A Basic Comparison
Between Apple UNIX Xserve Servers
and Novell Netware Servers

Services OS X Server 10.2 Netware 6
File Services via IP
Mac Clients (AFP) Yes Yes
Mac Clients via SSL (AFP) Yes No
UNIX/LINUX Clients (NFS) Yes Yes
NFS Reshare to AFP Yes No
Windows Clients (SMB/CIFS) Yes Yes
Universal Clients (FTP) Yes Yes
Univeral via Web (WebDAV) Yes Yes - Web Access & iFolder
Number of connections Dependent on Server HW Dependent on Server HW
Web Server Apache 1.3 & 2.0; SSL support;
WebObjects Deployment, J2SE,
Ruby, SOAP, etc.
Tomcat 3.3, Apache 1.3, or Netscape Enterprise; SSL support
Directory Services Yes - LDAPv2, LDAPv3, NetInfo, Password Server, Kerberos v5 support Yes - eDirectory (LDAP) or NDS
Client & Lab Management Yes -Both OS 9 & OS X clients Optional purchase of ZenWorks
WorkGroup Manager (OS X) Yes No
Macintosh Manager (OS 9) Yes No
Netboot for OS 9 Yes No
Netboot for OS X Yes No
NetInstall (Remote client OS Install) Yes No
CLI Apple System Restore Yes No
Novell or Windows Client Mgmt No (Can integrate with other Directory Services like Windows Active Directory - LDAPv3) Yes
Email Services
Email Engine SendMail, Apple Mail Optional Purchase of Groupwise
IMAP Yes Yes
WebMail Yes Yes
Calendaring No (3rd Party Optional) Yes
Video Streaming Server
Video on Demand (Stored) Yes No
Streaming Yes No
Live Event Streaming Yes No
Network Services
Firewall Yes Yes
DNS Yes Yes
Printer Services
over IP Yes - LPR Yes - iPrint
over AppleTalk Yes - PAP Unsure
Distributed Print Queues Yes Yes
UNIX Support (CUPS) Yes No
Database Services
SQL ? MySQL, OpenBase Pervasive SQL
Oracle Yes - 9i No Oracle Support
PHP Yes Yes
WebObjects Yes No
Reliability & Technical
Failover Features Yes - IP Failover (many nodes) Yes - Cluster (2 nodes)
Memory Protection Yes - Part of OS X Yes
Virtual Memory Yes - Part of OS X Yes
Multitasking & MultiThreaded Yes - Part of OS X Unsure
MultiProcessor Aware Yes Yes
Multiple NICs Yes Yes
Scalable (Parent/Child Relations) Yes Yes
Journaling Format Yes Yes
GUI Install & Applications Yes Yes
Command Line Interface Yes Yes
Remote Administration Yes - Secure GUI Application or
Command Line Interface options.
Yes - Webbased
Remote Installation Yes Unsure
SNMP Support Yes Yes
Professional Training Yes Yes
Approximate Costs*
Typical Basic Hardware Apple (rack): 1 GHz G4
256MB RAM 60 GB HD, CD
Dell (rack) PowerEdge 2650 2 GHz P4
256 MB RAM 73 GB HD, CD
Hardware Cost $3,000 $3,000
License Unlimited Number of Users
or CPU connections
Per Novell Directory Services User or CPU
(e.g each user or CPU in the directory)
License Cost $400 $2/student or $30/CPU or $1000 per 100 clients
Basic Support 24/7: 15 minute response
to email and phone calls
Basic Support Cost Free for K12 institutions Dell: Included; Novell: $350
Premium Support 4 hour onsite response Dell Silver: 4 hr onsite+
Novell: 4 hr onsite?
Premium Support Cost $760 for 3 Year Plan
(includes hardware and software)
Dell: $630 for 3 Year Plan
Novell: $2,000

Note: highlighted items would be advantages to most users.

The purpose of this chart is to provide reasonably objective information about these two options.
The data here is not guaranteed to be accurate, but was gathered from a variety of sources believed to be reliable.

For more information, see: Apple X-Serve, Dell Servers, and Novell Netware.

The comparison above assumes that the end user of the Novell network does NOT use the Prosoft client,
        and only Novell’s Native File Access. (If they did use Prosoft, a sizeable extra cost
        would have to be added to the cost section on Novell’s side [e.g. 50 users = $5,750].)

*Pricing these items gets amazingly complex. One might even conclude that there is deliberate obfuscation here
            to prevent non-geeks from clearly understanding the options...
These prices are for a K-12 institution. Business costs are calculated differently.

If you have any constructive comments about or suggestions for this page, please email John.