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Fortunately, servers are big business. It is in the interest of many third parties to write server-based software for new network operating systems. Server-based software includes, but is not limited to, the following:

■    Backup programs

■    E-mail

   Internet access

Until recently being surpassed by Windows NT, NetWare had the largest base of third-party programs. However, NetWare use and support are climbing again now that Novell is embracing Java technologies.

NetWare Interoperability

NetWare can communicate with just about any computing environment, including:

■    Windows 95/98

   Windows NT

■    Mac OS

■    VMS

■    OS/400

■    Unix

■    OS/2

When each of these operating systems tries to communicate with a NetWare server, the server appears as though it were a member of that network type. For example, on a Mac OS network, a NetWare server can appear to be just another Macintosh server, but in reality it’s a Pentium-class box running NetWare. I have found that a NetWare server makes a better server for Macs than Apple’s own servers running the AppleShare network operating system.

NetWare Architecture

NetWare, like most other network operating systems, is modular. It consists of a core component and other pieces that can be loaded into memory as necessary. In NetWare parlance, the core component is called the core OS (or kernel), and the other modules are called NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs). This design makes efficient use of the hardware resources (memory and hard-disk space, for example) of the computer on which it is running. Unneeded services or components can be unloaded, thus conserving memory. Figure 5.3 shows the NetWare architecture.

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