The demonstration will include an I2O Operating System Specific Module (OSM) running on top of IntranetWare. The module will be available for developers in the second quarter of next year.
The I2O OSM will let developers write to only one version of a device driver for multiple operating systems. Usually, each operating system platform contains its own proprietary devices drivers, but with the new OSM, the time spent configuring drivers for multiple operating systems on a heterogenous network is minimized.
The I20 specification also extends to drivers contained in a multitude of devices, including hubs and routers. Members of I2O include 3Com, Compaq Computer, and Microsoft, among others, as well as Novell.
The I2O specification includes both hardware ingredients and a set of software programming interfaces that are essentially platform-neutral. The vision for the specification is this: Using a single architecture for drivers, developers won't have rewrite a set of interfaces for Microsoft Windows NT, IntranetWare, or a Unix flavor when a new networking technology such as ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) is adopted within an organization.
Novell also announced a partnership with Vinca, a high-availability clustering software provider. Under terms of the agreement, Vinca's StandbyServer software will be available through Novell resellers and later integrated into IntranetWare's installation program if a customer chooses to purchase the Vinca product. Vinca software is available now for NetWare.