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Automating the Installation or Upgrade of eDirectory 8.8 sp1

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By Martin Irwin, Selva Muthu Kumaran T

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Posted: 5 Sep 2006
 

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Executive Summary

In today's business environment, manually managing servers for periodic updates, installations, and tasks is impractical. It is a well known fact that automating repetitive tasks can significantly lower a system's total cost of ownership.

Typically, when administrators patch or install to a given server, they need to remotely control each server, copy the files, launch the installation and then monitor its completion. The time involved can be anywhere between half an hour to two hours-sometimes even more. Multiply that by hundreds of servers and many patches and the costs to your business can skyrocket.

Not all installations and patches can be slowly rolled out over time, either. Security products need immediate attention, as do those that resolve the downtime that causes revenue loss. Additionally, scheduling each installation based on priority is crucial in reducing administrative costs. For example, giving your virus-update patch a higher priority over an application installation is imperative.

From a physical-networking perspective, things become even more complex. Sending the same patch five times to five servers instead of once and then forwarding it on can cause slow response times for your users. On the other hand, when you don't fully utilize the same WAN bandwidth, it is wasted during off-peak hours. The same arguments can be applied to upgrades, too. You can save much time and effort by automating application upgrades, or even upgrades to the operating systems themselves.

Often, you may need to tailor each patch, upgrade, or installation for every server where it is going to run. You may need to establish set or registry parameters prior to running the upgrade or change a few text files to localize the installation script or upgrade application in order for it to run. Making such changes manually for every server in your organization is cost-prohibitive. However, performing these tasks with ZENworks Server Management Server Software Packages is an easy and efficient process.

This paper addresses all of these concerns by showing how the award-winning Novell ZENworks software can tier, schedule and automate the distribution of Novell patches. With ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1 Policy and Distribution Services, you can use Novell templates for sending patches out, tailor them to suit a particular environment, or even write and compile your own patches for any third-party software you may run on your servers. Almost any software patch can be programmed into a ZENworks Server Management Server Software Package.

This paper addresses two configurations of Server Software Package from Novell: the uncompiled Server Software Package (SPK),and the Compiled Server Software Package ( CPK). The SPK is a template for modifying to your own environmental needs. In this White Paper we will focus on he compiled Server Software Package, which contains the files and logic for the installation but cannot be modified and comes predefined with only variables for you to configure to localize it for your environment. This solution shows you how to using Server Software Packages to automatically install or update eDirectory 8.8 SP1 in a Microsoft Windows server environment.

At the end of this paper are the tools and information for leveraging this solution with or without an installed and functioning ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1 server. In other words, the package (CPK) you compile for your network will be installable via the freely available "Standalone Package Processor" or via a fully installed ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1 agent (called a Subscriber in our documentation). Included in this discussion is the silent installation of iManager 2.7. By running one script you will be up and running in minutes with an installation of eDirectory and its Web-based management program iManager 2.7.

In the appendix of this document you can also find a brief outline of ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1 that discuses the Tiered Electronic Distribution mechanism and a sample response file (text file input) for silent eDirectory installation and upgrade.

The Two Technologies

Most Novell products today come with the option to silently install. By silent we mean an installation that does not prompt the user for input. With the advent of eDirectory 8.8 SP1, Novell includes a silent installer and upgrade mechanism. In simple terms the installer reads the input from a text file, rather than from input by the user. After this text file is created with the values you need, the installer runs silently.

The Software Packaging engine featured in ZENworks Server Management 7.0 SP1 comes with a text editor that allows for the use of variable input to edit text files. For example one variable we use is Tree-name. This is entered multiple times throughout the text file, but using the Software Packaging engine we can use one variable to enter this multiple times. Of course, each ZENworks Server Management Subscriber can have its own unique values for IP Address and Server Name fields, which, once configured correctly, facilitates the mass installation of eDirectory.

The Silent Installer for eDirectory

eDirectory is an infrastructure component being used in many of the Novell products. eDirectory support the use of predefined text files that facilitate an unattended installation, With some minor pre-installation time spent editing this file you can silently install and/or ugprade eDirectory.

This paper discusses the features and the configuration necessary to perform an unattended Installation of eDirectory in Windows. This feature is supported only in the eDirectory 8.8 SP1 release.

Automating the Installation

Prerequisites

Please be sure that the following two prerequisites are met before starting the installation or upgrading process:

  1. The silent installation of eDirectory 8.8 SP1 in Windows 2000/2003* does not take care of NICI installation or upgrade. We use a separate ZENworks Server Management to install NICI 2.7. In the Software Package Processor section we discuss how we can automate the installation of all three Server Software Packages: NICI, eDirectory 8.8 SP1, and iManager 2.7.


  2. Run the set_server_mode.bat file that is available in the NICI installation location (usually %systemroot%\Windows(or WINNT)\system32\novell\nici) to set NICI in server mode, which is very essential for eDirectory 8.8 SP1 to install successfully.

Response Files

Installing or upgrading to eDirectory8.8 SP1 on a Windows operating system can be made silent and more flexible using a response file. When using a response file, the process provides:

  • Complete unattended installation with all required user inputs
  • Default configuration of components
  • By-passing all sections of the installation prompts

A response file is a text file containing sections and keys, similar to a Windows .ini file. You can create and edit a response file using any ASCII text editor. If you use a response file, the eDirectory upgrade reads the installation parameters directly from the response file and replaces the default installation values with response file values. The installation program accepts the values from the response file and continues to the following installation screens without prompts.

Response.ni File Sections and Keys

The eDirectory 8.8 SP1 Installation requires changes to the sections in the response file that need information about the new eDirectory tree that needs to be installed, including a new tree name, administrator context, administrator credentials (including user name and passwords), installation locations, and so on. A full list of the keys and their default values are available in the sample response.ni file that is delivered with the Windows installation. A detailed explanation of sections in the response file, each key, its description, and default values are included in APPENDIX B of this document.

Prerequisites for the Silent Installation.

The silent installation requires that NICI 2.7 is installed. In this solution we provide this as CPK. There are two main flavors of CPKS for eDirectory8.8. They are:

  • Installing a new tree
  • Installing into an existing tree

An extra requirement for the second option is that the Novell Client be installed prior to running the eDirectory8.8 SP1 silent installation. This is discussed in the next section.

Installation Syntax

Using a Response File

The response file is used or edited during an upgrade in two scenarios:

  • Editing the response file (response.ni) to provide the values of the tree parameters and to configure an unattended installation
  • Providing the response file as input during an upgrade

The eDirectory 8.8 SP1 package that ships with ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1 bundles a default response file (response.ni) that is available in the nt\386\NDSOnNT\ni\windows\...\DATA\SP.DB directory inside the source. Use this file for editing and later for installing eDirectory on Windows because there are other essential parameters that are set by default in this file that are not explained in this document.

You will be providing the administrator user credentials in the response.ni file for an unattended installation. Therefore, remember to permanently trash the file after the installation to prevent the administrator credentials from being compromised.

Invoking Installation

Launch the eDirectory installation program using install.exe.

Assuming the response.ni file is available in C:\, the eDirectory 8.8 SP1 installation is performed by:

install.exe /silent /template=response.ni

This performs the complete unattended installation of eDirectory 8.8 SP1 on the Windows server. Information on the progress of the installation is provided on screen until completion of the installation. There is not any prompt to inform the user on the completion of installation.

eDirectory Installation Sequence

Soon after invoking the installation executable, the installation module gathers information from the system about already available eDirectory instances (if any) and the new instance configuration information from the response file. During this configuration, the installation module provides the status as in Fig.1:


Fig.1

After the configuration information is obtained, the installation starts by first copying the installation files to the relevant folder as mentioned in the response.ni response file and later installing the subcomponents. While installing the subcomponents, the installation provides the status as in Fig.2:


Fig.2

This might take a long time because it copies and installs all the subcomponents that are part of the eDirectory installation. This also includes other products bundled with the eDirectory installation, such as SecretStore, Certificate Server, SNMP Service, and Authentication Bundle (which contains NMAS objects and NMAS methods).

Because this is a completely silent installation, there is no prompt at the completion of the installation.

The Software Package Processor

When you are aware of what needs to be placed into the text file for the installation to remain silent, you can then prepare and compile your source Server Software Package (.spk file, or SPK) into a Compiled Software Package (.cpk file, or CPK). For the eDirectory 8.8 SP1 installation that we are demonstrating here, we will supply you with both an SPK and a CPK. The SPK will enable you to modify it and compile it yourself. For example, you can add a component in the SPK that we supply to install your own favorite application.

As we mentioned earlier, there are three Software Packages that we need in order to successfully install eDirectory 8.8 SP1 to a Windows 2003 (or 2000) server: NICI 2.7, eDirectory 8.8 SP1, and iManager 2.7. eDirectory requires that we install NICI 2.7 first then eDirectory itself, then iManager 2.7. The Novell Client needs to be installed after NICI 2.7 when you are installing to a existing tree-we have provided a CPK for this. With ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1 the order of CPK installations cannot be controlled. However, using the Standalone Package Processor you can set their order in the batch file you run and then spawn the same from a ZENworks 7 server Management environment. If you have installed ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1, we suggest that you call the Standalone Package Processor from the Subscriber server using a system script to preserve this order.

In the tables below we outline first the variables that you need to have defined for your Subscriber, then we explain the components inside of the package and what they do. You can open up a package using ConsoleOne to view its components.

Four Server Software Packages are mentioned. All of them are installation CPKs critical to the successful deployment of eDirectory: NICI 2.7,Novell client, eDirectory 8.8 SP1, and iManager 2.7.

eDirectory 8.8 Server Software Package Details

The eDirectory 8.8 SP1 silent installation feature allows you three scenarios:

  • Installation: This installs a fresh eDirectory tree on a Windows server (a tree that has never been touched by Novell software)
  • Silent upgrade: This allows you to upgrade an older version to eDirectory 8.8 SP1
  • The last one discussed allows you to install eDirectory 8.8 SP1 into an existing tree

Installation Package Details

This Server Software Package uses six customer-defined variables to install eDirectory 8.8 SP1 to a Windows 2003 (or 2000) server. Using the declared variables, we need to edit the silent installation file section [NWI:NDS] of the response.ni file. An example of this file is found in APPENDIX B. We also need to edit two other sections of this file.

We start with a response.ni file that had this section completely removed and use the append feature of the Software package processors text editor to append this complete section in at the end of the file. Because the file uses tabs [text in square brackets] to delineate sections, the installer merely searches for the correct section (in this case, the end of the file) and takes its values from there.

In the following table we show you the sections and variables that we edit. The variables are enclosed in percentage characters. For example, if we have a variable named FRED, we show it as %FRED%.

To load this CPK via the Standalone Package Processor, you need to edit the batch file that comes with it and inject your local values. For example, you need to declare values for each of the variables listed below:

CN_ADMIN = ADMIN 
TREE_NAME = GOOFY TREE 
SRV_CONTEXT= NOVELL
PASSWD=NOVELL
ADMIN_CONTEXT= Novell
DEST_EDIR88= C:\novell\NDS  ( Default location of NDS files).
ADMIN_CONTEXT= NOVELL ( container contain the ADMIN user name or equivalent)

Below we show the syntax that you use to call your CPK using the Java command inside of the batch file. The batch file is supplied in this paper. The supplied batch file has the word VALUE in place of each replaceable value shown in the syntax below. It is intended that you replace VALUE with your own environmental variables (there are five uses of VALUE in the syntax example).

java -cp %zfspaths% com.novell.application.servman.services.softwarepackage.PackageProcessor
c:\temp\cpk\EDIR88sp1-install.cpk 6 DEST_EDIR88 c:\novell\nds\ CN_ADMIN VALUE TREE_NAME VALUE
SRV_CONTEXT VALUE PASSWD VALUE, ADMIN_CONTEXT VALUE
[Initialization] Section
[NWI:NDS]
Upgrade Mode=false
Installed Version=0
Letter Version=0
New Tree=YES
Tree Name=%TREE_NAME%
Server Name=%COMPUTERNAME%-NDS
Server Context=%COMPUTERNAME%-NDS.%SRV_CONTEXT%
Admin Context=%ADMIN_CONTEXT%
Admin Login Name=Admin
Admin Password=%PASSWD%
Install as Service=YES
Prompt=false
NDS Location=%DEST_EDIR88%
DataDir=%DEST_EDIR88%DIBFiles
Require TLS=no
LDAP TLS Port=389
LDAP SSL Port=636
Miscellaneous sections
[Novell:DST:1.0.0_Location]
Path=file:/%DEST_EDIR88%
User=
[Novell:SYS32_DST:1.0.0_Location]
Path=file:/%SystemRoot%system32
User=
[Initialization]
DisplayLanguage=en_US
Version=Novell:NDSforNT:1.0.0
SPLocation=%systemdrive%\temp\NDSONNT\ni\windows\..\DATA\SP.DBInstallation
Mode=silent
SummaryPrompt=false
prompt=false

eDirectory Package Variables



Variable Description
DN_ADMIN The administrator user you will use to administer eDirectory.
PASSWD The password that the silent installation file needs to be configured for authentication into eDirectory. SECURITY NOTE: After you have successfully installed, delete the silent installation file or change the password.
TREE_NAME The name of the tree you are creating or installing into. NOTE: Use the IP address of a server with a master of root on it if you need to traverse subnets to attach.
SRV_CONTEXT The context where you want this server's object to be installed.
ADMIN_CONTEXT The context where you want the ADMIN user's object created.
DEST_EDIR88 The path you want the installation files to be copied to. This is where you launch the installation from.
NOTE: These values are kept in variables that you define as arguments in the Standalone Package Processor or on each Subscriber where you are running the Server Software Package.

eDirectory Package Components

Component Name Description Tab Name
COPY-FILES This component copies the entire patch out to this location to run the installation from. COPY Files
EDIT-RESPONSE-FILE This component edits the silent installation text file (response.ni) according to the variables you have configured. See APPENDIX B for an example. Text Files
Run install This runs the installer with the right arguments to go silent. Post Installation

NOTES: There are two packages to consider when installing eDirectory via a CPK. Both use the same variables as shown in the previous tables. One installs the Windows server (that you run it on) into an existing tree and the other Installs and creates its own tree. Each CPK can be deployed via ZENworks Server Management or the Standalone Package Processor. The filenames for both the batch file and the CPK are:

  • edir-exist-install.cpk with edir-exist-install.bat.
  • edir-new-install.cpk with edir-new-install.bat.

In summary, if you already have a tree to install into, only use the second option. However, if you are starting a new tree, use the first option once, then use the second option.

iManager 2.7 Server Software Package Details

This package uses the silent installation file of iManager 2.7 to install it. The batch file does not need you to declare any variables. We use a standard Windows variable (%systemdrive%) to run the file. For example, if the system drive is C:, then the command is c:\temp\imanager\installs\win\iManagerInstall.exe -i silent installer.properties.

iManager2.7 Package Variable

Variable Description
SYSTEMDRIVE This package uses only one variable. This is the windows systemdrive default variable. We copy the installer to the temporary directory of the system driver, run the installation, then delete. No configuration of this variable is needed.

iManager2.7 Package Components

Component Name Description Tab Name
COPY-FILES This component copies the entire iManager 2.7 installer out to this location. COPY Files
Silent Installation This runs the installer with the right arguments to go silent. Post installation

NICI Server Software Package Details

This package needs no variable declaration. It copies the installer up to the server and runs it in silent mode. The command we run is:

<SYSTEMDRIVE>\temp\NICI270\wcniciu0.exe /s /a /s /sms /f1<SYSTEMDRIVE>\temp\NICI270\nici.iss /f2c:\temp\nici2.log

NICI Package Components

Component Name Description Tab Name
COPY-FILES This component copies the entire NICI 2.7 installer out to this location. COPY Files
Run Silent This runs the installer with the right arguments to go silent. Post installation

Novell Client Server Software Package Details

This CPK installs the English language Novell Client 4.91 SP2 . It is only needed in the installation to an existing tree. The client is used merely to find the existing tree to install to. After eDirectory 8.8 SP1 is installed, it is no longer needed and can be uninstalled. This is a known issue only in the silent installation and will be fixed in future Support Packs for eDirectory8.8.

There are no variables for this CPK.

Novell Client Package Components

Component Name Description Tab Name
COPY-FILES This component copies the entire Novell Client out to the temporary directory c:\temp. COPY Files
Run Silent This runs the installer with the right arguments to go silent. Post installation

Putting It All Together

To ensure that each package gets installed in order, we use the "call" command from a master batch file. We use the following command syntax:

CALL c:\temp\cpk\zdm7sp1\windows\NICI270i-install.bat 
CALL c:\temp\cpk\zdm7sp1\windows\INSTALL-NIC-NVClient.bat
( which reboots the server.) 
(Then we run this batch file.)

CALL c:\temp\cpk\zdm7sp1\windows\edir-exist-Install.bat
CALL c:\temp\cpk\zdm7sp1\windows\IMAN-install.bat

Each batch file is created so that it can run from within the Standalone Package Processor. By developing it this way, we find that each CPK can be ordered. To ensure the same order of CPK installation with a currently installed ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1, you can copy all three CPKS and their corresponding batch files out to each Subscriber, then run the master batch files mentioned above. This gives you the scheduling and automation with your Tiered Electronic Distribution along with the ability to ensure the CPKS install in the correct order.

If you extract the Standalone Package processor CPKS into the c:\temp\CPK directory, then the batch files you find in the c:\temp\cpk\zdm7sp1\windows directorys will work out of the box. You merely need to edit each one with your on specific variables and away you go.

The files used for this paper:

  1. Master ZIP files:

    All ZIP files should be extracted directly to C:\. They create a directory structure under c:\temp where all batch files work properly.

  2. Batch files:
    • edir-exist-Install.bat (Runs the CPK to install into an existing tree.)
    • edir-new-Install.bat (Runs the CPK to install into a new tree.)
    • edir-remove.bat (Runs the CPK to remove the eDirectory files form the server.)
    • IMAN-Install.bat (Runs the CPK to install iManager 2.7 to the server. Should be run last.)
    • INSTALL-NEW-eDir-IM.bat (A simple batch file that calls the eDirectory 8.8 and iManager 2.7 batch files. For installing into a new tree.)
    • INSTALL-exist-eDir-IM.bat (A simple batch file that calls the eDirectory 8.8 and iManager 2.7 batch files. For installing into an existing tree.)
    • INSTALL-NIC-NVClient.bat (A simple batch file the calls the NICI and Novell Client CPKs. This reboots the server after the client is installed.)
    • NICI270i-install.bat (Installs NICI 2.7. Needs a reboot after its installed.)

    All batch files are found in the c:\temp\cpk\zdm7sp1\windows directory. The instructions for which variables need to be defined are inside of each file and again in this paper in the relevant sections.

    NOTE: We expect you will want to directly use only four batch files (the last four listed above), as these bundle all of the CPKs into logical units. For example, to install into an existing tree you would run INSTALL-NIC-NVClient.bat, wait for the reboot, then run INSTALL-exist-eDir-IM.bat. Or, for a new tree you would run NICI270i-install.bat, wait for the reboot, then run INSTALL-NEW-eDir-IM.bat.

  3. CPKs:
    • edir-exist-install.cpk (Installs into an existing tree.)
    • edir-new-install.cpk (Installs a new tree.)
    • edir-remove.cpk (Removes eDirectory files off of the server.)
    • Iman27-I-win.cpk (Installs iManager 2.7.)
    • NICI270-install.cpk (Installs NICI 2.7.)
    • NOV-2000-CL491sp2.cpk (Installs the Novell Client. Needed only for the installation.)

All CPKS are found in the c:\temp\cpks directory. Keeping them there ensures that the batch files run correctly for the Standalone Package processor. However, deploying them through a ZENworks Server Management 7 with Service Pack 1 TED network and NOT spawning the Standalone Package processor means of course they don't need to be found here. In fact they merely need to be placed inside of a Software Package Distribution with no thought as to where they will be placed on the file system.

In Summary: This section "Putting it all together" focused on how combining the two technologies of ZENworks Server Management 7 and eDirectory8.8 with service Pack 1 facilitates the Mass installation and/or upgrade of eDirectory8.8 into your Windows Server environment. By either deploying the CPKS through your existing ZENworks Server Management environment or using the Standalone Package Processor you have a solution that is simple, cost affective, Tiered and scheduled.

Of course our solution still is viable if you do not have ZENworks Server Management deployed. It is even viable to roll this or any CPK solution out by packaging them up using the Standalone Package processor and deploying them byt the custom interface provided in ZENworks Patch Management or any other deployment infrastructure you may have in place.

Appendix A: Introduction to the Software Package Engine

The Server Software Package is one type of distribution that ZENworks Server Management can push out through your network. The file first starts out as an uncompiled package (.spk file). For example, the eDirectory Server Software Package for NetWare is named eDir873x_NetWare_Patch_ZFS.SPK prior to compilation. This file includes the logic for the content and pointers for where to find the files. The compiled file (xxx.CPK) includes the content and the logic ready to apply to the Subscriber-configured server. Files do not have to be part of the package as you will see in the Open Enterprise Server upgrade Server Software Package. You will separate the files into the simple file distribution to be sent out. The Server Software Package is manifest in a logic-only CPK.

The Software Package Processor is available on all server platforms on which ZENworks Server Management runs, namely SUSE LINUX, NetWare 5 through NetWare 6.5, and Windows servers. Please see the Novell documentation on the Web for an exact list of what service packs are required prior to installation.

Each Server Software Package consists of one main component and subordinate components. The main component contains variables and requirements that apply to the entire package. The subordinate components also contain requirements, but they apply only to one subsection of logic. Each component can perform the features outlined in the following table:

Component Features of Software Packages

Feature Description Example
Base component processes on requirements with specific values
  1. Operating system
  2. Memory
  3. Disk space
  4. Set commands
  5. Registry
  6. Files
  7. PRODUCTS.DAT
This is useful if you want just one Server Software Package to apply to multiple operating system versions. Each component can be set to execute only for that operating system version.
Execute the following items prior to each component processing
  1. Load or unload NetWare loadable module (NLM) commands
  2. Load Java class
  3. Start or stop services
  4. Pre-execute a system, NetBasic, or Perl script
This is useful when you back up a directory. Before you back up the files, you can unload the NLM, Java process, or services loaded from this directory.
Copy files around the server volumes or up to the server from the package Copy or move files on the local server or copy new files from the Server Software Package to the server. This is useful in copying files you are about to use as upgrade or patch. It is also useful in backing up files before patches and in placing them patch directories so they are ready to patch.
Manipulate strings within existing text files (or those just copied onto the server)
  • Search and replace words in files.
  • Utilize an extensive array of tools.
  • Append or prepend.
  • Add words after or before.
  • Add lines before or after.
  • Nest variables here to add granularity.
See the Open Enterprise Server upgrade section for a good example of how to use this feature. The Open Enterprise Server strings needed a silent installation script written specifically for each server. (Use this feature and rewrite them when they are run.) This is also useful for changing the /etc/hosts setting on all servers.
Apply a common "Set Parameter" configuration to NetWare servers and set, remove or modify registry settings Standardize settings, set and/or remove settings, and install or remove applications (Windows or NetWare registry-setting changes) The upgrade compiled packages for network management agents use these to insert new registry settings.
Add, replace or modify PRODUCTS.DAT entries on a NetWare server Allow the installation of new applications This feature is commonly used in NetWare and eDirectory patches.
Perform post-installation tasks
  1. Load or unload NLM commands
  2. Load Java class
  3. Start or stop services
  4. Run Red Hat Package Manager (RPM), Microsoft Installer (MSI), or IPS scripts
NOTE: To run these, load the post-installation script and add the command line arguments. See the sections on eDirectory patches and the policy and distribution patches for examples of both.
See the ZENworks Server Management patch compiled package for an example of running RPMs. The eDirectory patches on NetWare launch IPS scripts with arguments that ensure it runs silent.

A graphical user interface helps you to configure application content. You can set restrictions on each component. They can be as simple as a registry setting, a file, an entry in SYS:SYSTEM\PRODUCTS.DAT, or they can be as general as an operating system version. For example, you could restrict a patch to be applied only to NetWare 6.5, but not to 5.1 or 6.0. If necessary, restrictions can be just as granular with the whole Server Software Package.

Of course, Novell provides an array of ready-made compiled packages. ZENworks patches, Java update patches and ZENworks agent installations are available for download via the Novell Web site. You merely need to insert the relevant compiled package file into a distribution, schedule it, assign it a channel, then send it out.

Mechanics of Tiered Electronic Distribution

No discussion about ZENworks Server Management is complete without talking to Tiered Electronic Distribution. This is the main conduit for moving content, polices, and patches throughout your server network. The simplest configuration for Tiered Electronic Distribution is where one server operates as the Distributor. The Distributor's role is to maintain, build, and schedule the sending of content polices and patches to all other servers, which are called Subscribers. A Subscriber's role is to receive, extract, and apply content to its server.

The Distributor controls who gets what content, and when. It schedules the building of patches, content ,and polices, including when it sends the data across the physical network. To ensure that Tiered Electronic Distribution does not duplicate bandwidth usage, it employs a mechanism known as "checkpoint" restart. In other words, when necessary, it stops a trans-network delivery at a scheduled time and then later continues where it left off.

Content, policies, and patches are packaged into single units called Distributions. Distributions compress the files and provide a single reference for all of your content. The design allows the Distributor to build delta Distributions. In other words, only the changes are sent across the wire, rather than the whole Distribution.

Tiering and controlling the paths these Distributions take as they move through your network can save CPU resources and WAN utilization. Here, intermediate servers are used as "holding stations." Their job is simply to receive content from and send it to other leaf servers. If the patch is not destined for them, they do not extract and apply it; they simply hold it and forward it on to the appropriate server. These servers are called parent Subscribers.

Today, most patches come as prepackaged units, as in the case of NetWare support packs. They can be downloaded from the Web as a single executable unit. Linux receives its updates in the form of an RPM . Patches and products from Microsoft are prepackaged in the form of an MSI. Both RPMs and MSIs contain files and logic for installation.

While ZENworks 7 Server Management with SP1 provides the ability to leverage all of these package types, Novell also provides customers its own package type-Server Software Package-for delivering the installation logic and files for patching Novell servers through ZENworks Server Management. The entire patch and the logic to install it is compiled into a single file with the extension .cpk, then placed into a Distribution that can be transported through your Tiered Electronic Distribution network.

Appendix B: Sample Response.NI

New Tree Installation

[NWI:NDS]
Upgrade Mode=false - This is a fresh installation.
Installed Version=0 - There is no already installed instance of eDirectory.
Letter Version=0 - There is no already installed instance of eDirectory.
New Tree=YES - This is a new tree installation; for adding a secondary server to an existing tree, set to NO.
Tree Name=SILENT-WIN - Tree name of the server that needs to installed in case of primary server, or the name the 
tree to which this server has to be added to, in case of secondary server installation.
Server Name=NDS-LDAP-P2-NDS - Name of the server that is getting installed.
Server Container=Novell - The container of the server object.
Server Context=NDS-LDAP-P2-NDS.Novell - Complete DN for the server context.
Admin Context=Novell - The container of the administrator object.
Admin Login Name=Admin - RDN of the administrator object.
Admin Password=novell - Initial password that needs to be assigned for the administrator object.
Install as Service=YES - In Windows eDirectory is installed as Service by default, so do not edit this option.
Prompt=false - This has to be false for unattended installation.
NDS Location=E:\Novell\NDS - Location of NDS installation.
DataDir=E:\Novell\NDS\DIBFiles - Folder location for the DIB installation.
Require TLS=No - Where TLS is required for binding using clear text password after installation.
LDAP TLS Port=389 - Port for LDAP operations using clear text.
LDAP SSL Port=636 - Port for LDAP operations on SSL.
Language Settings
[Novell:Languages:1.0.0]
LangID4=true - True for English Locale.
LangID6=false - True for French Locale.
LangID9=false - True for Japanese Locale.
Details of Primary Server Installation
[Novell:ExistingTree:1.0.0]
prompt=false - Set to False by default for unattended installation, so do not edit this option.
ExistingTreeYes=false - Set to False for a new tree installation; in case of adding secondary server to an existing tree, set this to true.
ExistingTreeNo=true - Set to True for a new tree installation; in case of adding secondary server to an existing tree, set this to False.
Silent Installation Parameters
[Initialization]
DisplayLanguage=en_US
Version=Novell:NDSforNT:1.0.0
SPLocation=E:\builds\rosalind-sp1\20060317_1900_Win_88_rosalind_final\nt
\i386\NDSOnNT\ni\windows\..\DATA\SP.DB - Set this to the location of the SP.DB that is provided in the installation. It is available in nt\386\NDSOnNT\ni\windows\..\DATA\SP.DB from the source folder.
InstallationMode=silent
SummaryPrompt=false
prompt=false

Appendix C: Terms Used in This Document

Component: The Server Software Package of ZENworks Server Management organizes its logic into components. The logic flows top to bottom and left to right. The main component contains variables, restrictions and information that relates to the whole, while each individual component contains variables and restrictions that only apply to itself.

Distribution: The entity (read group of files) that contains policies, files, and the compiled package or applications to be sent to each Subscriber.

Distributor: The server that makes and distributes content, software packages, applications, and policies. The server pairs with corresponding object in eDirectory.

IPS SCRIPT: A file extension that designates the installation script for NetWare servers. Products.dat: A btrieve file that contains applications installed to a NetWare server.

Subscriber: The server that receives, extracts, and applies the content, software package, or application. The server pairs with the corresponding object in eDirectory.

Variables: A word that contains data that can be changed based on the location or administrators preferences. These can be found in the installation scripts and software packages.

NOTE: Any references to Novell Open Enterprise Server discuss only traditional NetWare-never Linux.

Appendix D: Credits and Legal Attribution

Authors

  • Martin Irwin - Senior Software Engineer, ZENworks Engineering Novell, Inc.
  • Selva Muthu Kumaran T - Software Consultant, eDirectory Engineering Team Novell , Inc

Contributors and Reviewers

  • Stuart Becket - Infrastructure Manager, The Fishel Company.
  • Rory Morris - Technical writer, Novell, Inc.

*Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds. Palm is a registered trademark of Palm, Inc. RIM and BlackBerry are trademarks of Research in Motion, Ltd. Tivoli is a registered trademark of the IBM corporation. HP OpenView is a registered trademark of Hewlett-Packard Development Company. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


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