Many businesses choose MetaFrame XP to provide anytime, anywhere access to existing applications. Many of today's applications and data still reside on Novell NetWare servers. The integration challenges of heterogeneous NetWare / Windows environments with MetaFrame XP environments are not new. These challenges have existed for a long time and will most likely continue to exist well into the future.
Fortunately, NetWare and Windows have been around much longer than MetaFrame XP, and so there are tried and true methods of integrating the two. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Why should you care about the method of integration?
Because there are several different ways to integrate your MetaFrame XP servers with your existing NetWare environment, it's important that you evaluate the available options and the advantages and disadvantages of each. This will allow you to make the design decision that is most appropriate for your environment.
If you don't think carefully about your method of NetWare integration, you could choose an option that doesn't fit your environment. Even worse, you might choose an option that costs you more money and doesn't fit your environment. As you're reading through the different options, keep in mind that your choice affects several areas of your environment, including:
- Additional components and software requirements.
- Flexibility of future servers.
- Users' ability to logon.
Some of the NetWare integration methods will "break" NetWare safeguards and user auditing that you have put in place. Others will cause NetWare user credentials to be cached in different areas. If having tight security is high on your priorities list, then you should be mindful of that as you evaluate different options.
Additional Software Requirements
Some of the NetWare integration methods require that you configure various third party software components, such as ZENworks, in order to use them. While these methods work well in environments where ZENworks is already deployed, it might not be practical to deploy ZENworks for the sole purpose of integrating MetaFrame XP users with NetWare.
Other integration methods require that you have Feature Release 1 or 2 installed on your MetaFrame XP servers. Similar to the ZENworks requirement, this is a nice perk of a Feature Release if you already have one deployed, but it may be cost-prohibitive to purchase a Feature Release for the sole purpose of integrating users with NetWare.
Future Server Flexibility
You need to think about not only your present options, but your future options as well. Some of the NetWare integration methods are "all of nothing," meaning that your servers can either access a NetWare environment or a Windows domain environment, but not both. This may meet your current requirements if you have a 100% NetWare infrastructure, but it could prevent you from expanding your MetaFrame XP server farm into Windows domain or Active Directory environments.
Ease of User Logon
In many cases, your users will need two user accounts-one for NetWare and one for Windows. Depending on the type of integration solution you choose, keeping these passwords synchronized can be easy or difficult, directly affecting the ease of the user logon process.
What are the NetWare integration options?
Given everything that the NetWare integration strategy can affect and everything that you need to consider, there are four options that you can use to allow users on your MetaFrame XP servers to access resources from Novell NetWare environments. These options include:
- Microsoft Gateway Services for NetWare
- Microsoft Client Services for NetWare
- Install Novell's NDS Client.
- MetaFrame XP Feature Release 1 or 2
Throughout the remainder of this chapter, we'll take a detailed look at each one of these options, including the advantages, disadvantages, and how each is configured.