Upgrading Server Hardware
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01 Mar 1998
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Because many companies need faster network response and more hard drive capacity, these companies are upgrading their aging server hardware to new hardware that can support their business for the next three to five years. Companies that are using intraNetWare or NetWare 4 usually have two questions when planning a hardware upgrade:
How do you move an existing intraNetWare or NetWare 4 server to new server hardware?
How do you move the SYS volume to a new hard drive?
NetWare 2 and NetWare 3 servers are simple to upgrade: Using a NetWare-aware backup system, you can copy every detail about the server, including trustee rights, ownership information, and extended attributes, to a backup and restore this information on the new server hardware. Print services and open databases present the only real problems.
IntraNetWare and NetWare 4 are more complex, however. Novell Directory Services (NDS) maintains information about a Server object based on the server name and object ID, and other servers in the NDS tree maintain the server's internal IPX address as an external reference.
If you change the server name, object ID, or internal IPX address, you can create problems in an intraNetWare or NetWare 4 environment. Also, a server that is removed from the NDS tree can generate time synchronization problems.
This article explains two methods of upgrading the server hardware in an intraNetWare or NetWare 4 environment without wreaking havoc on the network: You can use the across-the-wire upgrade method or the backup-and-restore upgrade method.
THE ACROSS-THE-WIRE UPGRADE METHOD
The easiest method requires you to change the server name and the internal IPX address. If you can change the server name and the internal IPX address and if you meet the following requirements, you should use the across-the-wire upgrade method:
You must be installing new server hardware.
You must have an additional intraNetWare or NetWare 4.11 license because you need an authenticated connection both to the old server and to the new server.
You must have access to the network during off-peak hours when no one is logged in to the network. You must unload all services except LAN communications on the old server.
You must have a file migration utility. You should not use utilities such as the NCOPY and XCOPY utilities because they do not maintain file system or volume information. Avanti Technology's SXCOPY utility, which is part of the TaskMaster suite (http://www.avanti-tech.com), and Cheyenne Software's VOLUME COPY utility, which is part of ARCserve 6 (http://www.cheyenne.com) are good file migration utilities. When migrating files and directories from old server hardware to new server hardware, both utilities maintain all of the file system and volume information.
Note: Note. If you do not want to run the migration across the wire, you can instead use a verified system backup. Rather than migrate files and directories across the wire, you can restore them to the new server hardware from the backup.
In the across-the-wire upgrade method, you install new server hardware on the network, migrate the files and directories from the old server hardware to the new server hardware, and remove the old server hardware from the network. To use this method, you complete the following steps:
Make two complete, verified system backups using a NetWare-aware backup system. (Before you begin the upgrade process, you should use a NetWare-aware backup system to make at least two verified system backups.)
Install intraNetWare or NetWare 4 with all current patches and updates on the new server hardware.
Add the new server to the NDS tree and wait while NDS completes the replication process.
If the new server will contain the master replica of a particular partition, load the DSREPAIR utility, and make the replica on this server the master replica. Then wait while NDS replicates the partition information.
Using the file migration utility or a NetWare-aware backup system, migrate all of the files and directories to the new server hardware. As the files are being migrated, answer No when you are prompted to overwrite existing files with files from the old server. You do not want to overwrite new file information with old file information.
Using Novell's NetWare Administrator (NWADMIN) utility, modify the login scripts to point drive mappings and CAPTURE commands to the new server hardware.
Create appropriate print services (printers, print servers, and print queues) on the new server hardware to replace the print services on the old server hardware.
Ensure that the files and other server information have been migrated properly.
Load the INSTALL utility on the old server, and remove NDS. This step removes the Server object and all associated objects from the NDS tree.
Down the old server, and physically remove the old server hardware from the network.
If needed, add user licenses from the old server hardware to the new server hardware to allow for more users.
THE BACKUP-AND-RESTORE UPGRADE METHOD
If you must maintain the old server name or internal IPX address or if you are replacing the SYS volume due to hardware failure or to increase storage capacity, you must use the backup-and-restore upgrade method. You cannot use the across-the-wire upgrade method because two servers with the same server name or internal IPX address cannot coexist on the network.
The backup-and-restore upgrade method has four requirements:
You must be installing new server hardware or replacing a hard drive that will hold the SYS volume.
You must make two verified system backups with a NetWare-aware backup system.
You must have access to the network during off-peak hours because any changes that occur in the NDS database or in the file system during the upgrade process can cause criti-cal failures.
You must have a large-capacity, removable-media device, such as a ZIP drive, to move the NDS database on the old server hardware to the new server hardware. You can also use the ZIP drive to move files from the old boot partition to the new boot partition. Using a ZIP drive can be especially helpful if you have installed updated disk drivers on the boot partition.
With the backup-and-restore upgrade method, you must manipulate the existing NDS tree and complete the upgrade process using a backup of the file system and volume information. You must make the backup when you are sure that no one will modify the NDS database or the file system on the old server hardware. You must then take a snapshot of the NDS database on the old server hardware and restore the NDS database and the file system to the new server hardware. To NDS, it will appear that the server was simply offline for a short period of time.
To keep downtime to a minimum, I recommend that you test the new server hardware prior to starting the upgrade process. You should also review Novell's DSMAINT.TXT file, which is available on the Novell Support Connection World-Wide Web site (http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/tidfinder.cgi?2919565).
To use the backup-and-restore upgrade method, you complete the following steps:
Make two complete, verified system backups with a NetWare-aware backup system.
Log in to the old server as a user with ADMIN rights. You will not be able to log in to this server after the next step.
At the server console, load the INSTALL utility, and select Directory Options from the first menu. Select Directory Backup and Restore Options from the next menu, and then select the Save Local DS Information Proper to a Hardware Upgrade option. The BACKUP.DS file is created in the SYS\SYSTEM directory.
Copy the BACKUP.DS file from the SYS\SYSTEM directory to a ZIP drive.
Down the old server.
If you want to move files from the boot partition on the old server hardware, copy these files to the ZIP drive.
If you are replacing the server hardware, physically remove the old server hardware from the network. If you are replacing the hard drive, physically remove the old hard drive, and install the new hard drive.
Install intraNetWare or NetWare 4 with all current patches and updates on the new server hardware.
If you copied files from the old boot partition to the ZIP drive, copy these files to the new boot partition.
Log in to the new server as a user with ADMIN rights, and copy the BACKUP.DS file from the ZIP drive to the SYS\SYSTEM directory.
Load the INSTALL utility, and select Directory Options. Then select the Remove Directory Services From This Server option.
Select Directory Backup and Restore Options from the Directory Services Options menu. Then select the Restore Local DS Information After Hardware Upgrade option, and restore the NDS database from the BACKUP.DS file in the SYS\ SYSTEM directory.
After the NDS database is restored, ensure that the servers are synchronized and that the Time Synchronization feature is active.
Select the Upgrade Mounted Volumes into the Directory option from the Directory Services Options menu.
After all of the volumes are upgraded and NDS is synchronized across the servers, run the DSREPAIR utility on each server in the NDS tree to ensure that no orphaned objects exist. Use Advanced Options in the DSREPAIR utility to ensure that the Volume objects and trustee assignments are correct.
If the NDS information is correct, restore all of the file system and volume information from the backup to the new server hardware. As the files are being restored, answer No when you are prompted to overwrite existing files with files from the old server. You do not want to overwrite new file information with old file information.
Whether you are installing new server hardware or are replacing a hard drive, you should be able to migrate existing intraNetWare or NetWare 4 files, directories, and volumes to the new server hardware without any problems. Both the across-the-wire and backup-and-restore upgrade methods migrate server information with minimal downtime and few postmigration repairs. Just remember to make two verified system backups using a NetWare-aware backup system, plan ahead, understand the steps you will take, and test the new server hardware before you begin the upgrade process.
Mickey Applebaum has worked with NetWare for 14 years. You can reach Mickey at email@example.com.
NetWare Connection,March 1998, pp.31-32
* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine
The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.