Novell ZENworks: Wikis


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Novell ZENworks
Developer(s) Novell
Stable release 10.2 / 2009-06-16; 6 months ago
Operating system Cross-platform
Type Systems management
License Proprietary

Novell ZENworks, a suite of software products developed and maintained by Novell, Inc. for computer systems management, aims to manage the entire life cycle of servers, of desktop PCs (both Windows-based and Linux-based), of laptops, and of handheld devices (such as PDAs). ZENworks supports multiple server platforms and multiple directory services.



Novell originally based ZENworks on portions of Intel's LANdesk Manager product, which Novell had licensed from Intel. After directory-enabling the software, Novell renamed the package NAL (Novell Application Launcher). The success of NAL led to considerable growth in its functionality, and marketers renamed the product "ZENworks" (for "Zero Effort Networks").[1] The "Novell Application Launcher" service and executable program-names with the NAL- prefix persist within the package.

NAL was conceived in 1994 by Damon Janis, a Senior Software Engineer at Novell. The original concept was to use the NetWare Directory as a central repository for user objects. A prototype was created named UserNet which was presented at the Novell Brainshare conference in 1994.

Soon after, in a conversation with a Novell Sales Engineer, the idea of expanding UserNet to include application objects was born. A team of software engineers (Damon Janis, Matt Brooks, and Calvin Gaisford) designed and developed the first production release of NAL which was subsequently released in late 1995. NAL was well received by the network administrator community and it's use and adoption quickly grew.

The new name first appeared with ZENworks 1.0, and with ZENworks Starter Pack (a limited version of ZENworks 1.0 that came bundled with NetWare 5.0). Novell added server-management functionality, and the product grew into a suite consisting of:

  • "ZENworks for Desktops" (ZfD)
  • "ZENworks for Servers" (ZfS)

Novell has continued to add components to the suite, which it sells under the consolidated name "ZENworks Suite".


The ZENworks suite comprises nine packages, available individually.

  • Desktop Management (or ZDM — for "ZENworks Desktop Management") allows administrators to install software on, configure, put a hard-disk image on, inventory and remotely troubleshoot Windows-based workstations and laptops from a central location, through use of policy-driven automation.
    • Software packages installed via Desktop Management can have self-healing features and can install themselves on demand.
    • Desktop Management also supports MSI packages and Group Policies, despite the common misconception that systems administrators need Microsoft Active Directory and a Windows server to gain the full benefit of these technologies.
    • The Application Explorer utility (nalview.exe) provides a Novell Application Launcher (NAL) view to link applications into Microsoft Windows desktop displays.
    • A Zenworks implementation on a desktop machine may include:
      • nalagent.exe
      • nalntsrv.exe (runs the NT service)
      • zenrem32.exe (allows remote users to manage a machine)
    • Desktop Management software can operate both inside and outside firewalls.
  • Personality Migration consists of a modified version of the DesktopDNA currently owned by Computer Associates. Administrators can use it to migrate documents and settings from one Windows-based computer to another, regardless of the version of Windows running on either machine.
  • Software Packaging comprises a special edition of Macrovision's AdminStudio software, which allows administrators to create MSI (installer) packages for distribution.
  • Data Management, a version of Novell's iFolder software, allows users to synchronise data in a specified local folder (an iFolder folder on a Windows workstation with iFolder client software installed) with an iFolder server. Users can access iFolder data on the server from within the local network and via the Internet using iFolder server web interface. (Novell significantly extended iFolder functionality in iFolder 3.0, adding support for Linux workstations and many other features.)
  • Patch Management provides automated patch management, allowing administrators to mitigate patch-related security threats by automating the collection, analysis, and delivery of patches throughout an enterprise network. Patch Management includes a subscription to the world's largest repository of fully automated patches spanning Windows and many Linux and Unix platforms. Patch deployment takes place rapidly and accurately with wizard-based tools and the ability to continuously monitor to ensure that computers stay patched over time.
  • Linux Management initially leveraged the Red Carpet software package (ZENworks Linux Management versions up to 6.6.2) which manages RPM packages installed on Linux workstations and servers. After a complete rewrite (version 7 and upwards), the tool extended its functionality from Software Management to Asset Management, Policy Enforcement, and System Imaging. As of 2008, Linux Management handles software installation, updates, and rollbacks with varying degrees of reliability. Novell provides updates with bug-fixes and security patches on RPMs distributed with its commercial ( SUSE) Linux products.
  • Server Management allows remotely-located administrators to update, configure and troubleshoot Windows, NetWare, and Linux servers through the use of policy-driven automation.
  • Handheld Management allows administrators to remotely update, configure, and inventory Palm, Windows CE, PocketPC and RIM BlackBerry devices.
  • Asset Management handles hardware and software inventories.

Systems supported and required


Managed platforms and devices

  • Desktop Management
    • Windows 7
    • Windows Vista
    • Windows XP
    • Windows 2000 Professional SP4
    • Windows 98 SE
  • Server Management
    • NetWare 5.1, NetWare 6 and NetWare 6.5
    • Novell Open Enterprise Server
    • Windows 2000, 2003, 2008
    • SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8, 9, 10, 11
    • Red Hat Server 2.1
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3 and 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3 and 4
    • Solaris 9
  • Linux Management
    • Novell Linux Desktop SP1, x86, x86_64 and x86_EM64T
    • Novell Open Enterprise Server, x86
    • SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 SP1 x86, x86_64 and x86_EM64T
    • SUSE LINUX Professional 9.3, x86, x86_64 and x86_EM64T
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.0 AS, ES, WS and x86
  • Handheld Management
    • Palm OS 3.5 and later on Palm devices
    • Windows CE 2.11 and later including Pocket PC devices
    • BlackBerry 850/857 devices using the DataTAC network and BlackBerry 950/957 devices using the Mobitex network
    • Synchronized devices, through a Windows 95 and later desktop, or via TCP/IP to the ZENworks Handheld Management server.

Management Server Platforms

  • Desktop Management
    • NetWare 6.5 SP1
    • NetWare 6 SP4
    • Windows 2000 Server SP4
    • Windows Server 2003
    • SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 SP1
  • Server Management
    • NetWare 5.1, NetWare 6 or NetWare 6.5
    • Windows 2000 Server or Windows Server 2003
    • SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 8 and 9
    • Red Hat Advanced Server 2.1 or Red Hat Enterprise Server 2.1
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS 3 and 4 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES 3 and 4
  • Linux Management
    • SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 9 SP1 x86
  • Handheld Management
    • Windows 2000 server or workstation
    • Windows Server 2003
  • Configuration Management
    • Windows 2000 Server
    • Windows 2003 Server
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1
    • Open Enterprise Server 2 (Linux)

Supported directory services

See also

Further reading

  • Dayley, Brad (2006). Novell ZENworks 7 Suite Administrator's Handbook. Novell Press. ISBN 978-0-672-32846-6.  
  • Tanner, Ron (2006). Novell ZENworks 7 Linux Management Administrator's Handbook. Novell Press. ISBN 978-0-672-32784-1.  
  • Dayley, Brad (2005). ZENworks 6.5 Suite Administrator's Handbook. Novell Press. ISBN 978-0-7897-3204-0.  
  • Dayley, Brad (2003). Novell ZENworks for Desktops 4 Administrator's Handbook. Novell Press. ISBN 978-0-7897-2985-9.  
  • Dayley, Brad (2003). Novell ZENworks for Servers 3 Administrator's Handbook. Novell Press. ISBN 978-0-7897-2986-6.  

External links


  1. ^ Anderson, Brad (1998-05-01). "An Introduction to ZENworks: Zero Effort Networking for Users". Novell Inc.. Retrieved 2009-03-30. "The name ZENworks is short for "Zero Effort Networks." The name is not intended to imply that Novell is able to eliminate the work and effort associated with deploying and maintaining a network on the administrative side (although ZENworks does significantly reduce the costs and complexities of maintaining networked PCs). Rather, the name ZENworks was chosen to suggest that network administrators can remove the obstacles and frustrations that prevent users from effortlessly accessing the resources on the network. Hence, zero effort is required from users."  


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