When Open Enterprise Server 2 shipped in 2007, I felt pretty good about what we had achieved in transitioning many of the services from NetWare and adding new value with things like Dynamic Storage Technology.
That said, I also knew there was still work to do. Although we had done a good job with Directory Integrated DNS and DHCP, improving our Clustering story, revamping the installation and a host of other improvements, our customers (you) needed more. Well, Novell is delivering. New in SP1:
- Domain Services for Windows
We are set to release Domain Services for Windows, allowing eDirectory to look and behave just like Active Directory. I won’t go into too much detail here, as there is an excellent article about to be released via Novell Connections Magazine. Watching the reaction of people when you Demonstrate Windows workstations seamlessly connecting to a Linux server using a full AD style login and carrying that authentication over to a Windows Server is always interesting.
- Migration tools
This area is receiving a huge amount of work and focus in the run up to SP1. There is a whole new dashboard and framework that is very easy to use. Migration can go all the way back to NetWare 5.1 (including Traditional File System), perform service migrations from NetWare to OES Linux (such as DNS, DHCP etc.) AND the ability to take a running NetWare server and migrate the identity of that server to Linux. This means taking a NetWare server called ‘SERVER1′, migrating the whole server to Linux and that OES2 Linux server is now ‘SERVER1′. The first time you see this happen, its jaw dropping.
- Novell engineered CIFS and AFP protocols
The Native File Access Pack (NFAP) for NetWare had the option to allow simple CIFS and AFP connections to NetWare using native protocols from Windows and Mac. These new protocols mimic that functionality and enhance it in a number of areas.
- iFolder 3.7
Another significant update that has a new Mac client, full support for Windows Vista x32 and x64, a new web interface, improved administration options, new server side migration tools from previous versions of iFolder and a much better way to recover a passphrase for encrypted iFolders.
- NetWare 6.5 SP8
As part of our ongoing support of NetWare 6.5, OES2 SP1 will include Support Pack 8 for NetWare customers. We’ve made some changes to the NetWare Kernel to support enhancements in the XEN hypervisor and the usual round of defect fixes.
I could go on for ages about the various bumps and tweaks that have happened outside of the major items. Things like 64-bit eDirectory, enhancements to DNS and DHCP (again!), support for SLES10 SP2 and so on. The best thing to do is head over to http://www.novell.com/beta and check it out for yourself. You’ll like what you see.