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Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP 1 makes it easier than ever to upgrade to Linux

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Colored lights decorate trees and rooftops. Favorite carols sound as shoppers search for the perfect gift. Children get giddy with excitement as they anticipate their favorite holiday season. Tis the festive season of good cheer and giving. In that same spirit, Novell rolls out the first service pack for Novell Open Enterprise Server 2, which is all about gifting you with greater simplicity and interoperability.

In line with enabling greater simplicity, service pack 1 facilitates your migration efforts from NetWare to Linux. The two main ingredients to the migration simplicity provided in this release are a new unified graphical user interface (GUI) for migration tasks and the new server identity transfer feature.

Common GUI Framework

Last year, Novell Connection magazine explored how the GUI wizards and command line interface delivered greater control, flexibility and simplicity in transitioning from NetWare to Linux. (See The Wait is Over.) Service Pack 1 takes that simplicity a significant step further by delivering a common GUI framework that gives you a holistic view of the migration progress as you upgrade your individual services from a NetWare server to a Linux server.

Whether you’re migrating user data, file systems, eDirectory, AFP, CIFS, Archive and Versioning Services, DHCP, DNS, NTP, FTP, iFolder or iPrint, all these services integrate with the same GUI framework. You still have the flexibility to migrate on a service-by-service basis, but now each service migration can be launched and managed from within the same interface. Additionally, the solution still relies on the migration utilities’ command line interface, but they have been wrapped up into a unified GUI built upon a plug-in architecture.

The GUI has five main window panes to facilitate the upgrade process (See Figure 1.):

  • Project
  • Migration
  • Services to Migrate
  • Status
  • Whiteboard

From within the Project pane, you create new migration projects, save projects and open existing projects. It also lets you take advantage of the following common features for any service migrations from your NetWare servers to Linux:

  • Scheduler: You can schedule the date, time and duration of individual service migrations. You no longer have to manually start and stop a migration. Once you configure the migration, you simply schedule it and forget about it.
  • E-mail Notifications: From within the Project pane you can configure automatic e-mail notifications regarding the status of particular migration projects.
  • View Logs: Provides a common log for your upgrade process, eliminating the need to search through multiple logs to find out what happened during different service migrations. A log directory exists in the same folder as the migration project to record the progress of the overall migration. For example, the log file for a migration project called NewProj1 would be found at /var/opt/novell/migration/NewProj1/log/migration.log. Selecting View Logs in the Project pane will display a project’s log.
  • Project Summary: Provides a tree view of all the options configured for the services to be migrated.

The Migration pane displays information about the source server and the target server. From within this pane you also provide the necessary authentication information for the servers. In addition, this pane lets you indicate the type of migration scenario you want to use for the project, which can be either a consolidation or an ID transfer. This pane also lets you either start the migration of a configured service or to stop a running migration.

The Services to Migrate pane allows you to select the services you want to migrate and the sequence in which you want those service migrations to occur. From within this pane you also configure your migration options for the individual service migrations.

From within the Services to Migrate pane you can also synchronize a service migration. This is a new migration feature that lets you take a more phased approach to migration. For example, you might migrate your printers early on in the migration process. However, by the time you’re ready to turn your target server on, new printers may have been added, or existing ones may have been altered. The sync feature lets you, at any time and at multiple times, sync the target server with the latest information on the source server.

As another example, you might take a full week to migrate user data from your source server to your target server. But during that week, your source server is still active and data on it will likely change. The sync feature lets you bring the target server up to date with those data changes on the source server. Sync can be used with file system, iFolder and iPrint migrations.

The Status pane provides status and progress of an individual service migration as well as that of the overall migration. (See Figure 2.) It can display the start date, start time, elapsed time and percent completion of a migration. It also displays the state of the migration, including whether a service is ready to migrate or in the process of migrating, if its prerequisite and migration options have been configured properly, or if the source and target server have been synchronized.

The Whiteboard pane simply displays instructions and tips for performing a successful migration.

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Server Identity Transfer

The server identity transfer feature enables you to migrate the identity of your NetWare source server to your Linux target server by doing the following:

  • Migrating the active services from the source server to the target server
  • Moving the source volumes and their data to the target server
  • Moving the eDirectory database of the source server to the target server, thus preserving the identity of the server in the eDirectory tree
  • Changing the target server's IP address and host name to reflect the source server's IP and host name

At the end of a migration facilitated with an ID transfer, the target server will have the same identity as the source server, enabling you to effectively replace the source server in the tree with a Linux server.

Novell provides documentation that details the steps you need to take to prepare for and carry out a successful server ID transfer, and the GUI guides you through the following major steps after you’ve met all the prerequisites: (See Figure 3.)

  1. eDirectory Precheck: The GUI checks to make sure the eDirectory replicas are synchronized and that time is synchronized across the various servers in the replica.
  2. Preparation: Removes the eDirectory instance from the target server and backs up the required files from the source server.
  3. eDirectory DIB (Directory Information Base) Copy:This task takes a backup of the source eDirectory database and keeps a copy on the target server. This copy is restored in subsequent steps to enable the eDirectory information from the source to be transferred to the target. Note: At the end of this step, the DIB on the source server is locked, and further eDirectory-related operations on the source server cannot be performed.
  4. Shutting Down the Source Server: In this step the source server needs to be removed from the network so that its IP and host name can be assigned to the target server in the subsequent steps of the migration. This is a manual step.
  5. Restoring the eDirectory DIB: This step restores the eDirectory DIB (backed up earlier) on the target server.
  6. Changing the IP Address: In stored configuration files for various services, as well as the YAST configuration files, the GUI changes the IP address on the target server to the IP address of the source server.
  7. Changing the Host Name: In stored configuration files for various services, as well as the YAST configuration files, the GUI changes the host name on the target server to the host name of the source server.
  8. Reinitializing the Target Server: The target server will be reinitialized with the source server's IP address and host name. eDirectory is also restarted in this step.
  9. Repair: The GUI repairs eDirectory, eDirectory tree certificates, LUM configurations and objects, services migrated from the source server and other platform services.
  10. Rebooting the Target Server: To complete the ID transfer from the source to the target, the target server simply needs to be rebooted at this point.

If for any reason the migration fails or anomalies are discovered on the target server, the source server can be recovered since the migration of data and configuration information is performed in a non-destructive manner.

Top of Your Wish List

The new unified migration GUI—as well as the ability to transfer server IDs from NetWare to Linux—provided in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Service Pack 1 make it easier than ever to upgrade your network services. With simplified upgrade tools at the top of your wish list, now more than ever, Service Pack 1 truly makes this the season to upgrade to Linux.

  • Figure 1

    The common GUI framework in SP1 gives you a holistic view of the migration of your different services from NetWare to Linux.

  • Figure 2

    The Status pane provides status and progress of an individual service migration as well as that of the overall migration.

  • Figure 3

    The GUI guides you through the steps to carry out a successful identity transfer of your NetWare servers to Linux servers.



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