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Simply Better

Insights on the Enhancements in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3

Written by Ken Baker

Another management enhancement deals with the Service Location Protocol (SLP), which has been improved in this release to give you a greater level of persistence. The basis of SLP is that it allows you to easily see what services are available on your network, such as eDirectory mappings and the different servers running various services. You might have thousands of different services registered by SLP, but since that information had simply been stored in memory in the past, if your server went down all those registrations would be lost until after a potentially long process of discovery and re-registration. Until that re-registration occurred, you might encounter problems with some services not being able to perform proper service look-ups.

In addition to storing that registration information in memory, Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3 stores all that service information in a backup file. As a result, if a server has to be re-started, it can simply look in the backup file to pull all that service registration information into memory, giving it greater persistence. (See Figure 3.)

In addition to storing the service registration information in a backup file, SLP also now allows for directory agent synchronization. “The directory agent synchronization in SLP lets the different directory agents communicate with each other,” Haripriya says. “So, on a server restart it has all the information to ensure you get a consistent view of available services, including service information that may be found across routers and WAN links.”

To simplify administration even further, a number of other new features have been added to Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3. One of these is the ability to view leases from the centralized Java Console administration tool. This release also provides a central location to find all your log files to simplify troubleshooting efforts.

Auditing enhancements on NSS volumes have been added as well. While Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP2 added auditing support for NSS files, this release delivers greater auditing granularity. “In addition to being able to see what users have accessed certain files, you can now see the IP addresses of the workstations from which they were accessed ,” says Haripriya. “This ability to track based on IP addresses gives you an extra layer of security.”

Another management improvement comes from new file reader updates in QuickFinder. To begin, it now supports additional Microsoft Office formats. In OpenOffice.org files, support for unknown field names has been added. In HTML files, entity reference handling has been improved, including the ability to handle entity references within metatags. Support for more ASCII encoding has been added, such as UTF8, Unicode, big-endian, and little-endian. QuickFinder can now also detect greater variations of text in PDF files in Adobe 6, 7, and 8—including a variety of unusual fonts, external CMAP files and support for compressed file.

Additionally, the ability to back up and restore encrypted and unencrypted iFolder folders has been added to Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3, as well as the ability to upgrade a slave to a master. This capability can simplify the deployment of iFolder by enabling a pilot server to be configured as a slave server, and then once the testing is completed, allowing it to be moved to production and upgraded into a master.

To make it easier to set up your cluster resources, cluster resource mutual exclusions have been added to Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3.

Simplifying Clusters

To make it easier to set up your cluster resources, cluster resource mutual exclusions have been added to Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3. Resource mutual exclusions let you specify that certain cluster groups can never run on the same server node. For example, if you have Novell GroupWise and Novell iFolder running in one cluster resource group and Novell iPrint in another, you can easily avoid potential service conflicts by specifying that these different groups can never end up on the same cluster node as a result of a failover.

While keeping these cluster resources separate was possible in the past, it was cumbersome and overly complicated to set up and manage. To set up a resource mutual exclusion group in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP2, you simply browse in Novell iManager to the cluster object you want to manage, click Properties, select the RME Groups tab, and then mark the resources you don’t want to run on the same cluster node from the list of available cluster resources.

Performance and Reliability

In addition to simplified management and enhanced security, Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3 delivers greater performance in a number of areas. The overall performance of NSS has been improved. According to beta customers, AFP performance now rivals the performance you’d get from a Mac server. Even Linux User Management features significant performance increases, including faster eDirectory lookups, greater reliability and the avoidance of assignment conflicts with the selection of Unix Config Objects during the enablement of Linux User Management. But the new enhancements and features don’t end there. To learn more about other new features and how you can take advantage of the performance, reliability, security and simplified management improvements in Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 SP3, visit www.novell.com/documentation/oes2/oes_readme/data/readme.html#readme.

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