Tech Talk 5 by Ken Baker
Novell iFolder 3.7–Data Accessibility and Disaster Recovery Made Easy
Improved File Conflict Management
Novell iFolder 3.7 has an event infrastructure that provides near real-time indication of changes in the iFolder repository of files and folders. This event infrastructure improves the solution’s ability to handle file conflicts that occur when two users simultaneously open and later wish to synchronize the same file within a shared iFolder.
Novell iFolder 3.7 handles such file conflicts by automatically saving the file of the first user to perform a synchronization. When the second user tries to synchronize the file, a Conflict Resolution alert dialog box pops up on their screen. (See Figure 2.) The second user has the option to open the local version of the file, the version of the file stored on the server by the previous user, or both. The user can then compare the different versions of the file and view their details to determine which file version to keep. The user also has the option to locally store their file version in a conflict bin, which they can refer to later if needed.
Simplified Install, Migration & Merge
Whether you’re moving from an older version of iFolder, or installing it fresh, the enhancements in version 3.7 make it easy to perform silent installs on new clients, migrate 2.x iFolder servers to 3.7 and merge 2.x client iFolders into 3.7 iFolders.
Novell iFolder 3.7 has a silent install for both Windows and Linux clients that eliminates much of the user intervention that was previously required to deploy the solution’s thin client. To do this, it gives you an auto-account creation facility that leverages a user-friendly XML-based response file. In a scripted XML format, you use the response file to supply the default credential and server information needed to create and configure multiple iFolder user accounts. When users start iFolder for the first time, their accounts are created based on the information in the response file, prompting the user only to supply a password.
To further facilitate the silent install, you have the option to use any deployment manager, such as Novell ZENworks, to push out the response file and client RPMs to your users’ machines. With ZENworks you can automate and greatly streamline the overall deployment and configuration of the iFolder client.
The migration tool in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP1 simplifies the server-side migration of iFolder 2.x and iFolder 3.2 to iFolder 3.7. The specific steps and procedures you follow for your overall migration will vary depending on your specific migration strategy and scenario (i.e., NetWare to Linux, ID transfer, server consolidation, etc.). However, in terms of migrating iFolder 2.x and iFolder 3.2 server files to an iFolder 3.7 server, the steps are fairly basic.
If you're migrating from 2.x, first install, configure and run iFolder 3.7 on the target server. Next, from within the migration tool interface, select Novell Migration Tools from the Computer | More Applications | System menu option. Then authenticate to your source and target servers and select iFolder from the associated services listed in the Services panel. When the iFolder Service window displays, simply fill in the appropriate fields to configure your migration. (See Figure 3.)
You should note that the server migration will not migrate encrypted folders. It is expected that encrypted folders will be migrated on the client side. You can easily migrate both encrypted and unencrypted iFolders on the client side using the solution’s merge capabilities.
After you migrate your iFolder 2.x servers to version 3.7, you can choose to download the migrated server iFolders to your client machines. However, these iFolders might already exist on the clients as 2.x iFolders. If so, the Migration Assistant provided in the iFolder client makes it easy to simply merge your 2.x iFolders with your 3.7 iFolders. This lets you avoid unnecessary data transfer from the server to the client.
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To help you merge the iFolders, the Migration Assistant will automatically detect the existence of the 2.x iFolders and ask you if you want to merge them. When you click OK, it will display a list of available 2.x iFolders. Simply select the iFolders you want to merge, and then click Migrate. The Migration Assistant will guide you through a few more steps, giving you choices on how to complete the merging of your client iFolders.
For a 3.2 server upgrade, you can either upgrade the source server to Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP1, which will upgrade the iFolder to 3.7 and enable it for new features, or you can use the Novell Migration Tools to migrate the 3.2 data to a target server.
To make it easier to provision your iFolder users, iFolder 3.7 now supports LDAP group provisioning. This allows you to set an LDAP group attribute such that when the users of a group log in for the first time, the group attribute will identify them as iFolder users and provision them to the appropriate home server. You can also choose to use either Novell eDirectory, Microsoft Active Directory or OpenLDAP as your directory authentication source.
Data Accessibility and Disaster Recovery at its Best
With the new enhancements and features included in Novell iFolder 3.7, now is a great time to discover the benefits of having your users’ files automatically follow them wherever they go. Whether it’s to make your mobile professionals more productive, simplify the way all your users use files, or automatically secure and protect your user files, deploy iFolder and your users will thank you. Of course the only way to get the data accessibility and disaster recovery benefits of Novell iFolder 3.7 is with your Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP1 license. So, upgrade today and let iFolder help you finally get the well-overdo appreciation you deserve.