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Overview of Novell Windows NT Integration Products

Articles and Tips: article

Marketing Manager
Strategic Communications, IntranetWare

01 Apr 1997

Novell technology is making it easier than ever to introduce Windows NT into existing corporate networks and intranets. This AppNote provides a "roadmap" of our three-phase plan for full Windows NT and IntranetWare integration.


The need for freedom and flexibility fostered a revolution in information technology (IT) that became known as open systems. The basic idea behind open systems is that the freedom to choose any computing platform to meet any given need provides the utmost flexibility. Unfortunately, IT managers who chose to integrate Windows NT into their existing IntranetWare or NetWare networks increased their workload because Windows NT required its own management. These redundant management tasks increased their cost of network ownership. With Windows NT, the price of freedom was too high...but not anymore.

Novell technology is making it easier than ever to integrate Windows NT into existing corporate networks and intranets. Novell has a long tradition of integrating systems and products from multiple vendors. No company has as much experience as Novell at melding diverse technologies and existing IT infrastructures into cohesive, manageable networks. That's a big reason why more than 60 million users connect to Novell servers and networks every day. Experience and superior technology are the reasons Novell has more than twice the market share of its two closest competitors combined.

This AppNote explains Novell's products for integrating Windows NT into IntranetWare networks. It highlights several high­level benefits that are unique to Novell's integrated solutions, thanks in large part to Novell Directory Services (NDS). It then provides a "roadmap" of Novell's three-phase plan for full Windows NT and IntranetWare integration.

Intranets and the Internet Require Integrated Systems

An integrated system brings immediate benefits in the form of easier network administration and reduced management and training expenses. These areas typically comprise more than two­thirds of the cost of network ownership.

By eliminating redundant administration tasks and integrating Windows NT systems into IntranetWare intranets, Novell is providing users faster, easier access to all network resources and a lower cost of ownership for sites using Windows NT. Integration also enables administrators to use ManageWise--Novell's network management solution for NT and IntranetWare servers--to improve management productivity and network uptime while reducing network management costs and related travel.

As Windows NT systems gain access to IntranetWare servers and Novell network services, users and administrators gain benefits including:

  • Elimination of redundant administration tasks

  • Platform­independent computing

  • Anytime, anywhere access to business­critical applications

  • Lower training costs

  • Lower system administration costs

  • Higher system/applications availability

  • Fewer help desk calls

  • Tighter network security and reliability

  • Process automation through directory­enabled applications

  • Intuitive access to distributed information and network resources

NDS: Defining the Network as the Information Asset

Any organization or company must organize and synchronize distributed information. Also, companies must control access to all network resources, wherever the resources or users might be. NDS meets these needs. As a global, distributed information database, NDS provides secure and simple access, management, and control of all network resources.

Unlike a domain name service, such as the one provided by Windows NT, NDS is easily extensible. Extensibility means that NDS not only maintains information about today's network resources-such as applications, services, users, groups, printers, volumes, PBXs, fax servers, employee photos, and videos--it also provides a way to manage other new resources in the future. With NDS, users log into a multiserver, multiplatform network that functions as a single information system, rather than a collection of individual servers or domains. Thanks to the capabilities of NDS, users can locate authorized resources easily, without having to know where to look or how to get there.

NDS also includes a replication service to ensure information about network resources is always available. Should a network server fail or a communications link become unavailable, NDS is still accessible through other servers on the network, without the need for user intervention.

Equally important, NDS and its management capabilities scale from the smallest installations to the largest, most distributed networks in the world. NDS does this even in an era of phenomenal network growth, globalization of markets, and intranet/Internet integration. As networks continue to grow and add Internet accessCand as network services span multiple platforms--NDS provides the only viable way to automate management and ensure secure access to all network resources.

The benefits of NDS make it a superior method for managing both Windows NT Workstations and Windows NT servers. Placing configuration and administrative information into NDS enables centralized or distributed management with an easy-to-use tool--the NetWare Administrator.

NetWare Administrator: Administering Integrated Systems

The NetWare Administrator (NWAdmin) is a graphical­based administration tool that manages the resources found in NDS-based intranets. Novell's integration products are administered by NDS through NWAdmin. This provides administrators a single point of administration that is accessible from any workstation on the network or via the ManageWise console. A single utility, with consistent user interfaces, eases administrative training.

NWAdmin also provides an open architecture for developing additional IntranetWare administrative utilities. This approach allows third­party vendors to create additional programs that add value to NWAdmin. As NDS becomes available on additional platforms in 1997, the NetWare Administrator will become more powerful, automating and simplifying administration of all the users and resources controlled by NDS.

Mapping the Course

Seamless integration of IntranetWare, Windows NT, and UNIX systems is a key part of Novell's strategy to provide network services software for intranets and the Internet. Integrating Windows NT with Novell technology solves the problem of dual administration and brings the full benefits of NDS directory-enabled computing to Windows NT users and administrators.

Novell's plan for Windows NT and IntranetWare integration includes three phases:

  • Phase One: Initial NT integration from Novell (available with the first release of the IntranetWare Client for Windows NT)

  • Phase Two: Increased NT Server integration (available now)

  • Phase Three: NDS for intranets and the Internet, full integration with NT (second half of 1997)

Phase One: Initial NT Integration from Novell

A number of Novell products have been available to ease the burdens of dual administration and end­to­end network management.

Solving NT Workstation Management Issues on Intranets Through NDS. The IntranetWare Client for Windows NT, with the included Novell Workstation Manager, is software that enables a potent combination -the Windows NT desktop allied with IntranetWare, the industry's most powerful intranet platform.

The IntranetWare Client for Windows NT provides full support for IntranetWare services and utilities, including NDS, integrated messaging, multiprotocol support, management, security, file, and print capabilities. The IntranetWare Client brings the power, ease of use, manageability, and security of IntranetWare to Windows NT workstations. Installation and upgrades are effortless with the Automatic Client Upgrade and unattended installation options. With a single login, users have complete access to their NT Workstation and all IntranetWare network resources.

The Novell Workstation Manager, a component of the IntranetWare Client for Windows NT Workstation, provides the superior solution for managing the local NT Workstation user accounts through NDS. Using this solution, all user account information, both NDS and NT Workstation, can now be centrally managed through a single administration utility-the NetWare Administrator.

Windows NT Workstation is different from its predecessors in that users must be authenticated to the local Security Access Manager (SAM) before they are allowed to use any of the local resources. The SAM is a local database that contains the credentials (username and password) of those users who are authorized to use the local NT Workstation resources. This unique feature of Windows NT Workstation creates an administrative challenge: How do you manage these local user accounts?

One solution is to create user accounts on every NT workstation for every user that may use the workstations. As the number of workstations and users increase, the overhead required to manage them in this fashion becomes overwhelming. The only other solution until now has been to purchase NT Server and install and maintain NT domains to remotely manage the local NT Workstation accounts. However, the need for complex trust relationship administration between domains makes scaling the system difficult. As the number of users increases, the cost of maintaining multiple domains and trust relationships becomes extremely high.

With the Novell Workstation Manager, administrators can create a Workstation object within NDS, and then associate users, groups, or organizations within NDS with the Workstation object. Upon login, the IntranetWare Client for Windows NT verifies whether the user is associated with a Workstation object in NDS. If the user is associated with an NDS Workstation object, the IntranetWare Client for Windows NT workstation is able to create local users accounts dynamically. Administrators do not have to concern themselves with creating the local accounts. Also, customers are not forced into purchasing, installing, and maintaining costly NT Server and domains in order to administer the local NT Workstation user accounts.

Solving Application Distribution and Management on Intranets. Any application server can provide users with networked applications, but network administrators also require tools to manage those applications. The Novell Application Launcher (NAL) leverages the power of the NDS database to simplify management of networked applications and provide a foundation for software distribution and administration.

NAL reduces administration significantly, eliminates complexities associated with networked applications in mixed environments, provides for fault tolerance and load balancing among application servers, and provides true location independence-all from a single point of administration. This is accomplished by storing the information required to execute the application on the workstation within a directory object. Administrators can then assign the right to use applications by user, user group or organization and thereby have the appropriate applications dynamically appear on users' desktops. Software assignment can be done once for a company group or department so that current and future members of this group will gain automatic access to a standard desktop configuration.

End users can have access to all applications assigned to them, on both IntranetWare and Windows NT Servers, while the administrator can easily support this demand from the management console. NAL works with Windows 3.x, Windows 95, and Windows NT and automatically determines the desktop operating system platform upon which it is running.

NAL also lets the network administrator physically distribute software out to the desktop through automated installations. Alternatively, it allows users to pull applications to their desktop by providing them with setup programs.

Solving the Problem of Assigning and Tracking IP Addresses. The Novell Domain Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Server reduces the costs of network administration by dynamically allocating TCP/IP addresses. This eliminates the costly process of manually assigning and tracking TCP/IP addresses. The DHCP server enables IntranetWare and Windows NT integration by storing the data needed to implement Windows Internet Naming Services (WINS). This capability means the IntranetWare DHCP Server can easily store information about IP addresses, IntranetWare/IP information, and NT Servers in one easy­to­manage DHCP service. The DHCP Server ships as a part of IntranetWare.

Managing NT Servers as an Integral Part of the Network Asset. ManageWise Agent for Windows NT Server works with ManageWise 2.1 to provide a single point of management for IntranetWare and Windows NT servers through a sophisticated graphical user interface. The agent extends the ManageWise 2.1 capabilities, enabling IT managers to manage NT Servers by collecting real­time and long­term performance trends and alarm information. Administrators can also proactively manage NT workstations and users without leaving their desks, through capabilities such as hardware and software inventory, SNMP alerts, virus protection, remote control, and remote execution. This can make using NT Workstations and Servers much less difficult and allows for automated, proactive management, and planning of the entire network. ManageWise and its components are available from Authorized Novell Dealers.

Delivering the Leading Intranet and Internet Messaging Capabilities for NT. As Novell's fifth­generation messaging system, GroupWise 5 adds even more flexibility to its mature, reliable, and secure architecture with enhanced integration with Windows NT. In addition to E­mail, GroupWise offers users the ability to access and manage personal calendaring, group scheduling, tasks, notes, voice mail, and faxes. Document management has also been incorporated directly into the GroupWise design. The 32-bit GroupWise 5 client fully exploits the new capabilities of Windows NT with a striking new interface and rich feature set.

GroupWise is a messaging system that is fully integrated with NDS. The GroupWise transport or back­end services known as the Message Transfer Agents (MTA) can run on NT Servers as well as IntranetWare or Unix for a complete cross­platform implementation. The MTA on the NT platform leverages the information in NDS, providing a single point of administration for the entire system.

MAPI or Windows Messaging service providers are also exposed for the GroupWise store, transport, and address book. This allows for integration with a host of business applications and enables MAPI messaging clients for use directly with the GroupWise system instead of, or in addition to, the traditional GroupWise client. An added benefit is that GroupWise messaging services can be used to drive Microsoft Exchange clients, providing a much more robust messaging service that is totally administered from NDS.

With GroupWise WebAccess, any HTML browser becomes the spot, or client, for the GroupWise Universal Mailbox. This central access point for GroupWise information is a valuable addition to any corporate Intranet/Internet web site. The component for WebAccess currently runs both on IntranetWare and on an NT­based Web Server.

Phase Two: Increased NT Server Integration

Many users want to take advantage of NT­based applications, adding to the power and resources of their organization's full IT network. However, network professionals want to avoid having to administer two separate system environments when they integrate NT applications into IntranetWare or NetWare networks. The second phase of Novell's Windows NT integration plan provided two powerful utilities to meet the needs of both users and network administratorsCan updated version of NAL and the Novell Administrator for Windows NT.

Integrating the NT Desktop. With version 2.0, the Novell Application Launcher (NAL) gained several new features important to NT Integration. Full auto­connect, using UNC paths, now provides the same fault tolerant and load balancing benefits to NT Application Servers that IntranetWare servers have enjoyed. This reduces administration, and adds both reliability and flexibility to the way applications are delivered from the network to the end user.

An administrator tool called "snAppShot" is now used to automatically detect all changes required on the workstation to properly execute an application. This includes text file, registry, DLL, and program file changes. The resulting application object simplifies administration by managing these previously difficult workstation changes. The new NAL also includes "run once" and "time­scheduled" applications which may be used for workstation updates and software distribution.

NAL 2.0 can be configured to integrate closely with the NT desktop, appearing within the Explorer or populating the desktop or taskbar. This integration makes networked applications more transparent and promotes client ease of use.

Further Simplifying Administration for Users of Windows NT Server. There are a number of business reasons why an NT Server may be a part of your network. In some cases, an NT Server may have been previously installed by a department, while in other cases the NT Server is required to host an application. Until recently, this could dramatically increase the cost of administering the network by requiring the installation and maintenance of Microsoft domains. The domain contains the information necessary to authorize users to the NT Server and allow access to applications and services.

The Novell Administrator for Windows NT (NAdminNT) gives network managers a single, centralized point of administration for users and groups in a mixed IntranetWare (or NetWare) and Windows NT environment. It allows user information to be created and maintained in NDS and synchronized automatically with the NT domain, greatly simplifying network administration. When user accounts are created or given access to a new application, the network manager can make the users members of the Domain for the application server. By using NAdminNT to synchronize existing NT domains and workgroups with NDS, network managers can simplify the complex management of NT users and groups. This single point of administration dramatically reduces the cost of managing and administering mixed environments.

NAdminNT gives network managers great flexibility in managing users. For example, users who require access only to general applications may be made members of a standard group. When their accounts are established, they are given access rights as "Domain users." If the NT Server has been set to allow "Domain user" group members the right to access a common area where the applications are located, no additional administration is required. To restrict applications to certain users, the network manager may create a group of selected users to access the more private applications. These pre-defined NT groups can be given additional rights beyond those of a "Domain user" and may be managed from NDS.

Because NAdminNT synchronizes user passwords, it simplifies network access for those users that need both services. This appearance of single login can reduce help desk calls and improve user productivity. The Novell Administrator for Windows NT protects your Windows NT Server investment by leveraging the more powerful NDS capabilities and the single-point administration power of the NetWare Administrator utility.

In the future, this product will be extended to enable management of NT applications and Microsoft BackOffice products.

Phase Three: NDS for Intranets and the Internet

NT and UNIX are platforms of choice for downsizing mainframe applications. Yet, to make applications fully accessible and manageable across disparate systems, companies need a global directory that runs natively on all popular application platforms, from UNIX to Windows NT. NDS will provide users with a platform­independent directory infrastructure for accessing and managing all network resources in both large and small business networks, intranets and the Internet.

In addition to availability on IntranetWare, NDS is already available or planned for Microsoft's Windows NT Server, Hewlett­Packard's HP­UX, Santa Cruz Operation's UnixWare, and SunSoft's Solaris. This unprecedented broad­based support of a common directory reinforces the significance of NDS as the only global directory capable of providing secure, manageable access to information resources in highly diverse and distributed networks.

Providing NDS natively on Windows NT opens the door to allow developers to fully leverage NDS as a cross­platform applications infrastructure. This will make NT an equal participant among the above­mentioned platforms, enabling freedom of choice in the platform while still realizing the benefits of NDS across internets and the Internet.


As the world leader in network software, Novell offers IntranetWare, the platform for business intranets; NetWare 4.11, the most powerful network services engine; Novell Directory Services, the premier directory for access to global network resources; GroupWise 5, the next­generation collaborative computing application; and ManageWise 2.1, the complete management solution for mixed IntranetWare/Windows NT environments.

Novell's IntranetWare/Windows NT integration road map provides a solution that lets you reap the rewards of Novell Directory Services. Not only does NDS integrate all of the diverse computing technologies and platforms into one truly cohesive system, it automates management, improves users' and administrators' productivity, and significantly reduces network ownership costs. Further, as more resources and powerful new applications for electronic commerce emerge on your intranet and across the Internet, your company is well­positioned to take full advantage of directory­enabled computing.

* Originally published in Novell AppNotes


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

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