Enterprise Software

Upgrading NDS is simple—but it requires some caution

Upgrading NDS, the heart of your Novell network, doesn't have to be a complicated task. Just make sure you don't update the wrong server!

Network Directory Services, or NDS, is the heart of every NetWare network. NDS is the hierarchical, relational database that uses objects to represent all network resources. The objects are defined by a schema, which is a set of rules that determine what types of objects can exist in the NDS, where those objects can exist, and what attributes they may have. Users are provided with a reliable and secure structure for accessing network resources, administrators can easily manage and secure network resources, and the NDS database is made fault tolerant through replication.

Upgrading the NDS version of your NetWare network is easy, but you should still be careful. Here's a guide to the procedure.

First things first
Before upgrading the NDS, you should upgrade the schema. Remember that the schema defines the objects that exist in the directory. Newer schema versions have more objects defined, which earlier versions will not recognize.

What can happen if you don’t upgrade the schema before the NDS? Let’s say that the master replica is stored on a NetWare 4 server and you have just installed NDS 8 on your cool new NetWare 5 server. Until you update the schema on the NetWare 4 server holding the master replica, it will be unable to replicate to the NetWare 5 server.

Empower yourself with NDS Manager
Once you have upgraded the schema, you can focus your attention on upgrading the NDS. The weapon of choice for performing the upgrade is NDS Manager. To display the NDS Version Update window, select Object, NDS Version, and then Update. From this window, you can view the current NDS versions and upgrade selected servers.

A word of caution about what you are seeing: If you have servers with different operating system releases on your network, you will have different versions of NDS. This is okay, as long as the schema versions on all of these servers are the same.

NDS updates are not applicable across operating system releases. Thus, your NetWare 4.0, 4.11, and 5.0 servers will all have different NDS versions.

The drill
Performing the NDS update is a relatively easy task, as promised. In order to simplify the process, I recommend you conduct this procedure during non-business hours.
  1. Set the context.
  2. Place the server with the version of NDS to distribute in the Source For Version Update field.
  3. Highlight the servers that you want to update. If you want to update all of the servers shown in the window, click the Select All Servers With NDS Versions Older Than Source button.
  4. Move the highlighted servers to the Target Servers To Be Updated window by clicking the right arrow, then double-check that you've moved the correct servers. If you accidentally put the wrong server in this window, you can remove it by clicking the left arrow.
  5. When you are sure that all the servers are correct, click OK to activate the update.

That’s all there is to it. As I said, the procedure to update the NDS version is very straightforward—but use extreme caution. Updating the wrong server can have catastrophic consequences.

Steve Pittsley has earned his CNA from Novell. His columns on NetWare can be read regularly in AdminRepublic.

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