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Networking Novell Technology

Novell Completes Sale 202

symbolset writes "Today Novell completed its sale to Attachmate. The company will be a wholly owned subsidiary and be delisted from the stock exchange. Novell was once a dominant player in network software, and its passing signals the end of an era."
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Novell Completes Sale

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  • No good? (Score:4, Funny)

    by spudnic ( 32107 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:34PM (#35956524)

    So my 3.12 CNE is no good any more? Dang!

    • well it probably runs just fine.

      I know I have a complete install of 3.12 and manuals around work some where. the hard part is getting it to work with windows XP.

      • by Holi ( 250190 )


        A CNE is a certification for Novell (Certified Novell Engineer.)

        and you have know idea how many I knew that couldn't do squat.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by black6host ( 469985 )

        I did a lot of work with Novell back in the 3.x days and it was a workhorse. When Microsoft first decided to try and penetrate the server market NT was a joke. I won't say that current MS server products are not good, in some cases they are. In my opinion, what really killed Novell and boosted Microsoft was that anyone and their brother could write server side code for Windows (not that it means it was good code, just much easier to do.) You had to be pretty good to write server side Novell code. So bu

        • Re:No good? (Score:4, Informative)

          by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Thursday April 28, 2011 @12:49AM (#35960090)
          Place that I worked in the late '90s was partly Novell 3.12 and partly NT 4.0, and I noticed two things almost immediately. First, the Windows side was **MUCH** easier to manage than the Novell side, especially the centralized user management. Second, Novell saddled its customers with IPX/SPX and wouldn't support TCP/IP for quite a long time, which made accessing the Internet from within your network operating system annoyingly difficult. On the other hand, we had to reboot the NT servers every two or three months while the Novell servers only needed reboots about once a year.

          Novell 4 was a great product, but it was about a year too late and the upgrade was FAR too expensive for most of their customers. Microsoft realized early on that 'good enough' really was good enough for most of their customers. Novell wanted to take the time and do their LDAP implementation correctly, and customers didn't want to wait for centralized management. Then in one of the dumbest pricing schemes I've ever seen, at the beginning it actually cost more to upgrade from 3.12 to 4 than it cost to install from scratch. Pissed off an awful lot of admin.
  • by kalpol ( 714519 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:37PM (#35956564)
    I am fond of that distribution - any word on whether it will still be maintained?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Attachmate have stated that there will be no change in the relationship between SUSE and OpenSUSE

    • It looks like they will continue maintaining SUSE according to their website [] . It also looks like they are going to continue using the Novell name. Both the Suse and Novell logos are on their site.
      • by Xtifr ( 1323 )

        Indeed, given that Suse was reportedly one of Novell's main profit centers, it seems unlikely that it or OpenSuse is in any danger of disappearing. In fact, it looks like Suse may be becoming a separate subsidiary of Attachmate, independent of the former Novell

    • (fantasy hat on) Can we have SuSE back as an independent German company again please? It is a shadow of its former self.
  • Final Abend (Score:5, Funny)

    by nbvb ( 32836 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:38PM (#35956584) Journal


    System halted Wednesday, April 27, 2011 4:30:00 pm EDT

      Abend: Page Fault Processor Exception (Error code 00000002)
              OS version: Novell NetWare 4.10 November 8, 1994
            Running Process: SCRSAVER.NLM
              Stack: AC 1F 65 01 E7 66 03 F1 50 CA 65 01 03 00 00 00
                              D0 1F 65 01 09 00 00 00 B0 81 01 F9 54 CE 65 01
                            39 67 03 F1 0B CB 65 01 B4 D0 65 01 B0 81 01 F9
        Press "Y" to copy diagnostic image to disk.
        Otherwise press "X" to exit.

  • by Toe, The ( 545098 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:40PM (#35956620)

    Reading this, I kinda wondered what ever became of Wordperfect, once a dominant player in the business world (along with Lotus 123), before Microsoft, well, Microsofted them.

    Now I remember, Corel [] bought Wordperfect, and apparently it's still around [].

    • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @04:36PM (#35957250)

      Reading this, I kinda wondered what ever became of Wordperfect, once a dominant player in the business world (along with Lotus 123), before Microsoft, well, Microsofted them.

      Now I remember, Corel [] bought Wordperfect, and apparently it's still around [].

      Microsoft really had nothing to do with Wordperfect's death. They were far and away the number one DOS word processor and felt they could ignore that newfangled Windows thing that came along. By the time they realized that Windows wasn't a passing fad, it was too late. And it didn't help that their intial Windows versions were crap.

      Novell bought Wordperfect for $800 Million and just a couple of years later sold it to Corel for $200 Million. Then a few years later Corel (the entire company) was sold for $200 million.

    • I'm not a lawyer, but I deal with them every day. WordPerfect is still used a lot in the legal profession. Not too long ago, I was reading the transcript from a hearing from 2007 as a part of which the court reporter certified that in addition to the printed transcript, she had also provided the document in WordPerfect 5.1 (yes, for DOS) format. Yes, really.

  • Memories (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Compaqt ( 1758360 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:41PM (#35956634) Homepage

    Digital Research
    Simian GNOME

  • (I'm sure that's bad Latin)
  • by v1 ( 525388 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:44PM (#35956672) Homepage Journal

    Just another example of innovate or die. They had a HUGE place in business servers years ago, and then they just sat down on their laurels, and never stood back up.

    Was there even anything worth acquiring in this sale? even the name brings a musty smell to a conversation.

    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:53PM (#35956792) Journal

      Just another example of innovate or die. They had a HUGE place in business servers years ago, and then they just sat down on their laurels, and never stood back up.

      No, their prices were being undercut by Microsoft, which had independent revenue stream in the form of MsOffice and Windows. It is impossible for any company to fight this in their own turf. Microsoft will simply wait for you to run out of cash and then sweep in and peck on the carcass.

      • by geekoid ( 135745 )

        No, there network stack was horrid, and they where late to tcp/ip. trying to force IPX to be the de facto standard.

        Novell was under cutting MS, not the other way around. They moved very expensive net cards at cost, and if pressed they would give you netware.

        Novell could not handle large business and large business number of users. In a desperate attempt to deal with this they bought Unix. Instead of improving their design.

        By the 90s MS TCP/IP implementation was starting to blow Novell IPX out of the water,a

      • by wrook ( 134116 )

        One place they had some business was in migrating businesses from Netware to Linux. I once talked to a salesman about their Linux business trying to understand how they were going to make money. His answer was that they would offer user hand-holding support, but no custom development contracts. They were intent on offering free tools to make it attractive to move away from Netware and Novell intended to basically charge for the service doing that. But they seemed to have no plan what so ever about how t

    • They had a HUGE place in business servers years ago, and then they just sat down on their laurels, and never stood back up.

      Their Netware product was arguably better that Microsoft's offerings but the problem was that Microsoft's competing product was good enough for most customers and it was cheaper and bundled. Businesses don't make money by buying network management software. Novell built their Netware business around features that was missing in Microsoft's offerings. When Microsoft provided it, Novell's business model no longer made sense. The only reason they hung around as long as they did is because ripping that sort

  • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:46PM (#35956710)

    Whats "Attachmate"? Dating website? Some sort of trademarked fastener, you know, like tapcon (tm)?

    • Whats "Attachmate"?

      Some robotic device NSFW, I guess!

    • by Genda ( 560240 )

      "What's the difference between a lawyer and a tick?... when you die, a tick falls off!." - Joke of the Day.

    • by jd ( 1658 )

      It's a papermate line of pens with added superglue.

    • by youn ( 1516637 )

      >Whats "Attachmate"?

      I think it's a friend who's needy... we all have one of those ;)

      alternatively, it may be a BDSM position... not sure, not an expert in the field :)

  • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:53PM (#35956788)


  • another ms partner.. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jeek Elemental ( 976426 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @03:57PM (#35956856)

    will meet you all here again when its Nokias turn

  • Now I feel really old. Again.

  • novel just sold something in the last decade!...oh wait...
  • Sometimes, the company with the best product is not the company with the best business strategy. And we've seen before that when that happens, the company with the crappy product and the better business strategy almost always wins.
    • You're basically talking about eDirectory vs Active Directory, right? And you are implying that eDirectory was the better product?

      Uh no. That was true 15 years ago, but as soon as Active Directory came out it was time to jump ship to MS. Still, to this day Novell has a few hold outs ( and sadly, I've worked at several of them ). The difference between AD and ED is startling. Why any company would put up with ED is beyond me; I'm fairly certain that some of the CIOs involved were getting kick backs from

      • As someone that loved NDS and is less familiar with the later eDirectory, what didn't you like about it when compared with Active Directory of the same era? Only since Server 2008 has Active Directory met up with NDS functionality, did Novell screw the pooch on edirectory?
        • I had a very long discussion with a Novell devotee about ED vs AD back in 2000 and from I got that ED and AD were functionally equivalent with different methods of implementing core functionality.

          All of the disadvantages of AD he cited were the result of on him not really understanding how AD worked.

      • The value of eDirectory vs AD is debatable. However the advantages of Novell are clear regardless. Windows servers are bloated, overpriced, and underperforming with regards to reliability and capabilities. Netware servers would pull 5 or 6 nines routinely on their own, while you would need a server farm to pull even 4 or more nines with Windows server.

        In other words, Netware was cheaper, more reliable, and required less hardware. On top of that, Netware had very few security flaws to tend to. On th
        • I was told the same thing, by admins who were in the process of recovering from an abend ( the window servers had no unplanned downtime in recent memory ).

          So that throws reliability out the window ( pun not intended ). Next up, capability; Everything today is written for windows, and there are only a few edge cases that edirectory addresses that active directory can't do. So ya, toss that one out too. Bloated? That's a fuzzy term really, that most people fail to understand. Sure, the base install is la

          • Abends come when you load a novell module on a server that is already running; they are most often caused by missing or incorrect prerequisites. They don't just come out of thin air.

            A Windows server, on the other hand, like any other Windows box, will occasionally crash just out of the blue. No Windows server has ever been anywhere remotely close on its own to a Netware server in terms of reliability.

            Next up, capability; Everything today is written for windows

            That is irrelevant. The server software that is important to run on a server is available on systems o

            • Ah, a troll. You got me.

              • Well, if your opinions cloud your ability to perceive fact such that you don't know the difference between reality and troll, then I guess that statement may be accurate. Anyone who has actually managed both a Netware and a Windows Server would know better, though.
                • Actually, what set you to troll status was the fact that you said windows will randomly crash. Anyone who's spent any time administrating windows knows that windows, by itself, doesn't randomly crash. Hasn't since the 2000 days. It's software and drivers ( note: the same thing that will abend your high and mighty netware servers ) that'll do it. Well, and flaky hardware. All of which are common problems for all OSes.

                  I've worked several places with SLES, netware and the various versions of windows runni

      • by Taelron ( 1046946 ) on Wednesday April 27, 2011 @06:40PM (#35958288)
        Active Directory was originally technology licensed from Banyan Vines. When Banyan went under, Microsoft received free reign to use the technology wholesale.

        Under Banyan Vines it was called StreetTalk. Your login was your name @ office @ organization or jsmith@houston@slashdot

        It was far superior to NT 4.0's domain system and was licensed for inclusion into Active Directory starting with Windows 2000. In Banyan, all file shares and printers were easily located in the directory the same way. Resource @ server @ organization such as: publicfiles@serverca001@slashdot or xeroxprinter@serverny003, part of the reason Microsoft licensed the technology was to enable placing resources in the directory structure.

        The downside to StreetTalk was networks with over 1024 servers. It was never intended to grow that large back in the 80's and early 90's. The largest Banyan Vines network was actually run by the United States Marine Corps with over 5800 servers. The Marines had to break the network up into three sections each containing less than 2000 servers. They created what was called ELMS gateways that linked and allowed some resources to be shared across the three different "zones".

        Starting in 1998 the Marines Corps began transitioning away from Banyan Vines to Windows NT 4.0 and the release of Windows 2000 with Active Directory which was updated to address the issues the Marines had with large networks was the final deathblow to Banyan in the US market. Shortly afterwards Banyan announced they were going back to making hardware only and licensing the StreetTalk directory out. Within a couple of years Banyan was gone from the networking world.

        • I remember them marketing the crap out of the fact they had US Government clients. Banyan's other weakness was their reliance on 16-bit DOS based networking stack. They didn't take the transition to Windows 95 clients very well. I remember using VINES in middle school with the text based login and all. I could never get a good answer from the admin why they choose it over something like Netware, its not like they had a huge network. They later transitioned to a NT Server 3.51 domain and eventually AD.
          • Banyan's largest customer worldwide was the United States Marine Corps. The penetration into the US network market never exceeded 24%. They were actually much larger in Europe than they were in America having around 40% of the market.

            Banyan originally started out making ICA (communication cards) for mainframes and other Network OS's. They decided to have a go at making their own NOS to exploit both the hardware and software side of the house. The Banyan servers sat on top of a bastardized unix operati

      • Why any company would put up with ED is beyond me;

        Given that in this day and age there are several prescription treatments for ED along with dozens of bogus "herbal" remedies I can understand your frustration. No one should put up with ED anymore.

    • by cusco ( 717999 )
      Best example ever of that was Digital Equipment Corp. Best hardware in the world, worst salesmen in the world. My former boss used to call engineering support to get pricing on equipment because the salescritters would never call her back.
      • I can't agree with you more on that one. At one point I had in my hardware ensemble at work a quad-cpu Alpha, each cpu at 667 MHz and 8gb ram total. That one box was faster than an entire rack of 2GHz Intel P4 systems. DEC was then sold to Compaq, who merged with HP. Which lead to the death of one of the greatest RISC chips the world has ever seen.
  • Software companies have their own "physical laws" of operation.

    1. Innovate
    2. Incorporate
    3. Reorganize
    4. Downsize
    5. Distribute the proceeds

    It's just completing the cycle.

    I couldn't name a company that has escaped this Schwartz child limit. Microsoft isn't so much that type of company as a "holding company" and it has a longer life cycle. If companies were stars, Microsoft would be a red dwarf, Novell a yellow sun, Netscape a blue giant (or maybe a Eta Carinae that went Nova).

    If Microsoft lasts as long it cou

    • If Microsoft lasts as long it could be with us for billions and billions of years (lol).

      God I wish there was a +1 Scary moderator option.

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      What a stupid pile of crap.

      Things grow, and eventually die. Geez, what a fucking lighting bolt of wisdom that is.

      How do you explain the software companies that dies before step 3?

  • the required 54 3.5" floppies to install it's product. Also, an era of crappy network stack design.

  • Been sysadminning NetWare on and off since the bindery days. So long Novell, gonna miss you.
  • Anyone remember the sheep? Novell pretty much did them in. I'll bet they're laughing now.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.