Stick with Novell or move to Microsoft?



My school district has been using Novell products from some time. We
have 4 Netware 6.5 file servers, Bordermanager with integrate content
filter (BESS), and Groupwise 7. We have about 1300 workstations on
campus, about 3/4 Windows based and 1/4 Mac. For a variety of reasons,
over the next 2 months we will be assessing whether we stay with Novell
products or migrate to Microsoft products for our back office needs. A
few of the reasons for us even to contemplate this move:

1. We are in the midst of wireless network install and would like to
use 802.1x authentication on the wireless side. The only way to do this
using Novell products is to purchase the Funk Software Odyssey client
at a considerable cost. If we were Active Directory (AD) and not using
the Novell client, this would not be an issue.

2. Without purchasing a third party piece of software called Kanaka,
you cannot get a Mac to authenticate directly to eDirectory. The Mac
does have a built in plug-in for authentication against AD.

3. We have found it more difficult to find experienced network
engineers with Novell experience

4. Novell has no clear plans for one of the products we use -

5. Novell is moving towards all of their products running on a Linux
kernel. Nobody in my organization has any Linux background.

As part of this evaluation process, I will be talking with a variety of
people who have expertise in Novell and/or Microsoft products. I
thought a good place to start would be in these forums. If we do move
to Microsoft products it could be a partial move (file servers and
proxy server) or a complete move (include running Exchange instead of

Any information that will help us decide our direction would be much


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