We Kid You Not: Novell NetWare Support Set to End (Sort Of)

Novell NetWare, the workhorse network operating system (NOS) from the early 1990s, apparently continues to chug along on some business servers. But current owner Micro Focus will end Extended Support for NetWare on December 31, 2016.

Time for a handful of customers (hundreds? thousands?) and partners to panic? Perhaps not. Micro Focus has introduced NetWare Premium Lifeline Support so that customers can “continue to enjoy coverage while you run NetWare in your environment or migrate to Open Enterprise Server.”

Pricing for the support starts at $3,500. (Toss in some free AppWare, UnixWare, GroupWise and NetWare for SAA licenses and perhaps I’ll pay for support.)

Customers who are not current with maintenance must purchase Standard or Priority maintenance for licensed users to qualify for this offer. Academic customers must have a current subscription for Open Enterprise Server, Micro Focus added.

Why the heck is ChannelE2E blogging about this? Hmmm… Perhaps it was one last excuse to work the words Novell and Ray Noorda into a channel-related blog.

NetWare is dead. Long live NetWare Premium Lifeline Support. And thank you to all the Novell veterans who helped to pioneer the IT channel, certification, coopetition and plenty more.

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    Bruce Teichman:

    Thanks for the nostalgia. It’s been a while, but I fondly remember getting my start with NetWare 2.15c and running Comp -surf on the hard drives which took 3 to 4 hours, back when you could only bill by the hour!

      Joe Panettieri:

      I’m still rooting for Banyan Vines 😉

      Kidding aside, I’m forever thankful for Novell. One of my first gigs as an IT journalist was covering Novell for InformationWeek. Thanks for your readership, Bruce.

    Andy Konecny:

    It is amazing where NetWare is still up and running, quietly and in the background, but still there and with multi-year up-times. Largely it is because of the huge cost to re-engineer the systems built around them when the driving forces are for new functions, not the recreation of things done in the past. Staying on a system that doesn’t force a change in some methodology every few years, works out to be cheaper for many organizations than basing their systems on a platform that changes basics every couple of major versions.
    While IT (and WallStreet) has these ultra short (ADHD) lifetimes, much of the rest of life has a longer cycle, and the continued existence of NetWare among many other ‘old’ technologies, are just examples of how real life goes.
    I have a number of clients who still run NetWare among their mix because it makes business sense of deferring the huge costs of engineering a new system. Note that there are few plain File and Print NetWare boxes left, most are part of more complex systems.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey Andy,

      Thanks for your readership and for your thoughts. After reading your comment I’m reminded of an InformationWeek cover story pitch that I never got around to writing in the mid-2015 timeframe. It was going to be called “Delightful Downgrades.” The proposed focus: When CIOs roll back the clock and select yesterday’s technology (i.e., NetWare 3.x) because it just works.

    James Litchford:

    Migrating my last Netware server tonight…sad..end of an era!


    Joe Panettieri:

    James: What is the destination platform?

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