Census, other agencies tap NetWare for new networks

Leased servers running Novell NetWare 4.12 will populate 450 or more field offices as
the Census Bureau next month begins to set up temporary LANs for the 2000 census.


That and sizable government orders for NetWare 5.0, released in September, are helping
Novell Inc. regain visibility in the network operating system market, Novell officials
said recently.


They announced last month that Novell Directory Services for Unix, Microsoft Windows NT
and NetWare will be integrated into future backbone switches from Lucent Technologies Inc.
of Murray Hill, N.J.


Beginning with the Cajun P550 Gigabit Routing Switch, Lucent plans to license and
bundle NDS software with its own management software. Next year, Lucent plans to deliver
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol policy management software.


Lucent and Novell have an agreement to develop open schema definitions for integrating
LDAP-enabled directory services with network devices such as routers and switches, said
Michael Simpson, Novell’s marketing director.


“This would be the first time ever there’s been a bridge from the management
space between the physical network environment and the logical user environment,” he
said.


Through NDS, administrators can manage quality of service based on user identity and,
if necessary, trigger intruder-detection lockouts, Simpson said.


Novell moved further into desktop management with its Z.E.N. Works management and
software distribution suite. The Z.E.N. Works starter pack bundled in NetWare 5.0
“makes applications self-healing,” Simpson said.


If someone accidentally changes a registry setting and disables an application, for
example, Z.E.N. Works will recover the application automatically by restoring the registry
setting.


The Navy has been using Z.E.N. Works and NDS for NT to manage the Windows NT and
Microsoft Exchange rollouts under its Information Technology for the 21st Century
initiative, Simpson said.


Managers can use the role-based administration features in NDS 5.0 to lock down Windows
3.x clients so that users cannot even delete an icon.


“We essentially make the PC bulletproof,” Simpson said.


NetWare 5.0 supports Simple Network Management Protocol and has a new kernel with
protected memory space for applications and virtual memory for applications that need
extra room to execute instructions.


Earlier NetWare kernels could encompass no more than four processors. NetWare
5.0’s symmetric multiprocessing kernel can handle up to 32 processors. A 64-bit
storage subsystem deals with file sizes up to 8 terabytes and an almost unlimited number
of files.


Security enhancements in NetWare 5.0 include an international cryptographic
infrastructure, which accepts 128-bit encryption modules. Novell will ship the operating
system with a security engine from RSA Data Security Inc. of Redwood City, Calif., plus
four application programming interfaces “if people want to enhance it beyond
that,” said John Slitz Jr., a Novell senior marketing vice president.


Users who access the network through a browser can be authenticated from the directory
via standard LDAP 3.0 APIs, he said.


A server running NetWare 5.0 can act as a certificate authority, generating public-key
infrastructure certificates to be stored in the NDS repository, Slitz said. The NOS is
compatible with PKI certificates of Entrust Technologies Inc. of Richardson, Texas, and
Netscape Communications Corp.


Unlike NetWare 4.x, which encapsulates IP, NetWare 5.0 provides IP as a core protocol.
“With NetWare 4, you could never really turn off IPX,” Slitz said.


Print services in NetWare 5.0 provide better communication between users, network
administrators and printers, he said. Administrators can view printers’ working
schematics, and users can receive notice when a printer jams or is out of paper, for
example.


From an application standpoint, NetWare 5.0’s inclusion of the Sun Microsystems
Java Virtual Machine would be useful for agencies that have developed their own Java
applications, Slitz said.


NetWare 5.0 has a pure enough Java interface that any Java application likely will
work, he said. Novell had certified more than 227 Java applications by the time it shipped
the operating system in mid-September.


NetWare 5.0 incorporates Netscape’s FastTrack Web server to provide a Web presence
and support for intranet applications. A five-user license for the Oracle Corp. Oracle8
database also is bundled and integrated with NetWare 5.0 through NDS.


NetWare 5.0 starts at $1,195 for a server with five user licenses. For 500 users, the
price goes up to $28,190.


Contact Novell’s Government Systems Group at 703-713-3500.  

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