Tech Talk 4 By David J. Dennison
It's Time For A Change
Why Now is the Time to Upgrade to Novell Open Enterprise Server
NetWare revolutionized the industry in the early 1980s and still provides many Novell customers an efficient, reliable networking product today. Despite the obvious advantages of newer products, especially Novell Open Enterprise Server on Linux, many long-standing customers have had little incentive to change. However, while some degree of support will continue for NetWare until 2015, the pending end to the general support phase of the NetWare lifecycle, scheduled for early 2010, is leading many to realize that now is, in fact, the time for them to upgrade to our new premium product.
The NetWare Lifecycle
Since its introduction in the early 1980s, NetWare has had an illustrious life, earning extensive user loyalty and establishing itself globally as the network platform of choice. Customers have come to value the reliability and security of NetWare, leading them to wonder why the product would ever be moved through the standard lifecycle phases. The reason is primarily because hardware and software manufacturers are increasingly narrowing their support, mainly to Windows and Linux platforms, leaving customers that are running NetWare with fewer and fewer choices.
On top of market trends, all software products have a lifecycle. According to Novell product lifecycle norms, Novell provides a three-tiered ongoing support lifecycle for NetWare: General Support, which will end on March 7, 2010; Extended Support, ending March 7, 2012; and Self-Support, continuing until March 7, 2015.
It is important to note that while Novell and the market are focusing more and more on the Linux platform, Novell understands that many customers still find NetWare as their network OS of choice. Considering the economic climate and that upgrade efforts might not be top priority in 2009, Novell is still going to support its customers who cannot invest in the upgrade at this time. As long as customers are current with maintenance, they can enjoy the extended support period for free.
This promotion will allow current customers to keep using the product they know and love while planning to upgrade when it makes sense. For details on the Novell Support Lifecycle for NetWare and other products, go to http://support.novell.com/lifecycle/.
The Value of Novell Open Enterprise Server on Linux
In the meantime, Novell has invested heavily in porting all the reliable,
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familiar NetWare services to Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP1, which comes with all of the additional benefits of running on the Linux platform that delivers the robust networking services you had with NetWare, plus the added choice, flexibility and cost savings provided by SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.
Indeed, the Linux platform is increasingly becoming the operating system of choice, even over Windows. First, Linux offers choice and flexibility. Whereas there is only one Windows vendor, Linux has several "flavors" or vendor versions. Because you can choose from any hardware that supports SUSE Linux Enterprise, you can take advantage of commodity hardware for the first time in a long while. Beyond that, Linux is more flexible in that user access to source codes allows you to customize the platform yourself.
Second, Novell Open Enterprise Server is a powerful consolidation platform because it is based on Linux, which allows you to consolidate your servers through virtualization. In addition, it inherits support for the thousands of software applications that run on SUSE Linux Enterprise.
Upgrading: A Smart Decision All-around
In this economic climate, the smart move is to upgrade now, especially since Novell Open Enterprise Server comes with so many money-saving features. You need to look beyond license costs alone and remember that if you opt to move away from the Novell platform you'll find hidden costs such as:
- Doubling hardware
- Moving file systems
- Needing to touch every device in your environment
- Retraining administrators and end users
- Incurring the risk of many manual processes