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Novell's Open Enterprise Server Builds A Bridge To Linux - page 3

From Netware to the New Millennium

  • December 4, 2008
  • By Paul Ferrill

Novell wants to entice their remaining NetWare customers to migrate to OES Linux. While that might not be possible for some, it has become much more enticing with this latest release. Maintaining such things as user rights, file permissions, and device configurations can be complex for even a small-to-medium enterprise environment.

A new Graphical User Interface (GUI) migration tool provides a much more visual alternative to standard command line tools to help accomplish the task. It provides a way to migrate data, services and identity from an existing NetWare 5.0, 6.0 or 6.5 server to OES Linux. It will also migrate an OES 1 or 2 Linux server to the latest OES 2 SP1 environment.

Another capability provided by the migration tool is the ability to migrate multiple servers to a single OES instance. While the migration tool does not directly support cross-platform data migration, there is another existing tool called the Novell Server Consolidation utility to help with that task. The biggest issue concerns file ownership and access rights, requiring a mapping to existing eDirectory rights and owners.

Server identity represents a large and often unknown opportunity for problems in large enterprise environments. Applications expecting specific server names for database or identity services could break if you take one key server offline. This is where Novell's ID transfer utility comes in handy. The wizard runs a series of tasks to transfer things like authentication certificates, eDirectory identity, hostname, IP address and NICI keys to the new server instance.

Bottom Line

OES SP1 represents the first time that NetWare users dependent on AFP and CIFS have a viable option for migrating to Linux. It also provides more user-friendly tools for migrating complex enterprise installations. If you still have NetWare servers in your environment, you'll want to take a hard look at this release of OES as a way out.

SLES 10 includes Xen virtualization, and Novell fully supports running virtualized NetWare on a Linux box if you must keep a NetWare server around. 'Server consolidation has proven to save money, both on installation and operation costs. Novell hopes their NetWare customers will choose to stick with the company and switch to the Linux platform as a long-term solution.


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