Nonstop Access for Small Businesses
Articles and Tips: article
01 Nov 2001
Although small businesses traditionally weigh in with fewer than 100 employees, there are more than 7.4 million such businesses in North America alone. This small business sector spent U.S. $966.8 billion on products and services designed to enable business growth. Of that total, more than U.S. $74 billion was spent on hardware, software, Internet access, and IT services. Small businesses using the Internet went from 39 percent in 1999 to 82 percent in 2000. And research projections indicate that broadband business use of the Internet will reach 80 million by 2004 (sources: IDC and the Multimedia Research Group).
Like large Fortune 1000 companies, small businesses are using the Internet to become more responsive to the needs of their customers, partners, and employees. For the small business owner, being able to access company data anywhere, any time means being able to capitalize on new business opportunities. In addition, small business employees need the flexibility to be connected to their data at all times. With the technology available today, "size" should have nothing to do with reach or revenue opportunity.
Unlike large Fortune 1000 companies, small businesses often lack the resources to manage their own IT resources and also lack the financial means to constantly maintain or update their IT systems. In fact, "44 percent [of small business owners] believe the cost of technology, and 42 percent believe lack of expertise, prevent their company from implementing technology as much as they would like." ("The Changing Landscape of Small Business," The Network of City Business Journals.)
Novell Small Business Suite 6 may change these owners' perception of technology. Included in the box are all of the productivity tools small businesses need to succeed. In addition, Novell Small Business Suite 6 includes all of the management tools you need--whether you are an in-house network administrator or a small business specialist--to manage small business networks.
WHAT'S NEW IN NOVELL SMALL BUSINESS SUITE 6?
What's new in Novell Small Business Suite 6? A better question would be, what isn't new? According to Ian Dunlop, vice president of Product Development at Novell, "Almost everything has been revamped, replaced, or updated with features designed to deliver the value to small businesses."
In fact, Novell Small Business Suite 6 includes so many features, it's difficult to thoroughly describe each feature in one article. Consequently, this article provides an overview of the major features. For more information, visit the Novell Small Business Suite home page (www.novell.com/products/smallbiz), or read the articles listed in "Read All About It!"
NetWare 6: The Real McCoy
As the name suggests, Novell Small Business Suite 6 is built on NetWare 6. Of course, NetWare 6 has unlimited server licensing, while Novell Small Business Suite 6 includes two server licenses, which allow you to configure separate servers for specialized functions. In addition, Novell Small Business Suite 6 is limited to a maximum of 50 users.
Novell Small Business Suite 6 includes the following NetWare 6 features:
iFolder provides instant access to data from any location.
iPrint enables printing over the Internet and enables users to locate a printer from any standard browser.
Native file access for Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX workstations enables users to access the Novell Small Business Suite 6 server without using any client software. (For more information, see "Native File Access Wanted: Client Software Need Not Apply.")
Novell eDirectory provides security and management features for Novell Small Business Suite 6.
NetWare Web Access is a portal that allows users to access network resources such as files and e-mail over the Internet.
Novell Remote Manager allows you to manage network resources over the Internet using a browser.
Apache Web Server provides a web server platform.
Tomcat Java Application Server provides a Java application platform.
iMonitor and iManage are browser-based management tools.
NetDrive Internet enables any application to access data on a NetWare 6 server.
In fact, the only NetWare 6 feature that is not included in Novell Small Business Suite 6 is Novell Cluster Services--which small businesses typically don't need. (For more information about NetWare 6, visit www.novell.com/products/netware6.)
GroupWise 6 (Full Version)
GroupWise 6, the latest version of Novell's full-featured groupware offering, provides a comprehensive, integrated set of communication and collaboration tools, including the following:
GroupWise Wireless. With GroupWise Wireless, users can access their Universal Inbox anywhere they go. Users can access and use all of the major e-mail, scheduling, and collaboration tools from any supported Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) device such as a cellular phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). Users can perform tasks such as navigating folders; accessing address books; accessing calendars and task lists; executing document searches and property views; creating and sending mail, appointments, tasks, and notes; and changing their GroupWise password. Of course, this access also extends to the Internet, enabling users to access GroupWise from a standard browser any place in the world that offers an Internet connection.
GroupWise Smart Caching. GroupWise Smart Caching provides a local cache of GroupWise server data on users' local workstation or laptop. This feature improves the performance of your company's e-mail system.
System Health Monitoring. GroupWise can automatically alert you if critical conditions occur on the server.
Support for Multiple Forms of Encryption. GroupWise 6 supports Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) with separate keys for authentication and encryption.
Native Support for E-mail and Other Standards. GroupWise 6 is based on and supports industry standards such as Internet Message Access Protocol 4 (IMAP4), Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP), Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP), and Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP).
Integration with eDirectory. Because GroupWise 6 integrates with eDirectory, you can leverage already-created User objects for post office use. You do not need to manually recreate these objects, and you can manage objects through a single point: the directory.
GroupWise 6 includes new management features, making it easier for you to do your job--whether you are managing the post office internally or you have been hired as an outside specialist. For example, GroupWise 6 allows you to back up the system while it's running and lets you set limits on both mailbox and message sizes.
To keep the system running smoothly, you can configure GroupWise 6 to send critical event notifications to your cellular phone or pager. In addition, GroupWise 6 gives you single-point administration from ConsoleOne and provides agent console access via WAP or HTML.
For users, GroupWise 6 supports usenet newsgroups (via NNTP) and allows multiple accounts (including POP3) in the Universal Inbox. In addition, users who travel can adjust their time zones so that appointments appear in local time. (For more information about GroupWise 6, visit www.novell.com/products/groupwise.)
ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 (Full Version)
As you know, ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 is a policy-based management tool that leverages eDirectory to automate and streamline desktop management. Novell Small Business Suite 5.1 included only the ZENworks for Desktops Starter Pack, but Novell Small Business Suite 6 includes the full version of ZENworks. Specifically, ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 includes the following features:
Workstation Imaging. This feature provides a snapshot "image" of exactly what you want to install on a workstation. You can install and configure new workstations using this image as a template. As a result, you can quickly and easily deploy operating systems and applications, repair damaged workstations, and even ship entire desktop images (using a diskette or CD) to workstations that are not currently connected to the network.
Policy and Profile Management and Reporting. This feature automatically checks the configuration of desktops as users log in and corrects any unauthorized changes.
Hardware Inventory. ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 maintains a dynamic hardware inventory as part of the Workstation object within eDirectory. ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 generates reports that update inventory information as current as the most recent login.
Software Inventory. This feature ensures that ZENworks-delivered applications are audited to monitor updates and license expirations.
Application Launcher. The Application Launcher automatically and transparently distributes, monitors, and even repairs workstation software. You can automatically deliver applications to multiple users and customize each application for every user. ZENworks for Desktops 3.2 also includes a Disconnected feature that allows the Application Launcher to run when the workstation is disconnected from the network.
Workstation Remote Control. This feature allows you or other IS managers to control users' desktops and correct workstation or application problems. The ZENworks Remote Control feature also provides remote diagnostics, file transfer, chat, and Wake On LAN (which allows the remote "wake up" of a workstation that has been powered off).
Uninstall Capabilities. You can completely remove a ZENworks-installed application--including all files, .ini entries, and associated registry entries--from a workstation.
For more information about ZENworks for Desktops 3.2, visit www.novell.com/products/zenworks/desktops.
BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3.6
Novell BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3.6 is the only integrated suite of directory-based network services that centrally manages, secures, and accelerates users' access to information at every network border--internal and external alike. This suite includes the following:
BorderManager Firewall Services. This directory-based, security policy management tool enables you to protect the confidential data stored on your company's private network. You can also use BorderManager Firewall Services to control users' access to intranet and Internet content.
Reverse Proxy Caching. This feature accelerates access to intranet and Internet content.
BorderManager Authentication Services. This feature enables remote access to your company's private network from the Internet, without compromising network security.
BorderManager VPN Services. This feature allows remote users, organizations, customers, and suppliers appropriate and secure access to confidential data on your private network.
BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3.6 provides several solid enhancements to the previous version of BorderManager Enterprise Edition. These enhancements include the following:
Support for Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) Over Network Address Translation (NAT). This enhancement allows cable modem and Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) customers with NAT to work from a remote location over the BorderManager VPN.
Support for Cookie-Based Session Identifiers. This enhancement allows customers with NAT and Citrix servers to perform user-based URL blocking.
RADIUS Authentication up to 40 Authentications/Second. This enhancement provides an eight-fold increase in speed over the previous version of BorderManager Enterprise Edition.
BorderManager Enterprise Edition 3.6 also includes all of the patches Novell has released for previous versions. For more information, visit www.novell.com/products/bordermanager.
Although Novell Small Business Suite 6 includes many of the same features Novell offers large companies, the suite is tailored for small businesses. For example, Novell Small Business Suite 6 has a simplified installation. In addition, it includes Novell Easy Administration Tool (NEAT), a management tool designed specifically for networking novices, and Novell Internet Connection Expert (NICE), a tool that simplifies the process of setting up Internet access for small businesses.
In addition to a plethora of Novell products, Novell Small Business Suite 6 includes these third-party products:
Tobit FaxWare. Electronic faxing allows users to send and receive fax documents electronically from their workstation. (For more information, visit http://www.tobit.com/.)
Network Associates NetShield and VirusScan. These products include both server and desktop virus-detection and recovery capabilities. (For more information, visit http://www.networkassociates.com/.)
FatPipe Internet. This product pools multiple modems to work as one connection, thereby providing faster access to the Internet. (For more information, visit http://www.fatpipeinc.com/.)
Novell Small Business Suite 6 offers many features that Microsoft's Small Business Server 2000 does not offer. For example, Small Business Server falls short in the following areas:
Small Business Server has no browser-based access to the network.
Small Business Server requires non-Windows operating systems to run a Windows-specific client.
Virus protection is not included in Small Business Server.
Small Business Server's domain-based directory cannot be easily modified after the design has been deployed.
Small Business Server offers limited support for a messaging platform. Wireless messaging must be purchased separately. In addition, Microsoft's Mobile Information Server doesn't support all Windows CE-based devices. If the server at the office is off, Outlook will not forward messages to the wireless device.
With Small Business Server, Internet-based printing is available only on new printers that support Internet Printing Protocol (IPP).
Small Business Server does not offer modem pooling.
Small Business Server does not support multiple Small Business Servers on the same network.
In addition, growing with Novell Small Business Suite 6 is easier than growing with Microsoft's Small Business Server. With Novell Small Business Suite 6, you don't have to buy licensing in groups. Microsoft, on the other hand, requires you to buy licenses in groups of 5 or 20. How often do small businesses hire 5 or 20 people at once? With Novell Small Business Suite 6, you can buy just one license for every new employee you add.
If you ever get past that magical number of 50 employees, you can build on the network you've already installed. Rather than ripping out the existing network and purchasing new software and services from integrators, you can add licenses for the products you've already installed with Novell Small Business Suite 6. For small businesses where budgets for IT expenditures come right out of the owner's pocket, the ability to build on an already-solid foundation (instead of scrapping the entire investment) is crucial.
IT'S IN THE BOX
The mantra for Novell Small Business Suite 6 is simple: It's in the box. With other solutions, you have to buy extra software just to make the solution work. That's not true with Novell Small Business Suite 6--it's all in the box, just waiting for you to drive your business (or your customer's business) to success.
Virginia Baker has worked in the networking industry for more than 15 years and is the former managing editor of LAN Times. Today Virginia is a freelance writer and the author of award-winning science fiction stories.
Read All About It!
You can learn more about NetWare 6 and the specific features it offers by reading the following Novell Connection articles:
"NetWare 6 Scales New Heights"
"NetWare 6 and MP: Unraveling the Threads of Multiprocessing"
"More To Store: NetWare 6 and NSS 3.0 Can Handle It"
"Novell iFolder: Your Data Where You Want It, When You Want It"
"iPrint: Access a Printer From Anywhere"
"NetWare 6: There's No Stopping It"
"Novell Remote Manager: Remote Control for NetWare Servers"
In addition, Novell has prepared the following Deployment Guides to help you implement NetWare 6 on your company's network:
"Integrating SLP v2 With SLP v1 in a NetWare Environment"
"Deploying Apache/Tomcat as a Java Development Platform on NetWare 6"
"Implementing iFolder on NetWare"
"Implementing iPrint on NetWare"
"Upgrading to Newer Versions of Novell NetWare (Including NetWare 6)"
"Migrating from Windows NT Server to Novell NetWare (Including NetWare 6)
You can download these Novell Deployment Guides from www.novell.com/products/netware/deployment_solutions. (You may want to keep an eye on this web page because Novell plans to publish other deployment guides for NetWare 6.)
For more information about GroupWise 6, you can read the following Novell Connection articles:
"GroupWise 6: A Reliable and Secure Mail Carrier"
"Novell Brings Messaging to the Deskless Work Force"
* 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.