Desktop managment software from Novell. Used to deploy applications and manage workstation profiles from a central location via integration with Novell Directory Services. Automates various redundant administrative activities, which saves bundles of time and energy. Short for Zero Effort Networks for users.

ZENworks is my motor.

ZENworks is the name for at least 3 different Novell products. The Above is now called ZEN for Desktops, and is joined by ZEN for Servers and ZEN for Networks. ZfS is a product that does what ZfD does, but for servers, and ZfN is the same, but for your Cisco, Nortel, Lucent or whatever networking gear.

Eric Schmidt, when he took over Novell, said he wanted 10 ZENs within a year. They didn't quite make it, but they have lots of other killer apps for NDS.

Novell ZenWorks for Desktops is currently version 4, and has improved incredibly. Can't say how relieved I was to hear that they finally got rid of the need to have the Novell Client installed. Now you can simply install a small ZenWorks agent on a laptop, and it takes care of anything regarding policies, NAL (Novell Application Launcher) distributions, Remote Control. You can even do remote control over the Internet now - the client doesn't even have to be authenticated to eDirectory anymore to do a remote control. You only need the IP address of the client you want to remote control, and the same passphrase as the host has. I know, the speed of the screen updates have never been anything to write home to grandma about (in fact, with version 3.2 it would sometimes be faster to ask your granny to snailmail you a photograph of her monitor rather than remote controlling her PC to see what was going on).

So, what else is cool? Oh yeah, what do I do if I'm on the road with my laptop and need to install a killer app? The System Administrator in the main office didn't remember to set the NAL object to "force cache" (to bring the installation set with me for installing it offline, doing automatic repairs, or "self healing" applications as Novell calls it). Doesn't matter. As long as I am connected to the Internet and given the application is made available from the office on an unsecure noetwork connection, I can start downloading and installing it from anywhere, on any connection speed. The ZenWorks agent will detect the connection speed and kindly notify me that the application is availible, but since it's 10MB large, and all I have is a GSM 9600bps line it would take some time. No worries, I can disconnect anytime I'd like, and when reconnecting, the download will resume. How cool is that?

So what do I do if I want to access files on a Netware Volume, but don't have the Novell Client installed? Well, Native File Access Pack would be a fairly OK alternative I believe. Installing it on a Netware server (Netware 5.1 SP3 or higher) enables you to access any volumes on the server from a MAC, *NIX or Windows client, using different file protocols for each of them (Windows uses CIFS).

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