Since the release of NetWare 4 in the early 1990s, Novell has been working toward a consolidated management interface from which all administrative tasks can be performed. In that time, the primary issue hampering this effort has been how to deliver that management interface.
From NWAdmin and ConsoleOne
The first version of a centralized management interface was NWAdmin. NWAdmin was a Windows-based utility that delivered a graphical interface that allowed administrators to see the whole network from a directory-centric perspective rather than a server-centric perspective. It relied on the Novell client to provide network communications and access. NWAdmin also defined the standard look and feel for graphical management utilities that is still largely adhered to today.
NWAdmin supported an extendable plug-in architecture so new functionality could be added as necessary to manage new features and new products. This was accomplished through Windows-based programming techniques common at the time.
However, NWAdmin ran only on Windows and used a proprietary architecture. Rather than try to support multiple versions of NWAdmin, Novell moved toward a more open and standards-based management architecture based on Java programming techniques. Java promised the capability to "write once, run anywhere ," which was critical to Novell's management plans.
In 1998, with the release of NetWare 5, Novell introduces its second-generation administrative utility known as ConsoleOne. Similar to NWAdmin, ConsoleOne is an extendable management architecture that supports snap-ins to extend its capabilities. Its Java-based design allows it to run on both workstations and the NetWare server itself, providing the first-ever graphical server console. However, it still required some type of Novell client support for network communications and access. In the years since its release, ConsoleOne has achieved respectable performance, a major deficiency in its early versions, and still serves as the preferred tool for managing Novell and third-party products and services.
With the release of NetWare 6, Novell started making the final management interface transition necessary to support its One Net initiative by introducing a set of Web-based management tools. Just as ConsoleOne untied the management console from Windows, iManager is untying the management console from the Novell client. iManager promises a true platform-independent management interface that can be used from any workstation at any location to perform network management and maintenance of any kind.
NetWare 6.5 introduces a greatly enhanced set of tools in iManager, nearly equaling that available from ConsoleOne. However, because every feature is not yet available in iManager, you will need to be familiar with the capabilities of each management interface. This chapter provides an introduction to the primary Novell management utilities, from ConsoleOne to iManager. It provides requirements and installation information for each utility, as well as an overview of its features and capabilities.
First, the chapter presents ConsoleOne, which is still the most comprehensive management interface for NetWare 6.5. We show how ConsoleOne can be used for both local and remote server administration as well as full eDirectory management.
Next, a new generation of Web-based management tools is presented, starting with iManager and its closely related sister utilitiesNetWare Remote Manager (NoRM) and iMonitor. These browser-based utilities are close to eclipsing ConsoleOne for feature completeness and promise much more flexibility for network administrators looking to get their jobs done from any place at any time.