As you might expect, the IPX/SPX protocol suite is fully supported by Novell NetWare, but it can also be used in a Microsoft Windows environment. Microsoft includes its own version of the IPX/SPX protocol, NWLink, which provides this interoperability. Using the NWLink protocol and the Microsoft Client for NetWare, Windows systems can connect to a NetWare server using IPX/SPX.
Because of the prevalence of TCP/IP, interoperability with the IPX/SPX protocol has become less important. For some time now, TCP/IP has been used as the default protocol on Novell networks. As far as Linux is concerned, there is a way to use the IPX/SPX protocol on a Linux system, but TCP/IP is the protocol of choice there too.
Unlike TCP/IP, which is discussed later, there are few issues with IPX/SPX naming because servers are normally the only parts of a network that are assigned names. These names, which are sometimes referred to as addresses, can be up to 47 characters (in current versions of NetWare). Workstations do not need such names and instead just use IPX addresses.
NetBEUI was once a popular protocol for smaller networks. It is fast and easy to configure but has one significant drawback in that it is not routable. This one fact limits NetBEUI to a single network segment far too restrictive for the majority of today's networking environments.
In terms of addressing, NetBEUI is perhaps the simplest of all the protocols discussed here. For this reason, it is still sometimes used on very small simple networks such as those found in a home or on very small business networks. Computers on a NetBEUI network are identified by NetBIOS names. The NetBIOS name can be no longer than 15 characters and must be unique to the network. Using the 15 characters, you can assign the computers descriptive names such as workstation, student1, or secretary2.
Interoperability with NetBEUI
The discussion on interoperability with NetBEUI is a short one; it is used on Windows platforms exclusively.