N+I - Novell looks to smooth back-up process

Novell this week at NetWorld+Interop 2000 is expected to roll out back-up software that prevents network downtime, as well as demonstrate a broadband gateway that eases the provisioning and support of digital subscriber line modems and set-top boxes.

The news will come on the heels of dismal financial news from Novell last week that battered the company's stock price.

The company will announce Novell Backup Services, which lets network managers reduce the time set aside for backing up NetWare 4 and 5 servers, without disrupting network operations or taking the server down. In a typical configuration, an active server backs up data to a passive server over a dedicated local connection. Novell Backup Services uses snapshot technology, which mirrors the data from one server to the other and on subsequent backups copies only changed files. It is not Novell Directory Services (NDS)-enabled.

"I need software that will back up open files on databases and spread my backup over 24 hours so I don't need to take the network down or have everyone log off the network," says Gary Porter, a network analyst for Custom Education in Lexington, Kentucky.

The software operates with Computer Associates International's ARCservIT, Legato Systems Inc.'s Networker, Veritas Systems Inc.'s Backup Exec or Novastar's Novanet. It is shipping now and costs $1,500 per server pair.

In partnership with Texas Instruments, Novell will also demonstrate directory-enabled electronic components called digital signal processors (DSP) that handle audio and video signals. Including these DSPs in devices such as DSL modems and set-top boxes will allow software vendors and OEMs to self-provision users with services, and reduce technical support incidents and Internet connection problems with a carrier or ISP. By making use of NDS, the device can be used to control a subscriber's customised access profile, store configuration settings and restrict access selectively.

Texas Instruments manufactures more than half the DSPs in use. IBM, Motorola and Lucent Technologies also have flourishing DSP businesses. Over the next year, software and hardware developers are expected to adopt this technology and manage it with Novell's ZENworks, Texas Instruments says.

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