Enterprise Software

ConsoleOne: Novell's next-generation network management utility

In this Daily Drill down, Steven Pittsley introduces you to Novell's new administration utility for NetWare: ConsoleOne. You'll learn how to install ConsoleOne, perform common administration tasks, and more.


NetWare Administrator beware, your days are numbered. No, I don’t mean you, the person reading this. Rather, I mean the familiar NetWare administration utility. Before long, you and your cousin, NDS Manager, will be nothing but a distant memory. The new kid on the block is ConsoleOne, and he will do the job both of you have been doing, and much, much more.

ConsoleOne is Novell’s one-stop network administration utility that provides you with a wealth of network management tools for many different products, all in one easy-to-use utility. This Daily Drill Down is the first of two articles that will provide you with an in-depth look at ConsoleOne. This Daily Drill Down begins with a basic overview of ConsoleOne, including the hardware requirements that are necessary for installing and running it. Then you’ll learn how to install the utility on your administrative workstation. The article will conclude by showing you how to use ConsoleOne to manage NDS partitions and replicas. The second Daily Drill Down will showcase many of the nifty features that are included with ConsoleOne, version 1.2c.2.

Welcome to ConsoleOne
The network administration paradigm is moving away from distributed management utilities to a single, centralized application. ConsoleOne provides you with a Java-based GUI environment on an administrative workstation running Windows 95/98 or Windows NT for your NetWare 5.x file servers.

Through snap-ins, ConsoleOne provides you with management capabilities for many of Novell’s newer products, such as Single Sign-On and Certificate Server. Other Novell products that can be managed from ConsoleOne include NDS eDirectory, NetWare Cluster Services for NetWare 5, ZENworks for Networks, ZENworks for Servers, and NetWare 5.1. According to Novell, all major products currently under development will include snap-ins for ConsoleOne. In addition to managing the new products, you also have the ability to manage many of NetWare’s core services, such as NDS objects, the NDS schema, and NDS partitions and replicas.

One of the highly touted features of ConsoleOne is the ability to easily browse large NDS trees. Novell claims they were able to expand a container holding 50,000 objects in just a few seconds. If you work in a large organization, you’ll enjoy the speed with which ConsoleOne works with large NDS trees.

ConsoleOne also provides you with the ability to modify the properties of multiple files, folders, objects, and volumes simultaneously, allowing you to modify several objects quickly and easily in a single step. In addition, you are able to create and use a template object for creating objects with the same properties. While this functionality is present in NetWare Administrator, it is new to this version of ConsoleOne.

What do I need to run ConsoleOne?
Despite the functionality provided in ConsoleOne, the hardware requirements to run it on your administrative workstation are relatively moderate and should not present a problem. The workstation requirements are:
  • Windows 95, 98, or NT
  • NetWare 5 client software
  • A processor that runs at 200 MHz or more
  • 64 MB of RAM (128 MB is strongly recommended), with an equal amount of virtual memory
  • 25 MB of free disk space

Again, the hardware requirements to run ConsoleOne on a file server should be easy to meet. The NetWare 5 server requirements are:
  • NetWare 5 support pack 3 or later
  • 64 MB of free RAM (128 MB is strongly recommended)
  • 25 MB of free disk space
  • A processor that runs at 200 MHz or more
  • 800 x 600 resolution
  • ConsoleOne Installation

If you do not have ConsoleOne, version 1.2c.2, you can download it from Novell’s Web site. You can either download ConsoleOne in one huge .zip file or three smaller ones. The large .zip file is about 28 MB and downloads quickly using a high-speed connection. If you have a slower connection, you may want to download the smaller files, none of which exceed 11 MB. The total file size is larger, however, when you download the parts as opposed to downloading the one large file.

Installing ConsoleOne
If you want to use ConsoleOne on your file server, you don’t have to do a thing—ConsoleOne is automatically installed on NetWare 5 servers. To launch the application you can either type C1START from the server console, or select ConsoleOne from the server GUI menu.

If you elect to use ConsoleOne from a Windows workstation, you must first install it locally. The setup program is located at \PUBLIC\MGMT\CONSOLEONE\1.2\INSTALL\SETUP.EXE. To begin the local installation, run Setup.exe. You’ll be asked to choose the language, and after doing so, click OK to continue.

The next screen is the ConsoleOne Setup Welcome screen. Click Next to bypass this screen and continue to the license agreement screens—ConsoleOne has two of these. The first license agreement is for Jreport Runtime, from Jinfonet Software, Inc. After reading the license agreement, if you agree to the terms, click Yes to continue to the Novell license agreement screen. Once again, after reading the terms, if you agree to them, click Yes to continue with the installation.

You will be asked to choose the destination folder for the application. If you want to place it somewhere other than the default setting, use the Browse button to set the new location. I elected to use the default location of C:\Novell\ConsoleOne\1.2. You should click Next when you are satisfied with the location.

The next screen asks you to choose the program folder to which ConsoleOne will be added. I chose the Novell (Common) folder, rather than the default Administrative Tools (Common) folder. When you are satisfied with your choice, click Next to continue the installation.

You have now provided the installation program with all of the required information. The settings you have chosen will now be displayed, and if they are correct, click Next to continue. If you must make changes, use the Back button to do so. After clicking the Next button the files will be copied and the shortcuts created. Once the file copy is complete, click Finish to exit the installation program.

Now that the application has been installed, you can launch ConsoleOne by using the desktop shortcut that is created during installation, or by executing it from the default location of C:\NOVELL\CONSOLEONE\1.2\BIN\CONSOLEONE.EXE.

ConsoleOne Basics
After you install ConsoleOne and launch it, you’ll see an initial screen that looks similar to Figure A. The Drums container has been expanded to demonstrate that the left window is used to expand and collapse containers, while the right window is used to work with specific resources.

Figure A
ConsoleOne organizes containers in the left pane and resources in the right pane.


A nice feature that remains from NetWare Administrator is the ability to quickly locate an object by starting to type its name. To do this, highlight the container that the object is located in, click in the right window and begin typing the name. You’ll see a small window located in the lower right portion of the ConsoleOne screen showing the text that is being typed. When you have entered the first few unique characters of the object name, press Enter and you’ll be taken to the object that matches the string you have entered.

Working with objects in ConsoleOne is similar to NetWare Administrator, but the look and feel of the interface is very different. As you can see in Figure B, the Properties page for objects looks much different in ConsoleOne. Clicking on the Names tab takes you to the property pages. You can also click on the arrows to receive a drop-down list of sub-pages that are available through the tab. For example, Figure B shows the Identification page of the General tab. By clicking on the arrow that is located on the Memberships tab you see the sub-pages that are available to you under that tab.

Figure B
The Properties page for objects looks different in ConsoleOne.


Creating new objects is also very similar to NetWare Administrator. You may use either the File menu or right-click method to select New and then Object. As demonstrated in Figure C, you must then select the class of object from the list that’s displayed. After clicking OK to select the object class, you can name the object and select Define Additional Properties, just as you have done for so many years.

Figure C
Creating objects in ConsoleOne is very similar to NetWare Administrator.


One very cool feature available to you in ConsoleOne is the Properties Of Multiple Objects as shown in Figure D. To use this feature, select two or more objects and then click on File, followed by Properties Of Multiple Objects. Alternatively you can right-click the selected objects and choose Properties Of Multiple Objects. If necessary, you can add or remove objects using the appropriate buttons. Any changes made on the property pages will be applied to all of the objects displayed in the window.

Figure D
You can view properties for multiple objects using ConsoleOne.


If you have a very large NDS tree, the filtering option found under the View menu will help you quickly define which objects you want ConsoleOne to display. For example, let’s suppose you don’t want to see any objects beginning with the letters DNS. To filter out these objects, type DNS* in the Name field of the Filter window, as shown in Figure E. After clicking OK and refreshing the browse window, no objects beginning with the letters DNS will be displayed. This filter only applies to object names, not object types, though.

Selecting the object types you want to display in the browse window is a straightforward process. Looking at Figure E, the object types selected will be displayed, and the ones deselected will not be displayed. The exception to this rule is the All Types(*) selection which, when selected, causes all object types to be displayed. The Preview button is used to apply the filter without closing the Filter window. If you click Cancel, the window will be restored to the previous selections.

As you can imagine, you can cause yourself some headaches with these filters. If you are having difficulty finding an object, you should verify that no filters have been set. Clicking the Reset button will remove the filters that have been created and restore the default values of no name filters and the All Types(*) object type selection.

Figure E
You can create filters to more easily display objects.


Using ConsoleOne to Work with NDS Partitions
One of the major highlights of ConsoleOne is the ability to work not only with NDS objects, but also NDS partitions and replicas. When you switch to the Partition And Replica View, which is located under the View menu, you’ll be presented with a window that looks similar to Figure F.

Figure F
ConsoleOne allows you to manage NDS partitions and replicas.


If you’ve used NDS Manager before, you’ll find this screen very familiar. The left window is used to navigate the tree, and the right window displays the replica ring. Containers designated as a partition root have a small icon next to them that looks like a pie with a piece missing, as demonstrated with the RHYTHM-INC container in Figure F.

Creating partitions is very easy. After verifying that there are no partition errors, highlight the container that will be partitioned. Next, right-click the container, select Views, and then Partition And Replica View. The right window will have nothing displayed in it because there is no replica ring for the partition yet. If a replica ring is being displayed, you’ll be unable to make this container a new partition because it already is a partition.

To create the new partition, click on the Create Partition button located on the toolbar, as shown in Figure G. After clicking the button, you’ll be asked if you want to create a new partition from the container. You should answer Yes to this question, after which a window will be displayed to let you know that NDS is processing your request. You can close the window without interrupting the process.

Figure G
You can create NDS partitions using ConsoleOne.


You have the ability to attempt to abort the partitioning process by clicking the Cancel button, but it’s probably not a good idea to interrupt the portioning process. It’s much safer just to create the partition and then merge it back into the parent partition.

Once the new partition has been created, the replica ring will be displayed. Notice the icon next to the container, denoting a partition.

Merging a child partition with its parent is also relatively easy. Before attempting a partition function, ensure that there are no errors and that the state of all replicas in the ring is On. If all is well, you should highlight the root partition container and right-click it. Select Views and then Partition And Replica View, just as you did when creating the partition.

This time the right window will display a replica ring. Ensure that the child partition’s root container is still selected in the left window, and then click the Merge Partition button that is located on the toolbar, as shown in Figure H. After clicking the button you’ll be asked to verify that you want to merge the partition with its parent partition. If everything is correct, click OK and the merge will begin. When the merge has completed, you’ll see the tree refresh and the container will no longer be denoted as a partition.

Figure H
You can also merge NDS partitions using ConsoleOne.


Despite the simplicity of these processes, don’t underestimate the problems that can occur when you work with NDS partitions. Since NDS is the heart of your network, take great care when making changes to the way it is partitioned across the network.

Using ConsoleOne to Work with NDS Replicas
You can also use ConsoleOne to manage NDS replicas just as you used it to manage partitions. When you highlight a partitioned container, the replica ring will be displayed in the right window. Basic information, such as the file server that holds the replica, the type of replica, and the state of the replica, is automatically shown. To view more detailed information about the replica, you should highlight the replica in the right window and click on the Information button, which is a small, blue i, as demonstrated in Figure I. This figure also shows the information displayed when you press the Information button.

Figure I
You can work with NDS replicas using ConsoleOne.


Adding a replica to a server is a relatively straightforward process. However, just as with partitions, take great care when working with replicas. You do not want to shoot yourself in the foot by causing new problems on your network.

To create a new replica, highlight the root container of the partition you are going to replicate, and then click the Add Replica button on the toolbar. This button looks like a server object with a plus sign next to it, as is demonstrated in Figure J. After you click the Add Replica button, you must enter the name of the file server that will store the new replica. You can use the browse button of the Add Replica window to locate the correct file server.

Next, you must select the type of replica by selecting one of the choices from the Replica type column. You should already be familiar with Read/Write and Read Only replicas. Filtered replicas are new to eDirectory 8.5. Filtered replicas allow you to selectively copy part of a partition, including objects and their attributes. You can learn more about filtered replicas from the detailed eDirectory 8.5 description on Novell’s Web site.

Figure J
You can add replicas using ConsoleOne.


Deleting a replica is also a relatively straightforward process. To begin, highlight the root container of the partition from which you are going to remove a replica. In the right window, select the replica to be removed, and then click the Delete Replica button from the toolbar, which looks like a file server with a minus sign next to it.

Conclusion
In this Daily Drill Down, I explained Novell’s next-generation network utility, ConsoleOne. I showed you how to install ConsoleOne on a Windows workstation, and then how to use some of the basic features in ConsoleOne. Finally, I covered how to manage NDS partitions and replicas using ConsoleOne. In upcoming Daily Drill Downs, I will discuss some of the advanced features of ConsoleOne.
The authors and editors have taken care in preparation of the content contained herein but make no expressed or implied warranty of any kind and assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. No liability is assumed for any damages. Always have a verified backup before making any changes.

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