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Novell Open Enterprise Server

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Title: Novell Open Enterprise Server  
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Subject: Novell, NetWare, ACU, OES, Omni Mobile
Collection: 2005 Software, Novell Netware, Novell Operating Systems, Proprietary Software, X86-64 Linux Distributions
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Novell Open Enterprise Server

Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES), originally released in March 2005, is the successor product to Novell, Inc.'s NetWare operating system (OS). Initial versions allowed running on an underlying kernel of either the proprietary Novell kernel or SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES),[1] but since OES 11, only SLES is supported.

The current release, OES 11, SP2 was released on January 28, 2014.


  • Summary 1
    • OES-Linux 1.1
    • OES-NetWare 1.2
  • OES 2 2
  • OES 11 3
  • History 4
  • Components 5
  • Marketspeak 6
    • Vendor motivation 6.1
    • License costs 6.2
  • Further reading 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Novell Open Enterprise Server (OES) is best thought of as a platform for delivery of shared network services (file, print, directory, clustering, backup, storage management, PKI, web applications, etc.) and common management tools. OES can run atop either a Linux or—in the past—a NetWare kernel. Clustered configurations can include nodes with either kernel types, and most services can migrate freely between the platforms. Thus, customers could deploy the platform selection that best suits their needs, as opposed to being locked into a single platform.


When installed using a Linux kernel, the product is known as OES-Linux. This uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) as its platform. Atop the SLES install, daemons are added to provide NCP, eDirectory, NSS, iPrint and other services delivered by OES.


When installed using a NetWare kernel, the product was known as OES-NetWare. This used NetWare v6.5 as its platform. Atop the NetWare install, NLMs were added to provide Apache web server, Tomcat, OpenSSH, NCP, eDirectory, NSS, iPrint and other services delivered by OES.


OES 2 was released on 8 October 2007. It includes NetWare 6.5 SP7, which supports running as a paravirtualized guest inside the Xen hypervisor and new Linux-based version using SLES 10. New features include:

For more details see Upgrading to OES2 - Planning & Implementation Guide

OES 11

OES 11 was released 13 December 2011 based on SLES 11 SP1 64-bit. This is the first version of OES to be 64-bit (x86_64) only, and to be SLES based only (not NetWare).

  • Introduces Novell Kanaka for Mac client
  • Uses Zypper tool to patch up to 100 times faster than OES2
  • Added Automated / Unattended Upgrades from OES2
  • New Novell Linux Volume Manager ( NLVM) provides easier storage management


  • OES, released in March 2005, included NetWare 6.5 SP3 and SLES 9 SP1.
    • OES SP1, released in September 2005, was based on NetWare 6.5 SP4 and SLES 9 SP2.
    • OES SP2, released in January 2006, was based on NetWare 6.5 SP5 and SLES 9 SP3.
  • OES 2, based on NetWare 6.5 SP7 and SLES 10 SP1, was released on October 8, 2007.
    • OES 2 SP1, released on December 1, 2008,[2] based on NetWare 6.5 SP8 and SLES 10 SP2.
    • OES 2 SP2 was released on November 11, 2009,[2] based on SLES 10 SP3.
    • OES 2 SP3 was released on December 22, 2010,[2] based on SLES 10 SP3.
  • OES 11 was released on December 13, 2011, based on SLES 11 SP1 (64-bit only).
    • OES 11 SP1 was released on August 28, 2012,[2] based on SLES 11 SP2.
    • OES 11 SP2 was released on January 28, 2014,[2] based on SLES 11 SP3.


  • Automatic Client Upgrade (ACU) - automates the upgrade of Novell client software on existing workstations[3]


Vendor motivation

Novell executives, as well as most analysts, expect that porting these services to an OS with growing popularity and better support from hardware and software vendors will give Novell a good opportunity to improve its business results.

OES is Novell's reaction to two things:

  • the increased significance of Linux and open-source in the company strategy and the industry in general
  • the fact that it lost a lot of market share, not because the customers were dissatisfied with the quality of its networking services, but mostly because these services ran almost exclusively on top of an OS that was narrowly specialized in its initial design and didn't get as strong support from ISVs as most of its competitors.

License costs

Licensing costs are identical regardless of the platform, and the platforms may be mixed under the same license. As is typical for Novell's products, OES is licensed per user seat, without regard to the number of physical servers on which the product is deployed. Further, pricing is typically not altered by physical CPUs or the use of hardware virtualization technologies (e.g. VMware, Xen). Finally, NetWare and OES both include two-node licenses for Novell Cluster Services, allowing basic clustered environments to be created without additional licensing charges.

This contrasts directly with MS Windows, which imposes per-server charges, per-client charges, and levies additional charges for larger SMP support and even basic clustering.

Further reading

  • Harris, Jeffrey; Mike Latimer (2005). Novell Open Enterprise Server Administrator's Handbook, SUSE LINUX Edition.  
  • Harris, Jeffrey (2005). Novell Open Enterprise Server Administrator's Handbook, NetWare Edition.  
  • Bastiaansen, Rob; Sander van Vugt (2006). Novell Cluster Services for Linux and NetWare.  
  • Hughes, Jeffrey (2005). Novell's Guide to Open Enterprise Server Networks.  
  • Williams, Jason; Peter Clegg; Emmett Dulaney (2005). Expanding Choice: Moving to Linux and Open Source with Novell Open Enterprise Server.  
  • Simpson, Ted (2006). Hands-On Novell Open Enterprise Server for Netware and Linux. Course Technology.  
  • van Vugt, Sander (2005). Pro Novell Open Enterprise Server.  
  • Tomkinson, Larry (2009). Upgrading to OES2 Planning and Implementation Guide. Novell. 
  • "Novell Open Enterprise Server 11 Authorized Beta". 5 April 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 


  1. ^ "Manage File & Print Networks: Open Enterprise Server". 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Novell Product Support Lifecycle". 
  3. ^ Harris, Jeffrey (2005). Novell Open Enterprise Server Administrator's Handbook, NetWare Edition. Novell Press. Pearson Education.  

External links

  • Novell Open Enterprise Server product page
  • Open Enterprise Server Cool Solutions - tips & tricks, guides, tools and other resources submitted by the OES community
  • Upgrading to OES resources
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