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Novell Remote Manager: Remote Control for NetWare Servers

Articles and Tips: article

Cheryl Walton

01 Sep 2001


As a network administrator, you are under pressure to keep your company's network running 24x7x365. This demand for perpetual uptime is a natural by-product of taking intellectual property and critical business processes out of filing cabinets and putting that information on servers.

Since you can't always be at the office, hovering over your company's servers, you face a common dilemma: How do you ensure that these servers are functioning at peak performance all of the time?

The answer is obvious: A web-based management utility enables you to manage your company's servers over the Internet. To provide this nonstop access to your company's servers, NetWare 6 includes Novell Remote Manager, a web-based management utility. (NetWare 6 also includes several other features. For more information, see "NetWare 6: Read All About It.")

As you probably know, Novell is providing web-based utilities as part of its goal to deliver Net services software, which works across all networks, from intranets to the Internet. According to Novell, Net services software is designed to simplify, secure, and accelerate your company's transition to e-business.

Novell Remote Manager can accelerate your company's transition to e-business by enabling you to manage multiple servers in multiple locations from anywhere you have an Internet connection and a standard web browser. (Novell Remote Manager supports Netscape 4.5 or above and Internet Explorer 5.0 or above.) In addition, Novell Remote Manager secures communications between your browser and the servers you are managing: To encrypt these communications, Novell Remote Manager uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

YOU WANT IT? YOU'VE GOT IT!

You may be surprised to find that Novell Remote Manager is actually the latest version of a web-based management utility that shipped with NetWare 5--NetWare Management Portal. Although this utility ships with NetWare 5, Novell has discovered that some network administrators don't know they have this utility. For example, at BrainShare 2001 in Salt Lake City, Dana Henriksen, a Novell distinguished engineer, found that many of the network administrators who attended his break-out session had never used NetWare Management Portal simply because they didn't know it existed. As part of the NetWare 5.1 operating system, NetWare Management Portal installs automatically--and obviously without fanfare--when you install NetWare 5.1.

To show BrainShare attendees the capabilities that they already had, Henriksen asked attendees for the IP address of a NetWare 5.1 server on their company's network. Henriksen then used that address to pull up NetWare Management Portal and let the attendees manage that server from a web browser in the BrainShare lab. (For step-by-step instructions on how to access Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal, see "One-Two-Three Steps You're In!")

Both Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal use NDS eDirectory to authenticate users and to determine access rights to information and management capabilities. Therefore, BrainShare attendees who could not log in to NetWare Management Portal with administrative rights were probably not as wowed by NetWare Management Portal as attendees who could.

As this statement implies, you can view a limited amount of the information that NetWare Management Portal provides without authenticating to NetWare Management Portal. For example, you can view noncritical information about the SYS volume--such as whether or not that volume is mounted. (See Figure 1.) To access the majority of NetWare Management Portal's information and management tasks, however, you must log in either as a user with administrative rights or as SAdmin.

Note. SAdmin is a special user account that is stored in Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal rather than in eDirectory. For more information about the SAdmin account, see "Your Server's Trap Door."

The information and management capabilities that NetWare Management Portal provides are too extensive to discuss in detail in this article. (In fact, Novell's AppNotes has published 12 articles about NetWare Management Portal. For more information, see "Here's the Beef!") Because Novell Remote Manager builds on the capabilities NetWare Management Portal offers, you should have a general idea of what NetWare Management Portal can do. Following is a brief discussion of the main NetWare Management Portal management options:

  • Volume Management

  • Server Management

  • Application Management

  • NDS Management

  • Remote Server Access

  • Hardware Management

  • Health Monitor

Volume Management

When you select the Volume Management option, you can view the name, attributes, and status of NetWare volumes running on the server. (The server referred to in this discussion is the server upon which NetWare Management Portal is running.) Through links on the main Volume Management page, you can access additional information about these volumes. For example, you can view a volume's partition type, ID, and size.

You can perform a variety of tasks using the Volume Management option, including the following:

  • Mount and dismount volumes

  • Upload and download files

  • Purge deleted files

  • Create and delete subdirectories

  • Set file attributes such as Read and Write

  • Enable file compression on traditional NetWare volumes

  • Migrate files to high-capacity storage system (HCSS) units

Server Management

An abbreviated list of the information available through the Server Management option includes information about server connections, memory allocation, the server's internal SET parameters, and the threads that are currently executing on the server. Using the Server Management option, you can perform tasks such as the following:

  • Clear server connections

  • Broadcast messages to users who are connected to the server

  • Set server parameters

  • Send command-line information and execute these commands on the server

  • Down the server

  • Restart the server

Application Management

The Application Management option enables you to view information about the NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs) running on the server. For example, you can view NLM names and versions. You can also view information about how much memory is allocated to each NLM.

In addition, you can view information about address spaces that are loaded on the server, server registry information, and data about Winsock 2 applications (including active name space providers and general socket statistics). You can also use the Application Management option to load and unload NLMs.

NDS Management

You can use the links available through the NDS Management option to walk the eDirectory tree and view the eDirectory partitions that exist on the server. By selecting the Tree Walker link, you can view a list of the objects in your company's eDirectory tree. You can also view the attributes of those objects and the values associated with those attributes. In addition, you can use Tree Walker to delete eDirectory objects.

Within the NDS Management option, you can select the eDirectory Partitions link to view a list of the partitions and replicas stored on the server. This list includes partition and replica names, types, and states.

The NDS Management option also enables you to access two utilities that you can use to monitor and troubleshoot eDirectory:

  • DSTRACE. The DSTRACE utility is a command-line utility that is included with NetWare 5.1. This utility enables you to see eDirectory background processes.

  • NDS iMonitor. NDS iMonitor is a web-based monitoring and diagnostic tool for eDirectory 8.5 and above. (For more information about NDS iMonitor, see "I Spy With My Little i.")

Remote Server Access

When you select the Remote Server Access option, you can view a list of all the servers that are running NetWare Management Portal. You can then access and log in to the NetWare Management Portal running on these servers.

Using the Remote Server Access option, you can browse the file systems of NetWare servers that reside in the same eDirectory tree as the server running NetWare Management Portal. You can browse any server in this tree, whether or not that server is running NetWare Management Portal.

Note. NetWare Management Portal uses NetWare Core Protocols (NCPs) to access information from these servers. The file system information available through the Remote Server Access option is similar to the information available through the Volume Manager option of NetWare Management Portal.

Hardware Management

As its name suggests, the Hardware Management option enables you to view information about the hardware devices attached to the server. For example, you can view information about the speed, family, model, and cache sizes of the server's processors. You can also view information about adapters and PC interface (PCI) devices.

Health Monitor

Through the Health Monitor option, you can monitor the health of 18 or more items that determine overall server performance. (The number of items you can monitor depends on the number of CPUs the server has.) For example, you can monitor the health of eDirectory thread usage, server virtual memory performance, and available disk space. (See Figure 2.)

The Health Monitor displays a green, yellow, or red light to indicate the health status of each item, depending on whether that status is good, suspect, or bad, respectively. NetWare Management Portal determines the health status for each item based on threshold values. (You can configure threshold values for a subset of Health Monitor items, or you can use the default values. For more information about configuring threshold values, see "Setting Boundaries.")

NEW NAME, ADDED FEATURES

Novell Remote Manager is more than simply the NetWare Management Portal utility with a new moniker and an updated look and feel. Of course, Novell Remote Manager includes all of the capabilities already mentioned. However, these capabilities are organized differently than they are organized in NetWare Management Portal. In Novell Remote Manager, these capabilities are organized under the following headings:

  • Diagnose Server

  • Manage Server

  • Manage Applications

  • Manage Hardware

  • Manage eDirectory

  • Use Server Groups

  • Access Other Servers

  • NetWare Usage

As you might expect, Novell Remote Manager adds capabilities that you can use to manage NetWare 6 servers. These new capabilities are available through the following new features:

  • NetWare Server Screens applet

  • New log in

  • Admin and non-admin view

  • Disk partition operations

  • CPU execution profiling per NLM

Your Server Console: You Can Take It With You

The NetWare Server Screens applet is a Java applet that allows you to access the NetWare 6 server console directly rather than through an HTML interface. With the NetWare Server Screens applet, you can type and enter server commands just as you would if you were sitting at the server console. In contrast, with the NetWare Management Portal HTML interface, you must type these commands into a field in an HTML web page and then click a bar to execute those commands. (See Figure 3.)

If you prefer, however, you can still use an HTML interface with Novell Remote Manager. To access either the new NetWare Server Screens applet or the HTML interface, select Console Screens from the Manage Server section of the Novell Remote Manager menu frame.

Private: Keep Out

Unlike NetWare Management Portal, Novell Remote Manager requires users to log in to the utility before they can view information about NetWare 6 servers. Novell made this change in response to feedback from customers. According to Henriksen, users who know about and have used NetWare Management Portal are "just not comfortable with the fact that anyone in the world can view [noncritical] information about [their company's] servers." (See Figure 1.) As a result, Novell Remote Manager requires users to log in before viewing any information.

With NetWare 5.1, Novell also allows you to limit the information available to users who haven't logged in to NetWare Management Portal: You can configure NetWare Management Portal to display only the front-page header, which includes a traffic light indicating overall server health; the type, version number, and uptime of the server; and a login button. (See Figure 4.) (This capability was introduced in Support Pack 1 for NetWare 5.1. You can download the latest support pack from http://support.novell.com/misc/patlst.htm#nw.) Even if you configure NetWare Management Portal to display only the front-page header, you still expose some information about your company's server to anyone who knows how to access the NetWare Management Portal running on that server.

What You See Depends on Who You Are

How much information can users see when they do log in to Novell Remote Manager? The answer to this question depends on the users' rights in eDirectory. For example, if a user has Supervisor, or Admin, rights to the Server object in eDirectory, he or she can access all of the information and perform all of the tasks that are available through Novell Remote Manager.

Users who do not have Admin rights can neither see nor use most of Novell Remote Manager's management capabilities. In fact, users who cannot log in as Admin can view or manage only those volumes, directories, or files to which those users have rights in eDirectory. For example, a user who has only Read rights to a particular file can view that file but cannot perform tasks that require both Read and Write access--such as renaming or deleting the file.

On the other hand, a user with Read and Write access to this file can rename or delete the file. If this user has both Read and Write access to the directory in which the file is located, he or she can also upload files into that directory.

Storage Management Options

Just as NetWare Management Portal allows you to manage attributes for traditional NetWare 5.1 volumes, Novell Remote Manager allows you to manage attributes for traditional NetWare 6 volumes. In addition, Novell Remote Manager allows you to perform additional storage management tasks via a web browser, rather than the NWCONFIG utility or the NSS administration console.

For example, with Novell Remote Manager, you can create new volumes and partitions and manage attributes for Novell Storage Services (NSS) volumes. You can use Novell Remote Manager to create, change, or delete traditional and NSS volumes and partitions. You can also use Novell Remote Manager to create, change, or delete NSS storage pools. (See Figure 5.)

High Profile Threads

Novell Remote Manager also enables you to view information about how each CPU on your company's NetWare 6 server is handling the NLMs that are running on that server. For example, suppose a NetWare 6 server has two CPUs and you want to know how much processor time SERVER.NLM is consuming on each CPU.

To view this information, you select the Profile/Debug option. Novell Remote Manager then displays a list of the threads that are running on the server and the combined percentage of CPU time these threads are consuming.

Note. As you may already know, NetWare 6 includes several multiprocessor (MP)-enabled components, including the NetWare 6 TCP/IP stack and the NSS file system. To take advantage of these MP-enabled components, Novell recommends you run NetWare 6 on servers with at least two CPUs. (For more information about NetWare 6 and multiprocessing, see "NetWare 6 and MP: Unraveling the Threads of Multiprocessing," Novell Connection, Mar. 2001, pp. 6-18.)

In addition, Novell Remote Manager displays the Profile CPU Execution by NLM link. When you select this link, Novell Remote Manager displays a list of the NLMs that are running on the server and the following CPU-related statistics for each NLM:

  • Execution Time, which displays the combined total percentage of CPU execution time that each NLM is consuming

  • Processor 0, which displays the percentage of execution time that each NLM is consuming on Processor 0

  • Processor 1, which displays the percentage of execution time that each NLM is consuming on Processor 1

Of course, if your company's NetWare 6 server has more than two CPUs, the Profile CPU Execution by NLM link displays execution time statistics for all of these CPUs.

Why would you want the additional CPU-related information that Novell Remote Manager provides? For one thing, this information can reveal whether or not a particular NLM is MP-enabled. After you know which NLMs are not MP-enabled, you can evaluate the benefits of replacing those NLMs with NLMs that are. (As a general rule, you can maximize the benefits of having an MP-enabled, multithreaded, multitasking operating system--namely NetWare 6--by running applications that are MP-enabled.)

To determine whether or not an NLM is MP-enabled, select the Profile CPU Execution by NLM link and identify the CPUs on which the NLM is executing. NLMs that are not MP-enabled usually run only on Processor 0.

You can also use this additional information to find NLMs that are using an inordinate percentage of CPU processing time. As you know, NLMs that hog one or more CPUs can degrade server performance.

PUT 'EM TOGETHER, AND WHAT HAVE YOU GOT?

When you combine the new and old features that are included with Novell Remote Manager, you have the Swiss army knife of server management utilities--that is, you have several utilities in one. For example, Novell Remote Manager can operate as one or more of the following types of utilities:

  • Monitoring

  • Troubleshooting

  • Server remote control

Server Surveillance

Suppose that your company wants to make account data available to its customers over the Internet. To that end, your company implements an e-business system that accesses data from two NetWare 6 servers, which are running Novell Cluster Services 1.6 and have been configured as a two-node cluster. Specifically, the e-business system is accessing data from NSS 3.0, the version of NSS that is included with NetWare 6. (NetWare 6 includes a two-node license of Novell Cluster Services 1.6, the clustering software for NetWare 6. For more information about Novell Cluster Services 1.6, see "Novell Cluster Services 1.6: Keep the Server Side Up, and the SAN Side Simple," Novell Connection, June 2001, pp. 22-31. For more information about NSS 3.0, see "More To Store? NetWare 6 and NSS 3.0 Can Handle It," Novell Connection, Apr. 2001, pp. 6-16.)

If you want to prevent this e-business system from failing, you must monitor conditions that can affect the overall health of the two NetWare 6 servers upon which this system relies. To make sure that you are warned of potentially dangerous conditions on your company's NetWare 6 servers, you can use Novell Remote Manager as a monitoring utility. Specifically, you can use the Novell Remote Manager Health Monitor.

The Health Monitor keeps tabs on 19 or more key items that indicate overall server health. (The number of items the Health Monitor monitors depends on the number of CPUs the server has. Because NetWare 6 should run on a server with at least two processors, the Novell Remote Manager running on that server must keep track of at least 19 items. NetWare Management Portal, on the other hand, runs on NetWare 5.1, which requires only one processor. Therefore, NetWare Management Portal must keep track of at least 18 items.) In addition to displaying status indicators for each of these key items, the Health Monitor displays a indicator of overall server health. This indicator appears in the top left-hand corner of all the pages that comprise Novell Remote Manager--including the Health Monitor page. (See Figure 2.) As long as you have access to a computer with a supported browser and an Internet connection, you can view the status of the items on the Health Monitor page to monitor your company's two mission-critical NetWare 6 servers.

You can monitor these two servers by either launching two instances of your browser--one Novell Remote Manager running on each server--or by creating a Novell Remote Manager server group. (For information about how to build a Server Group, see "The Gang's All Here--in One Convenient View.")

Remember that in this example you are responsible for these two servers--even when you can't be near your computer. Novell Remote Manager has accounted for this necessity: If you have a pager with e-mail capabilities, you can configure the Health Monitor to send an e-mail message to that pager if the status of any key items deteriorate.

For example, suppose the status of the CPU Utilization-0 item--which measures how busy processor 0 is--worsens. That is, suppose utilization for this processor is over 95 percent, which is the default threshold that defines CPU overload.

In this case, the Novell Remote Manager Health Monitor would send an e-mail message to your pager, notifying you that utilization for processor 0 on the server it was monitoring was becoming critical. (See Figure 6.) Of course, you can also configure the Health Monitor to send such messages to your other nonpager e-mail accounts.

To configure e-mail notification, you first access the Health Monitor in one of the following ways:

  • Select Health Monitor from the Novell Remote Manager menu frame.

  • Click the server health indicator light that appears in the top left corner of the Novell Remote Manager header.

You then select the items for which you want to receive notification by checking the boxes in the Health Monitor Notify column. (See Figure 2.) After you select these items, you perform the following steps to configure e-mail notification for these items:

  1. To access the Novell Remote Manager Mail Control Panel, click the Mail Control Panel link on the Health Monitor page. You can also access the Mail Control Panel by clicking the Configure icon that appears in the Novell Remote Manager header. Next, click the Mail Control Panel link that appears on the configuration page.

  2. Type the full distinguished name of your company's e-mail servers in the spaces provided. (Novell Remote Manager enables you to specify a primary and secondary e-mail server.)

  3. In the space provided, type the e-mail addresses to which you want Novell Remote Manager to send messages. For example, you can type in the e-mail address of your pager so that Novell Remote Manager can contact you wherever you happen to be, regardless of whether or not you have access to a computer.

Server Troubles? Shoot 'Em Down!

Suppose that you receive two e-mail messages alerting you that both of your company's two crucial NetWare 6 servers are experiencing difficulty. The first message informs you that the Abended Thread Count for Server1 is Bad. This message indicates that one or more of the NLMs running on that server is not running properly.

To discover which NLM is causing difficulties for Server1, you need a troubleshooting utility: namely, Novell Remote Manager. To use Novell Remote Manager to troubleshoot this problem, you access and log in to the Novell Remote Manager running on Server1. You then select the Profile/Debug option in the Diagnose Server section of the Novell Remote Manager menu.

When you select this option, Novell Remote Manager displays the Profiling and Debug information page, which contains information about the threads that are executing on Server1. In this example, the Profiling and Debug page reports that two threads have abended and that both threads belong to NSPSLP.NLM.

The NSPSLP.NLM is the Winsock 2.0 Name Service Provider Service Location Protocol NLM, which Windows clients use to find services-- such as NCP file services--that are available on the NetWare 6 server. Because NSPSLP.NLM is running beautifully on Server2, you decide that the copy of this NLM running on Server1 is corrupted.

The second e-mail message tells you that Server2 is running low on available disk space. To use Novell Remote Manager to diagnose what is causing this problem, you access and log in to the Novell Remote Manager running on Server2. You then access the Health Monitor page and select the Available Disk Space item.

When you select Available Disk Space, Novell Remote Manager displays the Volume Information page, which contains pie charts that indicate the available space in each of Server2's volumes. From this page, you see that the NSS 3.0 volume to which your company's e-business system writes data is nearly full.

Remote Control

Now that you know exactly what conditions are causing problems on Server1 and Server2, you need a utility that you can use to actually fix those problems. Again, you can use Novell Remote Manager.

To correct the problem that the corrupted NSPSLP.NLM is causing on Server1, you decide to unload this NLM and to copy NSPSLP.NLM that is running on Server2 onto Server1. To accomplish this task, you perform the following steps:

  1. Access the Novell Remote Manager running on Server1, and select the List Modules option under the Manage Applications section of the Novell Remote Manager menu.

  2. Select NSPSLP.NLM, and then select Unload. Novell Remote Manager then unloads the NSPSLP.NLM.

  3. Select the Managed Server List option under the Access Other Servers section of the Novell Remote Manager menu.

  4. Select Server2, and log in to Novell Remote Manager running on Server2.

  5. Select the Volumes option under the Manage Server section of the Novell Remote Manager menu.

  6. Select the SYS volume. Novell Remote Manager then displays the contents of the SYS volume.

  7. Select the System folder. Novell Remote Manager then displays the contents of the System folder.

  8. Select NSPSLP.NLM, and click to download this NLM to your computer's hard drive.

  9. Select the Managed Server List option under the Access Other Servers section of the Novell Remote Manager menu.

  10. Select Server1, and log in to the Novell Remote Manager running on this server.

  11. Repeat Steps 6-7 on Server1.

  12. Click the Upload icon.

  13. In the field provided, type the full path of NSPSLP.NLM. For example, if you copied NSPSLP.NLM into the C:\My Documents directory of your computer, type C:\My Documents\NSPSLP.NLM.

  14. Click to replace the existing version of NSPSLP.NLM.

  15. Select the List Modules option under the Manage Application section of the Novell Remote Manager menu and load NSPSLP.NLM on Server 1.

To add disk space to the NSS volume on Server2, you perform the following steps:

  1. Access the Novell Remote Manager running on Server2.

  2. Select the Volumes option under the Manage Server section of the Novell Remote Manager menu. Novell Remote Manager then displays the Volume Management page.

  3. Click Disk Partitions under the Partition Management section of this page. Novell Remote Manager then displays the Server Disk Partition Operations page. (See Figure 5.)

  4. Find the storage pool underlying the NSS 3.0 volume that is low on disk space, and click Expand Pool. Novell Remote Manager displays the amount of free disk space that is available for that pool. In the provided space, enter the amount of that free space that you want to allocate to this storage pool, and then click Expand.

CONCLUSION

This article barely scratches the surface of Novell Remote Manager's capabilities. For example, I haven't even mentioned that developers can use Novell Remote Manager to debug their applications.

Of course, no web-based management utility--not even Novell Remote Manager--can diagnose and fix every server problem that may arise. For example, web-based management utilities can't physically add a new hard drive to a server, nor can they plug a server in if someone has accidentally unplugged it. However, using Novell Remote Manager, you can monitor, diagnose, and fix many of the problems that you routinely face--without being at the office.

Cheryl Walton works for Niche Associates, which is located in Sandy, Utah.

Here's the Beef!

Using Novell Remote Manager, you can find more information about a server and perform more server management tasks than one article can adequately explain. Following is a list of 12 articles that serve up the meat on NetWare Management Portal, the previous version of Novell Remote Manager, which is included with the NetWare 5.1 operating system:

  • "An Overview of NetWare 5.1's Management Portal Utility." This overview includes information about each of the seven main management options that are available through the NetWare Management Portal utility. You can download this article at http://developer.novell.com/research/appnotes/2000/january/04/03.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: Configuring the NetWare Management Portal Utility in NetWare 5.1." This article contains a detailed discussion of the configuration options available through the NetWare Management Portal utility and how to access and apply these options. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/appnotes/2000/march/netnotes/04.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: Volume Management in the NetWare Management Portal Utility--Part 1." This article is the first in a two-part series that describes the information and management tasks that are available through the NetWare Management Portal utility Volume Management option. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/appnotes/2000/april/netnotes/04.htm.

  • "Troubleshooting and Diagnosing NetWare 5.1 Server Problems through the NetWare Management Portal Utility." This article contains step-by-step instructions for using NetWare Management Portal to diagnose six separate possible server problems. The article also includes a detailed explanation of these steps. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/appnotes/2000/april/03/a000403.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: Volume Management in the NetWare Management Portal Utility--Part 2." This article is the second in a two-part series that describes the information and management tasks that you can perform using the NetWare Management Portal utility's Volume Manager management option. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/appnotes/2000/may/netnotes/n0005.pdf.

  • "Beyond the Basics: Managing Connections Through the Portal Utility's Server Management Option." This article explains the information and management options that are available when you select Connections under the NetWare Management Portal utility's Server Management option. These management options include the ability to clear server connections and broadcast messages to the users who are connected to the server. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/appnotes/2000/june/netnotes/n0006.pdf.

  • "Beyond the Basics: What's New in the NetWare 5.1 Service Pack 2 Management Portal Utility." As its name suggests, this article explains the difference between the version of NetWare Management Portal that is included in Service Pack 2 for NetWare 5.1 and previous versions of NetWare Management Portal. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/sections/netmanage/btb/2000/septembe/b000901.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: Managing NetWare 5.1 Memory Through the Portal Utility." This article is the first of a three-part series explaining the memory management through the NetWare Management Portal utility. This article focuses on the information available on and through the System Memory Information page and the Swap File Usage Information page. You can access the System Memory Information page by selecting the View Memory Config option under the Manage Server section of the Novell Remote Manager menu. To access the Swap File Usage Information page, click the Swap File Size link on this page. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/sections/netmanage/btb/2001/january/b010101.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: Managing NetWare 5.1 Memory Through the Portal Utility: Part Deux." This article is the second of a three-part series that discusses memory management through the NetWare Management Portal utility. This article focuses on memory allocated to NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs) memory--the total number of bytes allocated to each NLM, for example. To access NLM memory information in Novell Remote Manager, select the View Memory Config option under the Manager Server section of the Novell Remote Manager menu. Then select the NLM Memory link. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/sections/netmanage/btb/2001/february/b010201.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: Managing NetWare 5.1 Memory Through the Portal Utility: Part 3." This article is the third in a three-part series that discusses memory management. This article explains the data that are available on and through the NetWare Management Portal Virtual Memory Health Information page. In Novell Remote Manager, you access this page by selecting the View Memory Config option under the Manage Server section of the Novell Remote Manager menu and then selecting the Virtual Memory Pages link. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/sections/netmanage/btb/2001/march/b010301.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: NetWare 5.1's SET Parameters as Seen Through the Portal Utility." This article is the first in an ongoing series that explains information and management tasks that are available through the NetWare Management Portal Set Parameters option. (This option is available through Novell Remote Manager under the Manage Server section of the menu.) This article introduces the categories of SET parameters and explains how to find information about the 21 common SET parameters under the Communications category. You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/sections/netmanage/btb/2001/april/b010401.htm.

  • "Beyond the Basics: NetWare 5.1's Communications SET Parameters as Seen Through the Portal Utility." This article is the second in an ongoing series of articles that explain the information and management tasks that are available through the NetWare Management Portal Set Parameters option. This article contains a detailed discussion of 12 common SET parameters in the Communications SET Parameters category. (The next article in this series, which wasn't published at the time this article was written, will explain the remaining common SET Parameters in this category.) You can download this article from http://developer.novell.com/research/sections/netmanage/btb/2001/may/b010501.htm.

Setting Boundaries

The status information that the Novell Remote Manager Health Monitor displays for each of the 19 or more items it tracks is based on threshold values. For example, the status information that the Health Monitor displays for Work To Do Response time is based on whether or not Work To Do processes run in less than one tick--which is 1/18 of a second. (Work To Do Response time measures how well the NetWare 6 kernel scheduler is allocating CPU time among various processes.)

By default, one tick is the threshold value that determines whether or not a server's Work To Do Response time is adequate. If the Work To Do Response time is under a tick, the Health Monitor displays the status of Work To Do Response time as Good. If the response time falls between one and two ticks--which is the threshold value that determines whether or not the status is bad--the Health Monitor displays the status as Suspect. If the Work To Do Response time is two or more ticks, the Health Monitor displays the status as Bad.

Default values reflect Novell's expert judgment on NetWare 6 server performance. In some cases, however, you might want to alter these threshold values. Novell Remote Manager enables you to alter the threshold values on a subset of the items that the Health Monitor monitors. For example, suppose you have configured Novell Remote Manager to notify your pager if the status of a monitored item is Bad, and suppose that your company's NetWare 6 server regularly performs Work To Do processes in just over two ticks.

Although this condition certainly is not optimal, you already know about it. You do not want to receive messages that tell you what you already know. You do, however, want to know if this condition worsens. You may want to change the threshold value that determines bad Work To Do Response performance from two ticks to three ticks.

To change the Work To Do Response threshold value, you perform the following steps:

  1. Select the Configure Health Thresholds link on the Server Health Monitoring page. (See Figure 2.) Novell Remote Manager displays eight items for which you can configure threshold values.

  2. Select Work To Do Response time. Novell Remote Manager displays the threshold change options for this item.

  3. Type the number three in the Critical Value field, and then click OK.

The Gang's All Here--in One Convenient View

As you know, monitoring servers becomes more and more complicated as the number of servers that you must monitor increases--especially if you are accessing the Novell Remote Manager running on those servers one-by-one. Fortunately, you don't have to.

With Novell Remote Manager, you can build a server group that includes up to 40 NetWare 6 servers. These servers must be in the same eDirectory tree, and all of the servers must be running Novell Remote Manager.

To build a server group that displays the overall health status of several servers on the same Novell Remote Manager page, you perform the following steps:

  1. Select the Build Group option under the Use Server Groups option in the Novell Remote Manager menu. When you select this option, the Novell Remote Manager utility uses Service Location Protocol (SLP) to locate other servers that are running Novell Remote Manager. Novell Remote Manager then displays a list of these servers.

  2. Select the servers that you want to include in the server group.

  3. After you select these servers, you click the Build Server Group bar. Novell Remote Manager then displays a web page that enables you to specify the page view of your server group. For example, you can specify the title that appears on this page.

  4. After you design this page view, click the Multiple Server Health Monitor bar. Novell Remote Manager then creates a web page that displays your server group according to your specifications.

With this web page displayed in your browser, you can monitor the overall health status of all the NetWare 6 servers in the server group at one glance.

NetWare 6: Read All About It

Novell Remote Manager is just one of the features included in NetWare 6. You can read more about NetWare 6 and its features in the following Novell Connection articles:

  • "NetWare 6 Scales New Heights," October 2000, pp. 6-20

  • "NetWare 6 and MP: Unraveling the Threads of Multiprocessing," March 2001, pp. 6-18

  • "More To Store: NetWare 6 and NSS 3.0 Can Handle It," April 2001, pp. 6-16

  • "Novell iFolder: Your Data Where You Want It, When You Want It," May 2001, pp. 6-20

  • "iPrint: Access a Printer From Anywhere," August 2001, pp. 6-13

In addition, Novell has prepared several Deployment Guides to help you ready your company's network for NetWare 6. For example, Novell has recently released "Migrating From Windows NT Server to Novell NetWare" and "Upgrading to Newer Versions of Novell NetWare." Watch for more Deployment Guides to be released in the future. You can view all of the Novell Deployment Guides at www.novell.com/products/netware/deployment_solutions.

Your Server's Trap Door

Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal use NDS eDirectory to authenticate users and grant those users rights to information and services. However, even the DS.NLM--the NetWare Loadable Module (NLM) that comprises eDirectory --experiences difficulties sometimes.

How do you, a user with administrative rights, use Novell Remote Manager or NetWare Management Portal to remotely manage a server upon which the DS.NLM is experiencing difficulties that prevent you from logging in? You configure the SAdmin account.

The SAdmin account is stored--encrypted, of course--in Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal. Therefore, you can use this account to log in to Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal even if the DS.NLM running on a server is experiencing difficulties that prevent you from logging in using your eDirectory credentials.

When you log in as SAdmin to Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal, you can also load and unload DS.NLM--a task that you would otherwise need to perform at the server console.

To set up the SAdmin account in Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal, you complete the following steps:

1. Launch a supported browser (Netscape 4.5 or above or Internet Explorer 5.0 or above).

2. Type one of these addresses in the browser's Address field:

  • http://IP address of server:8008/sadminpw

  • https://IP address of server:8009/sadminpw

3. Log in using your eDirectory credentials. You must log in as a user with administrative rights to configure the SAdmin account. Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal then display a web page that enables you to assign a password for the SAdmin account.

4. Type a password for this account in the two spaces provided, and click the Update button. (If you click the Reset button on this page, Novell Remote Manager resets the SAdmin password to the previous password.)

Alternately, you can take the following steps to configure the SAdmin account in Novell Remote Manager:

1. Click the Configure icon that appears in the Novell Remote Manager header. Novell Remote Manager then displays a web page that enables you to configure various Novell Remote Manager features.

2. Click the Emergency Account icon. Novell Remote Manager displays a web page that enables you to specify a password for the SAdmin account.

3. Type a password for the SAdmin account in the two spaces provided, and click the Update button.

I Spy With My Little i

Web-based management utilities such as Novell Remote Manager are important if you want to have a life while you are ensuring the servers upon which your company's e-business system depends provide nonstop service. This e-business-fueled demand for uptime applies to more than servers, however. It also applies to the applications and programs running on those servers--particularly the applications and programs upon which other applications rely. For example, your company's eDirectory tree provides critical information for many applications and services.

Fortunately, Novell provides a web-based tool that can help you keep your company's eDirectory tree healthy even when you can't be at the server console: NDS iMonitor. NDS iMonitor provides the diagnostic and monitoring capabilities that are also available through the following server-based utilities: DSBROWSE, DSTRACE, DSDIAG, and DSREPAIR.

To find and troubleshoot eDirectory problems at the server level, you access these utilities either at the server console or through the RCONSOLE utility (which requires you to install special client software). That is, you use these utilities to find and diagnose problems through the NDS Agent that is running on the same server upon which the utilities are running.

With NDS iMonitor, in contrast, you can access the discovery and diagnostic information that these utilities provide by using a standard web browser from anywhere you have an Internet connection. (NDS iMonitor supports Netscape Navigator 4.06 or above and Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or above.) Furthermore, NDS iMonitor doesn't require you to learn arcane commands to access eDirectory information. For example, with NDS iMonitor, you don't need to learn the DSTRACE utility SET commands to see eDirectory background processes.

Instead, NDS iMonitor displays this information through a series of icons and intuitively labeled links, which are located on the NDS iMonitor Navigator and Assistant frames, respectively. (For more information about NDS iMonitor Navigator and Assistant frames, see the "iMonitoring Your eDirectory" section of "NDS eDirectory: What's In a Name?" Novell Connection, July 2000, pp. 14-18.)

NDS iMonitor also prominently displays the state of the NDS Agent to which NDS iMonitor has direct access. (NDS iMonitor has direct access to the NDS Agent running on the same server and proxy access to NDS Agents running on other network servers--including Windows 2000 and NT, Solaris, and Linux servers.) Specifically, NDS iMonitor displays a colored circle in the upper left-hand corner of the Navigator frame. This colored circle indicates that the NDS Agent is in one of the following states: Open, Locked, Needs Repair, Initializing, or Closed.

NDS iMonitor also gives you access to information about tree-wide eDirectory health. For example, NDS iMonitor includes an NDS Search feature that enables you to walk the entire eDirectory tree. You can also search for objects that meet specified criteria.

NDS iMonitor also integrates with Novell Remote Manager when both applications are running on the same server. When you load NDS iMonitor on the server, it registers with Novell Remote Manager. Novell Remote Manager then provides a direct link to NDS iMonitor and vice versa. As a result, you don't need to exit one management tool to access information provided by the other.

The first version of NDS iMonitor--version 1.0--is included with eDirectory 8.5 and installs automatically when you install eDirectory 8.5. NDS iMonitor 1.5--the latest version of NDS iMonitor--will ship independently of eDirectory and will run on servers running eDirectory 8.5 or above.

If your company is a licensed customer of eDirectory 8.5 or above, you will be able to get iMonitor 1.5 free of charge later this year. iMonitor 1.5 is currently in public beta. eDirectory 8.5 customers can download a free beta version of iMonitor 1.5 at http://beta.novell.com/public.jsp.

One-Two-Three Steps You're In!

Accessing Novell Remote Manager on NetWare 6 servers or NetWare Management Portal on NetWare 5.1 servers is easy. You complete the following steps:

1. Launch your browser. Both Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal support Netscape 4.5 or above and Internet Explorer 5.0 or above.

2. Type one of the following addresses in the browser's Address field:

  • http://serverIPaddress:8008. (Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal use port 8008 for nonsecure communications.)

  • https://serverIPaddress:8009. (Novell Remote Manager and NetWare Management Portal use port 8009 for secure communications, which are encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer [SSL].)

3. Log in to Novell Remote Manager or NetWare Management Portal.

* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine


Disclaimer

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.

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