I cut my teeth on NetWare 3.1x servers oh so many years ago. So this announcement is bitter-sweet
Novell's long journey from NetWare to Linux is finally complete. On Oct. 8, Novell released Open Enterprise Server 2 to its customers worldwide. Shortly after acquiring SUSE and its enterprise-focused Linux distribution, Novell announced that its follow-on to NetWare 6.5 would ship as a set of network services that could run atop the NetWare and the Linux kernel, OES 1.0. OES, which began shipping in April 2005, was the first major step in Novell moving NetWare's services from its native operating system to Linux. Now, with OES 2.0, the NetWare operating system kernel, NetWare 6.5 SP7, is still there if you run it, but it runs on top of the Xen hypervisor. You can also run the NetWare services, or a para-virtualized instance of NetWare, on top of Xen with the SLES 10 SP 1 kernel. So, if you're wedded to NetWare and its way of doing things, you don't have to wave good-bye to it.
I have felt that NetWare needed a fork stuck in it for quite a few years now. I moved away from using it day to day about 4 or 5 years ago. Don't get me wrong, I administer 10 or 12 NetWare 6.5 servers, however I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to do anything with them this year, other the change users passwords and reload the backup program.
I guess that was one of the nice things about NetWare. It just ran. It was the best file and print server at the time, bar none. However, now I would prefer to run a CUPS server and Netatalk/Samba for my print and file services. Really, the only thing that I miss is the file system rights and IRF's. Their rights system was clean, easy, and very very powerful. Not a combination that one sees often.