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An Introduction to Novell Small Business Suite 5

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Technical Writer
Novell Developer Information

01 Jun 1999

Novell is once again heating up the small business market by offering Novell Small Business Suite 5, a complete network solution with NetWare 5 at its core. Find out what's new and improved in this new bundle for small business owners.

The AppNote entitled "An Introduction to NetWare for Small Business 4.11"

In the June 1998 issue introduced Novell's then-latest release of NetWare for Small Business. This release was followed shortly after by NetWare for Small Business 4.2, which offered even more features and advantages to the small business owner. These releases were based on NetWare 4.x technologies.

Since the 4.2 release, Novell has been preparing a product for small businesses, based on NetWare 5 technology, that takes advantage of the Internet. The result is Novell Small Business Suite 5 (NSBS 5), a complete network solution for the small business owner.

This AppNote discusses the network solutions available to small businesses through the NetWare 5 operating system. It also describes the enhancements made to NSBS 5 since the NetWare for Small Business 4.2 release.

To find out more about Novell Small Business Suite 5, call 1-800 NETWARE or visit Novell's small business Web site at:

New Focus, New Identity

The name shift from "NetWare for Small Business 4.x" to "Novell Small Business Suite 5" is not just a change in semantics. It is a change in emphasis to a new identity and a more concentrated focus. NSBS 5 represents a shift from a NetWare-specific solution to a suite of services offered by Novell to small businesses.

NSBS 5 is not simply a network operating system for sharing file and print services, it is truly a suite of services. These services include features of the NetWare 5 operating system, small business solutions and applications, and partner solutions. (While a majority of these services were available for NetWare for Small Business 4.2, there are also many new features and enhancements.)

NetWare 5 Features

Because NSBS 5 is built upon the NetWare 5 operating system, there are now some important features available to small businesses. These features are described in the following paragraphs.

Novell Directory Services (NDS)

NDS is a multiple-platform, distributed database that stores information about the hardware and software resources in use on the network. Directory-enabled networks like NetWare 5 are valuable to business of all sizes, even if there are only a handful of users. A directory is valuable because it simplifies network communication, management, and use. Without it, network changes would require fixes to every user, application, and resource individually, meaning more time and resources spent maintaining the network.

NSBS 5 comes with a single-site version of NDS that is optimized for simple, single-site installations. Though it is the same directory services that ships with NetWare 5, it is programmed to only allow a single partition, which is most appropriate for the needs of a small business.

To simplify administration, all of the other features and services listed in this section are integrated with NDS.

License Purchasing (NetWare 5 with Service Pack 2)

Like earlier versions of NetWare for Small Business, NSBS 5 comes with a five-user license and allows small businesses to purchase the exact number of users their business needs when they need them. Additional licenses can be purchased at one-, five-, or twenty-five-user increments, up to a maximum of fifty users.

Pure IP

TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) on top of Internet Protocol (IP). TCP/IP is the communication protocol that is used to route data packets from one source to another over the Internet. While NetWare has always been capable of IP communication within the network, NetWare 5 is the first network operating system to permit the exclusive use of TCP/IP without additional encapsulation or use of other protocols. Operating the network using only TCP/IP is advantageous for small businesses because there are fewer or less-complex communication issues to resolve using only one protocol, and because the same protocol used to connect to the Internet is the used to connect to the network server.

Network Management

ManageWise is a comprehensive management solution small businesses can use to successfully manage and control their entire network, including NDS monitoring, server management, early-warning alarm notification, network traffic analysis, desktop management, virus protection, network inventorying, and network health reporting. ManageWise prevents downtime by enabling proactive management and quick problem resolution. ManageWise is fully compatible with NetWare 5 and integrates completely with ZENworks to provide a comprehensive network management tool.

The NSBS 5 server installation is configured with NetWare Management Agent (NMA) already enabled. Using ManageWise, small businesses can allow remote access to their server as well as remote management by a service agency if they prefer their network management to be performed out-of-house.

Network Printing Services

Like NetWare 5, NSBS 5 allows organizations to choose their network printing environment. The options include traditional legacy or queue-based printing architectures, Novell Distributed Printing Service (NDPS), or a combination of both. The queue-based printing setup is facilitated by using the Novell Easy Administration Tool (NEAT). Queue-based printing will likely meet the needs of the small business environment.

NDPS is a more advanced printing service and is currently managed only through NetWare Administrator (NWAdmin) and not NEAT. NDPS allows bi-directional communication between printer and server (allowing for immediate notification of printer errors such as paper jam, low toner, and so on), supports existing printers and printing technologies (full backward compatibility), and automates printer driver download and installation.

Network Backup

NSBS 5 includes NetWare 5's Storage Management Services (SMS) with an Enhanced SBACKUP and a new GUI interface that allows administrators to perform regular backups not only from the server but from a client workstation as well. SMS and Enhanced SBACKUP provide protection from loss of valuable network data.

Security Features

NetWare 5 security features include public-key cryptography and Secure Authentication Services that help protect the network from unauthorized access. These features simplify administration and offer new levels of access control to any business.

Small Business Solutions and Applications

The NetWare 5 operating system offers many features not available with any other small business product, but NSBS 5 further sweetens the suite with features targeted to less technical users. Features such as NEAT, GroupWise 5.5, ZENworks, NICE, and BorderManager provide even greater value to small businesses.

Novell Easy Administration Tool (NEAT)

NEAT is the preferred administration tool for the small business network user and is similar to NWAdmin in that it is capable of managing most network administration tasks. NEAT was specifically created for the small business user and has a friendly user interface that provides step-by-step directions to help less-experienced users successfully administer the network (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: NEAT interface screen for NSBS 5 network administration.

NEAT is automatically made available to administrators every time they log in to the network and allows them to set up and administer users, groups, and printers as well as to configure GroupWise, Internet connections and monitoring, and Office 2000 applications. NEAT allows administrators to assign access rights to network directories so those directories can be shared by network users and protected from unauthorized access.

GroupWise 5.5

GroupWise 5.5 is Novell's fully-integrated messaging system that offers a wide range of communication and collaboration capabilities. GroupWise 5.5 offers easy to use e-mail, new document management capabilities, native Internet addressing, new calendar options, vCard support, group scheduling, imaging, automated workflow, task and document management, and electronic discussions.

GroupWise can be administered using NEAT. For example, when you use NEAT to add a user to the network, it automatically creates a GroupWise Universal Mailbox for that user, making administration intuitive and easy.

ZENworks Starter Pack

Zero Effort Networks (ZENworks) automates desktop management using the power of NDS to provide application management, software distribution, desktop management, and workstation maintenance from a single location without having to visit each client individually. Using ZENworks, small businesses can provide automatic workstation fixes, so if a user inadvertently deletes vital files (for example, desktop icons or DLL files), ZENworks repairs the damage by automatically reinstalling the deleted files.

Using Novell Application Launcher (NAL) technology, ZENworks can push software out to each client so the user can install the software from the Start menu in Windows, for example, eliminating the need to install new software or updates manually to each desktop.

Novell Internet Connection Expert (NICE)

Formerly called Internet Connection Wizard, NICE automates the Internet setup and configuration of small businesses through the ISP of their choice. NICE also has a GUI interface and is very easy to use (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Novell Internet Connection Expert (NICE) GUI interface.

To facilitate connection to the Internet, NSBS 5 also includes the multi-protocol router which provides a direct connection to the Internet via modem or dedicated line and enables users to send and receive Internet e-mail from their GroupWise mailbox and also to browse the Web. Also, using Network Address Translator (NAT) technology, businesses can chose to use the same IP address assignment from their ISP. This feature ensures additional security as well as address simplification and conservation.


BorderManager is a suite of network services that allows small businesses to connect their network securely to the Internet or any other network. It also improves network performance and security at borders between networks. NSBS 5 comes with BorderManager FastCache Services 3 which permits proxy caching to accelerate Web access. FastCache Services' reverse caching also provides faster access to the Web server from the Internet or any other connected network.

Partner Solutions

Adding to the value of NetWare 5, NSBS 5 includes a suite of partner solutions that make a complete package for almost any small business need. Included in the NSBS 5 box are solutions for Internet communication and publishing, faxing, database needs, accounting tools, and client and server virus protection.

Faster Internet Connection

NSBS 5 allows businesses to use FatPipe Internet connection technology to connect to their ISP. Where modem connection speeds are a concern for small businesses, FatPipe allows servers to be configured to use multiple modems to communicate with ISPs. For example, one modem can be set up to receive communication packets while the other is dedicated entirely to sending, providing greater bandwidth and faster connections. (NSBS 5 contains a two-modem port version of FatPipe Internet; additional ports can be purchased through Ragula Systems, if desired. For more information, visit

Web Server Software

NSBS 5 includes Netscape Enterprise Server software that enables small businesses to share Web-based information inside and outside the organization. It provides advanced Web publishing capabilities through Web Publisher and offers full indexing and search functions. It is tightly integrated with NDS, enabling businesses to manage their system from a single location through one NDS-based directory interface.

Web Page Development

NSBS 5 includes a single-user license for NetObjects Fusion Web development software. NetObjects Fusion allows businesses to easily build, manage, and publish their business presence on the Internet. NetObjects Fusion manages links automatically, allows object drag and drop, precise placement of all visual elements, and facilitates Web page development, maintenance, and upload for the Internet or intranet.

Internet Browser Software

NSBS 5 includes your choice of Netscape Communicator and Microsoft Internet Explorer client software for browsing the Web.

Desktop Faxing

To facilitate faxing, NSBS includes Tobit FaxWare 5.11 which allows users to send and receive faxes from their desktops. Using FaxWare is easier and more efficient than printing documents and walking them to the fax machine.

Database Software

NSBS 5 comes with a five-user license of Oracle 8 to help small business get the most from their customer and supplier information, inventory, orders, and other critical business data.

Client and Server Virus Protection

Network Associates McAfee VirusScan for clients and McAfee NetShield for NetWare provide anti-virus protection for clients and server. While the Internet presents wonderful opportunities for growth and new markets, it can also expose small businesses to malicious and crippling virus attacks. NSBS 5's virus protection offering is the right prevention to ensure the health of your network.

Accounting Software

NSBS 5 also offers special accounting software bundles that can be purchased with NSBS 5 depending on the geographical and linguistic needs of businesses, including:

  • Intuit QuickBooks (United States and Canada)

  • Sage Accounting Package (Europe)

  • Sage KHK (Germany)

  • FYEA Chinese Traditional Accounting (Taiwan)

  • UFSoft Chinese Simplified (Mainland China)

Other Features and Enhancements

NetWare for Small Business 4.11 and 4.2 received much positive feedback as well as some suggestions for improvement from customers. These suggestions resulted in some great new features and enhancements to NSBS 5.


Some small business customers with no previous network installation experience were intimidated by the DOS installation and initial setup screens of the NetWare for Small Business programs. The NSBS 5 install remains DOS-based but now has a very friendly and familiar graphical user interface (GUI) feel.

Also, in considering the installation options for NSBS 5, some customers expressed the desire for greater control and sophistication. Previous NetWare for Small Business versions offered only one installation option, while NSBS 5 offers two: the Express or the Custom install.

  • The Express install is intended for the less-sophisticated user and automates almost every step of the process, asking the user to simply enter the company name (for network organization purposes and naming) and determine the local time zone.

  • The Custom install allows the user to go beyond the express install to set the server's drive partitions and other installation options available with NetWare 5.

Installation, if not a pleasant (and to some, exciting). procedure, is at the least easy and quick. The entire server installation, depending on the speed of your processor and server components, should not take more than forty-five minutes.

Language Version Availability

NSBS 5 is available initially in English, French, German, Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese, and Spanish. This initial release will be followed by Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Japanese, and Korean and then by Czech, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and Swedish. For information on these releases, visit

Fostering Small Business Growth

NSBS 5 offers many tools and features that foster and encourage the growth of small businesses. Once a small business reaches the maximum 50 users on its NSBS 5 network, it is not requisite to trash the current network setup and start from scratch again, as some small business network products require. The move from NSBS 5 to full NetWare 5 is a simple upgrade that keeps your current network organization intact.

Year 2000 Readiness

With NSBS 5 you can plan confidently for trouble-free operation as the year 2000 approaches. You will experience a smooth transition from the year 1999 to the year 2000 without any changes in your system's functionality, data content, or user interface. See more information.

Hardware Requirements

NSBS 5 requires a network server computer, workstation computers, and network adapters that have been correctly configured and connected.


  • PC with Pentium or better processor (most IBM-compatible PCs with PCI, ISA, EISA, and Micro Channel expansion buses)

  • 64MB of RAM

  • 1GB of free disk space (an additional 100MB of free disk space for GroupWise 5.5)

  • At least one network adapter (network adapters must be compatible with the type of computer you use as a server--more than 60 different adapters have been tested and approved by Novell for use with NetWare servers)

  • Network cabling

  • ISO 9660-compliant CD-ROM reader (with drivers for DOS and Microsoft CD extensions)


Each workstation must have a network adapter and be configured to run a supported client operating system. You can use most IBM-compatible PCs with PCI, ISA, EISA, and MicroChannel expansion buses, as well as Macintosh and UNIX workstations.

Network adapters must be compatible with the type of computer you use. More than 60 adapters have been tested and approved by Novell.

In order to use the NSBS 5 administrative utility, you need one Windows 95, 98, or 3.1x workstation.

Each workstation on which you install the GroupWise Client must have at least 30MB of free disk space.

NSBS 5 supports various client operting systems, including Microsoft Windows NT, 98, 95, and 3.1x. Corresponding client software for these operating systems is included on the Novell Client CD-ROM. Other supported clients are available at To hear a current list of supported client operating systems, call 1-800-828-3362.


Small businesses have never had it so good. NSBS 5 gives small businesses the tools they need to connect themselves to the people and resources that will make their businesses thrive. The package of excellent tools and partner solutions, built on the NetWare 5 operating system, offer an unparalleled advantage to the small business owner.

* 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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