Lotus officially confirmed last week that it would drop support for Netware on Domino, while adding support for Linux.
The move reflects the feelings of many users that Netware is increasingly irrelevant to Notes installations.
Running Domino on a dedicated Netware server is the only way to get it to run smoothly, according to George MacDonald, technical specialist at global IT consultancy Bond Technologies.
"NetWare is the worst platform for Notes," he said. "It's very memory consuming, unstable, and needs a dedicated server. NT does file and print better than Netware does app serving."
Simon Moores, chairman of the Lotus User Group, said that interest in Netware as an application server platform for Notes has almost entirely disappeared.
"Netware, from a Notes admin's point of view, has become a non-issue," said Moores.
But Derek Venter, Novell's marketing development manager, claimed that Lotus would change its mind, as Netware is doing better than NT.
"At the time of the decision to drop Netware [almost two years ago], Lotus was under pressure to cut costs," he argued. "But IDC's recent server operating environment report shows NT sales growing by only 10 per cent compared to Netware's 34 per cent. Netware and NDS are important in a Notes environment. It would cost you substantially more to do it with NT."
Jim Moffit, Lotus product marketing manager, agreed that Notes works well on a Netware network, but said that running it on a Netware server is not what customers wanted. Moffat argued that Linux is more appropriate as a Domino platform.
"Netware is the old story, Linux the new," he said. "As far as platforms go we're agnostic, [but] Netware is the least performing."
Moores added: "There is a rise in interest in Linux among Exchange and NT users. As a person who runs both Exchange and Notes User Groups, the growth in interest in Linux is remarkable."
Robin Bloor, chief executive of Bloor Research, agreed. "NT has virtually destroyed Netware as an application server. Now Linux is eating into NT's app server market in a similar way," he said.
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