Wednesday, November 15, 2006

New Feature on Bucky's Blog

Check out my latest links of interest which is a little further down on my blog. I'm constantly bookmarking different web sites and then searching through my bookmarks later on for reference. Well now you can see what links have been of interest to me. The links are posted here and I think could be very useful. They are IT / Novell / Linux related links, both good TID's that I find and also good articles.

- Bucky

Thursday, November 02, 2006

MS and Novell Dance

Novell and Microsoft are learning to dance together. Or should I say Novell is dancing with the devil. Well however you take this, surprise, shock.... Pigs can now fly and it could be snowing in hell... One of the major stories today was the announcement that these two old foes are now collaborating together. They said that this has been in the works since around last April and Novell was the one to approach Microsoft.

Who loses and who wins?

Losers: Red Hat, Oracle
Another adversary of Microsoft - Oracle is offering a version of Linux based on the Red Hat Distribution that will be cheaper than Red Hat and will be supported in enterprises that is cheaper than Red Hat. Red Hat shares were tumbling this week because of this news and it looked that Novell was being squeezed out of the picture. This helps paint the picture of Microsoft's agenda and motives. Microsoft needs to fend off the blow from Oracle and at the same time jump into the Open Source Pool.

Winners: Microsoft, Novell, Open Source, and most importantly Enterprise Customers.
There are many more winners than losers with this announcement. I noticed that HP was on the podium during the press release. I couldn't help wondering what IBM and Dell were thinking about this announcement.

This is HUGE for Novell. Novell has a very strong friend and ally. Novell gets a stamp of approval in the enterprise data centers. Microsoft endorses Novell SUSE Linux!

This is HUGE for the customer. Anytime there is collaboration it's a big win.

Here is a summary of key items in today's announcement:
1. Interoperability
The lawyers have made sure that Microsoft and Novell will not step on each others patents. Microsoft and Novell will work together bridging propietary source code with Open Source code.

2. Collaboration

  • a. Virtualization
  • b. SUSE Linux on Windows. Windows on SUSE Linux. Paravirtualization
  • c. Web Services - bringing Linux and Windows services together. .NET and MONO
  • d. eDirectory and Active Directory Federation. Think AD on Linux.
  • e. ODF Open Document Format. Microsoft Office and Open Office

This message and announcement solidifies Open Source in the Data Center. While Novell and Microsoft will still compete, they will also collaborate.

SysAdmin said it best - There is a disturbance in the Force!

Microsoft and Novell Major Announcement

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT - ) is entering into an agreement with Novell Inc. (NASDAQ:NOVL -) that will allow open-source Linux software to work with the company's Windows software, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

Microsoft plans to make a major announcement later on Thursday, but declined to comment on the article.

Shares of Novell rose 16.7 percent on the news, while open-source rival Red Hat Inc. (NASDAQ:RHAT - ) shares fell 4.5 percent in afternoon Nasdaq trade.

Link Here for CBS MarketWatch News

Monday, October 09, 2006

Uncle Ray Noorda dead at 82

Ray Noorda, the visionary of Novell in the Late 80's and early 90's passed away today at the age of 82 at his home in Orem, Utah.

Ray Noorda led Novell Inc. as CEO from 1983 to 1995 and was a leader in the world of computer networking.

Noorda was widely recognized as the "Father of Network Computing" for his vision of what technology would do to tie together business computing around the world, according to Canopy.

At Novell we knew Mr Noorda as "Uncle Ray". I had an opportunity to meet with Uncle Ray many times at Novell. When I was a new employee in 1990 I was staying late one evening and Ray Noorda came walking through my office looking for his son, Andy, but stopped to talk with me. I didn't know that was Ray at the time and I had a nice conversation with him. Later Andy Noorda was my supervisor. When I first received my CNE certification in 1991, Ray Noorda himself showed up to present me with a CNE Jacket and gave me a hug. (It helped to be working with his son, Andy.)

Ray Noorda was a millionare, but you wouldn't know it. He had a small office with no windows and still drove his old Ford Pickup. He was a man of integrity. I sure do miss those days - they were a lot of fun!

Ray Noorda tried to compete head to head with Microsoft in 1994 by merging Novell with WordPerfect Corporation and buying Borland Paradox. While Novell was focusing on the Application Suite and taking it's eye off Novell's Leading networking products, Microsoft was able to creep in and better it's Networking Products.

Drew Major, a co-founder of Novell, said in a statement that Noorda was "a great mentor to all of his employees and gave us all opportunities to grow. With his integrity, he built a trust and a bond in the early Novell years that empowered us together to go out and change the world. Not only was he respected and appreciated by those who partnered with him but also by those who competed against him. Ray Noorda left a legacy of connecting computers and people and companies together."

Ray Noorda later headed up the Canopy Group as a Utah Venture Capitalist company.

We'll miss you Uncle Ray

Monday, September 25, 2006

NetWare's Early Years

Dave Kearns writes about where to read about NetWare's early years.

Link - Network World - Dave Kearns

Yes ... it's true that I like to look back on Novell's glory days. Those years were very good to me. First as a customer installing NetWare 2.12, then when I joined Novell in the heyday of NetWare in 1990...

Wikipedia - History of Novell
Short History of Novell
Novell Museum - The History of Novell
Novell Museum
History of Computing 1982-1983
The History of IPX and XNS - Novell and Xerox
Novell's Pressroom Website - History of Novell

Monday, August 21, 2006

Does Open Source matter? It does to IBM and HP.

Do you know someone in IT that thinks Open Source doesn't matter? You may want to point them to this article from the Motley Fool and have them think again. The Open Source movement is BIG business. Just ask IBM or HP.

IBM, since 2001, has invested $1 Billion in Linux. It is the biggest open source corporate backer. However, it's also worth taking a note of activities at HP. HP is within striking distance of replacing IBM as the largest technology company. HP is taking an interesting "Switzerland" neautral approach supporting both Microsoft, and Open Source. I noticed that not only are they supporting Red Hat and Novell but there was also an announcement at LinuxWorld that HP is also offering Debian Linux support.

It appears to me that IBM and HP are competing and it's the Open Source movement that will give these large corporations the edge.

Read this Motley Fool article: IBM opens the Open-Source Floodgates

IBM opens the Open-Source Floodgates

Friday, July 28, 2006

Happy Systems Admin Day!

System Administrator Appreciation Day

Friday, July 28th, 2006, is the 7th annual System Administrator Appreciation Day. On this special international day, give your System Administrator something that shows that you truly appreciate their hard work and dedication. Consider all the daunting tasks and long hours (weekends too.) Let's be honest, sometimes we don't know our System Administrators as well as they know us. Remember this is one day to recognize your System Administrator for their workplace contributions and to promote professional excellence. Thank them for all the things they do for you and your business.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

It's about time!

Today Novell announced that Ron Hovsepian is to succeed Jack Messman as CEO. So Novell - what took you so long! For months there has been pressure from stockholders to oust Mr. Messman because of failure of strategy to return Novell to growth.

The strategy to embrace Linux and Open Source seems sound, but there has been a lack of success at Novell. Last year Novell cut 10% of the work force (I was part of that) and kept promising that Novell would return to growth. However just last May Novell reported disappointing results that wiped more than a fifth from the company's share price.

In my opinion 66 year old Messman just lacked the energy and leadership to turn Novell around. I am excited about Ron Hovsepian, a former IBM executive, who is 45 years old. He has the sales background, enthusiasm, and excitement to really make a difference. If you've ever been to Brainshare and listened to Ho Hum Messman, you know what I'm talking about. Mr Hovsepian has the spark that is so much needed at Novell right now. Novell lost that spark when Chris Stone departed Novell back in November of 2005. Stone was instrumental in Novell's acquisition of two Linux companies, Ximian and SUSE Linux. Novell declined to comment on the reasons for Stone's departure. Back then Novell appeared to be finally making the right moves and Brainshare sessions were the most attended and upbeat I had seen in a long time. After Chris left, the energy left with him.

Now the question is can Novell take this new energy and execute? Novell customers are the most loyal and faithful customers around. But the customers are barely hanging on by a thread. Novell has lost so much credibility. The faithful are mostly the techies and not the decision makers. I know. I'm now a Novell faithful customer / techie, but the big M Migration is looming around the corner and I'm afraid it may be too late in my own IT world to stop it. I'm sure other Novell techie customers are feeling the same heat. Novell has the best technology, but Novell is becoming a non issue.

However, with Microsoft losing key execs, and Bill Gates announcing his departure in the very near future, and with the delay of MS Windows Vista, Novell has bought time with this new accouncement and may have found the spark to help generate new sales. Wall Street likes this move. I know the customers will like this move. C'mon Novell!! What took you so freakin long! We're cheering for you! Let's execute!!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

SUSE Linux and MS Vista - Head to Head Compare

This is a great article from CRN as they take the pre-release of Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 and Microsoft Windows Vista Beta 2 on a head-tohead comparison.

Read the Article

Conclusion from the Article:
"The basic question here is, can solution providers count on Linux to fill the gaps? The simple answer is yes.

SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 has the feature set, compatibility and flexibility to meet the needs of most corporate desktop users. What's more, at a price point roughly one-tenth of what Vista and Office 2007 will cost, SUSE Linux becomes harder to ignore.

That said, there still will be challenges. Channel players will need to train employees and customers on Linux, equivalent applications may not exist in the Linux world to meet line-of-business needs, and inherent complexities can slow the adoption of Linux.

Microsoft delivers what corporate desktop users need as well, but also provides "the comfort of an old friend" factor, since most users are familiar with Windows".

Friday, June 09, 2006

Ethereal changes name to Wireshark

Yes this is true. The world's most popular network protocol analyzer has changed names from Ethereal to Wireshark. Gerald Combs, founder of the Ethereal project announced that he's changing jobs, moving to a new location, and taking the project and its core developers with him.

So why the name change?
Combs former employer, NIS, registered the Ethereal trademarks and now there is no agreement on who gets the trademarks so the trademarks stay with NIS. Combs is accepting a job with CACE Technologies, best known for WinPcap, and they will continue development on Ethereal, but the name will be changed to Wireshark.

Read more about it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

eDirectory 8.8 Multi-Instance Support

eDirectory 8.8 now has a new feature called multi-instance support. This means that eDirectory 8.8 can host more than one instance of eDirectory on the same system, and they can coexist peacefully.

Paul McKeith from Novell has posted the step by step procedures on installing multiple instances of trees on a SUSE Linux Server.

Check out Paul's AppNote

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Obstacles for Linux as a Desktop

Eric Lai wrote an excellent article for Computerworld. In this article he talks about what Linux is doing wrong on the desktop.

In the article some of the obstacles are:

1. Corporate IT perception that proponents of the Linux OS are troublemakers.

2. Large PC Vendors don't want to give up their profit installing Windows.
"Large PC vendors actually turn a profit installing Windows because of all the money they are awarded by Microsoft from its marketing slush fund. Microsoft provides plenty of other soft incentives to hardware vendors, from sales support on large accounts, engineering assistance and essential support for making drivers for add-on peripherals work properly. It's like crack, they just can't get away from it".

3. PC makers fundamentally dislike Linux because it doesn't sport a track record of encouraging users to upgrade their computers in regular three-year cycles the way Windows does.

4. There is the mistaken belief among Linux advocates that there's an adequate number of open-source equivalents to popular commercial Windows-based applications and games. Mainstream users just aren't going to voluntarily switch to Linux if it means they have to give up Photoshop, Quicken or even Microsoft Office. Does OpenOffice meet my needs? Almost. Does GIMP [ an open-source photo editor] meet my needs? Same answer. And drivers are still a real drag".

According to this article, "Linux's best prospects, he said, are not on PCs, but with cell phones or newfangled consumer electronics appliances, such as the Linux-based Tivo."

"You can't out-resource Microsoft or out-compete them. You need to find out where the market is going. As [Netscape founder] Jim Barksdale says, 'Find a parade, and get in front of it.'"

My personal belief is that Linux isn't quite ready for the corporate world. At least just yet. With the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10 it could be profitable for small businesses and I believe SUSE is definately ready for the home market. Linux is almost there. However with Microsoft Vista looming around the corner there are decisions to be made and companies should take another look at Linux as a viable alternative to Microsoft. It could be worth it to save money on hardware upgrades and expensive OS costs. I found my parade and it's marching with SUSE Linux!

- Bucky

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Update to Novell Client 4.9 AppNote

Earle Wells from Novell Support recently updated his excellent AppNote on the Novell Client. - See May 25, 2005 Blog

AppNote: Novell Client 4.9 SP2 : Initialization, Login and Settings

Obtain the latest Novell Client for Windows and all related patches from the Novell Wiki Pages

Novell Client for Windows Wiki
Novell Client for Linux Wiki

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Linux big in China... but what about Microsoft.

Linux Desktop is set to take off, according to Novell's Ron Hovsepian. "Hovsepian believes that Novell's software--he pointed to his company's own forthcoming Suse Linux Desktop 10--has matured enough that three markets will be interested.

First are large corporate users with employees who don't need full-featured PCs but rather just basic software such as a Web browser. Second are small business owners who see the savings from Windows license fees going straight to their own wallets. Third are residents of Brazil, Russia, India and China--the so-called BRIC countries--who are price-sensitive and who haven't already made a big investment in Windows, he said. China in particular is interesting because of pressure to curtail Windows piracy, Hovsepian said. "

However, just today, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Bill Gates and company and toured the Redmond facilities. Microsoft announced deals that will ensure its Windows operating system will be featured in millions of PCs sold in the world's largest country. Microsoft and Lenovo announced a $1.2 billion dollar deal that will allow Lenovo to ship computers in China with MS Windows.

So does this mean that this deal will slow the growth of Linux as a desktop operating system? Perhaps, but with the Anti-Piracy policies in place and enforced by the Government, there is room for Microsoft and Linux. Even with Microsoft's huge discounted OS on Lenovo, there are still hundreds of other PC clones in China and Taiwan, not to mention other parts of Asia. Linux as a desktop is still a legitimate alternative with lower cost.

I think another issue is that Microsoft is opening itself up once again to negative publicity and image issues. Microsoft will continue to be the big bully. Hey... they are the monopoly. But I believe Linux, and Novell SUSE Linux in particular, have made huge strides with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 10. Now it remains to be seen if Novell can get revenue from Linux. But a huge part of the battle is penetration. It's going to be interesting how this plays out.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Red Hat Buys JBoss, Eyes on Novell...and Oracle

The Open Source landscape has altered a bit, and is changing every day. It seems like everyone wants to get a piece of the action. First, not just a week ago, Microsoft will be supporting Linux on their Virtual Server, and they started a Linux / Open Source Website. Then Red Hat declared on Monday that it's buying JBoss, the leading Application Server Environment for Open Source. People were wondering what Novell was going to do next since the the talk was that Novell was looking at buying JBoss as well. Novell includes JBoss technology with SLES and the new SUSE Linux 10. Novell also allows calls through their Tech Support lines. What's going to happen to Novell now?

Well we may not have to wait long. Oracle, the second largest software company in the world is now looking into providing an Oracle flavor of Linux. In fact they are seriously looking in the direction of Novell to provide this.

This would be a great equalizer not only to the Open Source arena, but the entire software industry as a whole. Novell has great software. Oracle has great software and good marketing. Larry Ellison of Oracle is very envious of Microsoft and wants to take 'em on.

Wait I'm having Deja Vu! I've been here before! Ray Noorda bought WordPerfect and.... well let's hope history doesn't repeat itself.

- Bucky

Oracle Confirms Ellison has sights on Novell

Friday, April 07, 2006

Are we really getting along?

I think it must be near the end of the world! Yesterday I couldn't believe my eyes as I read two stories.

First: Microsoft shocked the world when it announced that its Virtual Server R2 free will support Red Hat and SUSE Linux. Microsoft will take support calls and is announcing a web site.

Second: Apple is coming out with "Boot Camp" software which will allow a Macintosh with an Intel Processor to run Microsoft Windows. Users can dual boot either MACOS X, or Microsoft Windows ... on a MAC!

I had to look around the neighborhood to make sure Dogs and Cats were not playing together. I think there is a scripture in the Bible about the Lamb lying next to the Lion. Somebody pinch me.

- Bucky

Essay on why we love to hate Microsoft - by Bucky

What goes around, comes around - What a tangled web we weave

A Nod of Thanks to Uncle Ray

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

SLED - SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop

A couple of weeks ago I included a link to some MS Windows Vista images, so I thought it only fair to include a link to Novell's Preview Website to show a few images from their newly announced Desktop - SLED. Novell is dropping the Novell name out of the Enterprise Desktop. Instead of Novell Linux Desktop 10 it will be called SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10.

SLED 10 is "a comprehensive, full-function desktop containing technology innovations and usability breakthroughs including enhanced power management, integrated desktop search, high-performance graphical interfaces and numerous application improvements based on open source innovation."

Novell just released these SLED 10 Series of Videos

Friday, March 31, 2006

Engineer's take on Novell's new SUSE Desktop

Here's an engineer's review of Novell's new SLED10.

"Novell's new SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 (SLED 10) is beating Microsoft Vista to market by months, and the Xen virtualization features in the upcoming SuSE Enterprise Server are right on target. In short, Novell's Linux roadmap looks great.

From the look of SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, it's on par with -- and maybe some steps ahead of -- Mac OS X and Windows Vista.

Novell's ease-of-use focus is obvious in SLED 10's new features, which were created in response to usability research findings reported on Key new features include integrated search using Beagle, the Tomboy note-taking widget and desktop visual effects based on Xgl graphics and Compiz compositing manager.

In my opinion, Novell's products are certainly alive and kicking. The company has the right stuff, and I, for one, hope Novell can get those products into the corporate IT mix."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

What's up with Microsoft?

As you know I tend to set a spin on how things are in regards to Microsoft versus the Open Source movement. But this week I really don't have to exagerate in regards to Microsoft's turmoils.

So what's going on with Microsoft? Thank you for the timing of your announcement of Vista delays the day before Novell's Keynote at Brainshare on SLED10, the new Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop. So.. more delays in Microsoft Vista and now some Microsoft Executive Shake ups.

Here are some quotes from Microsoft Employees and testers:
"We're missing the holiday sales market. Not only did we miss last year's opportunity, we're missing this year's opportunity, too. People need to be fired and moved out of Microsoft today. Where's the freakin' accountability?"

"Being a 10+ year vet I feel ashamed and sad. This company is a mess on so many levels."

What is the true reason for the delay?

"If you had spent the last 5 years of your life grinding away to get this thing out the door, you would have realised the only thing worse than slipping the date, would have been to lay a turd in August. Those of us in the trenches see exactly what bugs are between us and shipping."

Article Source

What's going on with the Microsoft Windows Code?

"Windows runs on 330 million personal computers worldwide. Three hundred PC manufacturers around the world install Windows on their machines... A crucial reason Microsoft holds more than 90 percent of the PC operating system market is that the company strains to make sure software and hardware that ran on previous versions of Windows will also work on the new one — compatibility, in computing terms.

As a result, each new version of Windows carries the baggage of its past. As Windows has grown, the technical challenge has become increasingly daunting. Several thousand engineers have labored to build and test Windows Vista, a sprawling, complex software construction project with 50 million lines of code, or more than 40 percent larger than Windows XP."

Ray Ozzie, chief technical officer, who joined Microsoft last year, wrote, "Complexity kills. It sucks the life out of developers, it makes products difficult to plan, build and test, it introduces security challenges and it causes end-user and administrator frustration."

So Microsoft is taking a new approach hence the delays. Vista was built more in small modules that then fit together like Lego blocks, making development and testing easier to manage.

"They did the right thing in deciding that the Longhorn code was a tangled, hopeless mess, and starting over," said Mr. Cusumano of M.I.T. "But Vista is still an enormous, complex structure."

Source Article from NYTimes

Article from MacDailyNews

This makes the OS Market interesting. This year in preparing IT budgets, people have choices to make. Not only in the corporate world, but what about the home market. Microsoft has thousands of engineers on its Windows Team. Apple in contrast has roughly 350 programmers and fewer than 100 testers. What does that mean? Does it mean the Microsoft Code will be better because more programmers, or does it mean that it takes more time and money to get the code out. Microsoft has the added complexity of keeping backwards compatibility. Apple on the other hand didn't retain backwards compatibility with OS X and MAC OS 9. And look what Apple is doing switching to the Intel platform. Who is really being the most innovative? And what about Open Source? Companies like Novell and Red Hat lead the Open Source movement by putting money and resource behind it and then work jointly with other programmers around the world. I think it's the best of both worlds. Again... where is the innovation? Think about this when you are making your buying decisions. Do you want to be "closed" or "open"? I think there is room for both.

- Bucky

Article: Open Source Gaining Traction

Let's talk Open Source:
30 percent of Internet servers run Linux; 40 percent of e-mail servers run Sendmail; 65 percent of Web servers run Apache; 90 percent of DNS servers run BIND; and Mozilla's open-source Web browser Firefox has been downloaded more than 100 million times.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bucky's Brainshare Page

You didn't get to go to Brainshare this year? Either did I. But there are several places you can go on the Web to experience some of the action. Check out my Bucky Brainshare Page for Links to Sessions, Photo Blogs, and Webcams to get you as close to the action as possible.

- Bucky

Avanti Penguin Relieves Stress at BS2006

This just in... That cute Avanti Anti-Stress Penquin given away at Brainshare really works. Someone really knows how and where to go to relieve stress. Look where someone found this Penquin...

Monday, March 20, 2006

Brainshare Keynote Notes Monday

Jack Messman, Ron Hovsepian and Jeff Jaffe spoke at Monday's Brainshare Keynote Address. Although I won't be attending this year, I watched the live webcast.

Novell Keynote Replay

Here are some of my notes:Highlights of Brainshare Keynote 3-20-06

"Software for the Open Enterprise"
* GroupWise Mobile Server - powered by Intellisync
* Blackberry for GroupWise Quick Start Offer
* Novell Open Workgroup SuiteIncludes Server and Desktop Bundle
GW, ZEN, OES - Server
OpenOffice, Linux Desktop - Client
More on Keynote Wednesday

* SLES10 - Platform for the Open Enterprise
* SLED10
* Novel ZENworks 7 Linux Management - Dell Edition - Biggest Announcement
* GroupWise Support for next 10 years
* Novell NetWare is supported at least through 2015.
Messman touched on the company's plans for its Open Enterprise Server. Drawing cheers from attendees, he said that Novell will extend support for Netware.
Quote: "We will support Netware at least through 2015," Messman said. "We will support Netware 6.5 for as long as customers want to support it. If you want to continue to run on Netware, I would encourage you to upgrade to 6.5."

* Virtualization on SLES10 - One click from YAST to create a virtual server
Installed and configured a Virtual Machine quickly and easy with minimal clicks

Virtualization gives you High Availability and Security. Get more out of your Hardware.
Linux Application Security - Novell AppArmor

Clustering - Virtualization Clustering
Hith Availability - Cluster physical and virtual

Don't forget to check out the Novell Brainshare videos

Infoworld Article: Novell CEO outlines Novell Road Map

Thursday, March 16, 2006

What stress? I run NetWare

For those of you heading to Brainshare. I want you to be on the lookout for some cute Penguin Stress Balls that I'm sure are going to be a hit and will become a collector's item.

Avanti Technology is handing these Penguins out the first two days of Brainshare.

"While Stress and NetWare are as much of an oxymoron as Flying Penguins and Open Source Windows, we still thought a stress ball might come in handy when dealing with non-NetWare issues that arise daily.

We'll be handing them out the weekend before and during the first two days of Brainshare so be on the look out for the Avanti Penguin Stress Ball. "

Please post a comment on this blog and let me know if you were able to obtain the Penguin Stress Ball. When you see Steve Meyer from Avanti, tell him Bucky sent you!

After you're done reading this post I'd like you to check out two very cool Pro NetWare sites.

1. Of course - Avanti Technology - Check out Task Master!
2. IWANTNETWARE.COM - Stop by and sign the Online Petition.

Help Save NetWare! NetWare is a great operating system. You can't go wrong using tools around NetWare and eDirectory such as IDM3, ZENWorks, and GroupWise which all scale nicely and provide so much networking power with a minimum amount of servers and staff.

Have fun at Brainshare! I won't make it this year, but I won't miss it next year!

- Bucky

Thursday, March 09, 2006

How to ssh / putty into a NetWare OES Server

One of the very cool things about OES NetWare (NetWare 6.5 SP4) is the ability to have new ways to access your server and files remotely. You can now use SSH to access your file server. It doesn't matter if it's OES NetWare or OES Linux. SSH (or Secure SHell) is a protocol for creating a secure connection between two systems. In the SSH protocol, the client machine initiates a connection with a server machine. SSH is very similar to Telnet except it uses a secure connection.

To start the SSH Deamon, load SSHD.NLM on a NetWare OES Server. If you're using Linux as your workstation just try typing SSH [ipaddress], ie "ssh".

If you're running Windows I recommend obtaining PuTTY. PuTTY is a free implementation of Telnet and SSH for Win32, Linux, and Unix platforms.

You can obtain PuTTY from a variety of mirrored sources. But try this link:

Once you SSH and authenticate to your server, what can you do? It's a little like Remote Console, but right away I had a hard time figuring out how to switch screens. I tracked down SSH keystrokes and I'll list them, but the some of the most important are:

CTRL Z - Select Screen
CTRL F - Go Forward a screen
CTRL U - Up Arrow
CTRL X - End session

Another cool thing that's new with OES NetWare is the BASH Shell. Try typing :bash
This is like the old Netbasic DOS Shell, but it's a Linux BASH like shell. Try typing a few Linux commands such as: cd \ ; ls ; ls -la ; cd \system ; cat autoexec.ncf
It's very cool! But I still prefer the old CPQFM.NLM to access files.

Here is the complete list of SSH Keystrokes for NetWare access:

Ctrl+B Begin (Home)

Ctrl+D Move the cursor down (Down Arrow)

Ctrl+L Move the cursor to the left (Left Arrow)

Ctrl+U Move the cursor to the up on the screen (Up Arrow)

Ctrl+R Move the cursor to the right (Right Arrow)

Ctrl+F Switch to a different server console screen.
The server GUI screen is not supported.

Ctrl+P Page up

Ctrl+N Page down

Ctrl+G Delete

Ctrl+O Insert

Ctrl+X Exit

Ctrl+T Reboot server

Ctrl+E End

Ctrl+Z Select screen

Ctrl+H Backspace

Ctrl+S Setting screen

Ctrl+Q Display SSH keyboard help screen

Ctrl+K Access the kernel debugger screen

To find out more about SSH on NetWare access the Novell Documentation.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Memory Tuning NetWare 6.5 with memcalc

I've heard reports that there are still memory issues in NetWare 6.5 SP4. Starting with SP3 there have been many enhancements in regards to memory.

This post will direct you to the necessary articles and tools, SEG.NLM and MEMCALC which will assist you in further tuning your NetWare 6.5 Server.

Back in May 2005, I posted a detailed blog on the memory issues before SP3 and what changes were made:
Memory Fragmentation on NetWare

Ed Liebing, technical editor at Novell, wrote a great article on the enhancements and understanding memory through Novell Remote Manager (NoRM). Read this for a great review and understanding of memory on NetWare 6.5.

Novell has released a new SEG.NLM memory analysis tool.
Download the latest SEG.NLM.

To examine your memory on NetWare 6.5 SP3 or SP4 you'll need to download the latest SEG.NLM and use SEG.NLM to write a SEGSTATS.TXT file.

Next read the Novell Cool Solutions article on Memory Tuning Calculator.
Download the Memory Calculator from

There is a windows or linux version of memcalc and it is a DOS executable. Copy your segstats.exe from sys:\system to a dos folder or directory.

memcalc segfile | /i
Where segfile is the path and file name of the segstats.txt file
or use /i to enter the figure manually

So from my lab server:

F:\myfiles\>memcalc segstats.txt
NLM Memory = 356843520
NLMHWM Memory = 392794112
DS Memory = 10142080
Phys Memory = 1068937216
UAS Memory = 936566784

Calculating settings based on following values:

Physical memory (Bytes) : 1,068,937,216
NLM Footprint (Bytes) : 356,843,520
NLM High Water (Bytes) : 392,794,112
UAS (Bytes) : 936,566,784
DS Foot print (Bytes) : 10,142,080

Physical memory is less than 2GB - no tuning recomended

From the readme of memcalc and the cool solutions article:

"In recent NetWare 6.x Service Packs, the memory management with NetWare has undergone a rather radical overhaul to help address limitations NetWare was starting to experience under intensive loads - e.g., Running large databases, multi gigabyte eDirectory trees with millions of objects, multiple Java applications etc.

These changes to memory management were initially quite problematic, but have become much more reliable in the current service packs - except, in my opinion, for the “auto tuning” feature that is enabled by default.

The Auto Tuning feature monitors the memory usage on the server and adjusts two parameters to try and free up more logical address space on the server.

The AutoTuning feature operates by lowering the “File Cache Maximum Size” (FCMS) setting, which controls how much memory is available to the server for use as NSS and/or TFS cache. If the FCMS setting reaches its minimum possible value of 1GB then the auto tuning will then start recommending that the “-u” setting is reduced. The “-u” setting controls how much space is available for the “User Address Space”. This is a logical memory region that is reserved for running protected mode and Java applications.

In my opinion, the memory tuning algorithm is too aggressive, and too simplistic:

  • It wants to keep too much memory in the VM pool.
  • It’s too keen to drive the FCMS setting down.
  • It will only "tune" in one direction, and it "tunes" the server to accommodate one off memory allocations - an NLM accidentally requesting a 1GB allocation today will mean a server "tuned" for that size memory footprint a year from now. If I remove a large memory footprint NLM from the server, memory will not be “tuned” back towards a larger cache- the memory will be forever reserved for the VM pool.
  • The “tuning” can result in even more memory fragmentation than the tuning is designed to prevent. When the FCMS setting is reduced, the complete NSS cache is thrown away (flushed), then its starts growing again. I’ve seen servers with 2-3% of fragmented memory suddenly have 15% or more after being “tuned”.
  • The tuning can cause server abends. I’ve seen it cause Poison Pill abends on Cluster nodes, and other abends on standard servers.
This aggressive auto tuning in addition to some “interesting” default settings bias the server towards giving excessive memory to the VM pool at the expense of the FS Cache pool. " - Hamish Speirs

Read more about it...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

OS Crossroads, Windows or Linux?

There have been several announcements and items in the press about new OS releases. These apply to both Server OS and Desktop OS.

Article: Linux at a Crossroads in the Enterprise

First, Is Linux ready for the Corporate Desktop? Well from what I've personally seen in the corporate environment... no. Users are really tied to their Windows Applications, such as MS Access and others. In my environment full of nurses, and doctors it would be very stressful for the end users to change. However while I was at Novell, the migration to Linux on the desktops was very successful. Yeah... if you work with a company full of tech geeks! Of course it was. But here is my take - Bring Linux into your corporate environment as a choice. Let the techies install it or have it as a choice. At least allow the techies to dual boot. I try to use Novell Linux Desktop as much as possible, but I still have to resort to using MS Windows from time to time.

As a home desktop Linux is most definately ready for prime time!

Soon we'll have to choose with future releases of Windows Vista with the six flavors, and / or new versions of Linux with the new Kernal such as Novell Linux Desktop 10 which is sporting some very cool new features. If you do decide to go Windows Vista, be ready to take out your wallet for some serious upgrading of hardware and migration of some Windows Applications. Or you may just get by with Windows Vista pre-installed on new hardware. The Linux Desktop is definately more cost effective.

Now for the OS Server Side:
Quote, "
Linux servers generated $1.6 billion in quarterly revenue, the fourteenth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth, with year-over-year revenue growth of 20.8 percent. For the full year, Linux server revenue was $5.7 billion, rising to third place for the first time as businesses found new ways to deploy Linux servers."

Article: Linux, Windows gain in Server Space

It's time to take a serious look at your future OS strategy and Linux should be a serious consideration. I'm particularly talking to the NetWare shops out there. What about new training? What about skilled IT workers? In my opinion and I'm talking to mostly Novell NetWare customers, Novell has a great strategy to help you migrate from NetWare to Linux. Novell offers free online training and great tools to migrate to OES linux with the same look and feel of using eDirectory with ConsoleOne, Novell Remote Manager, iManager, and allowing the Novell Clients to connect to Linux without any changes for the end user. You can also run Novell GroupWise PO's on Linux and soon Lotus Notes. To me, and I admit I'm a Novell advocate (or Novell Bigot as some of my customers used to say), it's a no brainer. One more factor, Novell OES linux is here now. Windows Longhorn is still a few months away. Virtualization which is a big deal is here now with Linux. With Windows Longhorn... we're looking at 2009.

Article: Can Microsoft Keep the OS Server lead?

For many customers it may make sense to stick to Windows, particularly if you're entrenched in Windows Client / Server applications, but still the cost savings with a Linux Strategy is worth a look. And if you're still using Novell NetWare and there are a lot of customers still using NetWare, the Novell Migration Strategy is definately worth a look!

- Bucky

Other resources:
Quote: Speaking at Novell's BrainShare conference and expo in Barcelona, Spain, Messman said, "The cost of migrating from XP to Vista will be higher than the cost of migrating to Linux and that will push migrations to Linux."
Reference Article: Novell CEO sees Vista as a Desktop Linux Opportunity

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Novell does Podcasts - Open Audio

Novell has just launched a podcast site called Novell Open Audio. This will focus primarily on technical level discussions with product managers, engineers and others involved in Novell's product development.

The first podcast includes a look at iFolder with Brady Anderson and Calvin Gaisford and an update on Novell Linux Desktop from Guy Lunardi. Upcoming planned topics include Samba, Banshee and Novell Identity Manager. Take advantage of this podcast site to see what's going on inside and around the Novell universe.

- Bucky

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Virtualization on Novell Linux

Novell last week announced support for a start-up's virtualization and management technology, a first step in making it easier for customers to combine Linux servers into a pool of resources that can be allocated depending on application demand.

SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9 Service Pack 3, which began shipping several weeks ago, is built on a kernel that is preconfigured to support start-up Virtual Iron's software. That means all applications certified to run on SuSE will run in a Virtual Iron environment without modification.

In the past Virtual Iron Software required a kernal recompile. So this is very good news. This is becoming a much needed asset as Linux makes its way deeper into the data center. Watch for more news on this.

Read the Article from NetworkWorld.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Novell Linux 10 Demo Videos

LinuxEdge has posted the videos of the presentation of Novell Desktop Linux 10 by Nat Friedman.

See the Videos

"A preview of Novell Linux Desktop 10 was shown to an audience at the Solutions Linux conference this week. We have a selection of videos which display a variety of amazing effects through the use of XGL, including transparency, wobbling windows, a 3D cube for desktop switching, and a task switcher which displays a preview of windows."

Friday, February 10, 2006

DANUG Meeting with Steve Meyer of Avanti

Last night I attended the DANUG meeting and presentation by Steve Meyer, President of Avanti Technology, Inc.

I remember meeting Steve many years ago in my early days at Novell at one of the NetWorld Trade Shows. We're talking 1990 or 1991. It was very cool to meet Steve again. The meeting was well attended. And I finally got to meet Danita Zanre`, GroupWise Expert / Consulting. I've had email exchanges with Danita but we've always missed being in the same location. You can see Danita, myself, and Steve in the photo.

It was great to see so much excitement about NetWare. Steve has been developing for NetWare for years, since the very first version of NetWare 68 ( NetWare 68 aka S-Net; it ran on the Motorola 68000 processor and used a Star network topology. ) NetWare is the platform of choice for Avanti.

Steve gave a demonstration of TaskMaster. TaskMaster provides full manual and automated control over the Server environment via one single NLM, not a conglomeration of NLMs and configuration files. By fully utilizing TaskMaster's features, Server resources can be proactively managed in a more simple and automated fashion than possible using any other combination of tools and utilities. Highlights of the TaskMaster NLM are:
  • TMConsole (Shell).
  • Enhanced Batch Processor engine
  • Flexible Task Scheduler to support both NCF and .TSK scripts.
  • Server-to-Server support. Servers don't have to be in the same tree.
  • File Replication / Data Synchronization
It was a very good meeting and for those who were not able to attend I recommend downloading the evaluation version of TaskMaster. Oh... and we didn't really talk about or show this much but there is a Task Management Windows Client. The TMClient.EXE provides the means to monitor, schedule and terminate Tasks via a workstation.

Steve also discussed some great tips on Optimizing File Server I/O. After the meeting some of us old NetWare guys hung around in the cold and talked a lot about the good ol days and joining the grass roots "Keep NetWare Alive" campain. Go to IWANTNETWARE.COM. I also got to give Steve a hard time about the public inter-dialogue with Dave Kearns.

- Bucky

Thursday, February 02, 2006

DANUG, Uptime, Dave and Steve Avanti CEO

This post ties together Server Uptime, Dave Kearns from Network World, Steve Meyer - CEO of Avanti Technology, and DANUG - Denver Area Novell Users Group. Where to begin...

Back in November I posted a blog and link to Novell Cool Solutions which was running a contest and asking for screen shots for the longest NetWare Server Uptime.

Dave Kearns from NetworkWorld got wind of the Novell Cool Solutions article and posted an article titled Marathon servers about NetWare Server Uptime also. Dave mentioned the lack of NetWare 6 longetivity so Steve Meyer, president of Avanti Techology posted a screen shot of a NetWare 6 server that had been up for 7 years. Some of us examined the screen shot and noticed that it was a screen shot of a NetWare 6.5 SP3 server. Well... you can do the math.. there is no way a NetWare 6.5 server has been running for 7 years..... so... what gives?

I quote from a follow up article from Dave Kearns:
"Now even though Meyer gets early beta and even alpha releases so he can develop the great utilities he publishes, there were no copies - even alpha copies - of NetWare 6 back in 1998! Meyer said, "I swear that I did not alter or edit the image in any way shape or form." And I believe him. On the other hand, he also said: "All right, I admit that I might have played around in the kernel a bit." I hope the guys at Novell Cool Solutions don't accept entries from developers!"

Recently Steve Meyer issued an apology on Avanti's Website directly to Dave Kearns with more explanation:

Avanti's President Issues Long Overdue Apology

This is very big of Steve Meyer to come clean.
Now... as a side note: Notice on this very web page with the apology toward the bottom of the page.

You'll notice an invitation to come meet Steve Meyer as he gives a presentation to the Denver Area Novell Users Group or DANUG.

DANUG (Denver Area NetWare Users Group)

Thursday, February 9th, 2006
6:00pm - 8:30pm
BurgSimpson ( map )
40 Inverness Drive East
Englewood, CO 80112

TaskMaster on Tour: Automating NetWare Server Management Tasks

Replicating Data and Synchronizing Files between NetWare Directories, Volumes and Servers, on a local LAN or across the WAN, COMPLETELY AUTOMATED with FULL NetWare compatibility. All with only a single NLM and a single TaskMaster Command (SYNC). The Scheduler, Scripting Language and Extended Command functionality, plus Multi-Session NDS Secure Remote Console support, all built-in. And SYNC is but one of over 60 Extended Commands included in TaskMaster.

Note: This is a live technical demonstration by the Steve Meyer (President of Avanti Technology, Inc. & Chief Architect for TaskMaster), not a sales pitch or slide show presentation.

I hope to see many of you there because this will be a very good presentation! And we can all give Steve a hard time about his server uptime!

- Bucky

Web Site References:

Friday, January 27, 2006

Login Scripts - Best Practices

I've been very busy the last couple of weeks. It's past time to post on my blog. This week I found a great Cool Solutions article by David Lange on Login Scripts.

Login scripts should be simple to manage. They should be easily viewed and intuitive to any IT staffer with a little programming background. In fact, if you treat them like code and create modular script that can be referenced in subordinate containers, you'll find you can easily manage your scripts and make changes to accommodate user needs much more efficiently.

You should get three valuable tips from reading this article:

  1. Where to find instructions on building your scripts.
  2. How to modularize your login script for easy management and execution.
  3. How to help eDirectory deliver your modular scripts without slowing down the login process.
Check out the Novell Login Scripts Guide (PDF Format) for NetWare and Linux.

- Bucky

Monday, January 09, 2006

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Latest eDirectory Matrix Chart - 8.6 and greater

I find this matrix very useful in large corporate trees.

Novell TID 10066623

With the introduction of eDirectory 8.6, all eDirectory components have newer marketing and build version formats. These formats are meant to eliminate any confusion for future releases. The goal of this TID is to provide information on this new versioning standard and why it has changed. The following table is meant to help keep track of which versions are included with each eDirectory product or patch.


Note the latest eDirectory 8.8 version:
eDirectory 8.8 DS.NLM 20112.92

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

VMWare Image SuSE Linux with KDE 3.5 - Hot!

KDE Developer Stephan Beineri (or Binner) has released a VMware image of SUSE 10 with latest KDE 3.5 installed.

"I created an image which contains a standard KDE desktop installation of SUSE Linux 10.0 OSS, upgraded to KDE 3.5 including KOffice 1.4.2 excluding non-KDE applications. It's a fully working installation."

Links to VMWare image and free VMWare player!

Link to VMWare free player

Now you can run SuSE 10 on top of Windows! Check it out this great opportunity to see SuSE10 and the latest KDE! It's all done for you. Show your co-workers, be the envy of all your friends!

- Bucky

PS. Here's another tip! Novell and VMWare, as well as other vendors such as Red Hat and IBM have a joint web page to download eval versions of software VM's.
Download Novell SLES9 or Novell Linux Desktop that runs inside of VMWare player.
Link to VMTN (Virtual Machine Technology Network)

Link to Novell's eval VM's

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Beware - Nasty Windows Exploit - wmf files

There is a new Microsoft Windows XP and 2003 exploit, which uses wmf image files to attack.

According to Secunia's website:

The vulnerability is caused due to an error in the handling of corrupted Windows Metafile files (".wmf"). This can be exploited to execute arbitrary code by tricking a user into opening a malicious ".wmf" file in "Windows Picture and Fax Viewer" or previewing a malicious ".wmf" file in explorer (i.e. selecting the file). This can also be exploited automatically when a user visits a malicious web site using Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Several security groups are reporting that it is extremely easy to get whacked by this vulnerability/exploit just by visiting one of a growing number of malicious Web sites that are now employing this attack. F-Secure's blog post on this indicates that -- because the vulnerability lies in the way Windows parses WMF image files -- Firefox and Opera users also can get infected -- although they at least have to agree to download and run a file first. The Sunbelt Blog Website also has some good information on this exploit, including some nice screenshots of what it looks like when your machine gets hit with this.

Temporary Workaround:

Windows users can disable the rendering of WMF files using the following hack:

1. Click on the Start button on the taskbar.
2. Click on Run...
3. Type "regsvr32 /u shimgvw.dll" to disable.
4. Click ok when the change dialog appears.

Once Microsoft issues a patch, the WMF feature may be enabled again by entering the command "regsvr32 shimgvw.dll" in step three above.

More Information:
Unofficial Patch for Windows Flaw
Security experts are urging Windows users to apply a non-Microsoft-issued software patch to fix an extremely dangerous bug that has exposed hundreds of millions of the operating system's users to spyware and viruses.

The patch was developed by computer programmer Ilfak Guilfanov, perhaps best known in security circles at the creator of IDA Pro, a tool used to design and deconstruct software and even malware.

Article on unofficial patch
Download unofficial patch

I have not been able to successfully get to the website to download the patch. I would use the temporary workaround until an official patch gets released by Microsoft.

Or for a better permanent solution and I really feel I have to mention this - Switch to SuSE Linux 10 or Novell Linux Desktop. ;-)

Monday, January 02, 2006

SuSE Linux 10 Customer Reviews

I was on today looking for new Novell / Linux Books and came across product reviews from customers of SuSE Linux 10.

I've heard nothing but excellent reviews but if you want to see for yourself, check these reviews out.

One example:
"I am a computer systems engineer by profession and I work with many different computer systems. About 3 years ago I became involved with Linux. I have used or tried just about every Linux distro available. But I must say that SUSE Linux 10 is, in my opinion anyway, the best available. It's the easiest to set up, the easiest to use, the easiest to administer and has more applications included then you could ever want. To me, this distro definitely gives Microsnot a run for its money.

If you're new to Linux or just want to try it out, get SUSE Linux 10: you'll be glad you did."
- Richard G Brock, Hartford CT