Novell Inc is set to release several NetWare 4.0 enhancement tools in the first quarter of 1994. Specifically, the company will be delivering Directory Services Tools, including Tree Merge, enabling users to merge independent directory trees, and a DS tool that will enable network administrators to modify directory trees without recreating every object. Novell says that the utilities are aimed at 3.X users upgrading to 4.01, and claims that, while there is already transparent access between 3.X and 4.01 these tools will be adding functionality and improving administration between the two environments. According to a Novell spokesman, although the company foresaw the demand for such tools, it felt they were a longer term issue and did not bundle them in with NetWare 4.0 for fear of causing a delay in its shipment timetable. Conversely, it says it can’t wait until the next upgrade to 4.01 before delivering the tools: consequently, it is likely that they may start as add-on enhancements, later becoming standard NetWare 4.X features. Novell says it is also considering plans to run NetWare on multiple Intel Corp CPUs, although it does not loom large in the company’s plans. It’s not something that customers are crying out for right now, says the company. When we ask customers how many idle cycles they have on their servers, they tell us at least 60%. But Novell admits to looking at the technology and how best to use it, perhaps prompted by rising user interest in the Windows NT Advanced Server from Microsoft Corp, and the fact that many NetWare users are planning new services, such as multimedia delivery or object-oriented messaging. Novell is said to be taking a ‘loosely coupled asymmetric approach’, meaning that tasks get assigned to separate CPUs with their own memory, which communicate via a high-speed bus, either to the system bus inside the server, or some external connection among servers.