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Novell heads to the Border

Novell ships its BorderManager suite of network-based services for the Internet and intranets.

Novell (NOVL) today shipped its BorderManager suite of network-based services for the Internet and intranets.

As previously reported May 19 by CNET's NEWS.COM, Border Manager includes firewall protection, VPN (virtual private network) features, proxy caching, and content filtering, as well as routing services.

The tool set, previously known as Border Services, debuted at Novell's annual BrainShare '97 user conference earlier this year.

As Microsoft prepares to make an aggressive advance on the market for enterprise networks that span hundreds or even thousands of locations, Novell is trying to redirect the attention of Fortune 500 companies back to its own plans to deliver technology to high-end networks.

With BorderManager, the company says it will provide a service not available from anyone else.

Indeed, other companies, such as firewall vendors or security software makers, provide specific components of BorderManager's functionality, but no one has offered a similar suite of combined tools. Most industry observers believe Novell is currently ahead of the pack, but will soon be joined by a number of competitors.

Novell still retains a lead in the market for network operating systems, according to 1996 numbers from market research firm International Data Corporation. But the company--once undisputed king of the LAN--is increasingly on the defensive against Microsoft's Windows NT. Novell long relied on the dominance of its NetWare flagship, but in an industry where the LAN is giving way to the intranet, it is under pressure to come up with a new concept.

BorderManager pricing starts at $2,495, and climbs based on a concurrent user pricing model. Upgrades are available for Novell customers who recently introduced version of the company's Multiprotocol Router and NetWare Connect products.