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After the acquisition of SUSE Linux, Novell started to merge its enterprise network services into OpenSource and Linux, Novell released the first version of Open Enterprise Server and here's a quick look on it.

Why OES ?

  • Linux servers are ideal for running web infrastructure and third-party applications such as Oracle.
  • Linux based services such as Openldap, SAMBA, CUPS are exhausted in complex networks.
  • Novell Enterprise deliver Linux felixability of Open source with Commercial network services to serve complex networks.
  • Novell OES add significant value in complex networks where open source capabilities are exhauted. 
  • Novell OES can lower the cost of deploying and managing servers by lowing the ongoing system management and decrease hardware cose by depending on Intel x86 platforms.
  • No vendor lock-in for software or hardware.

Novell OES Components

  • NetWare 6.5 Kernel and Services along with additional enhancements that are in development.
  • SUSE LINUX 2.6 kernel and all services that are in SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9.
  • Advanced Linux services and future services that are in development
  • Integrated common management tools to allow coexistence and management of platforms 

Novell OES entexds linux capabilities by providing:

  • Workgroup networking services for end users such as iFolder and iPrint
  • Easy installation and service configuration via centralized directory (eDirectory).
  • Identity-driven security on a global scale to ensure policy enforcement and data privacy.
  • Robust management tools for lower cost of ownership such as YaST
  • Support industry standards such as CIM and OpenWBEM
  • Novell Network Attached Storage Protocols such as (AFP,CIFS, NFS, NCP & Internet Protocols)

OES - The Good

  • LUM - Linux User Management that lets eDirectory users funtion as local POSIX users on linux servers. (Unique)
  • OpenWBEM - Set of web based management standard technologies. (Unique)
  • QuickFinder - Search utility that indexes what user has right to see.
  • Novell Client can map drivers to locations on OES/Linux Server running Netware Core Protocol (NCP) on linux.
  • iManager 2.5 supports non-IE platforms, including Firefox (such as adding drivers to iPrint Driver Store)
  • iPrint is now supported on linux both client and server sides.

OES - Areas of Improvements

OES lacks some important features found in his older brothers:
  • Lack of Dynamic DNS Support 
  • OES/Linux supports bind, but it's not backed by eDirectory.
  • OES/Linux supports DHCPD, but it's not backed by eDirectory.
  • NSS on Linux doesn't support User Space Restrictions at the volume level, but User Directory Quotas at the directory level are supported. also, installing NSS on eDirectory can cause some UIDS Conflicts so must be run on each OES subsequent server after installing the first server. In addition NSS recognize only EVMS and doesn't recognize LVMS.
  • Lack of an eDirectory-backed SLP DA ( OES/Linux uses OpenSLP)
  • DA- Directory Agent, UA- User Agent, SA- Service Agent
  • Lack of AFP Support (Apple Filing Protocol is used by Mac Clients to access files shared on linux Machines.)
  • ZENworks for Desktops server-side agents are not supported on linux at this time. but hopefully will be soon.
  • Encryption File System, DFS, IPX, Novell Licensing Services, Nsure Audit, RAID5, Time Sync and Netware Traditional File System are not supported on OES/Linux
  • Samba not support on OES/Netware
  • eDirectory on OES/Linux doesn't support management of server resources such as manage files and folders on netware volumes, purge deleted files, allocate volume space .. etc.
  • Welcome page functionality in linux doesn't support installing products and authentication to eDirectory which both are available in OES/Netware.


OES provides valuable networking services that improve the productivity of end users, centralized control and management over essential networking services, identity-driven security on a global scale, enhanced scalability and high-availability features, robust management tools for lower cost of ownership, easier setup and installation provided by pattern-based deployment features.

Companies have Novell Upgrade Protection can upgrade to OES free of charge.

Ashraf Abdelazim
Category: Reviews
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