Systems for growing firms: Novell vs Windows NT; choosing a LAN for your business.
Congratulations! Your company is growing. But after your business gets to the point where you need five or more computers, it's probably time to invest in a local area network (LAN (Local Area Network) A communications network that serves users within a confined geographical area. The "clients" are the user's workstations typically running Windows, although Mac and Linux clients are also used. ) operating system operating system (OS)
Software that controls the operation of a computer, directs the input and output of data, keeps track of files, and controls the processing of computer programs. .
Imagine the complexity of the many wires and cables connecting your computers. The network operating system An operating system that is designed for network use. Normally, it is a complete operating system with file, task and job management; however, with some earlier products, it was a separate component that ran under the OS; for example, LAN Server required OS/2, and LANtastic required DOS. is the software that manages how information travels through those cables to arrive at each computer. In addition to routing information through your office efficiently, a network operating system functions as a file server or centralized repository of your files and data. From the file server, anyone in the office can retrieve any files (with appropriate privileges). The file server eliminates the need to pass floppy disks around the office.
The two most popular LAN operating systems Operating systems can be categorized by technology, ownership, licensing, working state, usage, and by many other characteristics. In practice, many of these groupings may overlap. are Novell's NetWare and Microsoft's Windows NT (Windows New Technology) A 32-bit operating system from Microsoft for Intel x86 CPUs. NT is the core technology in Windows 2000 and Windows XP (see Windows). Available in separate client and server versions, it includes built-in networking and preemptive multitasking. Server 3.5. Prices for both start at just over $1,000 for a five-user license, and escalate to $47,995 for a 1,000-user version of Novell NetWare (operating system, networking) Novell NetWare - Novell, Inc.'s proprietary networking operating system for the IBM PC.
NetWare uses the IPX/SPX, NetBEUI or TCP/IP network protocols. It supports MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, OS/2, Macintosh and Unix clients. 4.1. But don't let the up-front cost scare you away. The productivity that these systems offer offsets the higher price.
Novell is far and away the king of the network operating systems. Its NetWare versions 3.12 and 4.1 control an overwhelming 70% market share. Novell has a reputation for being a highly reliable product. That reliability has led most large companies that are downsizing (1) Converting mainframe and mini-based systems to client/server LANs.
(2) To reduce equipment and associated costs by switching to a less-expensive system.
(jargon) downsizing to smaller systems to move data from their mainframes and minicomputers onto Novell file servers. NetWare 4.1 accommodates both simple and complex multi-site, multi-location environments. NetWare 3.12 is better suited to sites with 200 users or less.
Both NetWare versions offer cross-platform support--meaning Macintosh, OS/2, UNIX UNIX
Operating system for digital computers, developed by Ken Thompson of Bell Laboratories in 1969. It was initially designed for a single user (the name was a pun on the earlier operating system Multics). , AS/400 and DOS/Windows workstations can all communicate and share files. This allows you to preserve your investment in your current hardware, and choose new machines based on need, not on compatibility with your existing environment.
Another built-in feature is the system fault tolerance System Fault Tolerance (SFT) is a fault tolerant system built into Netware operating systems. It is a disk mirroring system similar to RAID 1. SFT level III is a server duplexing system where if a server fails a mirrored server is ready to take its place. protection of NetWare. Fault tolerance See fault tolerant.
(architecture) fault tolerance - 1. The ability of a system or component to continue normal operation despite the presence of hardware or software faults. This often involves some degree of redundancy.
2. is the ability of the server to recover from a hardware failure such as the hard drive malfunctioning. Can you imagine an accounting firm losing the hard drive on its file server on April 14? Here's how the fault tolerance mirroring and duplexing functions work. When a user writes data to the first hard drive, a second, "mirrored" copy is written to a second drive (that you can purchase). Now, if the primary drive fails on April 14, Novell automatically switches to the secondary mirrored hard drive without interruption.
Windows NT Server version 3.5 is the best attempt anyone has mustered to compete with Novell's NetWare. Windows NTS is gaining a following primarily because Microsoft uses this network operating system as an applications platform. This means that Windows NTS not only acts as a repository for files, as NetWare does, but it can also be a central repository of other data and the applications that run on your network. For example, with Microsoft's SQL SQL
in full Structured Query Language.
Computer programming language used for retrieving records or parts of records in databases and performing various calculations before displaying the results. (pronounced "sequel") server for Windows NT, programmers can place a database that is optimized for the NT server. This provides much faster access to the large volumes of data that file servers can store. While Novell allows you to run a database on its file server, it's not optimized as part of the core operating system as it is on the NT platform.
Another benefit of Windows NTS is its ease of installation. Novell is notorious for being difficult for the novice to install. If you understand the basics of Microsoft Windows See Windows.
(operating system) Microsoft Windows - Microsoft's proprietary window system and user interface software released in 1985 to run on top of MS-DOS. Widely criticised for being too slow (hence "Windoze", "Microsloth Windows") on the machines available then. , you'll understand enough of Windows NTS to get your network up and running.
One additional advantage of Windows NTS is that it supports multiple processors. If your file server appears sluggish and you've bought a computer that accepts multiple CPUs, you can add an additional processor and effectively double your server's performance. While Novell is working on a symmetric multiprocessor version of NetWare, Windows NTS has it today. Realistically, small environments don't need multiple processors, but it is nice to have the flexibility.
If you choose Novell's NetWare 3.12 or 4.1, you'll get the premier network operating system to run your growing business. If you want security, accessibility to files, and shared printers and other network resources, Novell NetWare 3.12 is the way to go.
If you choose Windows NTS, you won't have the raw performance of NetWare, but smaller environments will like it because it's easier to install and administer. While not as efficient a file server as NetWare, Windows NTS does outperform NetWare as an application server, making it an excellent value. If you need a centralized file server that can run a customized sales force management system Sales force management systems are information systems used in marketing and management that help automate some sales and sales force management functions. They are frequently combined with a marketing information system, in which case they are often called customer relationship , telemarketing system, or other types of large shared databases, Windows NTS is worth a look.
Whatever you decide, make sure you talk to a networking consultant before you purchase a network operating system. The couple of hours they charge you for their time will save you thousands of dollars down the road.