Novell has shipped a beta version of Netware 6.0 and is underlining its long-term commitment to the network operating system, despite disappointing third-quarter results and a market share that is slipping in the face of the Microsoft/Linux onslaught, writes Nick Enticknap.
Netware 6.0 is aimed at mission-critical installations but Novell will continue to sell Netware 5.1, released in January, for less demanding environments. The new product comes in three flavours, for large, medium and small organisations. Full availability is promised for the first half of next year.
A major feature of version 6.0 is clustering of up to 32 Intel servers "to eliminate unplanned and planned downtime", according to Netware product manager Brian Green.
"Fault-tolerant e-business is what everybody's working towards - we've attempted to make it a reality".
The other significant addition is support for a distributed file system within Novell Storage Services (NSS). This allows storage to be attached to the directory service rather than to a specific server, which simplifies storage management and speeds up the boot process. NSS is a 64-bit system which supports billions of volumes and directories, with each volume holding billions of files, each of which can be up to 8Tbytes.
Netware 6.0 remains 32-bit. The 64-bit version of Netware, codenamed Modesto, will appear in beta once Intel starts delivery of its Itanium processors. General availability is expected in the second half of 2001.
Novell has also shipped a new release of Zenworks for Desktops, the Windows PC management product. A new feature of Zenworks for Desktops 3 is support for mobile users. "All the benefits for users over a network we can now deliver to users who are disconnected," said Novell's product development manager Judy Johnston.
Netware 6.0 also supports SMP servers for the first time.