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Set Up Your Own Web-based Resource Center

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench
By Craig Zimmer

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Posted: 5 Mar 2002

Craig Zimmer (known as "The Z Man" by his friends at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) has created an online resource center for students, faculty, and members of the Information Services staff. This slick solution puts critical tools, utilities, and log files as close as the nearest browser.

We are using the Netscape Enterprise Web Server (NES) in a NetWare 5.1 clustered environment. Our tree has twelve NetWare servers. These twelve represent four nodes in the cluster. The clustered NES server has two primary functions:

  • First, it serves as the campus source for Novell information,
  • Second, it hosts a secure area for members of my department. In the secure area we have listings of our department's personnel with all pertinent data, network connection data, assist files i.e. ASCII charts, NIC vendor codes, etc.

The most helpful listings in the secure area are the server listings. With each server listing, we link to a variety of pages that are directly related to that server. These pages are linked to various configuration text files, module loads and versions, network configuration (port settings and location), and each server's NCF files. All of these files are copies so should a server go down, all needed information is readily accessible.

One of the cooler features of this system is a nightly CRON job that runs on each server. This CRON job copies all log files generated in a given day to the appropriate directory on the secure server. Since the links are built into each server's page, I can read these log files and tell from anywhere what the console log from the day before shows, who ftp'd into the server (and who attempted to), if the backups were successful, the last abend, the system error log, and more. This keeps me informed as to any major changes that have taken place over the last day. And since the system is clustered, it is available 24/7.

Simple trick, but very helpful.

Craig Zimmer

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