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NetWare 6.5 Installation and Server Consolidation: a Traveler's Companion

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Glen Davis

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Posted: 10 Sep 2003

Glen Davis is a member of Novell's System Test team. After a product release, System Test does a training session for Support to pass on the knowledge of the product that they've gained as they worked to test the code in the months preceding shipment. Here's what Glen wrote about issues regarding Install\Upgrade and Server Consolidation\Migration. We thought you'd like to see it too, and Glen graciously agreed to let us share it here.

This is the kind of thing you should print and have near at hand when you embark on your Install or Server Consolidation. It's sort of a Traveler's Companion noting things you might see on the way, alerting you to the pitfalls, and generally letting you know that you're not crazy when unexpected things happen.


Boot Options -- there are Four Prompts.

  1. Install or Run Server
  2. CD-ROM Drivers - SCSI or IDE
  3. Switch floppy drives
  4. Manual Start or Auto Start

Option 3 -The default option "A" works in almost all cases, but certain types of hardware (typically clones) may not boot to the install screen. You must reboot off the CD and manually select one of the other manual options. In my testing if the Default option didn't work, Option D did work.

Option 4 - Choosing Manual. Be aware that there are several switches that can be used on Install. If choosing Manual you will be taken to an R:\ prompt. Type Install /? to see all the Manual install options. One of these is the Down server upgrade (Install /Upgrade). The down server upgrade should only be used in rare cases where the normal "Up" Server upgrade has failed and the server will no longer boot. In the future it may also be used to upgrade a NW4.2 or NW 5.0 server.

Default vs. Manual Install type - In NW6 this was called Custom or Express. In the past if you chose Express, the install picked a base set of products. With the Default install in NW65 (which is similar to Express), you are now given the choice of what products to install, but the install is done much quicker since it skips disk carving, and automatically selects drivers.

The Pre-Migration install is now one of the "Pattern" installs that can be selected during the GUI Portion of the Install.

Sub-Container Admin Installs

Prerequisites to using a sub-container admin

The server being installed is not receiving a replica.

The first NetWare 6.5 server in the tree is installed with all products and with an admin with rights to root to extend the schema. (Note - I only mention to install all products to make sure a container admin does not try to install something that the root admin did not install).

These rights must be assigned:

  • The sub-container administrator must have the Read right to the NDSPKI:Private Key Attribute on the Organizational CAs object. The CAs object is located in the Security container.
  • The sub-container administrator must have Supervisor rights to the W0 object located inside the KAP object in the Security container.
  • Supervisor right to the container where the server will be installed (with rights that flow down).

Local and Remote Upgrades

A Local Upgrade is done while the server is up and is done from the GUI Screen. This new upgrade method is much like doing a post-install with NW51 or NW6. The Remote Upgrade is done from the Workstation and copies files to the server being upgraded. (Note: The remote Upgrade is a full upgrade and includes the install of all products, health check, etc. This is very different from the old Accelerated Upgrade from NW51 and NW6.)

Upgrades - a brief overview on how they work

  1. Files are copied from workstation (remote) or Server (local) GUI.
  2. Server reboots - loads special boot up option from Autoexec.bat. (If manually rebooted after Step 1, the server must be restarted with RESET SERVER not RESTART SERVER or the upgrade will not complete correctly, because the Autoexec.bat will not be executed.
  3. When server boots with the options the upgrade puts in Autoexec.bat it will copy Java files, and do the driver matchup and loading.
  4. The server will then come back up to a GUI on the server (local upgrade), or reconnect to the Workstation (remote Upgrade).
  5. eDirectory will be installed and configuration of products will take place.

Important: The install mentions in fine print to remove CDs or floppies. This is not just good advice -- it's essential. If this is not done, the upgrade may fail. For instance if a bootable NW6 overlay is left in the server, upon reboot the autoexec.bat will not get executed, and the server may continue the upgrade while skipping Step 3.

CD-ROM Issue - Sometimes when upgrading from NW51 using a CD, during the switch of the OS CD and the Products CD the products CD does not get mounted (seems to be a timing issue). Try ejecting the CD, wait a bit then put in the Products CD. Toggle over from the GUI and make sure the Products CD gets mounted before proceeding. If it does not mount, try ejecting the Products CD and putting it back in.

Remote Upgrade - Slow or Fast?

To speed up a remote upgrade it is recommended that the NW65 install files be located on a staging server. The file copy will go from server to server bypassing the workstation and resulting in much faster upgrade, especially in a WAN scenario.

Performance Test

  • Upgrade with source files on the workstation across a WAN - 4 hours 30 min
  • Upgrade with workstation across the WAN, but source files residing on staging server on the same side of the WAN as the server being upgraded -- 1hr 25min

Note - If there are any communication failures between the servers, the copy will fail back and copy through the workstation.

Remote Upgrade and Client Version

I recommend that the 4.9 client shipping with NetWare 6.5 be installed on the workstation that a Remote Upgrade is being performed on. There have been some issues with servers being put into a bad client cache that can cause the remote upgrade to fail, and login problems when doing the tree prep steps from the Deployment Manager.

Packet Size and N100.lan problem

Customers using the N100.lan from Compaq\HP machines need to have the Maximum Physical Receive Packet Size set to 2048 or greater before performing an upgrade. With NW6 the setting was allowed to be set lower, but with the N100.lan on NetWare 6.5 it will not bind IP unless the setting is set to 2048 or above. If the Packet Size is set below 2048, then after the first reboot during the upgrade, the LAN driver will not load.


HP\Compaq customers that have hardware that uses the CPQBSSA.NLM, may see an abend during bootup after an install or upgrade. This will be fixed with a new Smart Start coming out in September.

Virus Scan - NAV

NAV 8.0 currently is not supported on NetWare 6.5. If customers are running NAV 8.0 and then upgrade, once a file is copied to the server it will abend. NAV 8.1 does not have the problem. Whether 8.0 will come out with a patch for 8.0 remains under investigation.

Failed Upgrade Options

We haven't seen any failed upgrades in quite sometime so hopefully you will never have to use these options.

  • Downed Server Upgrade - If the Upgrade fails and the server won't boot, you can try this method. Boot off the OS CD and choose the Manual option. Then run Install /Upgrade.
  • Failed Remote Upgrade - If the Remote upgrade has completed the first portion, and has rebooted but cannot connect back to the workstation, the upgrade can be competed manually from the local Console. To do this run the following individually: NICONFIG, STARTX, DOSETUP.

Upgrade of NW51 and installing MySql and Extend AppServer

When upgrading from NW51 and Installing MySql, the user will be prompted with a message that indicates that MySQL cannot run on a traditional volume (MySql by default tries to install its data directory to SYS). Since NSS volumes are not mounted or created during the Upgrade, the user can manually do these steps to get MySQL and the Extend AppServer (dependent on MySql) working.

  1. After the upgrade, create an NSS volume or upgrade existing NSS volumes with NSS /Zlssvolumeupgrade=all.
  2. Edit Sys:\etc\my.cnf and put in the correct volume - datadir=nssvol:/mysql/data
  3. mysql_install_db
  4. mysqld_safe
  5. perl SYS:\mysql\scripts\ (this script will prompt you with various options for securing MySQL)

If the Extend AppServer was installed it must also be configured once the MySQL configuration steps have been completed. Do the following:

Load silverinit appserverpassword adminpassword mysqlrootpassword

Note - These passwords are explained in Sys:\exteNd\AppServer\bin\silverinit.ncf)

Migration Wizard

Changing IP Address

When changing an IP address after the migration back to the original, be sure to edit the ETC\hosts and Hostname files and put in the correct IP address. Failure to do so will cause Post-install of Products to fail.

Database Can't Be Created Errors on NT 4.0 Workstations

If you see a "Database Project Can't Be Created" error when running the Migration Wizard Utility on a Windows NT 4.0 workstation, you must install the Microsoft Jet Database drivers.

Last Access Dates changing

When you choose to have the Server Consolidation Utility perform a file compare after the copy process completes, it might report "Last Accessed Date" errors in the log file.

Depending on the source and destination the Last Access dates may change on either the source or the destination. These errors will be fixed in SP1. See the Server Consolidation Utility readme for more info.

Extended Character problems

324996 - If a folder you back up and restore contains the Japanese / character, the Japanese character folder is not created on the destination but all the files and folders in it are restored to the parent directory that contained the / directory name.

500288888 - In some instances there may be an abend if using extended characters for backup and restore if you're using the "Load Time Option."

High Utilization and Memory errors

This happens only on servers with 512MB RAM and loaded with 2-3 applications, sometimes just SMS running also causes this. The main causes are SERVER.NLM and NBI.NLM (NetWare Bus Interface) which actually holds up the CPU as the memory is low. SERVER.NLM actually hogs the CPU as it searches for free memory availability as SMS requests for memory expansion to do a backup. This search in entire memory by SERVER.NLM is the costliest operation as it has to do a bitmap search of the whole memory and finally reports cannot expand memory. This will also result in "Cache Allocator out of memory message" after a long run.

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