Novell’s Australian Information Services and Technology (IS&T) team has developed Novell Nterprise Branch Office — a “soft appliance” that lets organisations provide complete network services to their branch offices. The soft appliance is a hybrid of hardware in software format. It was conceived and developed by Novell’s technical services manager for Asia Pacific, Paul Voulas, and Novell teamed with channel partner, Rescue Technology, to test the new product. The soft appliance works with new or existing compatible hardware, plugging directly into the existing network to give branch offices instant access to file storage, printing resources and automatically backup. Nterprise Branch Office operates securely across the high-speed Internet, eliminating the need for wide area network (WAN) links and virtual private network (VPN) connections. It maintains a separate, cached directory of local users so the entire corporate directory doesn’t need to span the network, saving on bandwidth and management costs. Nterprise Branch Office will be sold as part of Novell Nterprise and is free to customers with NetWare maintenance or upgrade protection. Discounts on NetWare and upgrade protection are currently available for qualifying customers.