You have to give Novell a lot of credit for transitioning NetWare to the Internet age. Given up for dead several years ago, NetWare 5 is a good operating system for use as an Internet server, thanks to the inclusion of native IP support and new management tools.
The IP support is important when considering NetWare as an Internet/intranet platform, because it eliminates the previous need in NetWare for supporting multiple protocols (when choosing IP, you don’t keep an IPX or NetBIOS encapsulation) and it also frees bandwidth. However, NetWare 5 will support both IP and IPX when you need to support local network users as well as Internet/intranet users. In this review, we’re looking at NetWare solely as an Internet/intranet platform. Therefore, we’re not looking at NetWare as a total NOS; functions like print sharing and workstation support aren’t factors in our evaluation.
Given up for dead several years ago, NetWare 5 is a good operating system for use as an Internet server, thanks to the inclusion of native IP support and new management tools.
On the plus side, NetWare 5 is a solid operating system that won’t wilt under a relatively heavy workload. It also contains a lot of candy that extends the power of NetWare: a default Web server of Netscape FastTrack Server for NetWare (for now, anyway; later we’ll discuss the next release of NetWare, which changes this default), the Oracle 8 database engine (limited to a five-user bundle), support for the Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) ORB, NetBasic interpreter (which is advertised as being VBScript compatible), JavaBeans for NetWare, Perl 5, and a fast Java Virtual Machine.
The Java capabilities are the hook upon which Novell is building future versions of NetWare, and it’s a pretty good hook, as NetWare fulfills the Java philosophy of generating applets that are portable across machine and OS boundaries. The Java Virtual Machine, as you might expect, is patterned after the Sun Java Virtual Machine (and indeed passed the Java Compatibility Kit test suites with few problems), so it shouldn’t take a lot of work to deploy applets designed for the Sun JVM on NetWare. In addition, NetWare 5 includes the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 1.1.5.next page