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Novell Storage Manager in HAMK University



October 9, 2012 3:27 pm





HAMK University is located in the southern Finland, main campus is in the city of Hämeenlinna. We have about 8,000 students / 800 staff.

The Past

For the last four years, NSM managed all our users’ home directories which were spread out on multiple sites and multiple NetWare/OES2 servers. We used it to create/move/delete users and handle data accordingly.

The Change

2012 has been a year of big changes for us.

We migrated all file services from Novell to NetApp CIFS & AD environment and consolidated data from 16 file servers to a single clustered NetApp box.

This involved migrating 12 million user-owned files from NSS to NTFS world. This was done with NSM3 AD, using the Cross Empire Data Migration (what a name!).

NSM was able to migrate the files with ownership, date and trustee information included! This was a big thing for us.

Notice: NSS IRFs are not handled by NSM migration, it simply mentions that those are ignored and you have to fix it manually if needed. Not all show-and-go though. Migrations were painfully slow, and NSM wasn’t very stable — it needed lot of monitoring. During this project we talked with NSM support and got few things sorted out on the way and made few development suggestions – like changing the error handling. Currently NSM stops migration jobs when a single problematic file is found, which is a big problem in large scale migrations.

The Now

Now our user accounts are managed by IDM and provisioned to the production AD where NSM3 handles their home directories, archives and eventually deletes them. NSM also applies a template to the home directory with few directories/files with special rights.

One problem is that NSM doesn’t support the quota management on NetApp systems, that is on the wishlist for development.

October 2012 Novell Update by David Condrey, Novell File Management Products: A number of performance and feature enhancements have been made to the Cross-Empire Data Migration subsystem in Novell Storage Manager over the past several months. Many of these came from the interaction and suggestions of customers, including HAMK University.

Several of these updates have already been rolled out to customers via the normal update channel. Others are targeted for delivery in the next several months. These updates have been examined and vetted in conjunction with a very large scale migration effort by a Novell partner.

Among these updates are new capabilities and usage methodologies targeted specifically toward large scale migrations:

  • New code has been introduced that allows multiple threads on multiple connections to move data simultaneously, improving performance.
  • A completely new two-phase methodology has been introduced to allow the administrator to introduce sets of data for migration. Using this phased approach improves performance and reduces downtime for users.
  • New tools and a new process for high-speed copy verification have been developed and introduced.
  • Error handling in the migrations has been changed specifically to align with the customers’ suggestions.

Migration of enterprise file systems from an eDirectory infrastructure to an Active Directory infrastructure is a complicated undertaking and there are many factors involved in what is always a somewhat customized environment. As such, while Novell Storage Manager automates almost all of this effort and we continue to improve and streamline its usage, there is some amount of administrator guidance that will always be involved.

As always, we greatly appreciate the input from customers such as HAMK University and use this type of collaboration to make Novell Storage Manager better for everyone.

OPEN CALL: We’re interested in how admins are using Novell Storage Manager in schools. Submit your story to and you’ll receive Novell Rewards points for them. Find out more about the OPEN CALL here.

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Categories: Expert Views, Storage Manager


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