Novell chief executive Jack Messman kicked off the company's Brainshare Europe conference last week with a keynote address to reassure users that Netware is still core to Novell's strategy.
"The Netware you know and love is not going away," he said.
The company has begun a beta programme, giving users early access to Open Enterprise Server (OES), a set of operating system tools that work across Netware and the company's SuSE Linux distribution.
The strategy is to offer users running Netware 6.5 a path to SuSE by moving onto OES, which Novell positions as the next release of Netware.
Freddie Kavanagh, chief technology officer at Novell Europe, said, "OES can run SuSE Linux Enterprise Server and Netware," and added that moving between the two will be, "seamless" for network administrators".
Novell plans to offer the same administration tools for Netware and SuSE users in OES. This means Netware components, including iFolder and iPrint - Novell's internet file sharing and printing facility - will be available to SuSE users.
When the user migrates to SuSE from OES, Kavanagh said security settings will be retained, which means the IT department does not have to spend time recreating Netware security and end-user access rights.
Kavanagh also said Novell was developing a visual configuration tool for managing end-user network access, such as setting up access to shared files and printers.
Zenworks client software has also been developed for SuSE, allowing users to manage their SuSE network in the same way they manage Netware.
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