Click here to close now.


Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, AppDynamics Blog, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article Feature: Novell OES, The Leading Linux Server Product vs. Windows 2003, Server

A look under the hood of a leading Linux server product and compare it to its rival, Microsoft

As Linux continues to make significant inroads into the data center, I think it's important to look under the hood of a leading Linux server product and compare it to its rival, Microsoft. Whether I'm looking to buy a car, a stereo, or even a refrigerator, I've always loved comparison shopping. That said, I want to drill down feature by feature and directly compare Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES) with Windows 2003 Server.

Before continuing, it should be noted that Windows Server 2003 comes in four different flavors (not including 64-bit editions): Web Edition, Standard Edition, Enterprise Edition, and Datacenter Edition. Web Edition is a limited offering designed only for running as a Web server. Standard Edition and Enterprise Edition are largely similar with the main difference being that Enterprise Edition supports four processors and clustering up to eight nodes while Standard Edition supports two-node clusters and two processors. Enterprise Edition also includes support for additional performance features such as Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA). Datacenter Edition is very similar to Enterprise Edition with added functionality for line-of-business application control. Datacenter doesn't include an Internet firewall.

Initial Setup

Novell OES
MInstalling OES was fairly simple. During the installation, OES guides you through an easy-to-follow wizard to gather any information needed to configure security and hardware settings, LDAP, Network Services, as well as eDirectory. Additional configuration was required, however, before eDirectory was up and ready to use. Since management is done through the Web-based iManager, Apache also had to be up and running. SSL Certificates had to be installed and configured with Apache since iManager requires SSL encryption.

Microsoft Server 2003
MInstallation was as easy as expected from any Windows OS. Boot from the install CD, follow basic instructions, and it's installed. Unlike 2000 Server, 2003 boots up with none of the installed server components turned on as a security measure. However, each component is easily activated via the "Manage Your Server" screen shown at logon. Clicking "Add or remove a role" on this screen brings you to a GUI to set up the "roles" your server can play. You can return to the "Manage Your Server" screen from the start menu to view and manage existing server roles, as well as add and remove roles.

Ease of Use

Novell OES
Though OES doesn't have wizards and management consoles that are as easy as Server 2003, Novell has really simplified the amount of technical knowledge required to set up and maintain OES. With GUI-based tools such as YaST and iManager, management is made easier. Installating OES took a little longer than Server 2003, but once iManager was up and running all other tasks became easier. One nice thing about iManager is that it provides the user with one centralized location for most, if not all server management tasks.

Microsoft Server 2003
From initial setup and configuration to management and maintenance, Microsoft provides easy-to-follow wizards and GUI management tools that simplify server setup tasks. After installation, the server management GUI shown at first logon steps through setup and is easy to follow. Microsoft does really well in the "user friendly" department. Its wizards and the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) really break complex tasks down to a level that's easily understood. Server 2003 keeps the management of most of its services consistent by using MMC as a common management platform.


Novell OES
Since OES can be run using either NetWare or Linux, interoperability between the two is rock solid. A single OES license lets the user build two servers of either foundational type and operate them both as a cluster. With this setup, eDirectory is the common binding element of the two and management becomes easier than using OpenLDAP. Novell has really done well at integrating its Linux and NetWare OES environments, but interoperability with Windows is another story. Connecting with Active Directory and NT domains presents two layers of directory services that must be resolved via additional tools such as Samba proxy services. Using these tools requires quite a bit of extra installation and manual configuration to get eDirectory and Active Directory to play nice together.

Microsoft Server 2003
Server 2003 has beefed up its interoperability with a new version 3.5 of Services for Unix (SFU). This helps to unify file sharing through the NFS client, server, and gateway and lets Unix scripts be reused on Windows. Though Microsoft has provided a basic interoperability facility with Unix and Linux systems, it's not a true integration of Unix or Linux clients with Active Directory, but rather an extension of Active Directory to behave as an NIS server. Macintosh services are also available for interoperating with Mac-based systems via the AppleTalk protocol as well as an optional user authentication module to use the same logon method as Windows users.

File Services

Novell OES
Novell provides options when choosing the file system to use for file services. Novell Storage Services File System is an attractive choice, with features such as visibility, a trustee access control model, multiple namespace support and a file salvage sub-system. OES lets you have an NSS volume on Linux and utilize NetWare's set of file permissions. However, using NSS on Linux will limit a few of NSS's features including volume encryption, Novell Distributed File Services (DFS), user space restrictions, and volume snapshots. Also available are other Linux traditional file systems such as ext2, etx3, ReiserFS, JFS, and XFS. There are also options as far as file sharing goes. Samba provides both file and print services to SMB/CIFS clients for traditional network file sharing (including Windows clients) as well as over http-WebDAV for Web folders. Samba is a popular choice for multi-platform clients. Novell's iFolder is another alternative. iFolder is included with OES and is a Web- and network-based file repository. Clients can access files a number of different ways. An iFolder client can be installed (on either Linux or Windows) to sync and secure connections to the iFolder server. NetDrive on Windows can also map iFolder stores as network drives. iFolder lets files be moved and copied quickly using an rcp-type (Unix Remote Copy) method no matter what the client type. NetStorage is another option for providing local and Web access to files without needing a client and can be integrated with iFolder to access iFolder data stored on other servers.

Microsoft Server 2003
Using "Manage Your Server," setting up the file server was done easily. It should be noted that any practical use of Server 2003 as a file server would require more steps made easier through the "File Server Management" console. The File Server Management Console lets you manage shares, sessions, open files, and do routine disk tasks such as defragmenting and partition management. New in Server 2003 is the ability to create "shadow" copies of shares. Doing this lets users view the contents of shared folders as they existed at previous points in time. To access shadow copies requires using additional client software, which is included with the Windows Server 2003 family. The shadow copy feature provides the same functionality as the file salvage feature that's been part of NetWare for a long time. 2003 includes an Encrypting File System (EFS) integrated system service to run on all disks (including clustered disks), which simply adds a level of protection while remaining transparent to the user. Removable Storage support is also part of 2003's File Server, helping to make it easier to track storage media, but Remote Storage is only available in the Datacenter edition of Server 2003. Windows 2003 also supports WebDav and NFS although setup is significantly harder than it is for CIFS

Print Services

Novell OES
A nice feature that OES has for print services is a Web-based printer map to locate and install printers. iPrint completes the install, automatically loading the print drivers if needed. All printing features can be managed from the Web-based iManager making all print server management tasks accessible from one interface. Another feature OES includes in print services is the ability to encrypt print data via SSL. Server 2003 doesn't offer print job encryption.

More Stories By Jon Walker

Jon Walker serves as CTO of Versora, an ISV providing Microsoft to Linux migration software. Mr. Walker recently has co-authored 2 whitepapers with Novell titled Migrating from IS Web Servers to Apache SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9.0 and Migrating File and Print Servers from Windows to SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9. Prior to Versora, Mr. Walker was CTO/VP of Engineering for Miramar Systems. Software developed under his direction at Miramar has been deployed to over 20 million computers worldwide. Mr. Walker has also served as senior technologist for Nortel and Xing Technology (now Real Networks).

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Most Recent Comments
none 02/11/06 07:51:29 AM EST

I use suse 10.0 it got few bugs here and there but it is far more better then winxp.
Hope that Novell will kick Bill Gates with the new Vista the ASS.

Jean Rondon 01/09/06 11:09:05 AM EST

I do not really understand your comments about eDirectory. You state: "Bringing eDirectory over to the Linux kernel scores major points for Novell in this area."
eDirectory has been available to the Linux platform for over 5 years.

Jaimon Jose 01/08/06 02:38:38 AM EST

eDirectory has been there on linux for over 5 years now. OES bring eDirectory as a NOS directory. This is the main difference.

SYS-CON Brazil News Desk 12/27/05 03:58:13 PM EST

As Linux continues to make significant inroads into the data center, I think it's important to look under the hood of a leading Linux server product and compare it to its rival, Microsoft. Whether I'm looking to buy a car, a stereo, or even a refrigerator, I've always loved comparison shopping. That said, I want to drill down feature by feature and directly compare Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES) with Windows 2003 Server.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Through WebRTC, audio and video communications are being embedded more easily than ever into applications, helping carriers, enterprises and independent software vendors deliver greater functionality to their end users. With today’s business world increasingly focused on outcomes, users’ growing calls for ease of use, and businesses craving smarter, tighter integration, what’s the next step in delivering a richer, more immersive experience? That richer, more fully integrated experience comes about through a Communications Platform as a Service which allows for messaging, screen sharing, video...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dyn, the worldwide leader in Internet Performance, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Dyn is a cloud-based Internet Performance company. Dyn helps companies monitor, control, and optimize online infrastructure for an exceptional end-user experience. Through a world-class network and unrivaled, objective intelligence into Internet conditions, Dyn ensures traffic gets delivered faster, safer, and more reliably than ever.
The buzz continues for cloud, data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT) and their collective impact across all industries. But a new conversation is emerging - how do companies use industry disruption and technology enablers to lead in markets undergoing change, uncertainty and ambiguity? Organizations of all sizes need to evolve and transform, often under massive pressure, as industry lines blur and merge and traditional business models are assaulted and turned upside down. In this new data-driven world, marketplaces reign supreme while interoperability, APIs and applications deliver un...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is growing rapidly by extending current technologies, products and networks. By 2020, Cisco estimates there will be 50 billion connected devices. Gartner has forecast revenues of over $300 billion, just to IoT suppliers. Now is the time to figure out how you’ll make money – not just create innovative products. With hundreds of new products and companies jumping into the IoT fray every month, there’s no shortage of innovation. Despite this, McKinsey/VisionMobile data shows "less than 10 percent of IoT developers are making enough to support a reasonably sized team....
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, will show how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants will get the download information, scripts, and complete end-to-end walkthrough of the analysis from start to finish. Participants will also be given the pract...
The IoT market is on track to hit $7.1 trillion in 2020. The reality is that only a handful of companies are ready for this massive demand. There are a lot of barriers, paint points, traps, and hidden roadblocks. How can we deal with these issues and challenges? The paradigm has changed. Old-style ad-hoc trial-and-error ways will certainly lead you to the dead end. What is mandatory is an overarching and adaptive approach to effectively handle the rapid changes and exponential growth.
Today’s connected world is moving from devices towards things, what this means is that by using increasingly low cost sensors embedded in devices we can create many new use cases. These span across use cases in cities, vehicles, home, offices, factories, retail environments, worksites, health, logistics, and health. These use cases rely on ubiquitous connectivity and generate massive amounts of data at scale. These technologies enable new business opportunities, ways to optimize and automate, along with new ways to engage with users.
Internet of Things (IoT) will be a hybrid ecosystem of diverse devices and sensors collaborating with operational and enterprise systems to create the next big application. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Bramh Gupta, founder and CEO of, and Fred Yatzeck, principal architect leading product development at, discussed how choosing the right middleware and integration strategy from the get-go will enable IoT solution developers to adapt and grow with the industry, while at the same time reduce Time to Market (TTM) by using plug and play capabilities offered by a robust IoT ...
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Can call centers hang up the phones for good? Intuitive Solutions did. WebRTC enabled this contact center provider to eliminate antiquated telephony and desktop phone infrastructure with a pure web-based solution, allowing them to expand beyond brick-and-mortar confines to a home-based agent model. It also ensured scalability and better service for customers, including MUY! Companies, one of the country's largest franchise restaurant companies with 232 Pizza Hut locations. This is one example of WebRTC adoption today, but the potential is limitless when powered by IoT.
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley. The program, to be aired during the peak viewership season of the year, will have a major impac...
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
WebRTC is about the data channel as much as about video and audio conferencing. However, basically all commercial WebRTC applications have been built with a focus on audio and video. The handling of “data” has been limited to text chat and file download – all other data sharing seems to end with screensharing. What is holding back a more intensive use of peer-to-peer data? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Dr Silvia Pfeiffer, WebRTC Applications Team Lead at National ICT Australia, will look at different existing uses of peer-to-peer data sharing and how it can become useful in a live session to...
As a company adopts a DevOps approach to software development, what are key things that both the Dev and Ops side of the business must keep in mind to ensure effective continuous delivery? In his session at DevOps Summit, Mark Hydar, Head of DevOps, Ericsson TV Platforms, will share best practices and provide helpful tips for Ops teams to adopt an open line of communication with the development side of the house to ensure success between the two sides.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.