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Novell Small Business Suite 5

Articles and Tips: article

Gary Ashton

01 Sep 1999

Editor's Note: The following article outlines the main features of Novell Small Business Suite 5. If you want more information about this product, see the in-depth article. After you read this article, send a message to, and let us know if you like having articles available only online.

Novell recently shipped Novell Small Business Suite (NSBS) 5, which is based on the NetWare 5 operating system. As you may be aware, the previous release of Novell's small business solution is calledNetWare for Small Business 4.2. This name change is more than a change in semantics. NSBS 5 represents a shift from a network operating system solution to a suite of Novell services and products designed for small businesses.

This suite includes NetWare 5 technologies, Novell's small-business solutions and applications, and partner solutions. The main features of the suite are listed below:

  • Easy-to-use management tools such as Novell Easy Administration Tool (NEAT), Novell Internet Connection Expert (NICE), and Novell Application Distributor (NAD)

  • Novell's ZENworks Starter Pack 1.1, which enables you to manage desktops and applications from a central location

  • Novell's GroupWise 5.5, which provides e-mail and scheduling capabilities

  • Novell's BorderManager FastCache Services 3, which accelerates users' access to information on intranets and the Internet

  • One-for-one licensing agreement for Tobit Software's FaxWare, which enables users to send and receive faxes via the network

  • Five-user license for Oracle8.04 for NetWare, which enables you to build relational databases

  • One-user license for NetObjects' Fusion 4.0, which is web development software

  • Netscape Enterprise Server for NetWare, a high-performance web server

  • Ragula Systems's FatPipe, which improves modem access speed and enables servers to use multiple modems to communicate with an Internet service provider (ISP)

  • Network Associates's NetShield and VirusScan, which provide virus protection

  • Greenwich Mean Time's Check 2000, a tool that identifies year-2000 problems on workstations and recommends appropriate fixes


Directory-enabled networks such as NetWare 5 are valuable to businesses of all sizes, even if these businesses have only a handful of users. A directory simplifies network communication, management, and use. In fact, Novell has leveraged Novell Directory Services (NDS)--and will continue to leverage NDS--to make NSBS 5 and future versions of NSBS easier to manage.

Without a directory, even small businesses need more resources and expend more time to maintain a network. For example, if you need to make a change, you must change each user, application, and resource individually.

NSBS 5 includes a single-site version of NDS, which is optimized for simple, single-site installations. NSBS 5 includes the same directory services that ships with NetWare 5; however, NSBS 5 allows only a single partition, which meets the needs of most small businesses.


Because NSBS 5 is built on the NetWare 5 platform, small businesses can take advantage of the following features:

  • NSBS 5 includes pure IP support. Although NetWare has always been capable of IP communication, NetWare 5 enables you to use only IP without encapsulation. Using only IP on a network has at least two advantages: First, there are fewer or less complex communication issues because the network uses only one protocol. Second, managing the network is easier because the same protocol used to connect to the Internet is used to connect to the network server.

  • NSBS 5 includes Domain Naming System (DNS) and Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services. These services are integrated with NDS to simplify the management of IP addresses and resources.

  • NSBS 5 supports multiple servers for complex network environments.

  • NSBS 5 supports nodal licensing. NSBS 5 ships with a five-user license and is preinstalled with the NetWare 5 Service Pack 2. If your company has more than five users, you can purchase the exact number of licenses you need. Additional licenses are available in one-, five-, or 25-user increments, up to a maximum of 50 users.

  • NSBS 5 provides an upgrade path for growing companies. If your company reaches the maximum 50 users on its NSBS 5 network, you do not have to abandon your current network setup and start from scratch, as some small business networking products require. Your company can simply migrate its network to NetWare 5.

  • NSBS 5 provides an Express installation option, which automates nearly every step of the installation process. You are simply prompted to enter the name of your company and to specify the local time zone. The entire installation process, depending on the speed of the server hardware, should not take more than 45 minutes.

  • NSBS 5 also provides a Custom installation option, which enables you to set up the server's drive partitions and configure other installation options, such as the names of the NDS tree and the server, and protocol preference.


As mentioned earlier, NSBS 5 includes NEAT, which is designed to help less-experienced users manage the network. NEAT has a user-friendly interface that provides step-by-step directions. With NEAT, you can manage users, groups, and printers and assign access rights to network directories. You can also configure GroupWise, Internet connections, Microsoft Office 2000, and other applications.


NSBS 5 also makes it easier to connect your company's network to the Internet. Specifically, NSBS 5 includes the following Internet tools:

  • POP Forwarding Agent. The Post Office Protocol (POP) Forwarding Agent enables your company to exchange Internet e-mail messages over a nondedicated, dial-in connection. To exchange these messages, the POP Forwarding Agent periodically connects to your company's ISP and downloads incoming messages from a POP mailbox. The POP Forwarding Agent then forwards e-mail messages to the GroupWise system for local delivery.

  • NICE. Formerly called theInternet Connection Wizard, NICE automatically configures the Internet connection between your company and its ISP. NICE has a GUI interface and is easy to use.

  • DHCP Service. The DHCP service enables your company to connect its network to the Internet without the usual requirement of a static IP address. The DHCP service enables the NSBS 5 server to act as a TCP/IP host and to request dynamic TCP/IP configuration information. The DHCP service also assigns IP addresses dynamically to workstations so you don't have to assign permanent IP addresses.


NSBS 5 enables you to choose your company's network printing environment. You can use Novell's traditional, or queue-based, printing architecture, Novell Distributed Printing Services (NDPS), or a combination of both.

Queue-based printing will probably meet the needs of most small businesses. You can easily manage queue-based printing through the wizard provided in NEAT.

NDPS is a more advanced printing service. For example, NDPS allows bidirectional communication between the printer and the server (allowing for immediate notification of printer errors such as paper jams, low toner, and so on) and automates downloading and installing printer drivers. To provide backward compatibility with queue-based printing, NDPS supports existing printers and printing technologies. Currently, you must use the NetWare Administrator (NWADMIN) utility to manage NDPS; you cannot use NEAT.


NSBS 5 is available initially in English, French, German, Italian, (Brazilian) Portuguese, and Spanish. This initial release will be followed by Chinese (simplified and traditional), Japanese, and Korean and then by Czech, Danish, Dutch, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, and Swedish. For more about NSBS 5, visit Novell's small business web site at In the United States and Canada, call 1-800-NETWARE. In other areas, call 1-801-228-4272, and ask for Inside Sales.

Gary Ashton is chief of staff in the Common Technologies department at Novell.

* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine


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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