The release of a new version of NetWare is not the huge event it used to be. NetWare 6 will ship next month but Novell sees the network operating system as part of an overall solution rather than the flagship product of yesteryear.
NetWare 6 is part of the infrastructure that will enable users to access network services from any location at any time, says Novell net management services market development head Bob Spearman.
“For example, I could go to any desktop in Auckland and, using a browser, pull up my files or print a document back in my office in Provo in Utah,” Spearman says.
A feature in the NOS, iFolder, lets mobile users access files securely via a web browser; another, iPrint, is designed to ease printer management by employing a combination of NDPS (Novell Distributed Print Services) and Internet Printing Protocol at the server and a web browser plug-in on the client. That allows IT departments to map printers in a new way: Novell includes a tool that takes a floor plan image and adds printer icons in the appropriate locations. A user finds a new printer they want to configure, including the necessary driver, with a couple of clicks.
A major facit of NetWare 6 is that its functionality can be added gradually, so both iPrint and iFolder can be bought separately and will work with NetWare 5.1. Nor does the upgrade require deployment of client software.
“You can add components to the network as they’re needed,” says Spearman, who was in New Zealand to talk to customers at Novell’s One Net conference in Wellington.
The upgrade also improves storage management, supports two-node clusters and enables network management from a browser, Novell says.