Overview#NetWare is a Network Operating System developed by Novell INC.
NetWare has been superseded by Open Enterprise Server (OES). The latest version of NetWare is v6.5 Support Pack 7, which is identical to OES 2, NetWare Kernel both of which use EDirectory for user store and Authentication.
NNetWare evolved from a very simple concept: file sharing instead of disk sharing. In 1983 when the first versions of Netware were designed, all other competing products were based on the concept of providing shared direct disk access. Novell's alternative approach was validated by IBM in 1984 and helped promote their product.
With Novell NetWare, disk space was shared in the form of Netware volumes, comparable to DOS volumes. Clients running MS-DOS would run a special Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) program that allowed them to map a local drive letter to a Netware volume. Clients would use NCP Primary Authentication Protocol to log in to a server in order to be allowed to map volumes, and access could be restricted according to the login name.
Similarly, they could connect to shared printers on the dedicated server, and print as if the printer was connected locally. Netware established the dominant position in the market in the early and middle 1990s by developing its XNS-derived IPX/SPX protocol as the local area network (LAN) standard.
At the end of the 1990s, with Internet connectivity booming, the Internet's TCP/IP protocol became dominant on LANs. Novell had introduced limited TCP/IP support in Netware v3.x (circa 1992) and v4.x (circa 1995), consisting mainly of FTP services and UNIX-style LPR/LPD printing (available in Netware v3.x), and a Novell-developed webserver (in Netware v4.x). Native TCP/IP support for the client file and print services normally associated with Netware was introduced in Netware v5.0 (released in 1998).
While some attribute Novell's delay in adopting TCP/IP as its native protocol to the loss of NetWare's dominance, it's more accurate to say that Novell allowed itself to be out marketed.
During the early-to-mid 1980s Microsoft introduced their own LAN system in LAN Manager based on the competing NBF protocol. Early attempts to muscle in on Netware were not successful, but this changed with the inclusion of improved networking support in Windows for Workgroups, and then the hugely successful Windows NT and Windows 95. NT, in particular, offered services similar to those offered by Netware, but on a system that could also be used on a desktop, and connected directly to other Windows desktops where NBF was now almost universal.
More Information#There might be more information for this subject on one of the following:
- History of LDAP
- NetWare Core Protocol
- Novell International Cryptographic Infrastructure
- Novell Secure Password Manager Schema