This afternoon we will shut down our NetWare server.
It is like reaching the last page of a very thick book. I've been with
NetWare since version 2.0a in 1988 where ArcNet was used side by side
with Token-Ring and Ethernet. My first installation used Unisys
workstations with Intel 286 CPUs and Connect ArcNet cards. One
workstation with an extra 1 MB ram was also the server - hardware was
expensive those days. It ran for many years.
Then was NetWare 3.12 and then 4.11 which ran our first corporate server
in 1993 on a 486 home-built Micron server with 32 MB ram, later replaced
with an HP server with 80 MB ram. However, the old server was not
trashed but sold as second hand and served four POS systems until late
2010(!). The power supply broke down once and was replaced in three
hours for about $100, and the 2 GB SCSI harddisk was replaced in 2003,
those were the only errors experienced. How many systems live for 17
In 2004 our HP server was replaced with NetWare 6.5 Small Business
Server on an IBM server. This is the installation which has run until
this day for 9½ years, though the server was replaced 8 years ago.
Three years ago it was clear that NetWare has no future despite its
extreme reliability, so I started migrating this single server to
Windows file and print servers and Active Directory. Still, the NetWare
server ran GroupWise for e-mail and Apache for our web server.
Three months ago I finally had all mail transferred to Office 365
(later, perhaps, an in-house Exchange server) and yesterday the last
service, our web site, was moved to our new Fujitsu TX140 server running
Windows Server 2012 R2 which also hosts two VMs.
The Internet killed NetWare. It used the IPX/SPX protocols while
everything should run TCP/IP. Microsoft was quite fast to adopt where
Novell was not so fast, and TCP/IP always has been felt like an add-on
as it was not native to the core of NetWare - administration of a
NetWare server has always been a bit of a challenge. I never learned
NW6.5 well - it was a job for specialists who we employed.
So ... the boss (Rita, my wife) has been appointed - for the first and
last time - to face the console at 15:00 UTC to type shutdown at the
command prompt and press enter, closing the Novell book.