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Old Friends and New for ZCM: Accessing old disk images and making space for new ones



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March 11, 2010 10:35 am

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[no-glossary]

We recently started testing, and then deploying, ZENworks Configuration Management 10.2. For our test setup, we installed ZCM on SLES 10.3 as a XEN virtual machine. We are a small company, so it’s not uncommon for us to convert a test setup to a production setup if the testing goes well. Our testing of ZCM went well, so we decided to leave the ZCM on the XEN virtual machine. One problem though: storage space for images. We didn’t have hundreds of gigabytes available to create the ZCM virtual machine, so it’s a bit short of space for storing images. Plus we wanted to bring in our old ZENworks 7 images over to the new setup, just in case we need some of them.

The first thing we needed to do was provide access to the old images. Our old ZENworks 7 server is a NetWare 6.5 server. It has a 1 TB volume that the images are sitting on. Since we won’t need access to the old images forever, we don’t really want to copy them to the new server. We also don’t have enough space for them on the new server. What to do? NFS to the rescue! We went into iManager and setup an NFS share.

We shared the volume the images are on, giving the IP address of the ZCM server access to the NFS share.

NOTE: Be sure you use security settings than make sense in your environment. The ZCM server will need WRITE access at least.

NOTE: Be sure your NetWare server can do a DNS lookup of the server you are creating the NFS with. Either through DNS, or the sys:\etc\hosts file. If the NetWare server cannot do a name resolution, it won’t allow the ZCM server access to the NFS share.

Once you’ve done the NetWare side of the setup, go into Yast on the ZCM server. Go to NFS Client, and setup the mount of the NFS share from the NetWare server. We moutned ours as OLD, so when we do a manual image restore, we use old/imagename.zmg. This setup now gives us access to our old images without having to copy them over to the ZCM server.

Next, we need to give the new ZCM server some space to store all the fresh, new images we will be taking. What to do? NFS to the rescue, again! We have a nice little NAS box on our LAN. It’s a NetGear ReadyNAS Pro. The ReadyNAS Pro does CIFS, NFS, FTP, HTTP, RSYNC, etc… You could really use any device that allows you to share its storage, including a Windows or Linux box. It doesn’t have to be a NFS share, it could Samba or CIFS from a Linux or Windows machine. It just has to be a file system you can mount on the ZCM server. In our setup, we use NFS because it’s available, and seems to work pretty seamlessly. Our NAS has 6 TB of space on it, so we have plenty to share with the ZCM server. On my ReadyNAS I created a NFS share named ZENimages, and setup the security to allow the IP address of the ReadyNAS full access to that share.

Now back on the ZCM server, we go into Yast > Network Services > NFS Client and setup the mount point. This time we make it /var/opt/novell/zenworks/content-repo/images/nas (see images below)

When we take an image, we store it at nas/imagename.zmg and it automatically get’s placed on the NAS. There doesn’t seem to be any speed difference.

This setup has allowed us to separate our images from our install of ZCM, giving us more overall flexibility. By having a smaller virtual machine, we can more easily move it to new hardware. We can also more easily backup the ZCM server.

Mike Brady

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

1 Comment

  1. By:mcolwell

    We’ve been doing this sense ZCM 10.0.0 and it works really well. There wasn’t a significant difference in speed between reading/writing to the NFS mount vs reading/writing to the local disk.

    This allowed us support ZFD imaging as we transitioned into ZCM – which is/was a good thing, because ZCM 10.0.x had some “issues”

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