NetWare 3.12: Detailed Information
NetWare 3.12 is a sophisticated, 32-bit network operating system (NOS) that
supports Windows, UNIX, OS/2, Mac OS, IBM SAA, and DOS environments.
You should consider purchasing NetWare 3.12 in the following circumstances:
In many cases, you can install a NetWare 3.12 network for thousands of dollars
less than a minicomputer or mainframe system and still get comparable processing
power, functionality, and reliability.
- You need multiclient support (Windows, UnixWare, UNIX, OS/2, Mac OS,
and DOS) for office automation applications.
- You need support for businesswide applications.
- You need a reliable NOS to guarantee the availability of key applications.
- You need a network solution for independent workgroups and departments
throughout your organization.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS is available in a number of user configurations, so
you can choose the user capacity you need and stay within your operating
- Operates as a 32-bit operating system, taking full advantage of 386,
486, and Pentium processors
- Supports large storage and memory capabilities
- Enables you to easily add new services by installing NetWare Loadable
- Enables connection to virtually any desktop, minicomputer, or mainframe
- Supports a variety of network hardware, including Ethernet, token-ring,
ARCnet, and other common network adapters
- Offers advanced network security
- Provides exceptional data protection and system reliability
- Includes complete backup services
- Provides powerful network management capabilities, including remote
- Provides resource management and accounting features
- Is compatible with thousands of third-party applications and services
- Supports an interface for IBM's NetView network management system
- Provides advanced print services
- Includes an improved menu system
- Installs easily with the CD-ROM install option
- Enables sharing of files, applications, printers, and other peripherals
in a multiuser environment
- Supports the Windows, UNIX, OS/2, Mac OS, and DOS operating systems
- Provides key-indexed record management capabilities through Btrieve
- Offers disk access and flexible disk support
- Offers In-Place and Over-the-Wire migration utilities for easier upgrades
- Interoperates with the NetWare 2 and NetWare 4 NOSs
- Provides a full-featured set of development tools
- Includes online documentation in English, French, German, Italian,
- Is available in 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, 100-, and 250-user versions
32-Bit High-Performance Operating System
Designed around the 32-bit 386, 486, and Pentium environments, the real-time
NetWare 3.12 NOS provides a foundation of speed and reliability.
NetWare 3.12 is a multitasking operating system that provides the high performance
necessary for network computing. NetWare 3.12 operates faster and more efficiently
than network operating systems that run on top of general-purpose operating
systems because it accesses the server's CPU directly. For even higher performance,
you can use Novell's 32-bit NE3200 and NE/2-32 network adapters to increase
your network's speed.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS's Universal File System provides a variety of features
that improve performance. It employs Turbo FATs on large files to substantially
improve the speed of disk reads. It also uses directory caching, file caching,
and directory hashing to decrease the time required to read and write information.
NetWare 3.12 uses a disk access technique called "elevator seeking"
to efficiently service multiple disk requests. This technique enables the
disk read/write head to pick up files in the direction in which the head
is traveling across the disk, increasing disk throughput and reducing wear
on disk components. Split seeks, in which data is read from the first available
hard disk regardless of whether it is the primary disk, are also implemented
automatically. Furthermore, the NetWare 3.12 NOS improves data access and
storage speeds by using data-scattering technology to spread data over multiple
Memory and Storage
The NetWare 3.12 NOS's disk process ensures that volumes are mounted quickly
and enables developers to create drivers for WORM, CD-ROM, and removable
media devices. The NetWare 3.12 NOS supports as many as 32TB (terabytes)
of free disk space and as many as 4GB of RAM.
NetWare 3.12's Universal File System easily handles large files and volumes,
enabling it to support the large database files usually associated with
minicomputers and mainframes. The maximum theoretical NetWare volume size
is 32TB; the maximum file size is 4GB.
NetWare Loadable Modules
All network services, server-based applications, and server utilities are
NLMs that you can load and unload at any time without bringing down the
server. NLMs are granted access to system functions through the C-Library
(CLIB), a development interface that enables both Novell and third-party
developers to create server-based application NLMs for the NetWare 3.12
Figure 1: The NetWare 3.12 NOS modular design
With NetWare 3.12, you can design a network with the computing resources
that best fit your organization's needs. You can provide connectivity to
local area network (LAN) clients as well as to other networks, host systems,
and remote and mobile users.
NetWare 3.12 lets you seamlessly integrate specialized computing platforms
such as UNIX, OS/2, OSI FTAM, Mac OS, IBM SAA, and DOS. Users on the network
can share files, application software, printers, and other network resources,
regardless of the desktop operating system they are using.
NetWare 3.12 serves Windows 3.x and DOS clients through either the NetWare
Client for DOS/Windows or the NetWare Client 32 for DOS/Windows. NetWare
3.12 supports Windows 95 clients through the NetWare Client 32 for Windows
95 and supports Windows NT clients through the NetWare Client for Windows
NT. OS/2 clients are supported through the NetWare Client for OS/2.
NetWare 3.12 also supports UNIX, OSI FTAM, and NFS clients through add-on
NLMs. With the AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP) add-on service, for example,
Macintosh computers can connect directly to the NetWare 3.12 server. The
NetWare UNIX Client gives UnixWare clients access to a NetWare 3.12 network.
UNIX workstations can connect to a NetWare 3.12 server through the NFS add-on
service. The OSI FTAM add-on service enables a wide variety of FTAM systems
to access a NetWare 3.12 network. The NetWare 3.12 NOS also supports as
many as five Macintosh clients at no extra cost.
The NetWare 3.12 file system supports multiple name spaces to accommodate
the file naming conventions of various desktop operating systems. The NetWare
3.12 NOS enables users on all supported workstation operating systems to
create files using familiar naming conventions.
Media Independence and Internetworking
NetWare 3.12 is media independent: It enables you to integrate different,
even incompatible, types of hardware within a single network.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS provides an internal router that enables a NetWare
server to connect as many as 16 different networks and make them appear
as one logical network. Because users see and use the various physical networks
as one large logical network, fault detection is easier. And, it is not
necessary for all subnetworks to use the same media or topology.
You can also run optional routing services outside the server by using a
workstation as an external router. You can connect as many as 16 subnetworks
to the external router using the same or different media and topology.
Because NetWare 3.12 supports multiple internal and external routers, users
on any connected subnetwork can access servers on any other connected subnetwork.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS includes a source-routing NLM that enables NetWare
IPX packets created by a NetWare network to be routed through IBM source-routing
NetWare internal router
NetWare 3.12 operates with numerous protocols, including AppleTalk, IPX/SPX,
OSI TP4, SNA, and TCP/IP. Through its Protocol Engine, the NetWare 3.12
NOS enables you to provide a wide range of client communications by allowing
multiple protocol stacks to operate concurrently.
NetWare external router
NetWare 3.12 provides overlapping layers of security to protect your data
and network resources. You control access to network resources through user
accounts, passwords, trustee rights, file rights, and directory rights.
In addition, NetWare 3.12 confirms a user's identification and checks his
or her authorization before granting requests for services or data.
You can make NetWare security as simple or as complex as your business requires.
You can limit users to operating within specific files, within designated
directories, at a particular workstation, or during specific hours of the
day. You can require users to periodically change their passwords, and you
can use the intruder detection and lockout features to specify the number
of incorrect login attempts allowed before the system locks a user out.
In addition to encrypting passwords at the server, the NetWare 3.12 NOS
encrypts user passwords on the cable as they are transferred to the server,
preventing intruders from using unauthorized cable taps to discover passwords.
To further increase network security, NetWare 3.12 enables the signing of
NetWare Core Protocol sessions between the server and a client workstation.
This diminishes the possibility of unauthorized users gaining access to
secure network resources.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS has built-in system reliability features that safeguard
it against network hardware failure. Because these fault tolerance features
are built into the operating system, NetWare 3.12 delivers fault tolerance
without sacrificing performance.
Two of NetWare 3.12's most basic reliability features are read-after-write
verification and Hot Fix. Every time data is written to the network disk,
NetWare 3.12 automatically performs read-after-write verification, which
guarantees that data is readable at the time it is written. NetWare 3.12's
Hot Fix feature finds faulty areas of the disk, lists them in a "Bad
Block" table, and then relocates data to a usable area--without affecting
normal network operation.
NetWare 3.12's disk-mirroring feature protects your system against data
loss caused by defective hard disks. The NetWare 3.12 NOS duplicates the
entire physical volume on a second hard disk or disk set on the same channel.
It also verifies writes on both volume copies. If an original disk fails,
the duplicate takes over automatically, without loss of data. The NetWare
3.12 NOS supports as many as eight mirrored disks.
NetWare 3.12's disk-duplexing feature protects against data loss caused
not only by defective hard disks, but also by disk controllers, interfaces,
and power supplies. In disk duplexing, all data on one hard disk is duplicated
on a second hard disk on a separate channel. This feature automatically
detects, corrects, and logs controller and disk channel faults. If any component
in a disk channel fails, the redundant channel takes over automatically.
NetWare 3.12 uses a Transaction Tracking System (TTS) to protect multiuser
application files from being contaminated by incomplete transactions. For
TTS files, the NetWare 3.12 NOS views operations as transactions that will
be either wholly completed or wholly abandoned. If a system failure occurs
during an incomplete transaction, NetWare 3.12 will back out of the transaction
and leave the file as it was before the transaction began. The NetWare 3.12
NOS enables TTS to operate either implicitly or explicitly.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS also monitors an optional uninterruptible power supply
attached to the server so that if a power failure occurs, the network is
shut down automatically and safely.
Backup and Restore Services
NetWare 3.12's SBACKUP utility enables you to back up and restore all network
data. This NLM lets you perform backups on any network server, eliminating
the need to perform this task from a DOS workstation. SBACKUP also provides
backup for multiple name spaces, such as those used by Mac OS, as well as
for administrative information. The NetWare 3.12 NOS also supports a variety
of third-party backup and archiving solutions.
Powerful Network Management Capabilities
The NetWare 3.12 NOS includes several powerful management utilities that
simplify the job of installing, updating, and managing your network. In
most cases, you can manage network resources from a centralized location.
Remote Management Facility
With NetWare 3.12's Remote Management Facility, you can save time and money
by managing remote servers from your own workstation. You can install, upgrade,
and maintain the operating system and configure network services remotely.
Over either a network connection or a telephone line, you can load and unload
network services; mount, dismount, or expand volumes; or execute any console
command without ever having to bring down a server.
Workgroup Manager Capability
The NetWare 3.12 NOS includes a workgroup manager capability that enables
you to delegate the tasks involved in managing a subset of users. A workgroup
manager is responsible for a defined subset of users, typically those within
a particular department or group. He or she can create users, set passwords,
assign disk space, and grant rights to a group of users.
Automated Workstation Software Update Utility
The NetWare 3.12 NOS contains the WSUPDATE utility, which makes it easy
for you to update workstation software from a central location. WSUPDATE
enables you to update NetWare workstation programs on all Windows and DOS
workstations automatically, without physically going to each workstation.
You can call the program in the system login script and set it to run as
often as necessary.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS's resource management features enable you to check
the status of each NLM running on the server and to determine which network
resources the NLM is using. With the MONITOR utility, you can track an NLM's
use of memory pools, screens, processes, and semaphores. The NetWare 3.12
NOS monitors more than 150 server resources in real time. This helps developers
identify and manage the resources their NLMs use and thus create reliable
NetWare 3.12 ensures that NLMs run reliably. When you unload an NLM, for
example, the operating system returns all resources used by that NLM to
the pool of available resources. The operating system also performs consistency
checking on all NLMs to protect against NLMs that hoard resources.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS's accounting features enable you to charge for the
use of network resources. You can base charges on connection time, blocks
read from or written to disk, free disk space used, or the number of requests
made by a workstation. You can vary rates according to the time of day or
the day of the week. You can also assign credit limits and have the system
log out users who have exceeded their limits.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS also provides dynamic resource configuration, automatically
calculating the internal system resources needed for optimum performance.
Open Development Platform
NetWare 3.12's open development platform enables developers to create NLMs
optimized to run in the NetWare environment, ensuring that you will have
a wide range of server-based applications from which to choose. Novell provides
developers with tools and application programming interfaces (APIs) that
make NLM development easier. NetWare 3.12 includes CLIB, a set of APIs that
developers need to create NLMs.
Support for NetView
NetWare 3.12 includes the NetWare Management Agent (NMA) for NetView, an
NLM that supports an interface from the NetWare server to IBM's NetView
network management system. Both NetWare 3 and NetWare 4 servers can use
NMA for NetView to more fully participate in an IBM host networking environment.
NMA for NetView forwards information about events on the server to the NetView
manager. You can use the NetView run command interface on the NetView console
to automate the management of NetWare servers from NetView. Commands supported
include the loading and unloading of NLM software, directory management,
and volume management. You can connect a NetWare server running NMA for
NetView to a host system using a direct token-ring connection or through
a server that runs NetWare for SAA.
Advanced Print Services
The NetWare 3.12 NOS includes NetWare Print Server, an application that
enables you to run multiple print servers on a single network and allow
users to share as many as 16 printers.
You can attach printers through parallel (LPT1-LPT3) or serial (COM1-COM4)
ports or directly to the network. Network printers may be attached to virtually
any node on the network, including a network server, an external router,
a dedicated DOS-based print server, or any DOS-based user workstation. You
can install multiple print servers on a network or internetwork. Users and
printers can be located on different floors within the same building and
receive service from a single NetWare Print Server.
The NetWare 3.12 Print Server includes flexible print queue management;
you can configure it to have multiple printers serviced by one queue, one
printer serviced by multiple queues, or an individual printer serviced by
its own queue. Furthermore, you can set the print server configuration so
that print jobs are serviced according to specified priorities. For example,
the print server can service jobs according to queue priority, mounted form
priority, or job position in the queue.
The NetWare 3.12 Print Server includes user alert and user notification
capabilities. For example, you can configure it to inform users when print
jobs are completed or to notify print operators that the printer needs paper,
needs different forms, or is offline.
Improved Menu System
The NetWare 3.12 NOS includes the NMENU utility, which requires less memory
than the MENU utility available in previous versions of NetWare. If you
are upgrading to the NetWare 3.12 NOS, NMENU will easily convert menus created
The NetWare 3.12 NOS's CD-ROM install option makes installation fast and
easy. You simply load the CD-ROM and type answers to a few preliminary questions.
The CD-ROM then automatically installs your NetWare 3.12 system.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS can serve as the platform for many of the network services
Novell offers. For example, you can use NetWare 3.12 as a network operating
system for many of Novell's connectivity products, which help provide network
access to users regardless of their location or computing environment.
In addition, you can use NetWare 3.12 as the platform for GroupWise, Novell's
messaging solution, and ManageWise, Novell's network management solution.
GroupWise is a fully integrated messaging system that provides E-mail, personal
calendaring, group scheduling, serial routing, task management, rules-based
message management, and workflow routing. By adding GroupWise to your NetWare
3.12 network, you can provide users with the tools they need to communicate
effectively with each other.
Sold separately from NetWare 3.12, ManageWise 2.1 is a comprehensive, integrated
management solution. With ManageWise, you can easily manage NetWare 3.12
servers, analyze network traffic, automate network inventory, remotely control
and manage users' desktops, administer network applications, and prevent
More memory may be required, depending on the number of users, the load
they put on the server, the number of NLMs loaded, and the size of the network
hard disks. (More than 70MB of free disk space requires additional memory.)
The dynamic resource configuration feature of the NetWare 3.12 NOS notifies
you when more memory will improve server performance.
- 386-based PC or above (ISA, EISA, or MCA)
- 6MB of RAM (minimum)
The type of network adapter used depends on the type of computer used as
a server or workstation. In 32-bit Micro Channel servers on Ethernet networks,
Novell recommends using the NE/2-32. The 32-bit bus of the NE/2-32 enables
you to gain the full performance potential of the NetWare 3.12 NOS by increasing
the amount of data that can be moved on and off the network and into server
memory. For EISA servers on Ethernet networks, Novell recommends the NE3200,
a 32-bit bus master adapter.
- CD-ROM drive or 3.5-inch diskette drive
- Network adapter
- Network cabling or other transmission medium
The NetWare 3.12 NOS supports a large variety of both Novell and third-party
LAN and disk adapters. For a complete list, contact your local Novell partner.
- 8086-based PC or above
- 68000-based Macintosh or above
- Network adapter
The NetWare 3.12 NOS includes all the software necessary to install and
operate the network server and to connect as many as 250 Windows, OS/2,
or DOS clients to the network, depending on the configuration you purchase.
NetWare 3.12 also includes software for connecting five Macintosh clients.
The NetWare 3.12 NOS supports the following client software:
- Windows 3.x, Windows NT, or Windows 95
- UnixWare Personal Edition 1.0 or above
- UnixWare Application Server 1.0 or above
UNIX NFS Clients
- All UNIX NFS
- NetWare NFS 1
- OS/2 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.0, or 2.1, Standard or Extended Editions
Mac OS Clients
- MS-DOS 2.x, 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, or 6.x, DR DOS 6.0, or Novell DOS 7
Many backup devices work with the NetWare 3.12 NOS. These subsystems are
produced by companies such as Archive, Cipher, Emerald, Gigatrend, Hewlett
Packard, IBM, Mountain, Maynard, Tandberg, Wang, and Wangtek. For a complete
list of backup devices, contact your Novell Authorized Partner.
Before buying the NetWare 3.12 NOS, you should carefully plan your NetWare
3.12 installation . This will help you determine which servers, workstations,
and network adapters will work best with your system and what level of fault
tolerance you will need.
* Maximums listed are individual limits. You may not be able to use these
specifications at maximum levels at all times, and you may have to purchase
additional equipment to achieve some maximums.
- Logical users supported: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 250
- Concurrent open files per server: 100,000
- Directory entries per volume: 2,097,152
- Logical drives per volume: 32
- Maximum disk storage capacity: 32TB*
- Maximum RAM: 4GB*
- Maximum file size: 4GB