Questions

Novell Techs, time to step up and give me a hand

+
0 Votes
Locked

Novell Techs, time to step up and give me a hand

jdclyde
I applied for a tech job today. It is a company that was a small shop, with all tech outsourced. They are growing, and the firm that does their support is not able to give them the attention they need. So this is a NEW position.

Three locations, don't know what kind of lines, only that the other two have two systems at them.

The network is Novell, don't know which number. The interviewer was not technical, and so couldn't give me much information about what I was walking into.

How difficult is basic Novell administration for someone that has had years of Linux, Unix, Cisco, and windows?

Should I run for cover, or will I be able to manage the transition?

Any good web sites you can recommend?

Thanks in advance!

jd
  • +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    http://www.novell.com/support/microsites/microsite.do?id=m1

    http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/

    http://buckyplace.blogspot.com/

    First is the site link for patches, and downloads. You'll probably find a need to update things, and would do that here.

    The coolsolutions link has alot of tools/freeware that Novell techs have built over the years that help in management. and client issues.

    The Bucky link is the former Tech. Rep. for our area(Layed off).

    Keep things current, and hardware with sufficient resources and you don't need to do alot of maintenance. I haven't seen alot of Netware help on TR, and just a few members on ZDnet.

    Novel has a good tech crew, and licensing includes support calls to any tech, and you will have your own rep that can assist with any issue that arise. We have several emergencies that required help "above our pay grades" and they have always come through.


    Now the only important thing. YOU GOT THE JOB?????!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    will find out next week if I get called back for a second.

    I just wanted to find out more about the Novell aspect, on if I should back out now, or if I could make a run of this.

    FIRST thing I would want to do, is make sure they have working backups!

    THEN we can talk patches. I have heard the horror stories of Novell patches sometimes breaking more than the MS patches. That true?

    Thanks for the links! Will check them out.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Comparing Novell to anything Microsoft is horrible!!!!

    The biggest issues I see are with the different Netware client versions.

    I've never seen a Microsoft server with uptime over 400 days, seen a few Novell servers with that kind of stability.

    It really does seem like the forum at support.novell.com has some high level Netware guys that hang out there 24-7.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    And AD has nothing on Novell, I knew that.

    But I have heard how applying a patch has taken out all of the printers, or whathaveyou.

    First things first, to do an audit of the systems. THEN see what needs to be done as far as patches.

    I really doubt an outside vendor would be coming in to do patches, so probably YEARS out of date. :0

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    That will be one of your more challenging parts of the admin job. Symantec doesn't put alot of upgrade effort for their Netware apps. Can be a real bear to keep running.
    Kaspersky intigrates well with Email scanning, and GWAVA SPAM filtering. If they have such a system in place you'll be set for a good startup. Small learning curve too.

    We have had alot better luck with Commvault than we did with previous vendors prods.

    Arcserve runs fairly well too. It seems to continuously have tape drive issues. Sinc we bought extended support from Dell, we can get warrantee replacements without too much hassle. Hopefully New Company will have equal oportunity for you.

    On the competition front we get zero candidates with Netware Exp. when we put out job postings. So hopefully your strong Net. Admin. exp. will get you in the door.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    you have a netware staff to bring them along. I do not know the status of the relationship with the outside vendor, on if there will be a smooth handoff or if it would be just dropped in my lap.

    I don't even know if they have their admin passwords, or the domain name for their website, or where it is hosted at!

    Real scary, which makes it real cool!

    This could be fun, even if it does distract me from my CCNA for a little bit.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    support.novell.com has a great knowledgebase and a forum site that is better than this one. No offense meant. :-)

    Netware is going to be using the SUSE kernel so I think you wouldn't have a problem at all with OS issues.

    I like the Cybex series of Certification Self Study Guides. Even if you aren't looking to take the cert exams they are a great reference tool.

    Good luck!!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    so odds are, it is BEFORE the suse purchase.

    Wish I knew which version they were running!

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Make you look intelligent.

    The Novell OS is basically a set of Netware Loadable Modules, NLMs, that load up the services, disk drivers, etc. These are listed in NCF files that control the order. Early versions start up with a DOS boot - DOS is then discarded. Most of the services create their own screen on the server, some text, some GUI. Linux Novell is still NLMS but the Linux is retained as part of the Novell kernel.

    Novell filesystems are NWFS, takes ages to mount, and NSS that is a much faster system to mount. You can add namespaces to the filesystems so that UNIX, Mac and Winders files can coexist in the same folder set. That was quite spiffy in its day...

    Novell's Directory Services - was NDS and is now eDirectory - manages the organisation's assets. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING goes in eDirectory either physical or logical. It's a hierarchical database, easy to understand on and is the key to management so a bit of reading up would be worthwhile. eDirectory runs on lots of platforms, not just Novell.

    Most Novell systems that have Winders use a Novell Client that does all of the interfacing, logon, etc. XP client and Novell servers sit pretty well together for file and print, email and so on.

    It all runs over IP so you'll be OK, there.

    Neil :)

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    reading first, since it is the current technology.

    Sounds better to say I would have to brush up on the older version than to have to brush up on the current one, ya?

    Thanks again.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    The only thing I know how to do is remove Netware from a workstation that has been disconnected from a domain.

    But the Novell sites seem to have an awful lot of info. Too bad they couldn't give you any specifics, you'd probably be up to speed by now. :-bd

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    and Groupwise 4,5 and 6. And I was one exam off a CDE (Certified Directory Engineer) before the order came "We Are Going Winders!".

    Unfortunately, this pre-dates the Linux Novell but any help that I can give is yours.

    If it's Linux Novell, you'll be fine. If it isn't then we can help. The thing to get your head around is Novell's Directory Services and how it differs from AD. Clue: it was better ten years ago than AD is now...

    We need to know the number!

    Sites?

    Novell...

    :)

    More for the resume!?

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    so at least I didn't learn it wrong, yet!

    Thanks!

    Will find out more when/if I get to interview 2.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    What are they, stupid? :^0

    If they're smart, they'll call you back and clue you in.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    how I didn't get hired on the spot!

    I am thinking it would be cool to get in, just as a company is looking to develop. What a sweet time to jump in, doing most of it right the first time, rather than spending years cleaning up messes from the last admin (like at my last job).

    Getting to learn some novell is an added bonus.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    You get to influence things then, help set the "tone" for the IT department.

    Then you get to harass the young whippersnappers in later years!

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde



    yeah, before thought reading implants, we used to use something called a "keyboard", and would do something called "typing" to enter data and write programs.....

    Ah, and here is my old terahertz laptop. Of course you can't run modern OS's on it anymore, but it used to be one good word processor in it's day!

    B-)

    +
    0 Votes
    rob mekel

    is that it works :)
    Worked from '84 till early '90 as CNE for over 10 years ... great times. Got from CNE2 to CNE4 at 5 I made the step to bossing around the CNE's
    It's important to find out what version they are using. That we don't have to tell you, is it :)


    Special if it's the Linux version you'll be fine. Remember Novell is the OS of the networking evironment ... still the network management is needed ... that's where your other skills come in handy :)

    Visit the Novell support site it is a very usefull site.
    http://www.novell.com/support/microsites/microsite.do

    As they at the moment have outsourced their IT tech, who is managing all this ?:|
    Or will it be part of your job as well.

    Don't think you'll have to run for cover. You do have to get familiar with the terms used with Novell. So get into the Novell stuff. If help needed ... :) send me a peer.

    Hope you get the second interview ... wth ...
    hope you get the job :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you (my guess: you even won't need that)

    Rob

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    so everything would be mine. This outside firm has ALWAYS been their support, but are now out growing the support they are able to get. They don't like having to wait for an available tech when they have problems, and are looking to expand.

    I will be an IT dept of one.

    My first job would be to make them question how they ever got along without me!

    The next, look for ways to SAVE THEM MONEY over what they are doing now, to help justify my own expenses. Old support contracts and such, vs new equipment.

    This is going to be a long week, waiting for that call. Have to get my "thank you" letter out into the mail today.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    So all of these tips will be a great help.

    As a second plea, as this is a HUGE thing to bite off, can you give me a list of the first THREE thinks a beginning novell admin should know? Just to help me prioritize what I learn, and what order to learn it in.

    I am SURE it is going to be an older version of Novell, and hoping to know more Tuesday when I go back.

    Thanks again everyone!

    +
    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    I hope you get the job, have my fingers crossed for you sorry I can't answer your question but we can't be great at everything LOL

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    having never worked with novell, and very limited classes on AD.

    It will be interesting to see what direction they want to take their network.

    +
    0 Votes

    pro

    Wizard-09

    Well I'm not a programmer but now they expect me to be it's a joke like, had my meeting today so well peer you and let you no how it goes.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    if they want you to program, then you will have to learn how to program, right?

    on company time and company dime.

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    eDirectory blows it away...

    Well, I think so.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    "Better" doesn't determine if something is commercially successful or not.

    Everyone knows the brand of Windows, not Novell.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    ConsoleOne. Something like the AD user and computers console. You create users, Objects etc. here.

    Nwadmin. This is still required to set printers. It was supposed to be replace by ConsolOne but they never got the printer piece worked out so it still requires both tools.

    To remote a Netware server you would use rconsolej which open monitor on the screen to do admin tasks on the server directly.
    These all run from the sys vol on each server.

    Nwconfig is a tool to install software. Most have gui interfaces today, but we don't know how old their systems are.

    Most newer software will be installed directly from a PC through install wizards.

    Learn context,Edirectory,Tree, Volumes File and print services. Whether they are que base or NDPS. Que based sucks.

    I can give you links from the Novel site if need be later.

    Yer gonna kick their gas .

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    it will give me some reading material for the weekend.

    Do you know of anything in pdf form that I could print out, and take on the road with me? Doing volunteer work this weekend, no wifi, and will have long periods of inactivity, so a perfect time to read.

    If I got links soon, I could print this out while at school tonight, using their lasers instead of my inkjet.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    Careful what you ask for.

    BorderManager is Netware firewall/Proxy
    Zenworks is app deployment and remote control
    Groupwise of course Email
    Rest is up to you


    http://www.novell.com/documentation/index.html?sourceid=suplnav3_doc

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    If they are running 4.1, 4.11, or 5.0 be sure to take notice of the client software version on your pcs. One of the companies I worked for was running Netware 5.0 and we had to use different versions of the netware client for different applications. Just my two cents.

    Again, good luck.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    What was the problem you ran into, and how did you resolve it?

    which should be the higher version, the server or the client?

    MAN! I just wish I knew what version they were running!

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Google is your friend. So am I, I guess...

    I will assume XP client so go with the latest. This is an INTERVIEW! If you get the job *then* you may have to fine-tune or backrev or whatever,

    For now, 4.91 unless you or they know better.

    :)

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    I am assuming I already have the job, and am looking to get started already! B-)

    I know the interview will NOT get technical.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Loan Amortization software ran extremely slow after updating to a new version of the client. All I did was uninstall the client, install the older version and it worked just fine again. At the time, it was a 1 man IT shop so I didn't try to troubleshoot any further.

    Where I'm at now, we're running Netware 6 with XP workstations. We have a couple of SUSE boxes running samba. Some of our workstations had major problems accessing this when we went to 4.91 SP3. Our server "guru" spent a couple of days trying to figure it out when "nothing" had changed. I figured I'd take a peak and happened to notice that, uninstalled, went back to SP2 and everything was peachy in Margaritaville. I find it funny that he still doesn't think that was the problem, but hey, it's a slow Friday so maybe I'll go ahead and update one workstation and make sure. I'll let you know.

    Back at my old job I kept 3 different versions of the client software just because of these situations.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    I never had any kind of issues like that in my 9 years in a hybrid shop. Sure it wasn't a NICI, or NMAS issue and not the client itself?

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    I just went and ran the SP3 update on one of the pcs I was talking about. 2 minutes before doing this I opened up a spreadsheet file off of that samba share and it took maybe 2 seconds to load. After running the SP3 update that same exact file takes 25 seconds to open.

    I'm not a linux guy and I think I pissed off the server guru just trying it again. He still thinks I'm full of it. Seems like it has to have something to do with it to me

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    491sp5 is out now. Worth a try.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    What kind of issues have you encountered? I might just have a short memory.

    +
    0 Votes
    PSer

    Has always been a bit of a challenge. I have seen, more than once, in more than one shop, that the version of Novell Netware's client32 DOES matter. I've seen upgrades fix/break and downgrades fix/break. It's all in the 'W's' ... what, when, where, why. Every shop is different but the client version should never be discounted when troubleshooting, IMO.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Just kidding, he still doesn't think that is our problem.

    +
    0 Votes
    PSer

    Might not be. But, it could be.

    Worthy of the short time to test your theory, I'd say.


    edit: title

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Thank you for bringing that up. I work for the Dept. of Energy so I can't install that yet. Our network people have to study it for a month or so and then approve it. Worked real well for SP3. :-) Really it didn't affect anyone besides that one group of users anyway.

    +
    0 Votes
    rob mekel

    with SFT III ... early '90's ... or even 3.11 with SFT III ... man those were the days :)

    Double machines just for fail-over security no extra computing power, at first copperwired later fiberoptics ... is it still used?

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    I remember having some extreme login scripts, having to setup users on every server, time consuming stuff.

    The whole idea of NDS/network login vs server login was outstanding. Isn't that where MS AD was copied from??

    +
    0 Votes
    JamesRL

    Many of the gurus in Vines became AD experts. The main architect for Vines, James Allchin ended up at Microsoft.

    I was a Vines admin back at Nortel in the early 90s - worldwide network, easy as pie.

    James

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Still stick with eDirecory. Get a grip on Context. This is the point in the hierarchical tree that an object, server, user, printer, whatever, sits. You - users - get rights to the things in your context, have to be given rights to things in other contexts. That's servers, volumes (disks), printers, whatever.

    Novell is better than Winders with files and folders. No permissions AT ALL until granted. Assign permissions and you automatically get the ability to browse to the locations from the root of the volume. Permissions map reasonable to Winders perms but are not quite the same. Assign permissions and they don't replicate down the tree for half an hour, they just ARE and you get your rights "on the fly".

    Four is NWADMIN to manage, Five is both NWADMIN and ConsoleOne. Six is ConsoleOne. They do look much the same, a pictorial representation of your eDir tree. ConsoleOne is Java, that's all and runs on the server as well as workstation. NWADMIN only runs on a workstation.

    Five has a GUI server console, Four doesn't.

    Replicas. Copies of all or part of eDirectory on different servers. You ought to have AT LEAST two copies of everything in eDirectory! i.e. all bits of the eDir tree.

    If you have remote sites you can set up eDirectory to mirror the geographical structure of the company and you put a replica containing the local information on the local server. Otherwise you set up eDirectory to mirror the organisational structure. You can do both. Talk knowingly about eDirectory structure. They will have NO idea...

    Aaaggh not sure where to stop...

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    I think about 10 work stations at the main office, and two remote offices with two work stations each.

    As you can imagine, it was hard to get that much informatin for two reasons. 1) they guy didn't know tech, and 2) you don't give that information out to just anyone.

    ~sigh~

    Thanks again.


    Bad thing, the links I am following are taking me to 100+ page pdfs! ACK! I can't print all that off!

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Here's hoping the interviewer understands your qualifications better than the average HR hack.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    my job now is to get a job.

    The current job is to sell myself! (in a good way, not in the rest area way that scummy does)

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

     

    +
    0 Votes
    rob mekel

    Great going JD :)

    A list of things a beginning novell admin should know ... much depends on what version of novell they're using. Which modules within the version they're loading/using.

    if they are using an very old version ... may be they're still in the IPX/SPX protocol environment bound to the tcp protocol ... wow ... may be even on TokenRing :) .. those were the days, long gone by for me :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you :-bd

    +
    0 Votes
    cmiller5400

    We currently use Netware OES 6.5

    ConsoleOne - This is where you do the bulk of the administration for users and groups.

    NoRM - This is the Novell Remote Manager. This is a web service that runs on the Netware box that allows you to configure, and manage the server. You can view the console screens from here as well.

    iManager - This an web service that runs on the Netware box that allows you to manage users and groups and a lot more of eDirectory tree. Suppose to replace ConsoleOne but I still prefer ConsoleOne to do my admin work.

    iPrint - The way to manage print queue's. You set up IP on the printer then create a broker and print manager, then set up a printer that you can automatically set up to push to users on login. (very cool stuff)

    NWAdmin - old way of doing print queues. Don't use it for anything else at this time

    RConJ - Use it to connect to the server console.

    nwconfig - Used to install products and patches for Netware. Also can be used to edit the autoexec.bat and autoexec.ncf files. Will be used to install Directory Services on the server and remove it.

    ea - shortcut for "edit autoexec.ncf" cool trick.

    nss - The storage system used by Novell servers. Very flexible and expandable. read up on nss pools and volumes

    A must have book is --> http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?EAN=0789729849

    All in all, if you can handle *nix and Windows servers, you will be fine. There are a few gotcha's but feel free to contact me if you have questions.

    +
    0 Votes
    Mr.Wiz

    We use Netware 6.5, Zenworks 7, Groupwise 7 and have been using Netware since before I started working here over 11 years ago. Console One, NWADMIN and the other tools mentioned will definitely come in handy.

    We're also using a newer Novell tool called iManager which takes the place of many of the tools listed. You can still use the older tools for some things, some you have to use the newer ones for.

    If I can help, let me know.

    +
    0 Votes
    PSer

    I am still managing several 4.11 trees (have exp. Up to 6.5). Along with several other environments, WinTel, Citrix, Infra., etc.!

    First thing to know, Novell company. Netware, Novell's NOS. (sorry pet peeve).
    IMO, Novell's Netware and most other Novell solutions (ZENWorks ROCKS!! ) is/are the most stable multi-platform Networking solutions out there and have been since the beginning of client/server times. Trouble is, their marketing department always has and apparently always will SVCK! Like NB's experience, most shops (I've run across) are getting off of Netware for all of the wrong reasons, mainly because it's a Micro$oft world! Kids these days want to point and click their way through the day, ah well.

    True, NDS/eDir blows away AD, mainly 'cause M$ developed (stole) AD by 'looking' at Novell's 'NDS', which of course came about by way of Novell 'looking' to Banyan Vines (Ah, history). Anyway, as usual, M$ bloated the **** out of AD and it is not now nor will it ever be as stable as NDS/eDir. 'can' be (I've seen some f'd up trees!), IMO. The differences are many but the hierarchal tree structure is at the core of both. One major difference is you can go to a Windows DC Server via console or remote and open the AD mmc to manage AD via GUI for all things AD. Not so in Netware. You will mostly manage your NDS/eDir OBJECTS (users, printers, groups, etc.) via desktop, as mentioned in an earlier post. The Novell Netware management tools (ConsoleOne, Nwadmin, ndsmgr32, etc.) will run from the server but on your PC (although you can install ConsoleOne locally). When you are wanting to manage, maintain, troubleshoot, the server itself and or NDS/eDir, it will most likely be at the server console itself via console or remote (rconsole, rconsolej, or my fav AdRem free Remote Console<more features than the native Novell Remote solutions>. www.adremsoft.com

    Neilb's descriptions are dead on (as well as the other Novell techs on here). Thing to remember is you need to keep your directory structure clean and happy. Once it's happy, you will be happy for a very long time with minimal but necessary maintenance. NEVER had any problems with patches, luck maybe?

    BTW: the Novell GUI has never really grown on me and I only use it when I absolutely have to (not available until v.5 and up)! What I do like about the GUI is it is optional in most cases. REM 'Startx.nlm' from the autoexec.ncf and only load when needed, niiiice! The server console should be and is mainly command driven, so a *nix/Cisco person should be used to that aspect, you will just need to learn the ins and outs of Netware and it's commands. Go to the Netware forums at support.novell.com read, learn, ask, etc. There is much to learn if you indeed get the job. If you "cram" best you can for now, you should be able to fake it 'til you make it, with a little help from your friends!

    PM me if you want but it looks like you've got some very knowledgeable old school Novell people already in your corner!

    Much Luck to ya!

    edit: mysteriousness

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    You seem to have packed a bit of info in there. :)

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    Ok, specific question here.

    Novell and remote access. What do I need to know and to watch out for, for connecting remote users?

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    I was just going to ask about it, and you already answered.

    Too bad I never did remote access on Novell

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Hope you get some good pointers on your query.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    Full story here:
    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=305915&messageID=3048459

    And even posts here that don't have an answer still help to bump this back up in the list.

    Gee, why hasn't Sonja profiled THIS in the QOW? :_|

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Actually, there seem to be some common issues if you search Q&A
    http://search.techrepublic.com.com/index.php?t=9&s=0&o=0&q=novell

    I was looking for one question that I tried to research - seems certain patches have broken logon or connectivity in the past. Can't seem to find it.

    BTW, you did hit 69 thumbs up at ZDNet at one point.

    +
    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    Done jdclyde gald you got the job, hope you don't get to stuck on novell (b)

    +
    0 Votes
    Darryl~ Moderator

    We have a few different types of remote users on our network.

    Remote offices - these are relatively easy with a static IP on the remote end, we just tunnel into the network and everyone just logs in as if they were here, the only real issue with them is speed and access to large files. It helps to have someone at the remote site that knows how to reboot the firewall. We assign a different set of IPs to each office to make it easier to manage...192.168.1.xxx, 192.168.2.xxx, etc.

    Laptops used for conventions etc. - We loan these out from the MIS Dept. and have them all pre-configured because we are usually dealing with someone who seldom (or never) connect remotely. We set up a VPN account on the network for them to connect to and configure a network connection on the laptop and place a shortcut on the desktop for the user to make it less complicated for them. The biggest issue with these is getting them to right click the Novell Services icon in the sys tray (big red N) and getting them to click "Novell Login", they have to do this after making a connection through the VPN which many don't seem to understand. I have a set of instructions that I always print off to give them...lots of screen shots. You should also check with the hotel they will be staying at to find out if it's wireless Internet so you can configure that for them.

    Remote PC with Novell client - This is how I have my home PC set up, I just use the Novell client to log into Windows on a day to day basis, I set up a network connection to the network at work as above & connect that way when I want access to things at work. I've had issues running both Outlook & GroupWise on the same computer at home...that can be a pain to set up.

    Remote PC with Windows client - Same as above, we make a VPN account but instead of connecting to the network by right clicking Novell Services, we make an account on a Terminal Services server and they use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the network that way. We have the Terminal Services computer set up with all the programs "everyone" would require if they were at work...all their network drives are mapped when they log in...people seem to like this setup okay.

    Good luck with the new position...I've been following your situation since you were laid off, I was in the same position a few years ago & know how hard it is being in your 40?s looking for a job.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    thanks

    +
    0 Votes
    sidekick

    Glad to see you back in the saddle.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    What is the process to check versions, and what patches are applied vs what SHOULD be applied?

    How is the patch process? Simple?

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    don't really know much about it at all, yet.

    how cool is that?

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Now, patching, remote access, everything! We need to know the version!

    Type "version" on the console...

    Oh, and what are the clients? XP?



    www.novell.com should always be your first port of call. Back in my day it used to have a really good knowledgebase. I see no reason for it to have changed. Novell Coolsolutions will make you look good.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    that is all I know, so far.

    Got a list of technical questions that I need to get answers to tomorrow, including what the working relationship is with the outside consultant that WAS doing all of their work?

    Who owns their domain?

    Who is hosting their web site?

    Firewall.

    and much more.

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    seeing as you are going in to see the kit at last!

    Novell's firewall is BorderManager - can pretty much do everything. VPN, proxy, NAT, etc. They've probably added stuff in the last four years since I used it.

    Wonder what mail they are using. Novell mail is GroupWise. I'm OK on that up to Six.

    I still have all my Novell books! I had a look in the loft and they are bending the rafters.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    they are running "Office-Logic" as their mail server, running on a Winxp Pro desktop. :0

    They have another package running on win server 2003.

    There isn't ANYTHING on the novell server! (that I can tell) The email USED to be, but isn't now, don't know why and neither does anyone else!

    All I saw was netware 4.11, and then didn't have time to look at it after that.

    No documentation, no books, no nothing. :0

    Yet another consultant milking a company and keeping them intentionally in the dark?

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    if there is nothing on the Novell server then it's really an albatros for the network imo.

    Depending on size, might consider going to Active Directory Services.

    or suggest a retirement and move to Windows [or Unix :)]

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    the only thing the Novell is doing is providing printing to the network printer.

    The other applications are already ON Windows.

    5 pcs at the main branch, 3 at another and 2 at another. Not WORTH an AD server.

    Kind of disappointing, really.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    They don't even use the Netware login?

    WTH?

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    unless that Novell server is running eDirectory, I'd say go to Active Directory if your strong suit is Windows Platform. Might consider Fedora Directory Services if your more of a programmer and like to create your own stuff.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    but so what? Why would I care if there aren't any applications being fed through it?

    Am I missing the boat/reason for even having the novell running?

    I am betting they HAD groupwise running, but was moved from that to the app running on a DESKTOP.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Fear? Sloth? Nostalgia?

    They actually lost their last <i>real</i> network guy back when Netware 4.x was hot?

    Maybe they think it is extra security?

    (I smell a full-time position for the guy who can efficiently redesign the network. )

    Maybe they tried to eliminate it before, but it confused the users.
    "There's no Netware logon!"
    "We don't need it anymore, so we removed it."
    "But it's different now, I'll have to re-learn everything."
    "No, that is the only thing that changed"
    "But it's different."
    "Look, it isn't like it is Vista or something, we just removed something we don't need."
    "But it's different."
    "(facepalm)"

    Edited for friggin' angle brackets

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    I have to say that 4.11 NDS STILL blows AD (even 2008) out of the water for the comprehensive resource management that any DS ought to supply.

    JD doesn't have any specific DS skills so he might just as well move them to Linux and Samba and continue to spit on Windows.

    :)

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Central file store, personal folders, that sort of thing?

    4.11, was the first really stable version of NDS, Novell Directory Services. Worth learning a bit about any DS and the background concepts - Novell and NDS/eDirectory, Winders AD or Linux and Samba.

    If they are just using it for file and print then bide your time, have a play and don't necessarily leap to M$ as it doesn't do it any better - probably worse on the same hardware. You could spend their money and not gain a thing unless you uprate the server hardware. Novell's file server performance is in a different league to Winders running on the same box as a Novell file server is just an efficient caching engine without all of the Winders GUI crap overhead. Even on an OS from the 90s!

    Linux, maybe...

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    I have talked to the other two people in the office, and asked them to train me on their jobs, so I will be in a better position to support their needs.

    They thought that was a good idea.

    Other than a change in their network that the Internet provider wants done (change the static IP address), I just plan on mapping out and learning what they have first. After that, meet with them to see what THEY envision being done, and THEN I will start offering changes.

    If I can complement what they want, I think I can become a full time employee in about a year. B-) Although, except for the health care, I would rather wait TWO years to become full time, so I can still make my boys sporting events.

    +
    0 Votes
    KSoniat

    With my hubby in Alabama during the week, I'm a "single mom". If I work my 40+ hours (work through lunch etc) my boss lets me leave early to handle sports, appointments or house repairs.

    They've seen that when I am here I am working 100% and if an issue comes up I will address it. I haven't made every game/match, but I've made enough to count.

    Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate (and in your case NOT NOW - but when it becomes a possibility).

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    Have you found access to these tools yet? They will let you administer the entire network if installed properly. Iinventory, or any other inventory software will let find the software and versions installed on the Network Hardware.

    I still have my 4.11 books from class back in '96. Yours for the asking.

    Even if you do decide to punt Netware, I would keep it for awhile and learn abit about it. Good Resume stuffer. Novell techs are becoming obsolete so you would have a niche that smaller companies would demand.

    Oh Yeah almost forgot WOOOHOOOO FOR YOU!!!!!

  • +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    http://www.novell.com/support/microsites/microsite.do?id=m1

    http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/

    http://buckyplace.blogspot.com/

    First is the site link for patches, and downloads. You'll probably find a need to update things, and would do that here.

    The coolsolutions link has alot of tools/freeware that Novell techs have built over the years that help in management. and client issues.

    The Bucky link is the former Tech. Rep. for our area(Layed off).

    Keep things current, and hardware with sufficient resources and you don't need to do alot of maintenance. I haven't seen alot of Netware help on TR, and just a few members on ZDnet.

    Novel has a good tech crew, and licensing includes support calls to any tech, and you will have your own rep that can assist with any issue that arise. We have several emergencies that required help "above our pay grades" and they have always come through.


    Now the only important thing. YOU GOT THE JOB?????!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    will find out next week if I get called back for a second.

    I just wanted to find out more about the Novell aspect, on if I should back out now, or if I could make a run of this.

    FIRST thing I would want to do, is make sure they have working backups!

    THEN we can talk patches. I have heard the horror stories of Novell patches sometimes breaking more than the MS patches. That true?

    Thanks for the links! Will check them out.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Comparing Novell to anything Microsoft is horrible!!!!

    The biggest issues I see are with the different Netware client versions.

    I've never seen a Microsoft server with uptime over 400 days, seen a few Novell servers with that kind of stability.

    It really does seem like the forum at support.novell.com has some high level Netware guys that hang out there 24-7.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    And AD has nothing on Novell, I knew that.

    But I have heard how applying a patch has taken out all of the printers, or whathaveyou.

    First things first, to do an audit of the systems. THEN see what needs to be done as far as patches.

    I really doubt an outside vendor would be coming in to do patches, so probably YEARS out of date. :0

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    That will be one of your more challenging parts of the admin job. Symantec doesn't put alot of upgrade effort for their Netware apps. Can be a real bear to keep running.
    Kaspersky intigrates well with Email scanning, and GWAVA SPAM filtering. If they have such a system in place you'll be set for a good startup. Small learning curve too.

    We have had alot better luck with Commvault than we did with previous vendors prods.

    Arcserve runs fairly well too. It seems to continuously have tape drive issues. Sinc we bought extended support from Dell, we can get warrantee replacements without too much hassle. Hopefully New Company will have equal oportunity for you.

    On the competition front we get zero candidates with Netware Exp. when we put out job postings. So hopefully your strong Net. Admin. exp. will get you in the door.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    you have a netware staff to bring them along. I do not know the status of the relationship with the outside vendor, on if there will be a smooth handoff or if it would be just dropped in my lap.

    I don't even know if they have their admin passwords, or the domain name for their website, or where it is hosted at!

    Real scary, which makes it real cool!

    This could be fun, even if it does distract me from my CCNA for a little bit.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    support.novell.com has a great knowledgebase and a forum site that is better than this one. No offense meant. :-)

    Netware is going to be using the SUSE kernel so I think you wouldn't have a problem at all with OS issues.

    I like the Cybex series of Certification Self Study Guides. Even if you aren't looking to take the cert exams they are a great reference tool.

    Good luck!!!!

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    so odds are, it is BEFORE the suse purchase.

    Wish I knew which version they were running!

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Make you look intelligent.

    The Novell OS is basically a set of Netware Loadable Modules, NLMs, that load up the services, disk drivers, etc. These are listed in NCF files that control the order. Early versions start up with a DOS boot - DOS is then discarded. Most of the services create their own screen on the server, some text, some GUI. Linux Novell is still NLMS but the Linux is retained as part of the Novell kernel.

    Novell filesystems are NWFS, takes ages to mount, and NSS that is a much faster system to mount. You can add namespaces to the filesystems so that UNIX, Mac and Winders files can coexist in the same folder set. That was quite spiffy in its day...

    Novell's Directory Services - was NDS and is now eDirectory - manages the organisation's assets. ANYTHING and EVERYTHING goes in eDirectory either physical or logical. It's a hierarchical database, easy to understand on and is the key to management so a bit of reading up would be worthwhile. eDirectory runs on lots of platforms, not just Novell.

    Most Novell systems that have Winders use a Novell Client that does all of the interfacing, logon, etc. XP client and Novell servers sit pretty well together for file and print, email and so on.

    It all runs over IP so you'll be OK, there.

    Neil :)

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    reading first, since it is the current technology.

    Sounds better to say I would have to brush up on the older version than to have to brush up on the current one, ya?

    Thanks again.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    The only thing I know how to do is remove Netware from a workstation that has been disconnected from a domain.

    But the Novell sites seem to have an awful lot of info. Too bad they couldn't give you any specifics, you'd probably be up to speed by now. :-bd

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    and Groupwise 4,5 and 6. And I was one exam off a CDE (Certified Directory Engineer) before the order came "We Are Going Winders!".

    Unfortunately, this pre-dates the Linux Novell but any help that I can give is yours.

    If it's Linux Novell, you'll be fine. If it isn't then we can help. The thing to get your head around is Novell's Directory Services and how it differs from AD. Clue: it was better ten years ago than AD is now...

    We need to know the number!

    Sites?

    Novell...

    :)

    More for the resume!?

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    so at least I didn't learn it wrong, yet!

    Thanks!

    Will find out more when/if I get to interview 2.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    What are they, stupid? :^0

    If they're smart, they'll call you back and clue you in.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    how I didn't get hired on the spot!

    I am thinking it would be cool to get in, just as a company is looking to develop. What a sweet time to jump in, doing most of it right the first time, rather than spending years cleaning up messes from the last admin (like at my last job).

    Getting to learn some novell is an added bonus.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    You get to influence things then, help set the "tone" for the IT department.

    Then you get to harass the young whippersnappers in later years!

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde



    yeah, before thought reading implants, we used to use something called a "keyboard", and would do something called "typing" to enter data and write programs.....

    Ah, and here is my old terahertz laptop. Of course you can't run modern OS's on it anymore, but it used to be one good word processor in it's day!

    B-)

    +
    0 Votes
    rob mekel

    is that it works :)
    Worked from '84 till early '90 as CNE for over 10 years ... great times. Got from CNE2 to CNE4 at 5 I made the step to bossing around the CNE's
    It's important to find out what version they are using. That we don't have to tell you, is it :)


    Special if it's the Linux version you'll be fine. Remember Novell is the OS of the networking evironment ... still the network management is needed ... that's where your other skills come in handy :)

    Visit the Novell support site it is a very usefull site.
    http://www.novell.com/support/microsites/microsite.do

    As they at the moment have outsourced their IT tech, who is managing all this ?:|
    Or will it be part of your job as well.

    Don't think you'll have to run for cover. You do have to get familiar with the terms used with Novell. So get into the Novell stuff. If help needed ... :) send me a peer.

    Hope you get the second interview ... wth ...
    hope you get the job :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you (my guess: you even won't need that)

    Rob

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    so everything would be mine. This outside firm has ALWAYS been their support, but are now out growing the support they are able to get. They don't like having to wait for an available tech when they have problems, and are looking to expand.

    I will be an IT dept of one.

    My first job would be to make them question how they ever got along without me!

    The next, look for ways to SAVE THEM MONEY over what they are doing now, to help justify my own expenses. Old support contracts and such, vs new equipment.

    This is going to be a long week, waiting for that call. Have to get my "thank you" letter out into the mail today.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    So all of these tips will be a great help.

    As a second plea, as this is a HUGE thing to bite off, can you give me a list of the first THREE thinks a beginning novell admin should know? Just to help me prioritize what I learn, and what order to learn it in.

    I am SURE it is going to be an older version of Novell, and hoping to know more Tuesday when I go back.

    Thanks again everyone!

    +
    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    I hope you get the job, have my fingers crossed for you sorry I can't answer your question but we can't be great at everything LOL

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    having never worked with novell, and very limited classes on AD.

    It will be interesting to see what direction they want to take their network.

    +
    0 Votes

    pro

    Wizard-09

    Well I'm not a programmer but now they expect me to be it's a joke like, had my meeting today so well peer you and let you no how it goes.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    if they want you to program, then you will have to learn how to program, right?

    on company time and company dime.

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    eDirectory blows it away...

    Well, I think so.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    "Better" doesn't determine if something is commercially successful or not.

    Everyone knows the brand of Windows, not Novell.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    ConsoleOne. Something like the AD user and computers console. You create users, Objects etc. here.

    Nwadmin. This is still required to set printers. It was supposed to be replace by ConsolOne but they never got the printer piece worked out so it still requires both tools.

    To remote a Netware server you would use rconsolej which open monitor on the screen to do admin tasks on the server directly.
    These all run from the sys vol on each server.

    Nwconfig is a tool to install software. Most have gui interfaces today, but we don't know how old their systems are.

    Most newer software will be installed directly from a PC through install wizards.

    Learn context,Edirectory,Tree, Volumes File and print services. Whether they are que base or NDPS. Que based sucks.

    I can give you links from the Novel site if need be later.

    Yer gonna kick their gas .

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    it will give me some reading material for the weekend.

    Do you know of anything in pdf form that I could print out, and take on the road with me? Doing volunteer work this weekend, no wifi, and will have long periods of inactivity, so a perfect time to read.

    If I got links soon, I could print this out while at school tonight, using their lasers instead of my inkjet.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    Careful what you ask for.

    BorderManager is Netware firewall/Proxy
    Zenworks is app deployment and remote control
    Groupwise of course Email
    Rest is up to you


    http://www.novell.com/documentation/index.html?sourceid=suplnav3_doc

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    If they are running 4.1, 4.11, or 5.0 be sure to take notice of the client software version on your pcs. One of the companies I worked for was running Netware 5.0 and we had to use different versions of the netware client for different applications. Just my two cents.

    Again, good luck.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    What was the problem you ran into, and how did you resolve it?

    which should be the higher version, the server or the client?

    MAN! I just wish I knew what version they were running!

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Google is your friend. So am I, I guess...

    I will assume XP client so go with the latest. This is an INTERVIEW! If you get the job *then* you may have to fine-tune or backrev or whatever,

    For now, 4.91 unless you or they know better.

    :)

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    I am assuming I already have the job, and am looking to get started already! B-)

    I know the interview will NOT get technical.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Loan Amortization software ran extremely slow after updating to a new version of the client. All I did was uninstall the client, install the older version and it worked just fine again. At the time, it was a 1 man IT shop so I didn't try to troubleshoot any further.

    Where I'm at now, we're running Netware 6 with XP workstations. We have a couple of SUSE boxes running samba. Some of our workstations had major problems accessing this when we went to 4.91 SP3. Our server "guru" spent a couple of days trying to figure it out when "nothing" had changed. I figured I'd take a peak and happened to notice that, uninstalled, went back to SP2 and everything was peachy in Margaritaville. I find it funny that he still doesn't think that was the problem, but hey, it's a slow Friday so maybe I'll go ahead and update one workstation and make sure. I'll let you know.

    Back at my old job I kept 3 different versions of the client software just because of these situations.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    I never had any kind of issues like that in my 9 years in a hybrid shop. Sure it wasn't a NICI, or NMAS issue and not the client itself?

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    I just went and ran the SP3 update on one of the pcs I was talking about. 2 minutes before doing this I opened up a spreadsheet file off of that samba share and it took maybe 2 seconds to load. After running the SP3 update that same exact file takes 25 seconds to open.

    I'm not a linux guy and I think I pissed off the server guru just trying it again. He still thinks I'm full of it. Seems like it has to have something to do with it to me

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    491sp5 is out now. Worth a try.

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    What kind of issues have you encountered? I might just have a short memory.

    +
    0 Votes
    PSer

    Has always been a bit of a challenge. I have seen, more than once, in more than one shop, that the version of Novell Netware's client32 DOES matter. I've seen upgrades fix/break and downgrades fix/break. It's all in the 'W's' ... what, when, where, why. Every shop is different but the client version should never be discounted when troubleshooting, IMO.

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Just kidding, he still doesn't think that is our problem.

    +
    0 Votes
    PSer

    Might not be. But, it could be.

    Worthy of the short time to test your theory, I'd say.


    edit: title

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    Thank you for bringing that up. I work for the Dept. of Energy so I can't install that yet. Our network people have to study it for a month or so and then approve it. Worked real well for SP3. :-) Really it didn't affect anyone besides that one group of users anyway.

    +
    0 Votes
    rob mekel

    with SFT III ... early '90's ... or even 3.11 with SFT III ... man those were the days :)

    Double machines just for fail-over security no extra computing power, at first copperwired later fiberoptics ... is it still used?

    +
    0 Votes
    tstreich

    I remember having some extreme login scripts, having to setup users on every server, time consuming stuff.

    The whole idea of NDS/network login vs server login was outstanding. Isn't that where MS AD was copied from??

    +
    0 Votes
    JamesRL

    Many of the gurus in Vines became AD experts. The main architect for Vines, James Allchin ended up at Microsoft.

    I was a Vines admin back at Nortel in the early 90s - worldwide network, easy as pie.

    James

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Still stick with eDirecory. Get a grip on Context. This is the point in the hierarchical tree that an object, server, user, printer, whatever, sits. You - users - get rights to the things in your context, have to be given rights to things in other contexts. That's servers, volumes (disks), printers, whatever.

    Novell is better than Winders with files and folders. No permissions AT ALL until granted. Assign permissions and you automatically get the ability to browse to the locations from the root of the volume. Permissions map reasonable to Winders perms but are not quite the same. Assign permissions and they don't replicate down the tree for half an hour, they just ARE and you get your rights "on the fly".

    Four is NWADMIN to manage, Five is both NWADMIN and ConsoleOne. Six is ConsoleOne. They do look much the same, a pictorial representation of your eDir tree. ConsoleOne is Java, that's all and runs on the server as well as workstation. NWADMIN only runs on a workstation.

    Five has a GUI server console, Four doesn't.

    Replicas. Copies of all or part of eDirectory on different servers. You ought to have AT LEAST two copies of everything in eDirectory! i.e. all bits of the eDir tree.

    If you have remote sites you can set up eDirectory to mirror the geographical structure of the company and you put a replica containing the local information on the local server. Otherwise you set up eDirectory to mirror the organisational structure. You can do both. Talk knowingly about eDirectory structure. They will have NO idea...

    Aaaggh not sure where to stop...

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    I think about 10 work stations at the main office, and two remote offices with two work stations each.

    As you can imagine, it was hard to get that much informatin for two reasons. 1) they guy didn't know tech, and 2) you don't give that information out to just anyone.

    ~sigh~

    Thanks again.


    Bad thing, the links I am following are taking me to 100+ page pdfs! ACK! I can't print all that off!

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Here's hoping the interviewer understands your qualifications better than the average HR hack.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    my job now is to get a job.

    The current job is to sell myself! (in a good way, not in the rest area way that scummy does)

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

     

    +
    0 Votes
    rob mekel

    Great going JD :)

    A list of things a beginning novell admin should know ... much depends on what version of novell they're using. Which modules within the version they're loading/using.

    if they are using an very old version ... may be they're still in the IPX/SPX protocol environment bound to the tcp protocol ... wow ... may be even on TokenRing :) .. those were the days, long gone by for me :)

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you :-bd

    +
    0 Votes
    cmiller5400

    We currently use Netware OES 6.5

    ConsoleOne - This is where you do the bulk of the administration for users and groups.

    NoRM - This is the Novell Remote Manager. This is a web service that runs on the Netware box that allows you to configure, and manage the server. You can view the console screens from here as well.

    iManager - This an web service that runs on the Netware box that allows you to manage users and groups and a lot more of eDirectory tree. Suppose to replace ConsoleOne but I still prefer ConsoleOne to do my admin work.

    iPrint - The way to manage print queue's. You set up IP on the printer then create a broker and print manager, then set up a printer that you can automatically set up to push to users on login. (very cool stuff)

    NWAdmin - old way of doing print queues. Don't use it for anything else at this time

    RConJ - Use it to connect to the server console.

    nwconfig - Used to install products and patches for Netware. Also can be used to edit the autoexec.bat and autoexec.ncf files. Will be used to install Directory Services on the server and remove it.

    ea - shortcut for "edit autoexec.ncf" cool trick.

    nss - The storage system used by Novell servers. Very flexible and expandable. read up on nss pools and volumes

    A must have book is --> http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?EAN=0789729849

    All in all, if you can handle *nix and Windows servers, you will be fine. There are a few gotcha's but feel free to contact me if you have questions.

    +
    0 Votes
    Mr.Wiz

    We use Netware 6.5, Zenworks 7, Groupwise 7 and have been using Netware since before I started working here over 11 years ago. Console One, NWADMIN and the other tools mentioned will definitely come in handy.

    We're also using a newer Novell tool called iManager which takes the place of many of the tools listed. You can still use the older tools for some things, some you have to use the newer ones for.

    If I can help, let me know.

    +
    0 Votes
    PSer

    I am still managing several 4.11 trees (have exp. Up to 6.5). Along with several other environments, WinTel, Citrix, Infra., etc.!

    First thing to know, Novell company. Netware, Novell's NOS. (sorry pet peeve).
    IMO, Novell's Netware and most other Novell solutions (ZENWorks ROCKS!! ) is/are the most stable multi-platform Networking solutions out there and have been since the beginning of client/server times. Trouble is, their marketing department always has and apparently always will SVCK! Like NB's experience, most shops (I've run across) are getting off of Netware for all of the wrong reasons, mainly because it's a Micro$oft world! Kids these days want to point and click their way through the day, ah well.

    True, NDS/eDir blows away AD, mainly 'cause M$ developed (stole) AD by 'looking' at Novell's 'NDS', which of course came about by way of Novell 'looking' to Banyan Vines (Ah, history). Anyway, as usual, M$ bloated the **** out of AD and it is not now nor will it ever be as stable as NDS/eDir. 'can' be (I've seen some f'd up trees!), IMO. The differences are many but the hierarchal tree structure is at the core of both. One major difference is you can go to a Windows DC Server via console or remote and open the AD mmc to manage AD via GUI for all things AD. Not so in Netware. You will mostly manage your NDS/eDir OBJECTS (users, printers, groups, etc.) via desktop, as mentioned in an earlier post. The Novell Netware management tools (ConsoleOne, Nwadmin, ndsmgr32, etc.) will run from the server but on your PC (although you can install ConsoleOne locally). When you are wanting to manage, maintain, troubleshoot, the server itself and or NDS/eDir, it will most likely be at the server console itself via console or remote (rconsole, rconsolej, or my fav AdRem free Remote Console<more features than the native Novell Remote solutions>. www.adremsoft.com

    Neilb's descriptions are dead on (as well as the other Novell techs on here). Thing to remember is you need to keep your directory structure clean and happy. Once it's happy, you will be happy for a very long time with minimal but necessary maintenance. NEVER had any problems with patches, luck maybe?

    BTW: the Novell GUI has never really grown on me and I only use it when I absolutely have to (not available until v.5 and up)! What I do like about the GUI is it is optional in most cases. REM 'Startx.nlm' from the autoexec.ncf and only load when needed, niiiice! The server console should be and is mainly command driven, so a *nix/Cisco person should be used to that aspect, you will just need to learn the ins and outs of Netware and it's commands. Go to the Netware forums at support.novell.com read, learn, ask, etc. There is much to learn if you indeed get the job. If you "cram" best you can for now, you should be able to fake it 'til you make it, with a little help from your friends!

    PM me if you want but it looks like you've got some very knowledgeable old school Novell people already in your corner!

    Much Luck to ya!

    edit: mysteriousness

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    You seem to have packed a bit of info in there. :)

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    Ok, specific question here.

    Novell and remote access. What do I need to know and to watch out for, for connecting remote users?

    +
    0 Votes
    The Scummy One

    I was just going to ask about it, and you already answered.

    Too bad I never did remote access on Novell

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Hope you get some good pointers on your query.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    Full story here:
    http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=102&threadID=305915&messageID=3048459

    And even posts here that don't have an answer still help to bump this back up in the list.

    Gee, why hasn't Sonja profiled THIS in the QOW? :_|

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Actually, there seem to be some common issues if you search Q&A
    http://search.techrepublic.com.com/index.php?t=9&s=0&o=0&q=novell

    I was looking for one question that I tried to research - seems certain patches have broken logon or connectivity in the past. Can't seem to find it.

    BTW, you did hit 69 thumbs up at ZDNet at one point.

    +
    0 Votes
    Wizard-09

    Done jdclyde gald you got the job, hope you don't get to stuck on novell (b)

    +
    0 Votes
    Darryl~ Moderator

    We have a few different types of remote users on our network.

    Remote offices - these are relatively easy with a static IP on the remote end, we just tunnel into the network and everyone just logs in as if they were here, the only real issue with them is speed and access to large files. It helps to have someone at the remote site that knows how to reboot the firewall. We assign a different set of IPs to each office to make it easier to manage...192.168.1.xxx, 192.168.2.xxx, etc.

    Laptops used for conventions etc. - We loan these out from the MIS Dept. and have them all pre-configured because we are usually dealing with someone who seldom (or never) connect remotely. We set up a VPN account on the network for them to connect to and configure a network connection on the laptop and place a shortcut on the desktop for the user to make it less complicated for them. The biggest issue with these is getting them to right click the Novell Services icon in the sys tray (big red N) and getting them to click "Novell Login", they have to do this after making a connection through the VPN which many don't seem to understand. I have a set of instructions that I always print off to give them...lots of screen shots. You should also check with the hotel they will be staying at to find out if it's wireless Internet so you can configure that for them.

    Remote PC with Novell client - This is how I have my home PC set up, I just use the Novell client to log into Windows on a day to day basis, I set up a network connection to the network at work as above & connect that way when I want access to things at work. I've had issues running both Outlook & GroupWise on the same computer at home...that can be a pain to set up.

    Remote PC with Windows client - Same as above, we make a VPN account but instead of connecting to the network by right clicking Novell Services, we make an account on a Terminal Services server and they use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the network that way. We have the Terminal Services computer set up with all the programs "everyone" would require if they were at work...all their network drives are mapped when they log in...people seem to like this setup okay.

    Good luck with the new position...I've been following your situation since you were laid off, I was in the same position a few years ago & know how hard it is being in your 40?s looking for a job.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    thanks

    +
    0 Votes
    sidekick

    Glad to see you back in the saddle.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    What is the process to check versions, and what patches are applied vs what SHOULD be applied?

    How is the patch process? Simple?

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    don't really know much about it at all, yet.

    how cool is that?

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Now, patching, remote access, everything! We need to know the version!

    Type "version" on the console...

    Oh, and what are the clients? XP?



    www.novell.com should always be your first port of call. Back in my day it used to have a really good knowledgebase. I see no reason for it to have changed. Novell Coolsolutions will make you look good.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    that is all I know, so far.

    Got a list of technical questions that I need to get answers to tomorrow, including what the working relationship is with the outside consultant that WAS doing all of their work?

    Who owns their domain?

    Who is hosting their web site?

    Firewall.

    and much more.

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    seeing as you are going in to see the kit at last!

    Novell's firewall is BorderManager - can pretty much do everything. VPN, proxy, NAT, etc. They've probably added stuff in the last four years since I used it.

    Wonder what mail they are using. Novell mail is GroupWise. I'm OK on that up to Six.

    I still have all my Novell books! I had a look in the loft and they are bending the rafters.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    they are running "Office-Logic" as their mail server, running on a Winxp Pro desktop. :0

    They have another package running on win server 2003.

    There isn't ANYTHING on the novell server! (that I can tell) The email USED to be, but isn't now, don't know why and neither does anyone else!

    All I saw was netware 4.11, and then didn't have time to look at it after that.

    No documentation, no books, no nothing. :0

    Yet another consultant milking a company and keeping them intentionally in the dark?

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    if there is nothing on the Novell server then it's really an albatros for the network imo.

    Depending on size, might consider going to Active Directory Services.

    or suggest a retirement and move to Windows [or Unix :)]

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    the only thing the Novell is doing is providing printing to the network printer.

    The other applications are already ON Windows.

    5 pcs at the main branch, 3 at another and 2 at another. Not WORTH an AD server.

    Kind of disappointing, really.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    They don't even use the Netware login?

    WTH?

    +
    0 Votes
    CG IT

    unless that Novell server is running eDirectory, I'd say go to Active Directory if your strong suit is Windows Platform. Might consider Fedora Directory Services if your more of a programmer and like to create your own stuff.

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    but so what? Why would I care if there aren't any applications being fed through it?

    Am I missing the boat/reason for even having the novell running?

    I am betting they HAD groupwise running, but was moved from that to the app running on a DESKTOP.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Fear? Sloth? Nostalgia?

    They actually lost their last <i>real</i> network guy back when Netware 4.x was hot?

    Maybe they think it is extra security?

    (I smell a full-time position for the guy who can efficiently redesign the network. )

    Maybe they tried to eliminate it before, but it confused the users.
    "There's no Netware logon!"
    "We don't need it anymore, so we removed it."
    "But it's different now, I'll have to re-learn everything."
    "No, that is the only thing that changed"
    "But it's different."
    "Look, it isn't like it is Vista or something, we just removed something we don't need."
    "But it's different."
    "(facepalm)"

    Edited for friggin' angle brackets

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    I have to say that 4.11 NDS STILL blows AD (even 2008) out of the water for the comprehensive resource management that any DS ought to supply.

    JD doesn't have any specific DS skills so he might just as well move them to Linux and Samba and continue to spit on Windows.

    :)

    +
    0 Votes
    neilb@uk

    Central file store, personal folders, that sort of thing?

    4.11, was the first really stable version of NDS, Novell Directory Services. Worth learning a bit about any DS and the background concepts - Novell and NDS/eDirectory, Winders AD or Linux and Samba.

    If they are just using it for file and print then bide your time, have a play and don't necessarily leap to M$ as it doesn't do it any better - probably worse on the same hardware. You could spend their money and not gain a thing unless you uprate the server hardware. Novell's file server performance is in a different league to Winders running on the same box as a Novell file server is just an efficient caching engine without all of the Winders GUI crap overhead. Even on an OS from the 90s!

    Linux, maybe...

    +
    0 Votes
    jdclyde

    I have talked to the other two people in the office, and asked them to train me on their jobs, so I will be in a better position to support their needs.

    They thought that was a good idea.

    Other than a change in their network that the Internet provider wants done (change the static IP address), I just plan on mapping out and learning what they have first. After that, meet with them to see what THEY envision being done, and THEN I will start offering changes.

    If I can complement what they want, I think I can become a full time employee in about a year. B-) Although, except for the health care, I would rather wait TWO years to become full time, so I can still make my boys sporting events.

    +
    0 Votes
    KSoniat

    With my hubby in Alabama during the week, I'm a "single mom". If I work my 40+ hours (work through lunch etc) my boss lets me leave early to handle sports, appointments or house repairs.

    They've seen that when I am here I am working 100% and if an issue comes up I will address it. I haven't made every game/match, but I've made enough to count.

    Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate (and in your case NOT NOW - but when it becomes a possibility).

    +
    0 Votes
    shasca

    Have you found access to these tools yet? They will let you administer the entire network if installed properly. Iinventory, or any other inventory software will let find the software and versions installed on the Network Hardware.

    I still have my 4.11 books from class back in '96. Yours for the asking.

    Even if you do decide to punt Netware, I would keep it for awhile and learn abit about it. Good Resume stuffer. Novell techs are becoming obsolete so you would have a niche that smaller companies would demand.

    Oh Yeah almost forgot WOOOHOOOO FOR YOU!!!!!