Tech Talk 2 by David J. Dennison
Resolving Problems Quickly and Easily
Novell Support Advisor and Novell Support Link
What to do when something goes wrong
It is the end of the quarter, and as the system administrator for a finance department of more than 500 users, you are under a lot of pressure. Your network's speed has reduced to a crawl, and your users are complaining as they work overtime to finish their reports before quarter's end. They cannot wait for processes that used to be instantaneous, and you do not have the time to call customer support or thrash through the possible problems one by one. What do you do?
With Novell Support Advisor, you quickly analyze your servers, narrowing down the problem to an outdated LAN driver that you didn't know about. In addition to finding the problem, Novell Support Advisor points you directly to the solution in the Novell Knowledgebase that has links to updated drivers. Downloading the new driver, you quickly fix the entire problem, and your department calls you the quarter-end hero!
Novell Support Advisor: The Best Self-Help Tool in the World
Novell Support Advisor provides you with a streamlined way to perform both reactive and proactive system diagnostic tasks typically provided by Novell Technical Services, but in a local, secure and automated way. Reactively, Novell Support Advisor allows you to deal with unexpected problems like the one illustrated in the scenario above. Proactively, you can run regular "health checks" on your systems, identifying and solving potential problems even before they arise.
With Novell Support Advisor installed and regularly updated, during a regular health check of your systems, you find other outdated drivers, this time before they impact your servers and affect your department's productivity. While this proactive diagnostic and issue resolution does not result in the kind of level of public accolades that your earlier success at the end of the quarter, you know that you have helped your department dodge a bullet, and your colleagues-and especially your supervisor-comment on how smoothly the system functions.
Designed to support and diagnose SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Open Enterprise Server (Linux) and associated products, Novell Support Advisor allows you to probe your systems for a variety of selectable service and functional options, such as:
- Open Enterprise Server
- SUSE Linux Enterprise
- Update and Security
Novell Support Advisor can be installed and run from:
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 11 or later
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 or later
- OpenSUSE 10.3 or later
- Microsoft Windows XP SP2 or later
- Microsoft Windows Vista
- Microsoft Windows Server 2003
Novell Support Advisor can run against and analyze these platforms:
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
- SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11
- Open Enterprise Server 1.0
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- Open Enterprise Server 2.0
- NetWare 5.x
- NetWare 6.x
- NetWare 6.5
Version 1.1, which is already available, also includes support for your upcoming migration from NetWare to OES!
Novell Support Advisor needs to be installed on a system that can communicate with both the servers within your local environment and the update server at Novell. When connected with the Novell update server, the Novell Support Advisor client automatically prompts you to update to the latest client version.
Additionally, the client prompts you to download newly released Novell Support Diagnostic Patterns (SDPs) from the Novell Update server as they are published by Novell Technical Support Experts. SDPs are patterns of code against which analysis is run resulting in known solutions provided by Novell Technical Support. SPDs are frequently compared to the virus definitions provided by premium anti-virus software programs such as McAfee. Just as new virus signature files allow anti-virus program to identify and then quarantine or delete dangerous viruses, Novell SDPs identify new problems, providing you with the ability to diagnose systems and resolve problems based on the most current issues known to Novell.
By being connected with local servers, this client can run a health diagnosis on selected systems by running a "health check" that gathers configuration and log files from the system being analyzed and compares them with Novell Support Diagnostic Patterns. This not only determines the current health state of the system, it also provides recommended solutions for resolving problems and preventing potential issues.