Novell Infuses ZEN with Windows Support

PROVO, UTAH (06/30/2000) - Novell Inc. will release new versions of its server and workstation management products this year that will make it easier for network managers to upgrade NetWare, Windows NT and Windows 2000 servers, as well as Windows 2000 Professional desktops.

The company will release ZENworks for Servers 2.0 for public beta testing this summer and ship ZENworks for Desktops 3.0 on Aug. 25.

ZENworks for Servers, which now only distributes file updates and patches to NetWare servers, has been enhanced to automatically deliver fixes, service packs and applications onto NT and Win 2000 servers. The software also features so-called throttling and differencing technology. Throttling lets a network manager specify the speed of the communication line for remote software distribution, so only X number of bits per second will be sent. Differencing lets the software recognize changes that have already been made to servers and only send new changes or files.

Although ZENworks uses Novell Directory Services, neither NDS for NT nor NDS eDirectory is needed to distribute files and programs to NT and Win2000 servers. In addition, a network manager can set policies that let ZENworks for Servers monitor any HTTP or FTP site and download patches, fixes or drivers when they are posted on a vendor site. For instance, if a server-based virus protection package is being used, ZENworks can automatically check for new virus definition files on a specified basis, and if they exist, download and apply them to servers automatically.

Novell's ZENworks products account for more than 25 percent of the company's revenue and are its fastest-growing line. ZENworks can reduce desktop support time by almost half and save almost $40 per employee, per month, estimates research firm IDC of Framingham, Massachusetts.

Jim Stalewski, computer systems operator for wholesale distributor M.W. Kasch in Mequon, Wisconsin, estimates that ZENworks for Servers will save him at least 15 hours each week distributing virus signature files.

Novell has also changed the embedded database that tracks and records statistics in ZENworks for Servers from a Pervasive SQL/Btrieve database to a Sybase database. ZENworks for Servers is also now managed by Novell's ConsoleOne management interface.

ZENworks for Servers 2.0 will be the upgrade path for Novell's ManageWise users, and while Novell will encourage these users to migrate to ZENworks, the company will not discontinue ManageWise.

ZENworks for Desktops 3.0, used to manage NetWare and NT desktop machines and laptops, will be improved to work with Win 2000 Professional desktops. To manage NT or Win 2000 desktops, the software no longer requires an installed NetWare server; it only requires a license to eDirectory for the number of managed users.

With ZENworks for Desktops, network managers can install Microsoft applications and set up user desktops locally across the network or remotely. It also includes the ability to automatically uninstall any application previously installed with ZENworks and automatically import workstations into ZENworks for management.

The software also includes WakeOnLAN technology, which automatically lets mirror images of a workstation's disk and configuration be distributed from one machine to another, and in case of trouble, redistributed to workstations or laptops.

"The WakeOnLAN technology support promises to be useful for 'lights-out' distribution," Stalewski says. "Now the machine has to be on to accept changes.

Automatic configuration and disk mirror imaging will also eliminate the need for stand-alone utilities such as Norton Ghost."

ZENworks for Desktops also supports users who are disconnected from the net and has an extract wizard that lets net managers export software or hardware inventory information to any reporting tool they use.

"ZENworks for Desktops makes configuring and managing Windows desktops much easier," says Jim Michaels, data systems administrator for the city of Chesterfield, Missouri. Control over setting Windows policies and the ability to push applications to desktops are the product's best features, he says.

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