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cpu.gif (1373 bytes)Novell NetWare or Microsoft Windows NT ?

March 1999 - IDC (International Data Corporation) came out with a report title "Strategies for Windows NT in the Enterprise" available at I summarized the report here. For the details, please refer to the hyperlink.

IDC interviewed several organizations views on Windows NT, NetWare and UNIX.

  Windows NT NetWare UNIX
major uses
  • departmental infrastructure server (file/print, messaging, communications)
  • file/print services, directory services, communications
  • transaction processing
  • database support
  • custom/technical applications
  • enterprise-scale packaged commercial applications
comment NOT an eneterprise server running mission-critical applications strength and reliability  

In smaller organizations or in business units within large organizations, NT may be the server operating environment of choice, often surrounded by Windows NT or Windows 95 client machines.

IDC recommends that management understand its organization's basic business requirements before selecting either a system or an operating environment for that system. It is best to select the application portfolio first and then to select the database and development tools. Once selections have been made in these categories, IT management can evaluate performance characteristics of those applications on various test-bed platforms in order to determine which operating environment is the best fit.

Why are the OS selected:

Windows NT NetWare UNIX
  • used by organizations of all sizes and in all markets.
  • Windows NT has been assigned "business-critical" functions NOT "mission-critical".
  • Windows NT has been selected mostly by the business unit management (easier and lower costs) NOT the IT organization (best technical fit).
  • chosen because of Microsoft's marketing strategy
  • best solution for basic infrastructure support
  • chosen because of existing expertise
  • chosen because they have experience using this software
  • Unix suppliers have made their products robust, reliable, manageable, scalable, and highly interoperable.

Strength and Weakness:

  Windows NT NetWare UNIX
  • support Windows clients
  • support complex Windows applications
  • Windows NT Workstation for security
  • high performance file and print server
  • NDS
  • medium to high-end business processing (online transaction processing)
  • medium to large databases
  • custom applications
  • availability on every type of system (Alpha, Intel, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC)
  • medium to high-end business processing
  • medium to large databases
  • large users
  • large-scale, server-centric applications or database software
  • users using Windows desktops
  • has expertise with only Windows