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Kayak rows over to small biz

Seeking to regain the attention of small businesses, Novell will offer next year an easy-to-use version of IntranetWare for small networks, designed to take much of the complexity out of the enterprise-targeted bundle.

Seeking to regain the attention of small businesses, Novell (NOVL) will next year offer an easy-to-use version of IntranetWare for small networks, designed to take much of the complexity out of the enterprise-targeted bundle.

Code-named Kayak, the small business version of IntranetWare will include several features specifically focused on the LAN (local area network) and businesses with less than 100 employees.

According to Anthony Antonuccio, Novell's vice president of marketing for its small business unit, the latest versions of NetWare, 3.x and 4.x, focused on providing users major advances in its Novell Directory Services (NDS). Directory services keep track of individual user accounts so that network administrators can project traffic, distribute software, manage passwords, and a thousand other network administration chores. While directory services are of critical importance to large companies, they are only of peripheral interest to small businesses that don't necessarily hire full-time IS professionals.

"It's become very apparent we needed to focus on small businesses," Antonuccio said. "It's where we came from; it's where our roots are."

Due in the first quarter of 1997, Kayak includes the code base of NetWare 4.11, known as Green River, as well as enhancements intended specifically for small business.

Components of Kayak include:

-- A new administration tool called Novell Easy Administration Tool (NEAT), a utility that is essentially an easier-to-use version of the network administration tool included in IntranetWare. NEAT lets a small business install a version Kayak on a server in less than 30 minutes, according to Antonuccio. It includes installation, and configuration help tools, and a walk-through approach through the process.

-- A version of NDS that includes every feature of the industrial strength product, including replication capabilities, but gives the small business only one directory tree to work with so that administering the LAN is simpler.

-- Kayak does not include the extensive wide area networking connectivity features of the full-blown NetWare. Instead, Kayak uses NetWare Connect as a communications gateway for remote dial-in capabilities and agents for remote administration.

--Kayak, like IntranetWare, will also include Netscape Communications' Navigator browser.

Pricing also caters to the small business. Unlike IntranetWare, which offers group licenses of 50 or 100 users, for example, Kayak will be priced on a per node basis. If a company adds a PC, they can also buy a single additional license for Kayak. Specific pricing will be announced when the product is launched next year.