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How Did You Survive the Blackout?

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature

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Posted: 20 Aug 2003

We wanted to know how the eDirectory users the blackout areas of the US and Canada fared, so we asked. Here are a few of the gems we received. If you have a blackout tale to tell, send us yours ( we would love to hear from you.

Tim Edmonds

Well, in a nutshell, we had over 300 Gigabytes to restore at our DR site. Before we finished, power came back on and eDirectory took off and picked up where it left off... Seems like someone once told me that was what it is supposed to do, and damned if it did exactly that.

Matthew Mello

Wow, what a weekend!

Having electrical power pulled out from under us, at such a critical time as now as we are preparing for a new school year immediately caused the anxiety meter to peg.

Having reliable, 24x7 electrical power is not just a convenience in a school district, but a necessity. Its technology that makes other services happen for our school district, without which we could not open our doors to welcome students and staff for another school year.

Such is the case with NetWare services. Our reliance on NetWare to power our schools' networks is on the same level as receiving reliable electrical power for our buildings. NetWare is an "empowering" technology for networks, which makes other critical services happen for our network users. With NetWare we utilize file/print services, secure Internet access with BorderManager and efficient workstation management with ZENworks. With 8 school buildings connected with a WAN, a staff of 500 employees and a student population of 4200 pupils, we leverage eDirectory to provide network services to our community of users.

On the onset of the "great power blackout of 2003" we noticed electrical power was failing in a path across our sites, from south to north across our school district and began implementing our crisis management procedures. These procedures ensure our technology infrastructure is protected and shutting down properly and can resume services normally when electrical power is restored. It is noteworthy to point out a couple of things we noticed during these procedures with our NetWare servers which underscore its reliability.

First, several of our servers were in the middle of partitioning operations, whereby subdivisions of the directory tree were being processed. When power was resumed, these NetWare 6 servers were able to resume partitioning operations without hesitation. Our directory tree has thousands of user and server objects.

Second, while remotely monitoring the servers for shutdown procedures, we were pleasantly surprised to see server uptime statistics on the order of hundreds of days. NetWare was providing services for users on these servers without disruption for months until electricity was lost.

Cannot thank you enough for a great product with NetWare. Upon restoration of electrical power, all our servers properly resumed their roles for providing "network power" to our community.

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