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From the Inside Out: Never Upgrade your Directory Again

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Erin Quill

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Posted: 18 Feb 2004

We thought it would be cool to have Novell's Product Managers produce a regular column for eDirectory Cool Solutions to give you some insight into current projects, plans, and other interesting tidbits. We're calling it "From the Inside Out." This column is from Erin Quill, Novell Product Manager for eDirectory. Look for a new column weekly. And if you have any suggestions for topics for these guys, let us know and we'll drop some hints.

In a recent From the Inside Out article, Ted Haeger gave a general overview of what Novell embracing Linux means to Novell eDirectory. The feedback came in, which we can paraphrase by saying: "Less fluff?more stuff!" This article explains one of the soon-to-be-had benefits that you will see if you host Novell eDirectory on a Linux server.

Automating eDirectory updates

By combining eDirectory with Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise (Note: now called ZENworks Linux Management) on your Linux servers, you soon will be able to completely automate the upgrade and patching of eDirectory and iManager.

Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise will indicate when updates are available for eDirectory and allow you to update to the latest version quickly and easily. Red Carpet Enterprise eliminates the chore of having go to the Novell support site to see whether Novell has updated eDirectory or published a security patch. With eDirectory hosted on Linux, Red Carpet Enterprise can facilitate the downloading of patches and updates to your site for testing and deployment. When you decide to roll out the update to all of your servers, Red Carpet Enterprise can make it as easy as pressing a button.

How it works

At your site you will setup a Ximian Red Carpet Enterprise Server. This server allows you to subscribe to channels that are published by software vendors such as Novell, Ximian, SUSE Linux, or Red Hat. Novell will be creating a Red Carpet Channel for eDirectory. This means that anytime Novell posts an update or patch to eDirectory, it will be automatically downloaded to your server.

After the eDirectory update has been downloaded to your Red Carpet Enterprise Server, you can test the update to make sure that it works in your environment. As always, it is wise to fully test any update in a lab environment before rolling it to all of your servers.

Once testing is complete it's time to roll out the patch or update to your eDirectory servers. You will be able to select a subset of your Linux servers to update (e.g. all servers in a particular Replica Ring). You then can tell the Red Carpet Enterprise server to pre-copy the files to the servers targeted for upgrade. Subsequently, the servers will perform the upgrade at a time you determine.

About the upgrade itself

Contained in the eDirectory upgrade RPM package is detailed information not only about the eDirectory files that need to be upgrade but any dependencies that it may have on other packages. Does eDirectory need a new version of a file that is not normally part of the eDirectory install? No problem, Red Carpet can detect and notify you of file dependency and conflicts and automatically download and install those updates without user or administrator intervention.

FEEDBACK: Are you running eDirectory on Linux? Tell me about the deployment at

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