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Major Versions of NetWare in Use

Three major versions of NetWare are in use today:

■    NetWare 3.x

   NetWare 4.x

■    NetWare 5

Each version has unique characteristics. Let’s take a brief look at each one.

NetWare 3.x

NetWare 3.x includes NetWare 3.11 and 3.12. Based on the Novell product known as NetWare 386 (introduced about the same time as the Intel 80386 processor), NetWare 3.x made NetWare the de facto standard for business networks.

NetWare 3.x supports multiple, cross-platform clients and has minimal hardware requirements (4MB of RAM, 75MB of hard-disk space). It uses a database called the bindery, which will be discussed later in this chapter, to keep track of users and groups, and it is administered with a menu-based DOS utility known as SYSCON.

The design of NetWare 3.x included one utility for every function: SYSCON for user administration, PCONSOLE for printing setup, and FILER for file operations. This was nice for basic operations, but complete network administration was difficult because you had to switch between utilities to perform any network administration function. (For example, you would have to add the user in SYSCON and assign the user rights in FILER.) This drawback was resolved in NetWare 4 with the introduction of NetWare Administrator.

From its introduction in the early 1990s until the mid-1990s when newer versions were released, NetWare 3.x was the most popular NOS. Because of this popularity and a loyal installed user base, Novell released an upgrade for

NetWare 3.x in 1998, NetWare 3.2. It keeps the same architecture and basic kernel, but applies some patches and adds some new features (such as a Windows administration utility) to keep it up-to-date without changing the basic operating system features that users and administrators love.

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