This free lessons gives an overview of the Interoperability modules NWLink and Appletalk.

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NWLink Overview

Novell NetWare systems uses the IPX/SPX protocol to communicate. Microsoft has its own implementation of IPX/SPX known as NWLink. NWLink enables Microsoft machines to communicate with Novell machines. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 32Bit editions both ship with NWLink.

Although newer NetWare systems now use TCP/IP. IPX/SPX will need to be installed on the NetWare system and NWLink on the Microsoft system.

As well as installing NWLink, a gateway service will also need to be installed this enables the two operating systems to share and access resources. IPX/SPX uses the network interface card’s MAC address for communicating. Every network card has a unique address called the MAC address. No two network cards will ever have the same MAC address.

The AppleTalk Protocol

The AppleTalk protocol is required to provide interoperability with Macintosh computers, AppleTalk is provided with Windows 2003. AppleTalk is a routable protocol and a Windows 2003 Server can act as a router for the Macintosh machines. Once the protocol is installed, the File Server and Print Server services for Macintosh also need to be installed.

AppleTalk can’t be used on the internet.