Although it is frequently more convenient to refer to the computer where NetWare resides as the server, the NetWare server is the network operating system that is installed on a server class computer. NetWare turns the computer into a high-performance network platform that provides connectivity between workstations, printers, mass storage devices, and other networks such as the Internet. NetWare also provides network users with a server platform for hosting Java* applications.
The NetWare server manages the transmission of data among the network devices, stores and retrieves data from hard disks, manages one or more file systems, ensures data integrity, manages printers and printing, and allocates and manages memory. The NetWare server is designed to operate on either a uniprocessing or multiprocessing computer.
The principal executable for NetWare, server.exe, includes bound-in modules, such as those for Media Manager, NetWare Peripheral Architecture™ (NWPA), and the Link Support Layer™ (LSL™). When server.exe is executed, the NetWare server is loaded into memory, takes control of the hardware resources, and begins to load its component modules.
NOTE:NetWare uses DOS as a cold boot loader. It does not run on top of DOS.
Because the system is modular, individual modules can be updated without replacing server.exe. A new module simply replaces the previous version.
NOTE:The directory in which server.exe is stored is called the startup directory or the boot directory. By default, server.exe is stored in the c:\nwserver directory. Updated modules can be copied to the startup directory where they overwrite previous versions or the bound-in versions of the same modules.
NetWare is based on an integrated kernel. The multiprocessing kernel (MPK) is completely multithreaded, supports pre-emption, and—as an integrated kernel—runs on both multiprocessor and uniprocessor systems. NetWare supports as many as 32 processors.
Although NetWare has minimum hardware requirements (see NW65 SP8: Installation Guide), we recommend that you provide a high-performance hardware platform so you can get the full benefit of the power and scalability that NetWare offers.
To ensure that no component of your system hampers the performance of any other, see also Matching Performance Capabilities.