Novell’s latest operating system release is not your typical dot-one upgrade. NetWare 5.1 includes many new back-office products, such as the Enterprise Web Server, eDirectory, NetWare Management portal, a new memory management scheme, and a certificate server. This article will provide you with a high level overview of a simple upgrade that can serve as a guideline for your NetWare 5.1 implementation.
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Before running off to plan your NetWare 5.1 upgrade, you should realize that the abundance of new features comes with a price. The one downside to this feature-rich operating system is the list of massive hardware requirements shown below:

  • Pentium processor
  • 50-MB DOS partition, with 35 MB of free space
  • 750-MB free space on SYS: for the operating system
  • 750-MB additional free space on a volume for the WebSphere Application Server
  • 128-MB RAM for the operating system (256 recommended)
  • 128-MB additional RAM (256 recommended) for the WebSphere Application Server

The upgrade process
My NetWare 5.0 server at home barely met the minimum requirements, but I thought it would be interesting to see how NetWare 5.1 would run on my Pentium 133, which has only 128-MB RAM and a 1.2-GB hard drive. Realizing that my server could suffer from poor performance after the upgrade, I still forged ahead, more out of curiosity than rational thinking. Here is an overview of the upgrade steps:

  1. Complete and verify a full backup of the file server.
  2. Down the server.
  3. Boot the server to DOS, loading DOS CD-ROM drivers.
  4. Execute INSTALL.BAT to initiate the upgrade.
  5. Read and accept the license agreement.
  6. Select Upgrade and modify the Startup Directory if necessary.
  7. Confirm or modify the server settings.
  8. Confirm or modify the values for Platform Support Module, HotPlug Support Module, and Storage Adapters.
  9. Confirm or modify the value for Storage Device Drivers. The SYS: volume will be mounted.
  10. Confirm or modify the values for Network Boards and NetWare Loadable Modules. The installation program will copy files, load the Java installation GUI, and mount the rest of the volumes.
  11. Verify that all of the volumes have been mounted. [Alt][Esc] to the console screen and type VOLUMES. Mount any volumes that were not mounted and then toggle back to the GUI installation screen.
  12. Enter the appropriate values to configure the communication protocols.
  13. Enter the appropriate values to configure DNS.
  14. Verify the NDS tree name and the server context.
  15. Log in as Admin, using the distinguished name.
  16. Browse to the appropriate location to select the .NLF file and install the license.
  17. Select the components that you want to install. Novell Certificate Server, LDAP Services, NetWare Management Portal, and Storage Management Services are automatically installed. (I didn’t install WebSphere due to lack of resources.)
  18. Confirm the Certificate Server 2.0 object settings.
  19. Read the Organizational CA Warning message and select OK.
  20. Select the appropriate DNS/DHCP settings for the Locator Object NDS Context, Group Object NDS Context, and RootSrvr Zone NDS Context.
  21. Verify the products to be installed, and if correct, select Finish. The file copy will begin.
  22. When the file copy is complete, remove any floppy disks and the installation CD.
  23.  Select Yes to reboot the server and complete the upgrade.

The installation went smoothly and took about two hours, including some time spent watching an exciting hockey game. Performance has exceeded my expectations and my two-workstation network is running better than before. The new features have been fun to play with, and I am quite pleased at how this upgrade turned out. If only the hockey game had had a better outcome!

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

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