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

By 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!


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You got the Job???!!!

by shasca In reply to Novell Techs, time to ste ...

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?????!!!

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Was only the first interview

by jdclyde In reply to You got the Job???!!!

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.

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by tstreich In reply to Was only the first interv ...

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 has some high level Netware guys that hang out there 24-7.

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All true

by jdclyde In reply to ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!

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

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Backups, AV

by shasca In reply to Was only the first interv ...

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.

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The difference is

by jdclyde In reply to Backups, AV

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.

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Basic Netware Admin is very easy.

by tstreich In reply to Novell Techs, time to ste ... 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!!!!

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This is probably going to be an OLD instillation

by jdclyde In reply to Basic Netware Admin is ve ...

so odds are, it is BEFORE the suse purchase.

Wish I knew which version they were running!

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OK, some Novell stuff to maybe read up on

by neilb@uk In reply to This is probably going to ...

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 :)

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I think I will start with eDirectory

by jdclyde In reply to OK, some Novell stuff to ...

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.

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