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ZENworks for Servers 2
NetWare Support Pack Solution

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Posted: 20 Feb 2001
 

Current version: ZENworks for Servers 2

Contents

Introduction

This is the process for every server in the organization.

With the latest support packs from Novell, the administrator may now install a support pack on a server using the support pack on a remote server, but the administrator still must go to the server and install the support pack and monitor the completion.

Now ZfS can automate the distribution and installation -- including sending SNMP notification if a server does not reboot successfully. ZfS automates the entire process, while providing all of the benefits of ZfS' Tiered Electronic Distribution (TED). TED allows the support pack to be distributed on schedule, and throttled to a specific number of bytes per second. TED also provides a tiered distribution model (fan out) so that WAN bandwidth is preserved. ZfS automates all of the steps needed to install a support pack, both locally and remotely. Using ZfS, an administrator distributes a set of commands for ZfS to perform, and the manual process is automated.

This document will look at the automation process and the installation instructions, not at the distribution process. To fully automate the process, the server software package that we will examine in detail will need to be distributed to each server and installed. The distribution may also happen outside of TED, if a remote site does not have the bandwidth to receive the entire package over the timeframe needed, a CD may be sent to the site and ZfS can install the support pack as defined by the package on the CD. For a more detailed look at TED, please see the ZfS web site at: http://www.novell.com/products/zenworks/servers/

Software Server Packages, SPKs and CPKs

ZfS' ability to install Server Software Packages on servers is the key to automating support pack installation throughout the enterprise. There are two stages of Server Software Packages, SPKs and CPKs.

  • An SPK is the source package -- just the commands
  • A CPK is a compiled package -- the commands and the data that need to go to the servers compiled into a single file.

Novell has made available the SPKs for this solution. See TID 2969517. The support packs may be downloaded from www.novell.com/downloads. Each customer must modify the SPKs, because some of the variables in the SPK will be site-specific, like the administrator username and password.

Here is a detailed look at the SPKs needed to upgrade servers with the latest support packs. All the support pack SPKs are contained in the download, along with other files needed for this solution.

There are many SPKs available in this solution. Each is designed for a different server version and there is a version of the SPK for a local install and a remote install.

Local

A local installation CPK will include the entire support pack, unpack the support pack to the target server, and run the support pack installation. The SPKs are:

  • NW51SP2A.SPK - installs Support Pack 2A on a NetWare 5.1 Server
  • NW50SP6A.SPK - installs Support Pack 6A on a NetWare 5.0 Server
  • NW4SP9.SPK -- installs Support Pack 9 on a NetWare 4 Server

Remote

A remote installation CPK will include only a few supporting files needed for a remote installation. This leverages the ability that the support packs have added to install from a remote server. The support pack only downloads specific files needed by the installation, not the entire support pack. These SPKs are:

  • RM-NW51SP2A.SPK - installs Support Pack 2A on a NetWare 5.1 Server from a remote server
  • RM-NW50SP6A.SPK - installs Support Pack 6A on a NetWare 5.0 Server from a remote server
  • RM-NW4SP9.SPK --installs Support Pack 9 on a NetWare 4 Server from a remote server

As you might guess, all of these SPKs are very similar. We will look at the NetWare 5.1 local install SPK and then look at minor differences between the NW51 SPK and the other SPKs.

NW51SP2A.SPK Details

An SPK is defined and managed in ConsoleOne, Novell's Java-based management console. The Server Software Packages components can be accessed after the ZfS ConsoleOne snapins have been installed into the ConsoleOne directory.

The first step is to import the applicable SPK into ConsoleOne. To do this right click on the Server Software Packages name space and select Insert New Package (Fig. 1).

Figure 1 -- Insert new Software Package

Browse to the location of the SPK (most likely C:\SPACK) and select Open (Fig 2).

Figure 2 -- Browse and select NW51SP2A.SPK

An SPK has components and properties. To see the components, click on the SPK's expand box. The properties include a description, requirements, and variables. The Support Pack SPKs use variables, which is the only place where each site will need to make specific modifications. All of the SPK's components may use the SPK's variables. To see the variables, right click on the SPK and select Properties (Fig. 3).

Figure 3 -- Select Properties of the SPK

The Properties page opens to a description:

Figure 4 -- Identification and description of the SPK

Click on the Variables tab to make the site-specific changes needed by the installation process (Fig. 5):

Figure 5 -- The Variables contain all variables that will need to be changed per implementation.

The variables that are predefined are:

  • dest_vol
    volume to which the support pack will be copied and installed from (i.e. VOL:)
  • DOS_vol
    location that DOS-based files are to be copied to (i.e. C:\NWSERVER)
  • user_id
    administrator name that the install program will use to extend the tree
  • pwd
    password for the above username
  • rm_server
    target server for the SNMP trap
  • rm_tree
    target servers tree
  • min_til_timeout
    minutes the target server will wait prior to sending an SNMP message

The variables in this screen must be customized for each site running this solution! This is the only screen that you must make modifications in.

One note is required here about security. The package that is sent out over the wire to each server is not encrypted. If the package was picked up (all of the packets that create the CPK file) by an LANalyzer or a Sniffer, then the username and password could be derived from the package. For this reason we suggest you use a temporary username for this solution. The user must have administrator rights, but could (and should) be restricted to a server login only, not a workstation login. When the rollout is complete, this temporary user should be deleted.

SPK Components

SPKs may contain more than one component. For simplicity we have broken out the tasks into five components. This will allow us to view specific functions separately.

The five components are (Fig. 6):

  • Launch CPhlper
    provides the username and password to the setup program
  • Copy NW51SP2A Files
    copies Support Pack 2a to the server
  • Copy Silent Script
    overwrites install scripts with modified scripts
  • Setup SNMP Trap
    copies and runs Java Process to set SNMP trap
  • Launch Support Pack Install
    installs the support pack

Figure 6 -- The components of NW51SP2A.SPK

Launch CPhelper Component

As its description states, this component will copy and launch an NLM called CPhelper.NLM. CPData.NLM will provide the userID and password used by the install so that the administrator does not need to be at the server console during the install. CPhelper is only to be used in conjunction with this Server Software Package.

To view the component's commands, right click on the component and select properties. This component copies one file to the destination volume, as defined by the variable (Fig. 8). It then loads the NLM with the username and password (Fig. 9) as defined in the SPK variable screen (Fig. 7).

Figure 7 -- Copies file to destination volume

Figure 8 -- Loads copied NLM with variables

Copy NW51SP2A Files Component

This component is responsible to compile and copy the correct files to the server for installation. For this component, the Support pack files must be extracted or copied to your C: drive under a directory called \SPACK. The support pack extract utility will create a subdirectory called \nw51sp2a. Look for SPACK.IPS , which should be in the C:\spack\nw51sp2a subdirectory. If that file is there, then the directory structure is correct and the component will successfully compile and distribute the support pack files.

The Copy File tab (Fig. 9) in the component is where the definition exists of what to copy, to where. This is already defined for you and uses the variables (Fig. 6).

Figure 9 - Defines what files to copy and to where

Copy Silent Script Component

This component overwrites the standard scripts in the support pack. This is a silent script that was developed specifically for an automated install. This component is placed below the Copy NW51SP2A Files component so that the original scripts land on the destination first, then the Copy Silent Script component overwrites the original scripts.

Setup SNMP Trap Component

The Setup SNMP Trap component copies files needed to set a trap on a target server. If ZENworks for Servers does not start back up within the allotted number of minutes, the trap gets sent from the target server. You must have a Management server (like ZENworks for Servers Management Services, or ManageWise) to process the trap and send the administrator a page. If the administrator receives a page, they will know which server did not start backup thoroughly enough to run ZfS. They can then go troubleshoot the servers that need it, instead of babysitting all of the servers.

The first step is to copy the files (Fig. 10), then to run the NCF that runs the Java process to set the trap (Fig. 11). The script uses variables found in Figure 5.

Figure 10 -- Copy a Java Class file and an NCF script

Figure 11 -- Run the script to set the trap using variables

Launch Support Pack Install Component

The last component kicks off the install with the correct parameters:

    • b=%dest_vol%\nw51sp2a\spack.ipz s=%dest_vol%\nw51sp2a d=%DOS_vol%

Again, the variables found in Figure 5 are used in the parameter string.

Figure 12 -- Launch the Support Pack Install

Compiling and distributing SPK

To compile the CPK, just right click on the SPK and select Compile.

Prior to compiling the SPK, download the support pack. Files must be extracted or copied to your C: drive under a directory called \SPACK. The ZfS support pack download must be unpacked to C:\SPACK as well. You may have more than one support pack in the directory structure (i.e. NW 4.11 9, NW5.0 6a, and NW 5.0 2a may all be under C:\SPACK). The ZfS support pack download must be unpacked to C:\SPACK.

Once the CPK(s) are compiled, they can be distributed and installed by ZENworks for Servers, or delivered via CD and installed with ZfS.

For more detailed instructions see SPK INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS.DOC found in C:\SPACK.

NW5.0 SPK Modifications

There is only component added for the NW 5.0 Support Pack 6a SPK. This component is called Copy CPData. NetWare 5.0 ships with an older version of CPDATA.NLM and does not work correctly with the support pack installation.

Figure 13 -- NetWare 5.0 SPK -- copies a newer version of CPData

NW4 SPK Modifications

For NW4 the password and username are passed to the install via a file. For security purposes, that file is copied to SYS: SYSTEM, and the file may be deleted later by ZfS.

The component ZfS2.TXT does two things, it copies a template text file into SYS:SYSTEM that has variables in the text (Fig. 14), then in Figure 15 it searches the variables and replaces them with the value found in the variables from the SPK properties (see Fig. 5).

Figure 14 -- The component copies ZfS2.TXT

Other than this component, the NW4 SPK is the same as the NW5 SPK

Figure 15 -- The Text Policy inserts the variables values into the text file.

Remote Server Installation Modifications

All of the remote SPK have one additional feature. They point to a target server for the files to be installed from. That means that the support pack itself does not have to reside on the server that is doing the upgrade, the support pack can reside on a different server and one (or all) server can log into that server and copy down only the files needed for the upgrade. This feature is available natively in the support packs, and is leveraged by the ZfS support pack solution.

To do this, the variables used in the Setup SNMP Trap component are used as the source server. This means that the server that serves the support pack for copying also holds the SNMP trap.

There are now only two components, the NLM that passes off the username and password still needs to run (Fig. 16), and then the install, which uses a new set of variables (Figs. 17 and 18).

Figure 16 -- Only two components are needed for a remote installation

Figure 17 -- Many more variables are needed to point to a remote server for installation

Figure 18 -- NWConfig is run with a long list of arguments


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