Novell bolsters ZENworks –

PROVO, UTAH -- Novell is expected to ship by the end of the month the latest version of its ZENworks management software, which makes it easier for IT managers to monitor, manage and distribute software to Windows NT, Windows 2000 and NetWare servers.

Novell has added software distribution capabilities for NT and Win 2000, allowing ZENworks for Servers to be used in a wide variety of local and remote heterogeneous networks. Although ZENworks uses Novell Directory Services, neither NDS for NT nor NDS eDirectory are needed to distribute files and programs to NT or Win 2000 servers.

Novell's ZENworks products account for more than 25% of the company's revenue and are its fastest-growing line. ZENworks can reduce desktop software installation time by almost half and save almost $40 per employee per month, estimates research firm IDC of Framingham, Mass. The product competes with Microsoft's Systems Management Server and IntelliMirror.

Specifically, ZENworks for Servers 2.0 lets customers:

  • Distribute files, patches, fixes and support packs to NT, Win 2000 and NetWare servers.
  • Forward desktop configuration tasks to local and remote servers for distribution and action on network workstations.

The software also integrates ZENworks for Desktop features, letting customers forward desktop configuration tasks to local and remote servers for distribution and action on desktop machines.

For instance, a parts distributor might want to update a parts list with its remote retailers on a daily basis. With ZENworks for Servers, the network manager at the distributor would only need to know the IP addresses of the retailers' servers and the ports the servers are on so firewalls could be opened between networks and the parts list distributed. Digital certificates would validate the correct partner. Tasks managed through ZENworks for Desktops would be handled in the same way.

"If [I can put] ZENworks for Servers on my NT and NetWare servers all over the country, hook in ZENworks for Desktops and do a double push-down to the server and desktop, that's a great fit," says Rocco Esposito, chief technology officer for Hunter Douglas in Upper Saddle River, N.J. "We have a distributed bar-code system. To be able to do an upgrade in lock-step and blast it out would be a great feature."

ZENworks for Servers also incorporates the full management console of ManageWise, Novell's network management package, adding SNMP monitoring and traps, the ability to perform trend analysis and send alerts for out-of-threshold conditions for NT and Win 2000 servers, as well as NetWare networks.

In addition, ZENworks for Servers now has a throttling capability on both the server distributing software and the server receiving software. Throttling lets a network manager specify the speed of the communication line for remote software distribution, so only X number of bits per second will be sent over a telecommunications link. The feature prevents low-speed links from being overwhelmed with data.

A release of ZENworks for Servers in the spring will add software distribution capabilities for Linux and Solaris servers, and another release will add policy mmanagement for NT and Win 2000.

ManageWise users with maintenance contracts and license agreements with Novell may upgrade to ZENworks for Servers at no charge. ZENworks for Servers 2.0 is $59 per user or $3,000 per server. A bundle of ZENworks for Servers and Desktops is available for $79 per user to customers with license agreements with Novell. The software will ship by the end of the month.


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