Right on schedule, Novell has rolled out its first support pack for NetWare 5.
While it mostly comprises more than 100 patches for minor bugs discovered since NetWare 5 shipped in September, the free package does include one new tool that will help users easily migrate their existing IPX-based NetWare 3.x and 4.x servers to this pure IP-based network operating system.
This new tool is the Network Address Translator (NAT). It allows a NetWare 5 customer site to maintain a single IP address for the Internet as well as conserve on the number of global IP addresses it needs to obtain. The translator forwards calls to this external IP address to the appropriate machine on a corporate network.
Novell officials said the significance of the support pack doesn't lie in any one feature but more in the fact that the company got the first upgrade to NetWare 5 out the door quickly.
"We are finding many customers just have a corporate policy that they don't roll out any point-zero release. They wait for the first service pack to make sure that other folks have spent the time to iron out any kinks in the system," said NetWare product manager Brian Faustyn.