Linux Containers Authors: Elizabeth White, Sematext Blog, Jim Kaskade, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Linux.SYS-CON.com 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
Intelligent machines are here. Robots, self-driving cars, drones, bots and many IoT devices are becoming smarter with Machine Learning. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sudha Jamthe, CEO of IoTDisruptions.com, will discuss the next wave of business disruption at the junction of IoT and AI, impacting many industries and set to change our lives, work and world as we know it.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, discussed the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filterin...
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their backend AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT - especially in the connected home and office. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Kocher, founder and managing director of Grey Heron, explained how Amazon is extending its reach to become a major force in IoT by building on its dominant cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strat...