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Setting Up Novell iFolder

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 6 May 2002

Download the pdf version of this implementation guide here.

Backup and Workstation Synchronization

Hard drives fry, coffee spills, power supplies die, notebooks are dropped, thieves steal, and probably the most frustrating of all, you forget something like a power cord or even the laptop.

If you want a fruitless quest, try and find someone in any company, organization or small business who HASN'T lost valuable data through some glitch of technology, human error or fate. Hard drives fry, coffee spills, power supplies die, notebooks are dropped, thieves steal, and probably the most frustrating of all, you forget something like a power cord or even the laptop. At times like these, how valuable would it be to have instant access using any standard device to the latest version of whatever data you happen to need?a virtual network, that not only provides access to your latest data but also synchronizes it to one or more machines whenever changes are made? With Novell iFolder, this capability is available now, is deployable and extremely valuable for companies of any size.


The benefits are that a laptop or client workstation can be temporarily out of service (lost, broken, corrupted data, etc.) and the user still has access to the latest version of files. Here are a few market facts that illustrate just how valuable Novell iFolder can be.

  • Analysts estimate that more than 80% of a companies valuable IT assets are stored on mobile and remote computers?protect this valuable data!
  • 1.35 million laptops were destroyed or stolen last year in the US and Canada (source: Safeware, an insurance agency that insures laptops)
  • The average cost to replace a lost or stolen computer is $41,000 once loss of productivity and data are accounted for. (source: Computer Security Institute)
  • ?Enterprises can realize substantial support savings and productivity gains by selecting appropriate remote backup and restore tools for their nomadic users. Avoiding just a few disasters may justify the entire value of the investment.?
    John Girard, Gartner Group

  • ?Enterprises can realize substantial support savings and productivity gains by selecting appropriate remote backup and restore tools for their nomadic users. Avoiding just a few disasters may justify the entire value of the investment.? (source: John Girard, GartnerGroup)
  • GartnerGroup Dataquest projects that what amounted to an embryonic $10 million business [xSP online storage] in 1999 will grow to an $8 billion business by 2003. ?Most of the initial growth will occur within Internet data centers, accounting for 80 percent of the overall market by 2003.? (source: Adam Couture, GartnerGroup Dataquest, The Storage Utility Market: Strap In and Hold Tight)

The major benefits of Novell iFolder include high availability of files no matter where a user may be located, strong security to ensure that only authorized users have access, and high speed mobility making it possible to quickly and easily synchronize files among all connected workstations. A primary use for Novell iFolder is as a disaster recovery solution that provides easy creation and recovery of backups. Other benefits include indirect cost savings from non-perishable data, saved time and increased productivity.

Businesses of any size can derive value from Novell iFolder by providing online accessibility, remote storage, backup and disaster recovery services for users inside or outside an organization. There is a significant need for always available, synchronized storage among individuals, small businesses and even service providers (xSPs? Internet service providers, application service providers, financial service providers, storage service providers, etc.). In turn, integrators can benefit (and profit) by implementing Novell iFolder to satisfy this need. Solution providers can also augment services offered by hosting Novell iFolder capabilities for customers.

Setting Up Novell iFolder

Here's how it works. A Novell iFolder server is established in a centralized or remote location at a business or ISP. The Novell iFolder server provides online storage capabilities for Novell iFolder users or subscribers. The Novell iFolder server creates a default Novell iFolder Web site that allows users to download and install the Novell iFolder workstation client. Whenever a change occurs to files on a client workstation, these changes are automatically reflected on the server. If more than one client workstation is registered or ?subscribed,? then the changed files are also synchronized on each subscribed workstation as well. Novell iFolder provides backup and synchronization services for any connected device. In addition, using a Java applet allows users to access their files from any standard Web browser for download, upload and delete.

Figure 1. Novell iFolder provides universal file access, anywhere, anytime.

A user will often have multiple workstations (an office desktop, a laptop and maybe a home desktop). The user downloads and installs a small Novell iFolder client on each of these workstations. The client software identifies the preferred Novell iFolder server and establishes a secure connection with encrypted data transmission and storage plus automatically synchronizes files at a user-definable time interval.

When the user updates a file on any of the client workstations, the changed information is periodically updated to the Novell iFolder server. Data is mapped in 4KB blocks and only the changed blocks are transmitted so bandwidth requirements are small and easily accommodated by dialup.


System Requirements

Novell iFolder has the following requirements:

Server Requirement ? NetWare? 6, NetWare 5.1, Windows? NT/2000 Server, Linux? or Solaris? 8
? 10MB of free space plus enough disk space for users' Novell iFolder files
? 256MB of RAM
? Web Server?Internet Information Server (IIS) 4 or later if running Windows 2000 or NT; Apache Web Server if running NetWare, Linux or Solaris
Client Requirements ? Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, NT and 2000
? Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 or later

Estimated Setup Time

Novell iFolder is automatically installed as part of the Novell Small Business Suite 6 standard set up. Novell iFolder can also be installed separately in a custom installation. In either case, installation and configuration will be less than one hour. Make sure that you have information such as IP addresses, preferred access ports, domain names and administrator information available in advance of actual setup.


Novell iFolder Server can be installed on a NetWare, NT/2000, Linux or Solaris server and work with any LDAP v3 directory for user authentication. Synchronized client access can be from any Windows 95, 98, ME, XP, NT and 2000 workstation (not Macintosh) and Web access is available through a standard browser that supports Java applets.

Novell iFolder is available as a standalone product or included with NetWare 6. Depending on the operating system used, the initial installation screens will be slightly different. In any case, there are two major steps to implementing Novell iFolder: configuring the Novell iFolder Server and configuring the Novell iFolder client. With Novell iFolder Server properly configured, users can download and install the Novell iFolder client without IT intervention.

Server Installation

Installation Step Description
Install Novell iFolder Server?As part of the NetWare install options, select Novell iFolder Storage Services.

NOTE: In order to run Novell iFolder on NetWare, the Novell Certificate Server must also be installed.
Select Server Settings?Specify server name or address and input the desired communications ports. It is recommended that Novell iFolder run on ports 80 and 443 but if multiple services are running on a single server, you may need to select other ports. Another option is multiple IP addresses.
Input Novell iFolder Server Options?Specify the location for user data, network domain and administrator information.

Installation of Novell iFolder Server with NetWare is now complete. For each user that will be accessing a Novell iFolder Server, a user account must be created. Also, each workstation that will be synchronized must install the Novell iFolder client. The user registration and client download can be handled through the included self-service Web page.

Installation Step Description
Download Client?Users can download client from installed Novell iFolder server through an Internet connection
Start Client Install Process
Select Program Destination?Select the desired program location on the client machine.
Enable Encryption if desired
Enter a Pass Phrase if encryption is enabled
Novell iFolder Directory is Automatically Created?The Novell iFolder Server administrator can control the location of the Novell iFolder directory on the client. The directory will be created under My Documents\iFolder\username\home.
User Control Panel activated from Task Bar?The User Control Panel provides statistics on storage levels, activity and allows users to modify preferences.

Congratulations. You have successfully created a convenient and secure file backup and synchronization solution for on-the-go users and customers. Novell iFolder is a solution designed for today's mobile professional who requires access to important files from any location, at any time. It is a simple and secure file storage and access solution that enables users to manage and access personal files from different workstations and locations. Novell iFolder allows files to automatically follow users everywhere?online, offline, all the time?across multiple systems and the Internet.

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