Print Services in Netware 6.5 and SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9

Hello all,

I am currently running a Netware 3.12 Server (IPX only) with printers attached to DOS workstations.  The Netware server also hosts all of the DBF files for a FoxPro 2.6 installation.  The clients on the network that access the printers and FoxPro are either DOS or Windows 98 running a DOS FoxPro window or FoxPro for Windows 2.6.  I have no webserver or need for this part of my network to get out to the internet right now, so that simplifies things a bit

There are so many places that I need to upgrade that it is hard to know where to start.  I cannot buy  a new Windows XP client since the DOS FoxPro won't run effectively and the FPW2.6 has problems addressing the printers in my Netware Print Queues.

So I am thinking that perhaps a new Netware server, and therefore Print Server, may be in order.  I am looking for a little help and explanation of the capabilities of the two newest OSs from Novell.  Here are my broad-stroke questions:

1. I  have read up on the iPrint server system that comes with Netware 6.5.  This is a TCP/IP based print solution, which would necessitate the replacement of all of the DOS boxes with attached printers.  I would need to use at least Windows 98 if not XP.  Is this correct?  Is there much of a bridge between IPX Print Queues or does everything have to go to TCP/IP?

2. In terms of the Linux OS, how would that handle printers?  Would I need Linux drivers for my printers, or can I store Windows/generic drivers for the printers either on the server or each individual client?

I am open to move to either system, though I am leery of moving to Linux due to my inexperience with it and the perception that even this newest release will require a large amount of configuration out of the box to get a network up and running.

Any input is appreciated.  Should I post this in a Linux section too, or will Netware suffice?
TerryWeirAsked:
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PsiCopCommented:
Wow. What a blast from the past. You oughta take a picture of all this, or something. Still heavily using NetWare v3.12 in 2005. And here is fine for this Question. Most of the folx in the Linux TA don't know anything about Novell's products.

1) "Yes, that's correct" in terms of if you *wanted* to migrate to modern (21st century) printing. "No, that's not correct" in that you are not  *forced*  to make that change just by upgrading. Modern NetWare (through v6.5, but *not* OES-Linux) still supports many legacy functions, including both IPX and Queue-based printing (if you get *really* nostalgic after upgrading, you can even turn on Bindery Emulation). So if you upgraded to, say, NetWare v6.5, there's no reason your DOS workstations with attached printers using Print Queues could not continue exactly as they are configured now. Unlike some companies, Novell doesn't require you to forklift your network infrastructure to upgrade.

That said, NDPS and iPrint are a bit nicer than old Queue-based printing. So its something to think about. But it can be a gentle migration as opposed to rip-n-replace - upgrade the server first, then start moving your workstations as you iron out the usual Windoze failures to be backwards-compatible.

2) OES-Linux (that is, Open Enterprise Server, NetWare's successor, running on the Linux kernel) is an IP-only creature. IPX was not ported to it. OES-NetWare (Open Enterprise Server running on the NetWare kernel) still supports IPX, at least for now. NetWare v6.5 with SP3 is essentially OES-NetWare.

Which reminds me, when you do upgrade, if you go the NetWare v6.5/OES-NetWare route, be sure to install from the Support Pack Overlay media, not from the base installation media that Novell ships. You'll save yourself time and effort by installing an already-patched version of the NOS.
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ShineOnCommented:
1)  iPrint requires IP, but NDPS does not. iPrint is a feature of NDPS that internet-enables your print services.  NDPS can use either, or both.  I don't know if you can use nprinter on DOS PC's to service NDPS printers, though.

2)  SLES9 can use IPX if you know how to install it, but not for any Novell services, and won't service print queues, so stick with NetWare for print services.  If you get OES, don't be afraid to experiment with OES on SLES.  You get to use either, or both, with multiple servers not costing you any extra to license (virtually unlimited for NetWare, 5 or more for SLES.)

If you have less than 100 users and don't expect to exceed 100 users any time in the forseeable future, I would recommend going with Novell Small Business Server 6.5, which has NetWare 6.5, GroupWise 6.5, ZENworks for Desktops 4 and BorderManager, along with all the other nifty things that come with NetWare 6.5. and up to 5 servers for the price of one.
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ShineOnCommented:
When you move your FoxPro databases to NetWare, make sure you make all the appropriate changes to the server and clients so they don't give you problems.  

On the server, flag the databases shareable (and I think, transactional) and use the SET CLIENT FILE CACHING ENABLED = OFF and SET LEVEL 2 OPLOCKS ENABLED = OFF, and on the client side turn off oplocks as well in the Novell client properties:  in the Win9x client32, in advanced settings, set Opportunistic Locking off and set True Commit on, and in the WinNT/2K/XP client, set File Caching off and File Commit on.  If I forgot anything, I'll bet PsiCop remembers...
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ShineOnCommented:
Oops, I meant "to NetWare 6.5"  -  I'm not suggesting you're not using NetWare now... ;)
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ShineOnCommented:
Psi - doesn't OES ship with the 6.5 SP3 overlay?
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PsiCopCommented:
"doesn't OES ship with the 6.5 SP3 overlay?"

Not exactly.

NetWare v6.5 SP3 essentially transforms the server into OES-NetWare. There are some differences, and while they're not earthshattering ones (having to do mainly with VO, eDirectory and iManager) it isn't accurate to say that "OES ships with ... SP3", because fundamentally, its still a NetWare v6.5 server and not OES. Altho I'll concede that its akin to the difference between a green banana and a yellow banana.
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ShineOnCommented:
SO, OES-NetWare IS NetWare 6.5SP3, so it is, in essence, the overlay, and the only reason to use the overlay if you get the OES media is when OES-NetWare's first SP comes out, which will be NetWare 6.5SP4...  
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PsiCopCommented:
"OES-NetWare's first SP comes out, which will be NetWare 6.5SP4...  "

I don't think OES-NetWare SP1 == NetWare v6.5 SP4 is a true assertion. At least, that was not what I got out of BrainShare. The NetWare v6.5 SP roadmap was different from the OES-NetWare SP roadmap, as best I recall. I don't have the BrainShare materials in front of me, but I got the distinct impression that OES-NetWare and NetWare v6.5 would diverge at some point in the near future.
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TerryWeirAuthor Commented:
Wow, you check back on Monday and you guys were busy this weekend!  I am glad to hear that NWv6.5 offers a "kinder, gentler" upgrade path.  The way that my environment is pieced together, step by step is the only reasonable way to upgrade.  

Based upon what I am reading, I think that I will stay away from the SLES option for now.  That may be the only route in the future, but I think that I will give SUSE (and my knowledge of it) more time to develop beofre I run down that road.

I have downloaded the CD images for the NWv6.5 trial.  I do not think that it is SP3, but I'll check.  Maybe I can get the update for it.  I think that I will convert a spare PC to a test server and see how things go..

THanks for your help. on this.  I'm sure that I will have questions later when I dig into the install, but you guys have given me a good direction to go in
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ShineOnCommented:
If you go to http://support.novell.com/filefinder/18197/index.html, look for the 6.5 SP3 overlay ISO's (should be 2 of them)
NW65PRODSP3.ISO and NW65OSSP3.ISO  
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