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ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 and NetWare 6: The Best Gets Better

Articles and Tips: article

Martin Buckley

01 Sep 2001

A few months ago, Novell Connection took a peek at the new version of ZENworks for Desktops, code-named ZenWorks Firestarter. (See "ZENworks for Desktops: The Next Release," Novell Connection, June 2001, pp. 32-33.) This new version, now officially named ZENworks for Desktops 3.2, is now shipping.

Not only has ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 shipped, but NetWare 6 will soon be released. Using ZENworks for Desktops with NetWare 6 is a smart move. By using ZENworks for Desktops 3.2, you can easily deploy NetWare 6 services such as Novell iFolder and iPrint.

Like other versions of ZENworks for Desktops, ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 takes advantage of the directory-enabled NetWare file system to give rights to the application rather than to the user. When you use NetWare and ZENworks for Desktops 3.2, you can give file system rights to the application object rather than to user objects. As a result, after you create an application, you do not need to make changes to that object in order to accommodate new users. The new users automatically receive the applications according to their particular business roles. New users also automatically receive all of the rights they need to install and manage the application.

One of the strongest features of NetWare 6 is its high availability, enabling continuous uptime and nonstop access. By running ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 on NetWare 6, you can take advantage of the built-in, two-node clustering capabilities of NetWare 6. This highly resilient, fault-tolerant solution is ideal for companies that can't afford to be offline.


Probably the best news about ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 is that you can purchase this new version at the same price as you could purchase ZENworks for Desktops 3.0--U.S. $59 per user. Of course, with ZENworks for Desktops 3.2, you get a lot more for the money.

ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 includes the following enhanced features to help you manage your company's network:

  • Disk-imaging enhancements

  • Thin-client enhancements

  • Dynamic local user capabilities

  • Accessibility enhancements

  • Administration enhancements


Although Novell has enhanced the disk-imaging capabilities of ZENworks for Desktops, you may only see these improvements in action. Most of these improvements have been made "under the hood." As a result, disk imaging is now more efficient--using less disk space and less bandwidth. Disk imaging is also much faster--typical imaging tasks can take around half the time that they took before.

The most significant improvements were made to the following disk-imaging features:

  • Image Compression

  • Advanced Imaging

  • Client-Server Multicast

Image Compression

ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 includes four image compression settings: no compression, optimized for speed, balanced, and optimized for space. As you may expect, each of these settings has different compression factors and associated trade-offs in performance and disk space. The flexibility to compress images at different rates using ZENworks for Desktop 3.2 enables you to minimize disk storage and to make the best use of bandwidth to push the image to the client.

ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 can also compress existing ZENworks for Desktops 3 images. To compress an existing image, complete the following steps from within ConsoleOne:

  1. Select Tools.

  2. Select ZENworks Utilities.

  3. Select Imaging.

  4. Select Image Explorer.

  5. Select QuickCompress.

Note. Using Image Explorer, you can now open files directly out of images and view or modify these files. For example, you can now directly view and replace files such as a Windows 2000 BOOT.INI file. Resaving an image after deleting files will free up the deleted files' space in the image. In other words, you can now work through previously created images and remove any unneeded or obsolete files.

Advanced Imaging

In ZENworks for Desktops 3, imaging was directory-enabled and integrated with the ZENworks Application Launcher. Using these advanced imaging features, you could perform almost any disk management or imaging task. However, you had to perform these tasks at the command prompt. ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 enables you to write scripts as part of the imaging policy. As a result, you can now create sophisticated scripts that have more power and flexibility. (See Figure 1.)

Client-Server Multicast

If you regularly build training rooms or computer labs, you will appreciate the new client-server multicast capabilities in ZENworks for Desktops 3.2. Using ConsoleOne, you can now define multicast imaging sessions, which the imaging server delivers. In other words, you can rebuild 100 workstations simultaneously--and save on precious bandwidth because the image data is sent as a multicast to all participating workstations.


ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 includes several enhancements to help you better manage a terminal server environment. By working closely with customers and partners, Novell has made significant changes to the ZENworks Application Launcher and client components when running on a terminal server. These improvements enhance the performance, scalability, and reliability of thin-client environments.

Novell has tested ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 with Citrix MetaFrame XP and Windows 2000 with Terminal Services. The combination of this environment with ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 delivers a consistent, managed, and secure desktop environment for all users--whether those users are working in a thin-client session or are disconnected from the network.


Another popular feature of ZENworks for Desktops is the Dynamic Local User, which allows you to manage users on Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 workstations without implementing a Windows NT domain.

With ZENworks for Desktops 3.2, you can restrict the Dynamic Local User functionality to certain workstations. For example, in Figure 2, I used the Dynamic Local User functionality to create a user as a member of a local group (CRMuser). This user has specific rights for this hypothetical CRM application. The Dynamic Local User is also restricted to a specific terminal server.

You could use the same functionality to make a user a workstation administrator in his or her own department. Throughout the rest of the network environment, however, this user would be an ordinary user.


ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 is the first version of ZENworks for Desktops that is fully accessible to users and administrators with disabilities. This accessibility is in response to U.S. Government Section 508. (For more information about Section 508, visit Specifically, ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 makes all components that require user or administrator input accessible.

For example, the Application Launcher is fully accessible and readable to people who are using non-keyboard mouse and screen devices. In addition, ConsoleOne, version 1.3, which ships with ZENworks for Desktops 3.2, is fully compliant with Section 508.


ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 also includes enhancements designed to make your job as a network administrator easier. These enhancements include the following:

  • Policy Deployment Wizard

  • Inventory

  • Remote Control

Policy Deployment Wizard

If your company is expanding or is opening new offices, the Policy Deployment Wizard can help. Gone are the old days of manually creating policies in the directory for each new site and hoping all goes well. Also, you no longer have to generate 1,000 pages of documentation for each policy you deploy.

With just a few simple mouse clicks, you can quickly copy ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 policy packages without risk and with no hassle to any point in your directory.

You can also use the Policy Deployment Wizard to create a single policy for workstation settings or remote control that is copied automatically through your directory.


Novell has also enhanced inventory scanning to add a new method of probing for hardware. ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 scanners look for the Windows Management Interface (WMI), which is part of Windows 98 SE, NT 4 SP6A, and Windows 2000 Professional workstations. If ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 finds WMI, it can report detailed inventory without requiring a Desktop Management Interface (DMI) service layer be installed.

Remote Control

ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 significantly enhances the speed of remote-control capabilities. As a result, you can feasibly control workstations across slow WAN links.

In addition, ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 uses eDirectory access rights to control all points of access and to limit unauthorized access to workstations. As a result, ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 provides granular security across your company's network.


ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 includes enhancements designed to benefit both you as the network administrator and the users you serve. You can more easily manage workstations in any environment, including terminal server environments and WAN environments. You can also restrict access to specific workstations or specific users.

Martin Buckley is the ZENworks for Desktops product manager.

* 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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