Updated: September 15, 2010

Applies To: Windows Server 2008 R2

Intended audience

This topic is intended for network managers and technical staff. You will learn about the principles and processes that are involved in deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 and the Active Directory® service in an existing NetWare environment. Additionally, the migration of NetWare accounts, user files, and Novell Directory Services (NDS) objects to Active Directory is discussed in detail.

This article assumes that the reader is familiar with both the Novell NetWare and the Windows Server 2008 R2 network operating systems. For links to in-depth information about Active Directory, NDS and Bindery, and other related topics, see the Related Links section at the end of this document.

Overview of Migrating from NetWare to Windows Server 2008 R2

When you introduce Windows Server 2008 R2 and Active Directory into an existing Novell network, you can facilitate directory management and improve data availability by establishing directory interoperability. In some cases, you want to immediately and quickly migrate your Novell NetWare Bindery or NDS to Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory. In other cases, you might find it more convenient and cost effective to introduce Active Directory while you continue to use your existing directory investment, including both directory-specific applications and the Novell directory, for a short period. In this case, you can first synchronize directories—that is, you can access and share information in both operating system directories and then migrate the entire network at another time.

To extend the built-in Windows Server 2008 R2 support for interoperability between Windows Server and NetWare, Microsoft developed Microsoft Directory Synchronization Services (MSDSS) and the Microsoft File Migration Utility. These utilities, both included with the Microsoft Services for NetWare product, make it possible for you to implement either of the MSDSS migration strategies outlined in this document. That is, either an immediate direct migration or a staged (also called a phased) migration. During the planning process, you can plan more effectively if you know which services can be easily migrated from a given NetWare environment to Windows Server 2008 R2 and if you know which tools you can use to perform a given migration task.


Services for NetWare contains two utilities: MSDSS and File Migration Utility. File and Print Services for NetWare is now provided in a separate executable.

You can choose to implement directory interoperability between Novell and Microsoft networks for long periods of time. However, this document focuses on migrating NetWare 4.x, 5.x, and 6.x networks to Windows Server 2008 R2 Active Directory as rapidly as is practical for your particular environment. Appendix A - NetWare 3.x Migration addresses issues specific to migrating NetWare 3.x servers.