NetWare For Small Business 4.11: Perfect For Running Small Shops
By James E. Drews So your boss just elected you to go out and find a network system for your small business. But what makes a network solid and reliable? File and printer sharing are just two of the vital components that make up today's networks. You also need an e-mail and group scheduling package, the ability to access the network remotely and, of course, Internet access. You may wish to consider Novell's NetWare for Small Business 4.11 for handling all of your workgroup needs. We tested the package in our University of Wisconsin Real-World Labs® and were quite surprised with its solid integration and ease of use and installation.
To view the Report card.NetWare for Small Business gives you quite a bit of bang for the buck. It's integrated with GroupWise 5.2 for e-mail, group scheduling and document management; MPR (Multiprotocol Router) for connecting to the Internet via a dial-up connection; GroupWise Internet Agent for Internet-based e-mail; Netscape FastTrack Web Server; NetWare Connect for remote access; a five-user version of Computer Associates' ARCserve 6.1 for backup; Computer Associates' InocuLAN Lite for virus protection; and a two-user version of FAXserve 5.
For comparison, we priced a five-user version of NT Server along with Exchange server. The cost for these two was $1,808, as compared with $995 for the five-user version of NetWare for Small Business. Novell also lets you purchase additional licenses in one-user increments, which is great if your company expands. With this pricing and the bundled components, NetWare for Small Business is difficult to pass up.
Getting the Network Up and Running NetWare for Small Business' ease of installation and use is one of the first features we noticed. If you have several computers installed with multiple network cards and connected to a hub, you can select a machine as the dedicated server. Installation is simply a matter of loading the included boot floppy and CD-ROM into your machine and turning it on. The boot floppy and CD-ROM handle all administrative tasks, from loading the appropriate CD-ROM drivers to creating the disk partitions on the machine. There is a word of caution: Before installation, be sure to remove any data you wish to keep from the machine, as it will be lost during the install process. This process removes any existing partitions on the system and creates a small DOS partition from which to boot the NetWare server. We had some problems with one machine when it failed to auto-detect the SCSI CD-ROM. (The machine was using an Adaptec 2940 controller for the CD-ROM.) Using a different machine that had an IDE-based CD-ROM didn't pose any difficulties.
Once the install process began, we were prompted for our company name (which became the Organization object in the NDS tree) and our server name. NetWare then asked us to select the appropriate time zone. Now all we had to do was wait about 30 minutes for the install process to copy the files and finish setting up the server. After a simple reboot, we had an up-and-running NetWare 4.11 server with a pre-installed Service Pack 4. The Service Pack provides all the patches and operating system enhancements that Novell has released since NetWare 4.11 shipped.
Getting the administrator's workstation up and running was also a piece of cake. We loaded a second CD-ROM into a Windows95 workstation. Thanks to Win95's AutoRun feature, the NetWare Client install program started up when loading the CD. After a machine restart, we logged into the network and with NAL (Novell Application Launcher), the NetWare for Small Business QuickStart program automatically finished setting up our NDS tree. We were provided with three default department names: accounting, sales and shipping. We removed the shipping department and added an engineering department. The groups we entered became NetWare groups in the directory service. We then were prompted by the wizard to create users for our system.
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