Lewis' Blog Tales from the trenches of information technology


Novell’s reponse to my request for NetWare 7

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This should really fall under the "I need a laugh" department.

In August of 2009, I sent the following enhancement request to Novell, via their enhancement portal:

Request ID 13074
Request Date 20 Aug 2009
Request Type Enhancement Request for Existing Product
Request Title NetWare 7
Problem Description Support (and development) of NetWare is scheduled to end in 2010, leaving many shops having to switch to Linux or Microsoft.
Proposed Solution Continue development and active support/sales/promotion of the NetWare platform as a viable alternative to Windows.
Perceived Benefit Too many businesses still do not trust Linux's "open source" stigma, no matter *whose" name is on it. NetWare is stable, mature, and well known, particularly in the US. As a consultant in the field, I hear time and time again how people do not want to switch to Windows servers, but are concerned about the alternative (Linux). As an OS/2 (now eComStation) consultant, many clients went through the same issues with IBM, when they literally abandoned the OS/2 platform. There is no reason for Novell to do the same to its installed, loyal, NetWare customer base.

Novell is the single largest repository of NetWare thought and innovation. It is not too late to turn the corner on this situation and simply continue development of NetWare to leverage 64-bit hardware and many of the newer technologies coming down the pike. It is fine to support Linux and even traditional services on Linux (Apache, PHP, MySQL, email, etc.), but file, print, directory, backup, GroupWise (geez, don't let this go) could easily be the mainstay (again) of NetWare support (and I'm not talking about virtualized NetWare, which is akin to putting King Kong in a can).

To sum it up: There is still a viable business case to be made for NetWare. Microsoft is vulnerable in the server arena. Linux is not strong enough to tip the scales. NetWare has the name, the stability, and the admins in the field to continue to gain market share.

Actually, I'd forgotten all about my futile attempt to elicit a response from the sleeping giant. However, on September 9, 2010, thirteen months following my request, I received the following response:

Apologies, does not align to Novell strategy.

That's an understatement...

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