Novell to Overhaul FTP Server

Novell Inc. will be updating what even the company concedes is a clumsy and difficult-to-configure FTP server in the next version of NetWare.

The company has rewritten the File Transfer Protocol server software in NetWare 5.1 to make installation and configuration easier.

The new Novell FTP Server lets users on NetWare 5 and 5.1 networks securely transfer files from remote NetWare servers. It works with Novell Directory Services (NDS) and Novell's security and authentication services to limit user access to only data that has been approved. According to the release notes, the Novell FTP Server also works on NetWare 4.11 networks, although Novell has not tested the FTP server and will not support it used that way.

The FTP server is capable of transferring DOS 8.3 file names and long Network File System (NFS) file names from local and remote NetWare 5 servers. NFS is the open file system Sun developed for use across Unix networks over TCP/IP.

With the new FTP server, network managers can restrict users from accessing the files of other users and host computers or specified URLs. A text file records successful logons and an intrusion-detection file tracks unsuccessful logons. An administrator-defined number of unsuccessful logon attempts will trigger a user lockout.

This new FTP server replaces a previous version included as part of NFS Services for NetWare that consisted of several NetWare Loadable Modules (NLM) and the UNICON and UNIXLIB interfaces. The new version consists of only one NLM and a single configuration file.

Steve Howard, network administrator at the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville, likes the new FTP server because it lets him consolidate management. With NFS Services, network managers need to manage FTP sessions and access from both the UNICON interface and NDS.

The Novell FTP Server also contains Trivial FTP (TFTP) support and IBM FTP protocol extensions, necessary for working with IBM's SNA. TFTP is a less capable form of FTP, in that it does not require the security of directory authen-tication of FTP. In addition, the FTP Server includes look-through capability, which lets a user log on to one FTP server and access files that exist on other servers in the network.

The FTP server can be managed with NWAdmin, NetWare's universal management utility. "Any time you are setting up Web-based services, you are your own little entity. If you can start tying all your services into your naming structure and directory tree, that makes it easier for an administrator to install," says James Cimino, president of Bright Ideas, an Internet consultancy in Edison, New Jersey.

NetWare 5.1 will also include new versions of the Netscape Enterprise Server and Collabra Server, as well as five-user versions of Oracle8i, Oracle WebDB and IBM WebSphere. Oracle WebDB lets users create Web-enabled SQL databases. IBM WebSphere can be used to develop high-end Web applications. NetWare 5.1 will also use HTTP as a core protocol and lets users manage NetWare servers from a Web browser.

The beta versions of the FTP server can be downloaded from http://support.novell. com/beta/public.

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