you've seen this ad on TV yet but maybe a hit of things to come....

    "Now the forces of openness have a powerful and unexpected ally..." [] ibm_linux-02.avi
  • I wonder what the percentage of NetWare servers is these days in corporate networks.
    Higher than you think. Generally speaking, the bigger the corporation, the more likely they are to still be using Netware. Netware scales beautifully, and in the big shops, there's less of a knee-jerk tendency to rip out working systems and replace them with whatever is trendy.

    It's in the small to midrange installations where you see the techno cowboy wannabes who know how to double-click and therefore consider themselves network experts, that Windows NT replaces Netware rapidly.
  • Novell has a huge Windows market which is what businesses pay for. They don't care if the server is rock solid stable; they want it to say "Good morning, welcome to Groupwise for Windows, may I kiss your ass?"
  • It's in the small to midrange installations where you see the techno cowboy wannabes who know how to double-click and therefore consider themselves network experts, that Windows NT replaces Netware rapidly.

    Which reminds me of... this morning I went into my closest Wells Fargo branch and their entire system was down! I'm not sure of the scope (they said it was just that branch) but it was interesting, if not annoying (I didn't actually have any serious business to do).

  • Exactly my point, why does everyone here think the world revolves around Linux. It's not ready for prime time yet but adding predigree services like NDS on top can only help to bring it closer. In the real world nobody cares a damn about the O/S it's the business critical applications that sit on top that really count.
  • No it does not, the old versions did. The program that causes the problem will be shut down and the server keeps running, you just see a
    myserver[1]: prompt where the number is the number of times it has crashed since reboot.
    If that happens you might want to check under /etc/console.log

  • It's all well and fine with what Novell has added to NetWare lately, I just have installed a NetWare cluster for a customer, now that was a lot of fun, really. :-)
    But the problem is that unless Novell manages to teach the salespersons at all the companies that "sells" Novell to spell to something else than NT, it will be dead.
    Most of them are too stupid, they go for ye old "you never get fired for choosing/selecting Microsoft". I have a daily struggle trying to get them to sell NetWare too, at least to our customers who already has a old NetWare server and just wants to upgrade it.

    The biggest "downside" about Novell will always be that you sell 3 times as many hours of consulting assistance to NT networks. Everyone does, I even know companies who's sales dept. were told only to sell NT because of that.
  • I remember times, when IBM sold their own version of Netware. The box looked exactly the same than the original one from Novell, but it was not red, it was blue. :-)
  • A few years ago wasn't there talk of Lotus (now part of IBM) and Novell merging? For reasons I've since lost all memory of, the merger never went ahead.

    I worked for a Banyan reseller at the time, and this news scared ourselves and some of our customers.

  • I think Novell has a very decent line of products and has piss-poor marketing and sales.

    Ahem! 10 years ago Novell's marketing was way ahead of Banyan, their major competitor, who had *zero* marketing, yet a powerful (at the time) product, and sold mainly on word-of-mouth.

  • IBM always has had a rough time with their hardware offerings (desktops; Netfinity servers. It seems the world is revolving around Dell these days. Novell has a huge number of loyal customers that every few years spend enormous amounts of money on Dell, Compaq systems. (And not at Novell software since their IntraNetWare 4.11 licenses purchased in '96 are still fine..) Getting into a technology joint-venture with Novell would make sence for IBM since they could then target those customers. IBM would provide a simple integrated networking solution based on Novell software and IBM hardware, with a lower total cost of ownership for the customer.
  • > I always get the impression that IBM wants to be all things to all people... have a finger in every cookie jar...

    IBM has always been this way - for many years the AS/400, RS/6000, and S/370 groups competed for customer mindshare and they still do, albeit with somewhat less intensity and a grudging pandering to Microsoft customers. (IBM's rush to embrace Linux shows their distaste for all things Microsoft.)

    IBM is still all about account control (for 50 years, now) and selling hardware, even though services contribute a growing share of revenues. The only difference lately is, if IBM can't talk a CIO into outsourcing to Global Services, there is still the pitch - "We offer you _everything_." Account control means lock-in and big profits - millions of dollars annually for each captive CIO.

    However [and back on topic, ;-)], there's more than one reason why IBM might want to buy Novell. Sure, there's Netware... but that's a mature and declining business - even if many IBM customers are still using it, how long will this continue? There's also Novell's current stock price, which is at fire-sale levels (about $10, whereas NOVL sold for $30 less than a year ago - ouch!).

    So - aside from Netware - IBM might be looking to buy Novell's cadre of software engineers (who are mostly located in a relatively low cost-of-living region - Utah) at a steep discount: a good deal.

    In an IT acquisition, the buyer always perceives some undervalued assets - whether these might be infrastructure, software products, people, whatever. A weak stock price is the invitation.

  • The difference is the style of server. Linux is naturally Unix based, but Netware could just about be called an OS/390 clone for PCs. The similarities are rather striking. You don't get all the resilience features because many of them are hardware specific, but the internals suggest to me that Netware was designed by exIBM people. I can't confirm whether that is true, but I always felt that Netware was the son of OS/390.

    With Netware, AS/400 and OS/390 IBM would have mainframe style OSes that cover the whole range from mom and pop stores to fortune 500 companies. With Linux and AIX, they have the same range with UNIX. Both the currently viable styles of OS in all sizes, and one directory service to bind them.

    This doesn't seem at all unexpected, Netware fills the mainframe-OS-on-commodity-hardware hole in IBM's product line that Linux created with the Unix-derivative-on-commodity-hardware solution.
  • shuddup, potato flake sucker!
  • That's not true. When NetWare crashes, typically it abends. Which means the whole server is hosed.
  • Novell right now is going through some rough sailing [], so they probably figured it's either to let the bigger fish (cool blue) eat them or bite the silver bullet.
    It's sad things went bad for them, but their philosophy of plugging into a network anything that emits heat is a head-plunge down a cliff.

  • Why, Novell's share is about this [] much. According to IBM, anyway.
  • Well, like a few other posts have commented, Novell has a lot going for it... So you know I'm not talking out my ass, I work for a government body that has in excess of 600 servers, all running Novell and all tied together via NDS - Anyone want to print 3 thousand miles away? [grin]

    Linux was born in '91 right? Novell's NDS has been around almost that long, and its only gotten better. NDS allows you to tie pretty much everything together - Desktops, Servers, Users, eMail, Firewall, DNS etc. The real question is, why wouldn't Big Blue (tm) want them?

    Now, I'm a big fan of linux (note: not a zealot), but there are some things that Novell just does better. Case in point, my buddy Arcterex and I have often debated (over a wee pint o' Guiness) over Novell's value as compared to Linux... as I work with Novell and he with Linux (surprise, surprise...) What it comes down to for me is this: Linux can't even come CLOSE to Novell for having an EASY way for management - Novell's Netware Administrator takes the money all the way to the bank!

    Now, I'm not a Micro$oft fan either, but I have occasion to work with their products on a daily basis (not my choice, but they have the market share right now). Their management software (User administration, Server Administration etc) isn't that bad for ease of use (GETTING to where you need to go isn't bad...its making it do what you want thats a pain in the @$$)

    The thing that BOTH Micro$oft and Linux could learn from Novell is integration. Netware Administrator (NWadmin for the uninitiated) does everything. No, I mean *everything*. There are some tasks you actually have to go to the server console for, oh wait, you can RCONSOLE there through NWadmin... [grin]. The point being, that for pretty much every task/area of management you want, there is a SNAP-IN for the Administrator. Very Handy.

    With Linux you have to go to 15 million different files to get things configured properly. And the REAL key is knowing which ones you need and how to do it properly. This isn't necessarily a bad (tm) thing, but it does produce a pretty steep learning curve. You'll notice how Unix Admin's get paid buckets more than Novell ones... its because Unix is harder to admin (that and there is more demand for *nix admins than for Novell)

    Anywho, I'm done rambling... got work to do.

  • Worked fine for me.

    Where did you register that?

    I was under the impression that registrars weren't registering offencive domain names.

  • I've administered Unix (Linux), NT, and NetWare networks over the years, and I gotta say that NetWare is the best, hands down. Ecspecially when you consider NDS. Don't get me wrong, Linux is great... (and NT sucks...) but NetWare was easy to manage, easy to administer, and still gave me the flexibility I needed to do what had to be done.

    I'm glad that Novell's going to be given another chance under Big Blue's umbrella. Go IBM.
  • Novell is not dead. I'm running 60 users, 10 printers, mail, intranet, and proxy on a Novell 4.11 box (Proliant 800, P2-350, 448MB) - CPU ut. hardly ever goes over 5%. It uses all it's RAM, sure, and the RAID is pretty busy, but it's still just one box serving the whole network.

    Stable? In 22 months it's crashed exactly once. Fast? File access is still fast enough for me, and I'm type A with rabies.

    Other firms our size in the city are running as many as 6 NT servers to do the same chores. Maybe I could replace it with *nix or *BSD, but why fuck with something that's almost perfect? "Almost" that is, until IBM open-sources NDS. I think I'd wet myself ;)
  • Let's not forget NDS. IBM could be looking to really get into the Directory Services war, and why develope one for UNIX/Linux when they can own the best in business. The great thing about NDS is it just accepts everybodies operating system as long as it has a client ... hell, there is a client for Linux so you can add it to the NDS Tree. :) Besides, I don't think I could live with MS Active Directories ... and it would be nice to have IBM's stability running Novell so that NDS will always stay around. Cya L8r Lee
  • The problem isn't the NLM, its the programming community. It's easier to program a Win32 application than to take the time to learn NetWare API.
  • "Really, I haven't seen a Novell network in years, and the ones I did see were quite small (150 machines tops). Is Novell really the right choice for something like that?"

    If you haven't seen one, why comment on it's suitability? NDS eDirectory (and that's the real product here, let's not kid ourselves) is scalable to 32 billion objects, theoretically. The largest production environments for NDS are well over a billion, AFAIK. All that and multi-platform to boot.

  • Like I have seen several people post here, NDS is going to be the real jewel that IBM is going to be after. I have worked on several Novell networks (small (5 clients) to large(400+ clients)) and Novell Intranetware ran the whole thing with outstanding grace and reliability. The only problems I ever saw was when there was a hardware failure, but having a properly fault-tolerent, highly-redundant server machine eases the headachs. Most of the people who are saying that Novell is dead have probably been listening to Microsoft's propaganda ... er Marketing Department too long. I remember six years ago, when I was taking part in an Information and Technology Fair, a rep from IBM trying to sell OS/2 Warp 4 Server, told the crowd that Novell was dead and that their server was going to take over ... well, while I have great respect for OS/2 Warp 4 Server as it is a very fine solution, Novell persisted, adapted and overcame. Now I will say that Novell's marketing is probably one of the weakest in the market, but the thing is that Novell can count on return business from it's existing customers because nobody offers the kind of solution that Novell does. Sure, Microsoft is going to try with Active Directories, but how many of Novell's high-end clients are going to migrate from a Directory Service that has over 8 years of developement behind it for one that was most likely latched onto an OS with duct tape and bailing wire?? :) No folks, Directory Service !!ARE!! the future. MS sees it, which is why they introduced Active Directories, and I think that IBM sees it as a way to tie all their solutions together. Lets also not forget that NDS allow administration of tons of machines from one point, provides extremely high levels of security (something that Active Directories can't come close to touching), and provides unparralleled flexability which makes it easily scalable. So, I think that it would be wise for IBM to bring Novell under their wing. Novell can bring a lot of value to IBM in areas where IBM hasn't ventured yet.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Well iots clear why IBM wants NOVELL... its because they have the only C2 certified IOS that is networkable, they follow Orange and red book standards, while Windows NT Server and Workstation can be C2, it is only when they are standalone devices, they are trusted computer bases, while Netware is a trusted computing networking base
  • But that was ten years ago, an eternity in Internet time. Novell has done a piss poor job of marketing themselves and have suffered for it terribly. They have the best PC directory product in NDS, but it's a bitch to develop for and management doesn't understand it (yet), and by the time they do, it will be too late. (In)Active Directory will be dubbed the only directory by the folks with Bill's dick up their ass in the trade rags and management will go "Wow! We gotta have that!" PHBs rule the corporate world.
  • Operative word there being trying. Novell has been successfully doing this for years. I can even cofigure my firewall through NWAdmin. Linux has alot going for it but I just cant understand how people fail to see all of the benefits that Netware has to offer. Have you seen the new Zenworks for Networks and Zenworks for Servers? Amazing technology but I have to agree that nobody knows about it because their marketing is pretty horendous..
  • by Anonymous Coward
    its only remaining users are zealots (file under: Amiga)

    No, that should go between the Fad and Zealot files for Linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ok people, Novell is FAR from dead. To clear things up first, Novell is NOT NetWare, NetWare is one of their products.

    Novell is a going concern for these reasons:
    NDS (eDirectory)
    Best directory on the planet. Scales incredibly, has been around for 8 years, can talk to every open protocol for querying directories and authenticating users (just about). This includes things like linux PAM modules, radius servers, LDAP server, and other internetty things.

    Open Strategy
    Novell seems to only be going for open protocols and interoperability these days. For example, rather than rip out active directory in win2k, they sync to it .. they're supporting CIFS, you can manage and control NetWare all from a browser,

    Proper thrust (ooh!) for integration between platforms.
    You don't even need Netware to run NDS these days, you can run it on NT, and they're adding lots more platforms .. it might even run on Solaris and Linux now, i'm not sure. On top of this though, most of their "technology" products which do sexy things like managing QOS on networks by logged in user (this is supported in cisco IOS >12.0 apparently), dosen't rely on Netware either. Things like ZENworks and NetWare have clients for every version of windows out there, including 3.1 - even MS has dropped support for older platforms, and has no directory client for earlier workstation OS versions than Win2k workstation.

    Wow. This stuff is amazing - it's the XML-description based integration for the directory. Basically, it populates databases from NDS automatically, and it's ALL OPEN. Apparently XML is going to be the magic glue to join disparite systems, and is being supported by all sorts of vendors. It'll be nice if it works :)

    Now you probably think i digested a Novell marketing course, but seriously : i like novell's software. There are way too many drawbacks in an NT environment (domains? WTF?, services, WTF? proxy server, WTF?) - and even Linux is a dirty, dirty pig to manage. Yes, I can manage a linux box pretty damned well, but it'd be really nice to manage 50 linux boxes and their resources via a directory.

    Linux will get there, and Novell might even be the people to bring it there.

    What's this got to do with IBM? - not a lot, but I probably wouldn't mind seeing them merge. So long as it's a lotus-esque merger. IBM hasn't broken Lotus's good products (Notes).

    And that's my 2 cents :)

    PS: Apologies for posting this twice, but I accidentally banged the submit button before I was finished
  • You have to feel some sympathy for Novell.

    They produced a quality product for years, and the experience really showed. Then they got virtually bundled out of the market (partly at least) by a network OS virtually still in it's embryonic stage.

    As one of the long line of people who are forced t o work with NT on a daily basis, and had worked with Netware previously I really can't express enough how much I hope that IBM can get Novell, and help reclaim some of the server market from NT/2k (a NOS that thinks it's a workstation).

    I just hope it's not too late.

    Someone pass IBM the defibrillator.

    "How much truth can advertising buy?" - iNsuRge [] - AK47
  • NDS may rule, but it's got to be hard to run a software company with one product... especially a software company the size of Novell.

    Netware has been losing market share for years and it's pretty clear that regardless of it's power as a file/print server I think that more memory/more servers are probably a better investment than Novell training.

    If IBM buys, it'd be for NDS and maybe for the programmers.

    - StaticLimit
  • Think about it....when Novell shed itself of Unix rights, they kept access to the patents/IP on a favorable rate.

    Part of the driving reason for Caldera to buy parts of SCO....access to a cheaper IP licence for Unix.

    And, with the right IP mix, either/both vendors can force other vendors to pay for a licence - aka push up the costs for the other vendors.

  • It seems that IBM is moving towards providing mainstream Unix products to the burgoning amount of middle class Unix systems on the Internet.
    Every day some Tom, Dick, and Harry start an Internet company. Who better to sell them hardware and software than IBM, a trusted name and institution.
    If IBM buys Novell, IBM will have the final piece of the puzzle: a network operating system from which to integrate Linux/AIX compatibility.
    The future: cheap, powerful, versatile servers.

    viva la revolution!
  • IBM were to open-source NDS?
  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @01:36PM (#855840) Homepage Journal
    Every day that goes by that I haven't heard the demise of this venerable, one-time leader, I'm amazed. IBM must want their office space...

    Vote [] Naked 2000
  • Sure in a properly run house it is cool now as well.

    Only idiots would allow lusers keep the primary business software on their machines. It is much more maintainable when run off a server. Why do you think people continue to sell think clients? They are more expensive than a PC. They require bigger servers. So there got to be a catch somewhere. And the catch is maintenance.

    And it does not matter what M$ does to break away from the catch they are making matters even worse...

  • by CaptainSuperBoy ( 17170 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @01:39PM (#855849) Homepage Journal
    Netware is a fine OS, even if you don't hear that much about it any more. It does what you want it to do reliably and quickly if you know what you're doing and know how to set it up. The problem is that Novell has always had marketing problems and has run into trouble getting their customers' requirements right. This is apparent when you look at their early attempts at supporting TCP/IP and the internet.

    IBM is another company not known for being able to market great products.. look no further than OS/2, which beat Windows 3.1 in EVERY way except software compatibility at the time WARP was released.. it didn't catch on though, due in part to IBM's poor marketing.

    Maybe it's just me, but I see problems when two companies which have trouble selling great products think of getting together.


  • I think Novell has a very decent line of products and has piss-poor marketing and sales.

    Since IBM has piss-poor marketing, but the best army of sales oids in the business, I think they could make a go of it.

    While they're at it, they could also buy Corel for a song and we could have Novell Word Perfect again.


  • by Snard ( 61584 ) <mike.shawaluk@gm ... m minus language> on Monday August 14, 2000 @01:42PM (#855860) Homepage

    Wonder how Novell could complement Big Blue to justify a buy-out....

    I think that red goes very nicely with blue, don't you?

  • by Gerdts ( 125105 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @05:02PM (#855866)
    Not everyone at IBM has caught the open source fever-- please don't assume that all code sent to IBM becomes open source. As an example, take a look at what has happened with AFS. Back in the early to mid 90's, IBM bought Transarc thinking that there was going to be a big push for globally distributed file systems.

    IBM recognized that AFS had some deficiencies and pushed forward with DCE/DFS. At first, they gave an (official, I think) EOL on AFS along with the migration path to DCE/DFS. Once AFS customers figured out what they needed to do with DCE/DFS to make it work as well as AFS already worked, they cried foul and encouraged IBM to alter its product plans.

    IBM changed their tune, saying that AFS would be supported in the future, and AFS 3.5 came out on short order. It improved file server performance by over 3 times! Meanwhile, DCE has been open sourced (or something similar, I forget) by the OSF and IBM seems to have forgotten about DFS after their big '96 olympics web site replication with DFS was met with a big "so?".

    As of late, though, IBM has determined that there is not money in distributed file systems. They have shifted their "development" to India, and declared AFS to be in "maintenance only mode". [Thread 1] [] [Thread 2] []

    As such, AFS currently uses Kerberos IV. Pretty much every site that is serious about AFS has licensed the source and patched it for Kerberos V. This patch has been going around for at least 5 years, yet IBM has been unable to integrate it. Even worse yet, look how they have approached security bugs in Linux 2.2.14 [].

    It would make a lot of sense for AFS to be open sourced, but they are making no moves in that direction. I suspect that a similar fate awaits NDS, should IBM get their hands on it. Then again, maybe the leftovers from Transarc and Novell could get together and come up with a Kerberos V implementation for both products.

  • I would have to agree with you completely. Novell has made huge steps in the educational department. A school with 500 students can get Netware, Zen Works, and Border Manager for $1000 with all the licenses needed for as many servers as you wish. You can then add any other Novell product at 50 cents each per user.

    My job entails setting up a systems that dynamically installs applications based on user/workstation rights, keeps track of application licenses, connect multiple sites via VPNs, restrict Internet content, and others like web services etc. And that catch is: it must be easy enough to teach a librarian how to admin the system.

    Since in NDS, every object can be trustees of any other object, it is very simple to add rights for a single person, group, container, location, and organization to applications, file shares, printers, and more.

    Teachers log in and they get a full windows desktop much like our home machines (those of us that run windows), then just after they log off a student logs in and they have just a simple menu system with a completely different set of applications available to them. They don't even have rights to the applications directories on the server until they attempt to run it. When they close it, their rights are gone.

    If a NOS can stand up to the worst script kiddies out there (high schoolers), IMO, it's pretty good. Throw in stability and speed, and nothing touches it....nothing.

  • I feel sorry for Novell. Overall, their products work really well, but they can't succeed. Here's why:

    Netware is a pretty poor operating system for hosting anything other than Netware File+Print services. Memory protection options are limited and not enabled by default, SMP support is weak at best (File+Print *still* isn't SMP enabled). Ring 0 processes that tank clobber everything, and most everything that matters runs ring 0. Because of this environment, there aren't many 3rd-party applications to run on Netware and the ones that exist are a pale comparison to their NT counterparts.

    Which brings us to NDS, Novell's shining star. NDS is great, but the downside to NDS is that by itself it doesn't do any good. It requires a resource(s) to manage, which generally means users and their security access to resources on a server-type machine (yes, I run Netware, and know all about Zenworks-type objects and others).

    The downside to this is that ALL OS vendors provide some kind of resource management. From the simple (adduser, passwd, chmod) to the more sophisticated (ActiveDirectory, NIS+). Not only do vendor-supplied systems assume the default resource mechanisms are being used (usernames over 8 characters?) but changing the default behavior may require changing or patching applications or libraries to take advantage of the directory.

    What's killing Novell (or should I say stifling NDS? Same thing) is that they don't have a general purpose operating system to compete with NT, the Unices, AS/400, et al, and the market is really favoring general purpose OSs that can handle many tasks. Trying to make Netware a general purpose OS is too little, too late.

    They do have a really good directory system in NDS but by charging the amount they charge, they can double or triple the licensing costs that users end up paying for the same solution without NDS. That some OSs come with a directory that rivals some of the depth and functionality of NDS makes it a really tough sales pitch both to customers and even inside enterprises. (Bosses often think "spend more money to make my job easier" is somewhat heretical to the idea of working for a living). Novell's problem with NDS is that they can't afford to give it away on other platforms without a hot-selling OS to subsidize it, and if they can't give it away it won't get the adoption AD will get simply due to market reach.

    What can Novell do to succeed? Partner with someone like Caldera, who have already been Novell friendly. Bring out "Netware for Linux": an NLM-compatible file+print system for Linux that will support SMB clients as well. Make the pricing for NDS flat-rate (ie, $1000 buys you all the stuff you need for 10 users or a million). Both of these things will get people to buy an OS from them *and* get NDS to be ubiquitous, which is what NDS needs to succeed.
  • While I doubt the validity of this story, all those people who bag Novell clearly don't have a clue.

    Let's look at it product by product against, say, WindoZe.

    Novell runs more users, more HD space, better throughput and more services on half the processor power, and a quarter of the RAM compared to NT. I've had a Novell server running 1000 users for file and print sharing - as well as an internet proxy cache, DHCP server, and DNS - on a server with a single processor and 1 gig of RAM. try that on NT - but throw three more processors and at least 3 gig more RAM at it first.

    Novell can't run console applications - but who WANTS to run applications on their server? I mean - is it really necessary for the administrator to play Solitaire on the server console? Get real. Netware will run a web server, database server, file and print - what more is a server for?

    The new java console on a Novell server even eliminates most of Windows only advantage - the ability to administer the user environment from the console. This was a feature unavailable un Netware versions prior to 5 - but with ConsoleOne under NW 5, you can even do that.

    And finally - NDS versus ActiveDirectory. No contest, really - NDS is scalable, available on more platforms than you can shake a stick at, including Solaris, Linux, IBM mainframes and more, and more reliable. ActiveDirectory? You're stuck with NT, folks - live with it.

    IBM buying Novell may or may not be a good thing - I think probably not, because it'll submerge the creativity within Novell, and probably kill it off as IBM sucks up to Microsoft some more to get better deals on NT. I hope this story isn't true!

  • by um... Lucas ( 13147 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @01:44PM (#855872) Journal
    They could just like Novell for the fact that it's Novell... Do what they did with Lotus and buy them up, and continue their businesses as they were previously, but be able to add Novell networks as another thing they do under their services operation... And since they would be the owners of Novell, who would be to argue that they aren't the largest source of Netware expertise?

    So far as caldera and SCO goes... SCO's much more scalablet than Linux, sorry it's true. SCO's got a large installed base. Even if they can't integrate all of SCO's code into their products, they can learn quite a bit by it, enough to fold into their internal developement in an attempt to get a leg up on Redhat, et al... But mostly for the name and the installed base, is my bet...
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Monday August 14, 2000 @01:47PM (#855875) Homepage Journal
    Novell brings a couple of things to the table. First, of course, is NetWare. Still the fastest pure file/print solution out there, with pretty good Java servlet capability bolted on. Then, there's the crown jewel - NDS. NDS is already highly portable, can manage users on Unix and Windows, and can be used to manage desktops very nicely. NDS can be extended to almost anything, and unlike MS Active Directory, NDS has over 8 years of development (and live users) behind it.

    IBM has systems available all over the map - from Intel PC servers running Windows or Linux, to RS/6000 systems with AIX, to AS/400 and S/390 minis and mainframes. NDS could help them tie this picture together better. And they own Lotus - which could benefit nicely from better NDS integration.

    Not to mention that IBM has done a nice job with Lotus - sure, 1-2-3/SmartSuite is toast, but they've done a terrific business with Notes, and still have a substantial lead over Microsoft in the category.

    It's a good fit for IBM, good technology, and a chance to get one of the few missing pieces in IBM's technology arsenal for a cheap price. IBM could buy Novell with pocket change. I'm surprised this deal didn't happen a year ago.

    - -Josh Turiel
  • by Anonymous Coward
    > Does anyone know what Novell have that is currently of value to IBM? NDS, NetWare, GroupWise, BorderManager, and the list goes on. NDS alone is an extremely robust, useful product and it is multi platform. NetWare can't easily be beat for file and print services, and with NetWare 5, it's IP based, so other services, such as DNS/DHCP/WWW run very nicely. NetWare, to put it bluntly, doesn't crash much. and when it does, it does it very gracefully and doesn't generally kill eveyr process and blue screen. It simply notifies the admin that a crash took place and that it needs attention. GroupWise is the email package of choice for many Fortune 500 companies as it is also very stable and easy to use from an admin standpoint... and it doesn't have the vulnerabilities of Exchange/Outlook. I'm not as hyped about BorderManager, but it DEFINITELY does the job and does it well. I personally prefer dedicated hardware firewalls, but BM comes close. And, before I get flamed for being a Novell bigot, I'm an MCSE, too... and I've worked with Novell for years. While it is more difficult to administer than other OSs, it's come a LONG way in the past couple of years, and I think we'll start to see some marketing activity from Novell. They have strong products. Scott

Experience varies directly with equipment ruined.