In OES11SP1 we have made major changes in DSfW configuration during new server installation. The changes have impacted YaST configuration screens for new forest, new domain in existing forest, and new domain controller in existing domain.
Here is an overview of the changes that we made, the benefits they offer, and how they have changed the overall look.
Emphasis on DSfW parameters during Installation
While installing DSfW, emphasis should be on DSfW parameters since they are more fundamental to the installation than eDirectory parameters. This is not the case with previous installations. But with this simplified install, reordering of YaST screens will enable DSfW parameters to be configured before eDirectory parameters. The DSfW parameters include domain type of the server, domain name and netBIOS name. eDirectory parameters include eDirectory tree name, nmas and slp parameters, etc.
Moreover, even among DSfW parameters, emphasis will be on primary parameter "Server Type" (new forest, new domain, or new controller), as this is the most important consideration while installing DSfW server.
Reducing the number of data entry points
Previously while installing DSfW server as "new domain" or "additional domain controller", there are many screens which require parameters like "forest root domain" and "parent domain". But "parent domain" can easily be inferred from the current domain name. Also, using ldap and dns search queries we can infer "Existing Tree Name" and "forest root domain" for these installations. Plus we can minimize user confusion and clicks by having only "Existing Tree" section instead of "New Or Existing" in these installations, since these installations always happen in "Existing Tree". In the nutshell, current installation takes more time for configuration than necessary, because of redundant data entry points.
Prepopulation of such parameters in "new domain" and "additional domain controller" installations will lead to lesser data-entry points. Also, setting the cursor to the first empty block will lead to lesser number of clicks.
Based on the experience so far, for many customers it's sufficient that in screens like slp, nmas, DNS and common proxy settings, defaults are selected. We can optimize YaST installation for these customers by providing a set of configuration screens that DON'T DISPLAY such non-DSfW screens.
"Local server configuration" (which includes port specification), nmas, slp, dns and common proxy user specification screens have been eliminated and corresponding defaults set automatically in "Express Install".
By selecting the "Express Install" checkbox in the first screen, the Administrator can fast-track DSfW installation. Overall, number of screens are reduced by 4 from oes11 for "Express install". We remove 5 non-dsfw screens, and add one screen. Actually this too is because of splitting of an existing screen. The additional screen is created when we split "netbios and domain configuration" from the "domain type" screen. It is done to remove the complexity on this screen since it displays important parameters, and therefore enable better user focus.
However, please note that the "Express Install" option is recommended only for default configurations. Since it assigns default configuration parameters, so using Express Install you cannot customize configuration parameters for components such as DNS. To customize the configuration, you must deselect the 'Express Install' option.
(The default configuration for components such as DNS refers to objects being created in the container ou=OESSystemObjects inside the domain container in eDirectory tree).
Here are the key screenshots that appear in the new YaST Configuration:
- Now the first screen is DSfW centric, and we can specify the server type initially itself. It also has the "Express Install" check box, if the Administrator has to fast-track DSfW installation.
- The "New Domain in a Domain Services for Windows forest" (sub domain) and "New Domain Controller in an Existing Domain Services For Windows Domain" (additional domain controller) have "Existing Tree" option only, and that too is now pre-populated.
- Here are other screens for sub-domain and additional domain controller that are pre-populated. Pre-populated Parameters include Existing eDirectory server IP, forest root domain, parent domain, and parent domain IP.
- Existing Tree screen for "sub domain" and "additional domain controller" with "Existing eDirectory server IP" pre-populated.
- Domain Context screen for "sub domain". Both "forest root domain name" and "parent domain name" are now pre-populated.
- Parent domain specification screen for "sub domain". Parent domain IP Address is now pre-populated
- Domain specification screen for "additional domain controller". Here "forest root domain" is now pre-populated.
- The details of screen sequence in OES11SP1 can be viewed here: http://www.novell.com/documentation/oes11/acc_dsfw_lx/?page=/documentation/oes11/acc_dsfw_lx/data/b11i67vh.html
- For comparison, here is the link to screen sequence in the previous release documents: http://www.novell.com/documentation/oes11/pdfdoc/oes11all.zip
(Installation screenshots can be viewed in chapter 6 of the document acc_dsfw_lx/acc_dsfw_lx.pdf)
Disclaimer: As with everything else at Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by Novell (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).
It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.