Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Best Practices Migration Guide - Before You Start

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< Novell Open Enterprise Server 2 Best Practices Migration Guide

Before You Start

Take Inventory

Whether you will be doing your own migration or using Novell Global Services or another consulting firm, you will need to know how your current network is set up. Ensuring a successful migration requires that the information gathered is complete and accurate. This section provides an overview of the information you will need. Complete details for installing, migrating to, and upgrading to OES 2 Linux are available in the OES 2: Planning and Implementation Guide.

The bulk of the information needed for the OES 2 Linux Upgrade/Migration cannot be gathered using common applications or utilities but relies heavily on the gathering of accurate information including the following:

  • Network diagrams:
    • Router/switch/firewall diagrams; note particularly any blocked ports
    • Current WAN diagram including link speeds for all sites running NetWare (see example collection tables below (Tables B and C). Duplicate the tables or use a spreadsheet, as necessary, to accommodate multiple sites.)
  • eDirectory design:
    • NDS/eDirectory tree diagrams.
    • Partition and replication diagrams
  • List of servers in the tree
  • Design documents: time synchronization, SLP, etc. as applicable.
  • Any standards documents (server standards, naming standards)
  • Hardware assessment (does current hardware meet at least minimum OES 2 Linux requirements?)

The following tables suggest additional information you may need to collect before you begin planning your migration.

Table A—Sample Information to Gather

Verify the Following Instructions Yes/No Explanation
NDS Versions Is there any NDS v6, v7, and/or v8? Yes


Are any versions of NDS/eDirectory for non-NetWare operating systems installed at the site (i.e. NDS for NT, NAM, DirXML, IDM)? Yes


Bindery Services Are any bindery contexts currently in use? If so, briefly describe how bindery services are used. Yes


Protocols Is there any IPX in the NetWare environment? Yes


Clustering Are there any NetWare clusters in the environment? Yes


Printing Does the network printing environment consist of legacy queue-based or NDPS-based printing? Yes


Legacy Applications Do any of the NetWare servers run legacy applications (applications developed in-house specifically for NetWare)? Yes


3rd-Party Applications Are any 3rd-Party applications currently running on the NetWare servers (Backup/Restore, Anti-Virus, and so forth)?
  • Verify with the vendors whether these applications are supported on SLES 10/OES 2 Linux and whether they are Novell YES Approved.
  • Which applications will be ported from current platforms?


NetWare Volumes Are NetWare traditional volumes being used on the NetWare servers? Yes


Databases Are any databases (critical or otherwise) stored on the NetWare servers? Yes


Server Certifications How are NetWare and Linux servers within the environment currently built (from a set list of packages/modules to specific partitioning of the hard drives).
Security Are there any security standards that must be met on Linux? Unlike NetWare, Linux security is much more modular/granular.
E-mail Infrastructure How is the E-mail infrastructure currently set up?

Table B–Sample WAN Environment Overview

Site Location WAN Speed # of Servers Server Breakdown
Home Office Local 25 3-NW4.11

3-NW5.0 4-NW5.1 3-NW6.0 3-NW6.5 5-W2K3 2-W2K 2-RHEL3

Table C–Sample WAN Location Environment Overview

Site Location # of NetWare Servers NetWare Versions Server Notes # of Clients Client Breakdown Client Notes
Southwest Office 6 2-NW3.12 1-NW4.11 3-NW6.5 3.12 Servers and 4.11 servers are being retired. Users will be migrated to NetWare 6.5 servers 30 4–Win98

6-WinW2K 20-WinXP

Win9x clients will be migrated to Windows XP Professional SP2

OES 2 Server Software

As part of the OES 2 Linux installation, you will install SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 as the core and the OES 2 components as “add-ons.” In other words,

OES 2 = SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1 + Novell OES 2 Linux Services

The OES 2 service components (add-on packages) are listed below:

  • Novell eDirectory (default)
  • Novell iManager (default)
  • Novell Linux User Management (default)
  • Novell eGuide (default)
  • Novell iFolder 2.x (optional)
  • Novell iPrint (default)
  • Novell NetStorage (default)
  • Novell QuickFinder (default)
  • Novell NSS (optional)
  • Novell Cluster Services (optional)
  • Novell NCP Server (default)
  • Novell IP Management (optional)
  • Novell Samba Configuration (default)
  • Novell Backup Services – SMS (default)
  • Novell Health Monitoring (optional)
  • Novell iFolder 3.x Web Access (optional)
  • Novell iFolder 3.x (optional)

OES 2 Server Hardware

The following table outlines both “minimum” and “recommended" requirements for running OES 2 on the Linux platform.

Minimum and Recommended Hardware Requirements

System Component Minimum Requirements Recommended Requirements
Computer Server-class computer with Intel Pentium * II or AMD * K7 450 MHz processor Server-class computer that has been certified by the hardware vendor for SLES 10 SP1.

Pentium III, Pentium III Xeon *, Pentium 4, Intel * Xeon 700 MHz, AMD K8 CPUs (Athlon64 and Opteron*), Intel EM64T or higher processor. Note: While OES 2 runs in both 32-bit and 64-bit modes, some services run only in 32-bit mode.

Memory 1 GB of RAM 2 GB of RAM
Free Disk Space 10 GB of available, unpartitioned disk space. 20 GB of available, unpartitioned disk space. Additional disk space might be required depending on which OES components are selected and how they are used.
CD-ROM Drive 4X CD-ROM or DVD drive if installing from physical media 48X CD-ROM drive or DVD drive if installing from physical media
Network Board Ethernet 100 Mbps
IP Address
  • One IP Address on a subnet
  • Subnet Mask
  • Default Gateway
Internet connectivity from the server in order to complete registration and configure patches
Mouse N/A USB or PS/2
Server Computer BIOS If doing a CD-ROM installation, prepare the BIOS on your server computer so that it boots from the CD-ROM drive first.

Note: The RAM and disk space amounts shown here are for system components only. The OES 2 Linux components you install might require additional RAM and disk space.

Note: A Linux certification and support matrix for HP Proliant server hardware can be found at the following link: This site indicates that "HP recommends that our customers update to the latest service packs and security releases from the Novell Customer Center. HP is committed to supporting all customers that install service packs and security updates released by Novell."

Plan Before You Migrate

The key to a successful migration is to know where you are and where you want to be. Here are a few of the questions you need to ask:

  • Will this be a migration, consolidation, or both? This might be a good time to consider taking advantage of today's more powerful hardware platforms and doing some server consolidation. Server consolidation often pays off in lower hardware costs, as well as lower cooling, power consumption, and rack space costs. For example, Novell recently consolidated fourteen older file and print servers to two new servers.
    • Migrations on a 1:1 basis are less complex.
    • Consolidations require more planning.
  • What workloads will the Linux server will be used for and which packages will be needed to support that workload? Install only needed packages, not everything that's available.

OES 2 services resolve their own dependencies (auto-install any additional software needed by that service). If a service (iPrint, DNS. DHCP, Apache2, Java) is already running well on NetWare, decide whether there is an advantage in moving it to Linux.

  • Which combinations of eDirectory, file, print, GroupWise, WebAccess, etc., might reasonably work together on the same host server?
  • Does your current eDirectory still meet your needs or is it time to redesign?
  • Which file system should be used: Linux traditional volumes (ReiserFS and ext3) or NSS or other?
    • Does it make sense to have different servers using different file systems depending on the server's primary role?
    • Are you already using Novell Storage Services volumes on NetWare? If so, you'll want to preserve all the rights, metadata, and trustee information associated with the data on those volumes, so it makes sense to stay with Novell Storage Services.
    • Are your volumes are already in a SAN environment with Novell Storage Services? If so, migrating to a SAN environment that uses Novell Storage Services on Linux will be quite easy. Using DFS junctions also requires Novell Storage Services to support volume moves and splits. And if business continuity clusters are in your plans, you might find them easier to implement if you're using Novell Storage Services.

Note: Cases can be made for using ext3 or ReiserFS as well. ReiserFS is optimized for small files and performance. In fact, both Novell IS&T and the GroupWise engineering team recommend using ReiserFS for GroupWise servers, primarily due to performance increases and the fact that GroupWise doesn't utilize the advanced features of Novell Storage Services. The performance levels for ext3 are similar to those of ReiserFS. Dynamic Storage Technology, formerly known as shadow volumes, works with Novell Storage Services, ReiserFS and ext3; however, be aware that it cannot move data from a Novell Storages Service volume to an ext3 or ReiserFS volume, or vice versa.

  • Is there any easy way to migrate dozens of servers or must the migration take place one server at a time?
  • Is the network functioning optimally, or do you need to make changes before you migrate?
  • Is the eDirectory partition and replication layout optimal:
    • Where are replica rings located?
    • Which servers have partitions on them?
    • Where do your want replication rings and partitions to be after you finish your migration?

If you fail to plan properly in this area, you can count on running into network replication problems. Refer to the Novell eDirectory 8.8 Administration Guide, particularly Section Section 2.0, "Designing Your Novell eDirectory Network," for detailed information.

  • Are required ports available?
  • Do you need a plan for Samba and LUM?
    • Samba domain object placement will only allow users from that container or below
    • A Universal Password policy is required for Samba, but there are possible conflicts with any existing Universal Passwords.

Refer to the OES 2: Samba Administration Guide for detailed information.

  • How can time best be synchronized?
    • Use NTP as the time source (on NetWare, Linux, or both?).
    • Make sure the TCP/IP protocol is loaded on computers using NTP.
    • Set NetWare to use XNTPD. Novell timesync.nlm uses NTP stratum 5 (always). By default, NetWare uses timesync.nlm but XNTD can be made the default by editing the sys:\system\timeserv.ncf file
    • Make sure NetWare and Linux servers are NOT using the same ultimate time source. NTP uses a time provider group in which all servers in a geographical network obtain time from other servers in the same network. Only one network server should communicate with a server outside the network in order to keep traffic across routers and WANs at a minimum.
    • Be aware that there is no eDirectory time setting in Linux for less than 2 seconds.

Refer to the OES 2: Novell NTP for NetWare Administration Guide for detailed information about planning a time synchronization strategy.

  • If clusters are part of your plan, how will your cluster environment impact your migration efforts?
    • What is the primary role of your cluster (GroupWise high availability, file and print services, directory services)?
    • Do you need to consider splitting large clusters into multiple, smaller clusters, one for each service?

By separating clusters this way, problems in one service cluster won't spill over and potentially affect other clustered services. Splitting your clusters can also simplify administration efforts, since you can independently manage each cluster. Also, if you need to do a cluster update, a rolling upgrade of a six-node cluster is much easier than a rolling upgrade of a 32-node cluster.

    • Are you planning to implement Novell Business Continuity Clustering to allow automated management of site-to-site failovers; if so, how will this affect your migration efforts and will your network topology be affected? Business Continuity Clustering allows you to define which of your resources are considered "vital" so only those services move to an off-site location rather than the entire cluster.
    • Which clustering technology will you be using?

In a NetWare environment, you'll likely use Novell Cluster Services. On the Linux side, you can choose between Heartbeat 2 or Novell Cluster Services. Novell Cluster Services is typically the preferred choice because of its richer failover services and easier configuration and management. And if you plan to implement Business Continuity Clustering, you will need to use Novell Cluster Services. Refer to the OES 2: Novell Cluster Services 1.8.4 for Linux Administration Guide for detailed information.

Hardware Considerations

Servers. Our customers tell us that choosing the right hardware for Linux is not a straight-forward task. There are so many hardware vendors and so many choices per vendor, that selecting the right box for the service being implemented is not easy. Many hardware vendors are themselves scrambling to sort the variables and provide support for Linux. Dell, IBM, and HP hardware all deserve careful evaluation if you are installing OES 2 Linux. The bottom line is that you will need to work with hardware vendors on server sizing guidelines to select the right server, the right configuration, and the right part number. Storage Management. When determining what HBAs to use for SAN-attached OES 2 servers, it is important that all of the software and hardware components be taken into account. Linux drivers are available for almost all of the enterprise class HBAs on the market and many of them are OES 2 certified. Past history has shown, however, that the hardware vendors tend to be more restrictive with certification than the operating system is. Any HBA used with OES 2 must be certified by both the storage vendor for a specific model as well as the FC switch vendor.

Application Compatibility Considerations

One of the more important inhibiting factors in moving from NetWare to Linux has been finding a Linux-compatible version of the applications you are hosting on the server (or an acceptable substitute). As it becomes profitable for vendors to supply Linux versions, this situation is changing, sometimes rapidly, but you'll still need to inventory the applications currently being hosted on NetWare and make sure a Linux version is available and that it's certified for OES 2 Linux. Because of the plethora of applications being used by our customers, it is impossible for Novell to make recommendations in every instance so you may have to contact the vendor directly. But do check Novell's Open Enterprise Server Partner Products site for the latest certifications (this page is constantly being updated; the URL remains the same): With OES 2, virtualization has been optimized so that you can now run NetWare 6.5. SP7 (included with OES 2) as a paravirtualized guest operating system on Linux. Doing so provides another option for running NetWare-dependent applications and services. For example, most 3rd-party NLMs can be accommodated this way. Additional Information Installing Hosts. For information about installing a virtual machine host and setting up virtual machines in general, see Virtualization: Getting Started, particularly section 3.0, "OES 2 Linux Virtual Machines." Installing Quest Operating Systems. For information about installing NetWare 6.5 SP7 and OES 2 Linux as guest operating systems, see Section 2, "NetWare Virtual Machines" and Section 3, "OES Linux Virtual Machines," in the Virtualization: Guest Operating System Guide.

Other Considerations

Make sure services such as DNS, DHCP, SLP, and NTP are optimally configured and in good working order. This is critical for all installations and migrations. LAN/WAN Communications If your organization has many small, single-server remote sites, it's probable that the WAN links vary greatly in performance. Make sure there are no indications of any systemic problems and that all replica rings are maintaining proper synchronization before you begin your migration. LDAP Novell recommends implementing multiple LDAP servers due to the critical nature of the LDAP service. LDAP servers should be fronted with an L4 switch for load sharing and redundancy. If an L4 switch is not available, then DNS round-robin could be used as an alternative.