NetWare for Small Business - NetWhy?

  • Written By: C. McNulty
  • Published: July 14 2000

NetWare for Small Business - NetWhy?
C. McNulty - July 14, 2000

Event Summary

PROVO, Utah - Demonstrating its continued commitment to the growing small business market, Novell, Inc. announced the Novell Small Business Suite 5.1. This suite delivers the reliability and scalability of Novell NetWare 5.1, the security and dependability of Novell NDS eDirectory services, and the manageability of Novell GroupWise 5.5-enabling small businesses to take advantage of the same tools that help many Fortune 500 companies manage and grow their businesses. Additionally, Novell Small Business Suite 5.1 contains key partner products including IBM WebSphere*, Network Associates VirusScan* and NetShield*, Oracle8i*, Tobit FaxWare*, and others.

Market Impact

Let's see if we have this straight - we can run IBM's Small Business Pack for Linux for 100 users, $499, which includes DB2 and Domino.

Or we can buy Microsoft's Small Business Server 4.5 for 100 or so users - including Exchange 5.5 and SQL 7.0 -- for $5,840.

Or we can buy this Novell bundle, which includes Oracle 8i and GroupWise (still going!), for $7,945. Why, that's the funniest thing we've heard since rumors that Oracle hired private eyes to "discover" that Microsoft wanted to influence user opinion in their antitrust case.

We may be broke, but at least we'll have NDS? This isn't back to the future for Novell. Early versions of NetWare succeeded in the market because they were simple, effective, and, most importantly, cheap. Smaller offices didn't need budget approval or central IT to approve. NDS is great technology, but it's far from essential in small businesses.

NetWare still has great features, but its eroding market share does nothing to win the hearts and minds of developers. This won't help.

As a general comment, we have never understood why any small business central server includes a database server. Most small shops use "do it yourself" IT, and few have the need or ability to use DB@, Oracle, or SQL7.

User Recommendations

We can understand why existing NetWare shops, particularly large ones, stay with Novell. But a small, brand new installation should conduct thorough research and negotiate aggressively prior to buying and implementing NetWare.

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