Enterprise Software

Upgrading to NetWare 5.1 using across-the-wire migration

In previous Daily Drill Downs, we've walked you through the steps for installing NetWare 5.1. Here, Steve Pittsley examines the NetWare 4.11 to NetWare 5.1 across-the-wire migration.


In “Introducing NetWare 5.1,” you learned you how to prepare your server and network for the latest version of NetWare. In “Installing NetWare 5.1 on your server,” we walked you through the steps for installing NetWare 5.1. In this Daily Drill Down, you’ll learn about the NetWare 4.11 to NetWare 5.1 across-the-wire migration.

A quick overview
An across-the-wire migration provides you with a safe and effective method of upgrading a NetWare 3.x or 4.x file server to NetWare 5.1. In order to perform the migration, you will need three computers: the NetWare 4.11 source server, the NetWare 5.1 destination server, and a high-end workstation that has at least 128 MB of RAM.

After preparing the network for NetWare 5.1, you’ll launch the Novell Upgrade Wizard on the workstation. This utility will step you through the process of migrating NDS and the file system from the source server to the NetWare 5.1 destination server.

This upgrade method doesn’t affect the source server. If the migration fails, you should be able to put the NetWare 3.x or 4.x server back into production with relative ease, because the NDS and file system are unchanged.

The migration process also provides you with the opportunity to combine multiple NetWare 3.x or 4.x file servers into one NetWare 5.1 file server. This functionality will come in handy if you are combining departmental file servers or bringing remote locations or different organizations together.

A downside to the across-the-wire migration can be supplying a high-end workstation. Since most network administrators have a powerful computer sitting under their desk, however, this is normally not an issue.

Another disadvantage of the across-the-wire migration will affect only those administrators running ancient versions of NetWare. If you have a NetWare 2.x file server that you’d like to migrate to NetWare 5.1, you must first upgrade to NetWare 3.x or 4.x and then perform the migration to NetWare 5.1. NetWare 2.x file servers cannot be directly migrated to NetWare 5.1.

Installing the Novell Upgrade Wizard
You’ll need to install the Novell Upgrade Wizard on the administrative workstation that you’ll be using for the migration. After Inserting the Netware 5.1 installation CD in the CD-ROM drive, locate and execute \PRODUCTS\UPGRDWZD\UPGRDWZD.EXE.

The initial screen will prompt you to choose the setup language. The default language is English, but you can select various other languages via the pull-down menu. When you have selected the correct language, click OK to continue.

The second screen provides you with the appropriate warning messages. After reading the messages, click Next to move on to the licensing screen. Then, click Yes to accept the conditions of the license.

You are now given the opportunity to select the folder in which you’ll install the Upgrade Wizard. The default location is C:\PROGRAM FILES\NOVELL\UPGRADE WIZARD, but you may change this by clicking the browse button and selecting a different directory. Click Next to install the program.

After the file copy and installation have finished, you can select the check box to view the README file or simply click Finish to end the installation.

Planning the migration
If your network has a number of 3.x or 4.x file servers that you’ll be migrating to NetWare 5.1, you should follow this sequence:
  • Migrate one replica ring at a time, starting with the file server that has the [ROOT] Master replica.
  • Migrate all read/write replicas that are in the replica ring.
  • Migrate all read-only replicas that are in the replica ring.
  • Migrate all servers that do not store a replica.

Housekeeping tasks
Before starting the across-the-wire migration, you must do a little housekeeping on the existing server(s). Your first step should be to ensure that the current network and file servers are running well. You can do this by running VRepair and DSRepair on the server(s) and correcting all errors before moving on.

Next, you should verify that the line All Processed=Yes appears on the DSTrace screen. Also confirm that the replicas have no synchronization errors and that network time is synchronized.

Finally, install the latest support pack on the file server(s), if you haven’t already done so. NetWare 4.10 requires that the following files be copied to the SYS\SYSTEM directory: 410PT8B.EXE, DS410P.EXE, LIBUPI.EXE, STRTL7.EXE, and SMSUPG.EXE or later. NetWare 4.11 and 4.2 require NetWare 4 Support Pack 6a or later.

Preparing the NetWare 5.1 destination server
“Installing NetWare 5.1 on your server” covered a simple NetWare 5.1 installation. You can refer to that Daily Drill Down as a guide for installing the operating system on the destination server. However, an across-the-wire migration has a few differences.

First, you must create a tree for the NetWare 5.1 file server. An easy method of naming the temporary tree is adding -TEMP after the production tree name. For example, MYTREE would become MYTREE-TEMP. This is necessary because the migration process discards the tree and places the NetWare 5.1 server in the production tree.

To make your life easier, create the same top-level design in the new tree that was used in the production tree. For example, if you work for a small organization that has just one organization container named MYCompany, you should create a container with the same name in the new tree. When the NetWare 5.1 file server’s NDS objects are placed in the production tree, their context should not change.

The new file server will also require a temporary name. Following along with the naming convention I used for the tree, you could use the following name: SERVER1-TEMP. The migration process also discards this name and uses the source server name.

Do not install any products other than the default choices of NetWare Management Portal, Storage Management Services, Novell Certificate Server, and LDAP. You’ll have to reinstall these products after the migration, and you can install any other products at that time.

The across-the-wire migration requires that IPX be configured on all three computers. You can install IP on the NetWare 5.1 file server, but you cannot configure a pure IP environment until after the migration.

Once you’ve installed NetWare 5.1 on the destination file server, you should once again perform some housekeeping tasks on both the servers to ensure that everything is working normally. Run DSRepair and VRepair and correct any errors that they find. Ensure that network time is synchronized and that the DSTrace screen shows the All Processed=Yes line. You might also want to perform a verified full backup of the NetWare 5.1 file server.

The Novell Upgrade Wizard
When you’re ready to start the migration, launch the Novell Upgrade Wizard on the administrative workstation. Select Create A New Project and click OK. Next, choose the type of upgrade and click OK. For the purpose of this Daily Drill Down, I’ll be performing a NetWare 4 to NetWare 5 upgrade.

The resulting screen displays the configuration requirements for the NetWare 5 file server, as shown in Figure A. When your server meets these conditions, click Next to continue with the migration.

Figure A
Double-check to make sure your target server meets the minimum requirements.


At this point, you’ll be asked to enter a name for this project. You must also select a location to store the project information. The default location is C:\PROGRAM FILES\NOVELL\UPGRADE WIZARD, but you can store this information wherever you want. After entering the location, click Next.

The next screen asks you to select the NetWare 4 source server’s NDS tree. You can use the browse button to locate the tree, and then click Next.

After selecting the source tree, you must select the NetWare 4 source server. To do so, select the correct server and click Next.

To select the destination NDS tree, which is the tree that holds the new NetWare 5.1 file server, you can once again use the browse button to locate the desired tree. Then, click Next. If you’re not already authenticated to the NetWare 5.1 file server, you will be prompted to do so.

At this point, you must choose the NetWare 5.1 destination server. Simply select the server and click Next.

All your settings will now be saved in the project file. Click Create to save the project settings and access the Project window, which will look similar to the one shown in Figure B. You’ll be performing each step of the migration from this window. Before continuing, however, you should verify that the correct source and destination servers have been selected.

Figure B
You’ll finish the migration from the Project window.


The first step of the migration is to copy volumes. When you click the button, a screen listing all the volumes on your server will appear, as illustrated in Figure C. Select the volumes that you want to migrate, click Yes in the Copy This Volume window, and click Next.

Figure C
The wizard copies information from one volume to another.


As part of the volume-copying process, you’ll be asked what to do with the System, Public, Mail, ETC, and NETBASIC directories, as shown in Figure D. I chose the default selection, Copy Them To SYS:MIG Directory On The Destination, and then clicked Next.

Figure D
You can copy the old server’s SYS system files.


The next screen asks what you want to do with files that already exist on the destination server. I again selected the default choice of not replacing files on the destination server and clicked Next.

You can then broadcast a message to users logged into your network warning them that the server is going down. You can also clear user connections and disable user logins during the upgrade. I chose to disable user login. If this were a production environment, I’d have broadcast a message asking users to log out, and eventually I would have cleared the connections of any users that did not log out. Be careful that you don’t clear the connection of the user account that you are using. The next screen asks you to enter the password and authenticate to both the source and destination server as Admin.

Once you’ve authenticated the Admin accounts to both servers, you’ll see the Error Resolution screen. This screen displays the results of a short file copy of NLMs that were copied to the source server to be used during the migration. Correct any errors and then click Next.

You’ll now be notified that you have completed all the steps required to copy the volumes from the source server to the destination server. At this point, you should click the Migrate button to begin the process.

Once the volume copy has finished, you’ll be presented with a screen that allows you to view the error log and success log. The error log will display errors that have occurred during the volume copy, and the success log will show the results of the successful copy. Examine the log carefully and then click Done.

The next step in the migration procedure is to edit the configuration files. Click the Edit Configuration button, shown in Figure B, to display the screen shown in Figure E. To edit or view any of the configuration files, select the name and click the Edit File button. Each file you edit will be displayed in a screen similar to the one shown in Figure F. Use the two windows to view the source server’s file and edit the destination server’s file. After making the necessary changes to the file, click the Save & Close button. When you’ve finished your modifications, click the Close button.

Figure E
Select the system files you want to edit.


Figure F
You’ll edit the files in this window.


After editing the configuration files, you can move on to the Migrate NDS phase. The first screen explains that this routine will verify that the source NDS tree is stable by running DSRepair. When you click the Next button, you’ll be given the option of letting DSRepair run automatically or running DSRepair manually if advanced options are required. If you elect to run the utility manually, deselect the Run DSRepair check box and then click Next to continue.

The resulting window asks you to locate the License location for the destination server. If you know where the license is located, you can type it in; otherwise, use the browse button to find it. Then, click Next.

At this point, you’ll be asked to clear all user connections, other than the ones that you are using, on both file servers. You can broadcast a message to the users asking them to save their work and log out. If not all users heed your warning, you can clear any connections, besides the one that you’re using. The NDS Verification Results page lists any errors that occurred. You must correct these problems before you can move on. When you’ve finished, click Next.

Once again you are asked to authenticate to both file servers. When you click Next, the Upgrade Wizard will authenticate you and run DSRepair on the NetWare 4.11 source server. If you chose to run the utility manually, do so now. Another NDS Verification Results window will appear. If you have no errors at this point, you can click Next to continue. If any errors are reported, you must resolve them before you can continue.

You have now completed all the preparatory work for migrating the NDS database and restoring trustees from the source server to the destination server. Clicking the Migrate button will begin the actual migration.

During this process, the NetWare 5.1 server will be brought down, so don’t panic. Once the migration has finished, verify that the NetWare 5.1 server has restarted and that NDS is synchronized. Once again, you can view the error and success logs by clicking on the appropriate buttons. Review the logs and then click Done.

The Novell Upgrade Wizard will continue with the NDS migration. Simply click the Continue NDS Migration button to start this phase. You will be asked to verify that the NetWare 5.1 server has restarted and that the NDS is synchronized. In addition, you will be asked to verify that NLS is correctly installed. Once you have finished these tasks, click Next.

After the Wizard authenticates to the NetWare 5.1 server, notice that the tree name has been changed to the source tree name and the temporary tree name has been discarded. Because the Organization name was the same in both trees, the context for the Admin user is unchanged. Click Next to display another NDS Verification Results screen. Again, you must resolve any errors and click Next to continue.

The next screen explains that you have finished all the steps in preparation for completing the server upgrade. Click Continue to begin the NDS migration. During this step, the schema will be updated, volume objects will be fixed, and the trustees will be restored to the NetWare 5.1 server.

At the end of the NDS migration, you’ll be given the opportunity to view the error and success logs. Click Done to complete the migration.

Post-migration procedures
After completing the migration, you should run DSRepair and VRepair on the new server and resolve any errors that you encounter. Then, verify that all user information was migrated correctly. You can browse through the tree using NetWare Administrator or Console One. In addition, attempt to log in from a workstation using your personal user account or that of another person.

At this point, you must reinstall SMS, LDAP, and Novell Certificate Server because during the migration the NDS objects for these applications are deleted. Use Deployment Manager to reinstall these and any other products that were deleted, such as the Web Server or NDPS printing. You’ll also need to reinstall any applications that were installed in the following SYS\SYSTEM directories: PUBLIC, MAIL, ETC, SYSTEM, and NETBASIC.

 Be sure that the applications you’re installing are compatible with NetWare 5.1. Finally, you should verify that all applications installed on the file server were migrated correctly. To do so, launch each one and test to make sure that it runs correctly.

Final thoughts
I encountered a few bumps in the road during the migration. After installing Service Pack 8a on my NetWare 4.11 server, it began to display memory errors, leading me to believe that there was a memory leak. I traced the problem to a known glitch with Service Pack 8a. I installed the fix, which involved putting a new version of PK411.NLM dated June 15, 2000, in the C:\NWSERVER directory. After bouncing the server, everything appeared to work normally again. This version of PK411.NLM will be included in Service Pack 9, which has not been released yet. Novell technical support can provide you with the patch.

Another problem I encountered was self-induced. To prepare for this Daily Drill Down, I reinstalled the operating system on both the 4.11 server and 5.1 server. Instead of using the same network number, I used the default. Therefore, I could authenticate to the NetWare 4.11 server, but the workstation was not receiving SAP traffic, so the following error was displayed during the volume copy process of the Upgrade Wizard:
Connect to SMDR Error
Attempting to connect to SMDR ‘RHYTHM411’ failed (Error fffefffc): Is the TSAxxx.NLM loaded on this server? Is this server your default server? Do you want to retry connecting to SMDR?

The cause of this error is not blatantly intuitive, and I was unable to find helpful documentation on Novell’s Web site. One of the TIDs briefly mentioned that this error might be displayed if the server was not receiving SAP traffic. I tested this theory by attempting to RConsole to the 4.11 server, which I was unable to do.

After trying various server configurations, I turned my attention to the client software on the workstation. I noticed that the network number was different, and after changing the client’s configuration to reflect the new network number, everything began working normally.

Conclusion
Despite the problems that I encountered, the migration seems to be an efficient and safe method of upgrading older file servers to NetWare 5.1. This is especially true if the servers don’t meet the hardware requirements of the new operating system or if you’re combining multiple servers. If you decide that the across-the-wire migration is the way to go, schedule it for a weekend or during off-hours, because these procedures can be very time-consuming.

Steve Pittsley is a desktop analyst for a Milwaukee hospital. He enjoys playing drums, bowling, and most sports.

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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