Novell ships NetWare 5.1 fixes, cuts price

Novell introduced a slew of new operating system features last week that users say will improve the usefulness and manageability of NetWare 5.1 networks.

Novell also reduced the price of NetWare 5.1 to be the same as NetWare 5 -- $US1000 for a five-user licence. A 100-user version of NetWare costs $11,740; a 250-user version costs $27,300.

For most enterprise customers, the price change will have little effect. Large companies typically purchase products under licence agreements from Novell, giving them significant discounts. But for small and midsize businesses without licence agreements, the price drop is a boon. It ranges from 8 to 11 per cent depending on the number of users supported. Novell will also offer buyers a $150 rebate on five-user NetWare 5.1 licences when purchased from shopnovell.com.

The firm has also released the first patches for NetWare 5.1, Service Pack 1. Featured in this support pack is the ability to schedule commands that will be executed automatically in the NetWare Management Portal.

"With scheduling, I'll be able to shut down applications or databases automatically for periods of time while we do backups," says Ron Deibert, network services manager in the Baltimore County government in Towson, Maryland.

Also in the support pack are changes to the NetWare Web Search program that let managers administer security policies, an improved web management interface for the FTP server, support for Win 2000 printer drivers and improved directory schema synchronisation. The pack also prevents data corruption when the directory services repair utility (DS- REPAIR) runs while the directory is active.

Novell has also posted a new utility, DSBrowse, on its http://www.support.novell.com site that users can download at no charge. It lets network managers look at the Novell Directory Services structure or schema from the server console.

The utility comes in two versions, one for NDS for NT, the other for NetWare. On a Windows NT net, it runs as a Windows utility and allows a read-only view of DSDump, a program that lets users view and correct the computer code of the directory. On NetWare networks, it runs as a NetWare Loadable Module and also operates with RCONSOLE, Novell's remote server monitoring utility.

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