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Date:      Sat, 24 Aug 1996 14:18:56 -0700 (MST)
From:      Terry Lambert <terry@lambert.org>
To:        ttam@mail.iidpwr.com (Tony Tam)
Cc:        hackers@FreeBSD.org, questions@FreeBSD.org
Subject:   Re: Novell Netware
Message-ID:  <199608242118.OAA19921@phaeton.artisoft.com>
In-Reply-To: <96Aug23.230023pdt.15364@mail.iidpwr.com> from "Tony Tam" at Aug 23, 96 11:03:41 pm

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>      Could anybody tell me what are the advantages of a Novell Netware
> Network? Since Windows 95 comes with TCP/IP stack, file, and printer
> sharing capabilities, why would a network need a Novell Netware server?
> Moreover, FreeBSD supports samba, why would a network need a Novell
> Netware server?

1)	Legacy.  This is, IMO, Novell's big market right now, though
	they may still have the ability to double their stock price
	in the next while or so...

2)	Directory services.  Login to the newtork instead of the
	host is a big win.  It's unfortunate for Novell that they
	harped on this so heavily with their 4.x release, since
	it damaged their ability to sell the other benefits of
	their 4.x product over their 3.x product.  Big marketing
	blunder there.

3)	Security.  If the Internet doesn't run IPX, it will be a
	difficult thig to hack your way into a Novell Network.
	For most Windows95 SMB-over-TCP/IP networks, it's pretty
	trivial: the "security fix" fix one instance of a class
	of problems on Win95 (though it fixed the real problem
	on WinNT).  Less of an issue after NT displaces 95 (and
	pigs fly and RAM and disk drives grow on trees.  Several
	years off, at least).

4)	Central administration.  This is above and beyond just
	central administration of users (via NDS).  A WinNT
	BrowseMonster ...er BrowseMaster... is still an annoying
	way to administer multiple servers, especially if one
	of them goes down.

5)	Real TCP/IP.  At least the Novell code doesn't violate the
	RFC's and listen to routing messages when it's not supposed
	to (the Win95 sniper bug is still alive and kicking, and
	the Internet shows no sighns of getting over its growing
	pains).

6)	Bang for the buck.  A Novell server can service 512 client
	stations on the same hardware where an NT server starts
	choking at 128.  Part of this is the ability to turn
	around cached data reads in about 6uS or less.  Yes, 6uS.
	Coding central loops in assembly that can fit in the
	processor L1 cache does have an effect...

None of these are really compelling reasons on networks which aren't
running near capacity, and need to trade more efficient use of the
hardware off against not being able to put off the upgrade another
year or so.

>      Is there any technical advantages which IPX over TCP/IP?

No.  Unless you count packetburst, which is a fixed window low latency
transfer that could be implemented on TCP/IP without the fixed window
(but which has no Microsoft equivalent yet, anyway).


					Terry Lambert
					terry@lambert.org
---
Any opinions in this posting are my own and not those of my present
or previous employers.



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