Novell Inc yesterday disclosed plans to bring its NetWare network operating system into the modern world, previewing next- generation versions of its NetWare network operating system which are to be fitted with support for TCP/IP and the ability to runs across clusters of systems. Moab, which will likely be productized as NetWare 5.0, removes the dependency on Novell’s proprietary IPX networking protocol. The product goes to beta in November although it’s not now expected to ship until mid-1998 following a couple more beta cycles. Orion, a clustering technology that runs on top of Moab, will enable up to 16 Intel Corp servers to be linked in high-availability configurations. Orion will beta in the first half of next year and will ship by the of 1998. In its first incarnation it will make centralized disk storage available to all nodes in a cluster and support both IP and IPX. Orion is based on the technology developed at Novell called Wolf Mountain and first shown at Novell’s BrainShare event earlier in the year (CI No 3,166). Key members of the Wolf Mountain development went off and formed a company now called Timpanogas Research Group to productize a clustering technology for use with Windows NT (CI No 3,049). Novell is suing Timpanogas claiming the company is using its intellectual property, a charge Timpanogas denies. The matter is in court and doesn’t look like being settled anytime soon, however Novell says that future cuts of Orion will be made available for NT and Unix. It’s also working on a single system image and a cluster file system. Initially failover and load balancing will be supported across Dolphin’s Scalable Coherent Interface, Tandem’s ServerNet, Fiber Channel disk and Serial Storage technologies.
Not a replacement for Unix, NT
Moab and Orion will include directory, authentication, collaboration, network management and an object-based storage system which. Determined to be agnostic to the various object and component technologies currently vying for market supremacy, Novell says Moab will support Java, Corba/IIOP and ActiveX applications which utilize its NDS NetWare Directory Services. Its Java services developer kit will enable Java applets to be deployed over NetWare and utilizes the Visigenic Software Inc object request broker. Moab also includes memory protection and virtual memory. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and Domain Name Service functions are being integrated with NDS to provide central management of address information and directory-enabled applications which can be used across intranets and the internet. Novell Storage Services will include the object-oriented storage engine. We suppose Novell’s also using technology licensed from object database house Poet Software Inc in its products – a company it has invested $6.5m in (CI No 3,206) – though no-one wanted to volunteer where that technology might be found. Novell and third parties such as Simware Inc will offer services to migrate data, directory and protocols from previous versions of NetWare and IntranetWare to Moab and a GUI-based server environment for installation and administration. Moab works by redirecting, defaulting or encapsulating existing IPX protocol technology for IP. Meantime, IntranetWare for Small Businesses gets POP3 internet mail, backup, fax and antivirus enhancements in November. Novell says the new NetWare kernel supports both uni- and multiprocessor systems. It says it isn’t designing Moab and Orion to replace existing operating system environments such as Unix or Windows NT, but does expect to offer better directory and clustering services across networks.
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