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REG: Can Anyone Help Me With Old Novell Products

Hello:

I am supporting a woman with very specific medical needs and as such she recently purchased a lot of various software including various Novell products including the following:

  • NetWare 6.5. SP8
  • eDirectory for Windows 8.8 SP6
  • Novell GroupWise 8.0
  • Novell Messenger 2.0
  • Novell ZENWorks 7 Suite with SP1

My objective is to find a partner who can provide support and hopefully someone still has the optional downloads such as support packs, Novell iManager, patches, etc.) in their archives or can otherwise obtains them for us.

My client has very specific medical needs mandating that her software systems not be changed without medical team approval even if such software is out of support by vendor.

Is it possible that there is a partner of MicroFocus/Novell/etc. that not only has the files we need (or has access to them) and who can support us on this old stuff.  She is on a fixed income and as such we may need to negotiate prices or the like.

  • Hello Carley, 

    Welcome to the OpenText Community forums.

    Your post is pretty nonspecific and products you show serve many purposes.

    Can you provide additional details regarding how these products are used and what difficulties you have encountered?

    __________
    Kevin Boyle, 
    Knowledge Partner

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  • Hello:

    The background is that we're a pretty Microsoft-heavy shop (AD, Exchange, SharePoint, CRM) but we needed a corporate IM system which Microsoft does have and every time we've installed the most contemporary version of their messenger into our AD, it's left our AD in a severely broken state and the IM non-functional.  As such the doctors approving this stuff have approved the "Novell Equipment" at least for email, scheduling, and IM (GroupWise 8.0 and Novell Messenger 2).  As such those products that have been identified rely on Novell eDirectory  and the contemporary version that works with our systems and those versions is eDirectory 8.8.  That's the reason for those approvals.

    The NetWare thing is just because that's what this person is familiar with but given her testing, NetWare 6.5 SP6 seems to be impacted by the Year 2038 Problem, the longer term solution has been to either 1) migrate to the contemporary versions of those tools on Windows and/or 2) locate a patch for NetWare 6.5.  We are currently exploring both solutions as 1) we've got the files to move all of these solutions to WS2k3 and 2) we do not have access to patches and the other ancillary downloads.  As we've been testing the Windows solution, we've found that we would benefit form not only updated support packs but also other ancillary downloads such as iManager 2.6 and others as they become identified which we cannot find.

    We cannot move away from these solutions as every change to production systems needs to be approved by the doctors considering the conditions of the client.  Basically any change to core systems not so approved by medical team will result in myself and others involved needing to spend the first ~6-8 hours of every day retraining her on "new ways to do familiar tasks".  

    Upgrading is not an option given the extremely sensitive nature of her medical conditions (kind of like a tower of Jenga blocks where one wrong move and it all comes crashing down) plus let's say we were to get approval to move the CRM from the current 4.0 version to the next version up: the current system would need to remain operational during the migration and training process for the client and should the current system fail or otherwise be inaccessible for any reason during these processes that is a safety critical incident.  Again continuing with the CRM example: that system contains data on everyone (friends, family, vendors, etc.) she has any interaction with and detailed histories and alerts are kept there.  Just imagine the following scenario: John Q. Citizen, someone with an axe to grind against the client and who knows how to exploit her medical conditions has an alert placed on his profile which reads "Per ESD Jennette: This person is known to exploit known memory condition in an attempt to convince MA's that fully paid off personal debts are still valid."; if John calls in trying his normal tricks and something made the current CRM unavailable during the migration and training that could spell financial ruin for the client (who is on a very tight fixed income and cannot afford such shenanigans)

    Note: ZENWorks 7 is current in the training and acceptance phase by the client and we hope to get it approved by sometime later this year and not early-to-mid next year.

    hope this helps a bit more :-)

    Thanks:

    Jennette M.:

    Advocate III:

    Office of Carly G. Fleischmann

    [DISCLAIMER: I am a 3rd party advocate writing this post using the credentials stored in our central logins system.  The views and opinions expressed herein are my own and unless otherwise noted do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.]

  • When helping people in this forum we are limited in what we can do. We can answer specific questions and we can offer suggestions as to how resolve a specific issue. How we respond depends upon the knowledge and technical expertise of the person with whom we are dealing.

    You can help by providing some additional details:

    Your post identifies you as Carly Fleischmann yet you signed your previous post as Jennette M.

    • With whom am I interacting? 
    • What is your technical background?
    • What experience do you personally have with the products you show in your post?

    __________
    Kevin Boyle, 
    Knowledge Partner

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  • Hello:

    sorry for the confusion there, I am a 3rd party advocate for Carly Fleischmann who assists her with a lot of things.  Since Carly already had a login here I just used her existing credentials rather than creating my own account.  Additionally, I am learning these products identified and my technical background is "I learn as I go and am willing to learn new skills as I need to for my job in supporting Carly." in short "fly by the seat of my pants and pick up the new technical skills as and when their needed."

    I am so sorry for the confusion.  I didn't think to attach the disclaimer at the bottom of the original post.

    Thanks:

    Jennette M.:

    Advocate III:

    Office of Carly G. Fleischmann

    [DISCLAIMER: I am a 3rd party advocate writing this post using the credentials stored in our central logins system.  The views and opinions expressed herein are my own and unless otherwise noted do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.]

  • I am learning these products

    These are quite a diverse set of products. Are you responsible for installing and maintaining all of them?

    __________
    Kevin Boyle, 
    Knowledge Partner

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  • I have support in the form of our Information technology Services (ITS) team, but Carly is responsible for running her own copy of the infrastructure which is closer to her physically whereas our central ITS team deals with the infrastructure at my office.  Since Carly is responsible for supporting the stuff that is closest to her and I need to have at a bear minimum a functional understanding of all systems which support Carly that way if something goes down I can either 1) fix it on my own without needing to call ITS at some ungodly hour or 2) know when to submit a ticket to ITS as it's noth that urgent.  Plus an added bonus is that I get to help Carly learn this stuff.

    Thanks:

    Jennette M.:

    Advocate III:

    Office of Carly G. Fleischmann

    [DISCLAIMER: I am a 3rd party advocate writing this post using the credentials stored in our central logins system.  The views and opinions expressed herein are my own and unless otherwise noted do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.]

  • Supporting all these products properly requires a significant amount of expertise and training. 

    Carly is responsible for running her own copy of the infrastructure
    Carly is responsible for supporting the stuff that is closest to her
    I need to have at a bear minimum a functional understanding of all systems
    I am learning these products
    I get to help Carly learn this stuff

    If Carly is responsible for supporting these products and there are technical issues that need to be resolved, should I not be working with Carly?

    __________
    Kevin Boyle, 
    Knowledge Partner

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  • Hello:

    To respond to your concerns, I and a team of various advocates help handle Carly's affairs with regards to external persons, groups, or organizations for safety and quality assurance.  The environment which we are in has 6 distinct networks:

    • Central Prod: This is the network that everything other than Carly's infrastructure runs on
    • Carly Prod Central: This is the network which my machine and the rest of Carly's team's infrastructure runs on
    • Carly Central Lab: This is the network where all the testing for Carly's specific software and tools happens
    • Carly Prod Remote: This is the network closest to Carly and the one she manages on her own with occasional help from her IT tream (however she likes to do things herself to learn and be as self reliant as possible rawther than needing to send a tech across the state to do things for her)
    • Carly Lab: This network is constantly evolving because this is the virtual playground where Carly tests and learns the various systems and practices all software and networking skills to ensure that she can reliable execute them.
    • Central Lab: This is the lab where our IT folks play round with different things and learn how to best use them

    As such all this testing is happening on either Carly Lab, or Carly Central Lab.  

    You mentioned that these products are quite complex and need a lot of training and specialized skills to learn them, well how that is handled is as follows:

    1. VTC training videos: we pay for those who need to have it a VTC subscription which has all the older software training along with the newer stuff
    2. Get the Docs: Carly loves to read technical manuals as do all the IT staff around her and as such Carly finds how to do most tasks by looking in the docs if it's not immediately obvious how to handle it.
    3. Use Google: countless times Carly has fixed her own issues just by knowing how to google for the right terms and which articles to look up
    4. Ask the community: if there's something none of the above can solve; it's time to do what we're doing now and ask the community.  
    5. Call the Vendor: should all that fail, contact the vendor for support if the product is still supported (more times than not the product isn't but that's a story for another day).  

    That's the troubleshooting and learning methodology around here and in my downtime I like to practice in my lab at home the things I've picked up from hanging around Carly, our IT staff, and reading the manuals and following the training.  we're all a bunch of self-taught people around here given the age of the systems we use.  I don't need to have equivalent knowledge to Carly to do my job but a basic understanding of what the systems do (e.g. AD is the authentication for the Microsoft side of the house, DNS translates human-friendly domain names like novell.com to machine usable IP addresses like 192.168.27.31 (I know that's a private IP address, but you get the idea), etc.) and basic diagnostic things like if a name won't work (e.g. \\LAB-FILES01\Jennette fails to open my directory is the machine powered on and connected to the network, if so can it be pinged if so check that ANY DNS queries are working both internally and externally, etc.  I picked a lot of this up from watching Carly and our IT folk troubleshoot and by practice) 

    again doing all of what IT or Carly does is not part of my job description, but having basic familiarity with the systems that support her is from at least an end-user perspective is.  Additionally having basic troubleshooting skills is a plus as I do wear many hats so to speak, and anything beyond basic troubleshooting if I've got it that's even better.  So the complexities of these systems don't scare myself nor Carly; what scares us is seeing these systems be lost to time if that makes sense.  Since Carly either relies on them currently or is in the process of learning and testing them for future expansion, this thought and the mountain she and our IT staff must climb is nothing.

    so that's the story if that helps any.

    Jennette M.:

    Advocate III:

    Office of Carly G. Fleischmann

    [DISCLAIMER: I am a 3rd party advocate writing this post using the credentials stored in our central logins system.  The views and opinions expressed herein are my own and unless otherwise noted do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.]

  • Okay Jennette,

    So Carly installs and maintains all the Novell products.

    • Can you tell me what version and patch level of Netware has she installed?
    • What other components and applications are installed?
    • Please describe the issues she is encountering.

    __________
    Kevin Boyle, 
    Knowledge Partner

    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

  • Hello:

    First of all, I want to thank you for your willingness to help with this very unique situation and not just towing the party line of "you folks should upgrade your environment to a supported configuration because of security and the like regardless of what her doctors' orders say even though we're not treating her conditions..."

    Right now she's got the following up and running:

    • NerWare 6.5 SP8 (NW65SP8_OVL_DVD.ISO)
      • eDirectory
      • Apache2/Tomcat4
      • iManager 2.6
    • GroupWise 8.0.0 (No SPs at all as she does not have access to them)
    • Novell Messenger 2.0 (No SPs at all as she does not have access to them)

    Note the following:

    1. Due to the Year 2038 Problem; Carly is planning on moving all the Novell stuff (eDirectory 8.8 SP6 (eDirectory_88SP6_All.ISO), GroupWise 8, and Messenger 2) onto a Windows box at some time before the end of 2037.  She is currently in testing with this setup as "it shouldn't be much different than doing the same tasks with a NW box, but just in case (she) wants to catch all the little snags before she has to rely on it".  This change does not require med team approval because it's effectively the house but just on top of a different foundation.
      1. She did a very basic test to see if the NetWare 6.5 SP8 was impacted by spinning up a fresh VM, disabling the VM time sync with the host and going into the BIOS and spinning the clock forward to about 2044 and attempting to kick off a NetWare 6.5 install.  She got through the text mode portion of the install without issue and then the grey background of the graphical setup came up and the screen went to black.  A look at the logger showed repeatedly "waiting for TCP/IP to initialize" and eventually that timed out with an error that TimeSync would only work with IPX. Note that this test was repeated twice; once on a completely clean network (nothing but the one lonely NetWare server), and on a minimal network (only the NetWare server and Windows Server 2003 running DNS and DHCP)
      2. If she does a "normal" NetWare 6.5 install without monkeying around with the BIOS time the whole thing kicks off without incident.  Again these are very simple test to see if NetWare if impacted by the problem and even she acknowledged that "they are now where near as thorough as I might like them to be..."   
    2. DNS and DHCP are handled on the Windows side of the house as we still have our feet firmly planted in the Microsoft camp since the Novell stuff provides only secondary services.
    3. Our testing of the Windows setup indicates that we would benefit from the latest version of iManager 2.6 or any other downloads from Novell (We've got ConsoleOne 1.3.6h) and that the self-service password reset may be an unintended casualty of the transition from NetWare 6.5 to a Windows-based stack unless she's missing something.
    4. ZENWorks 7 Suite (SP1) is in the process of being trained on and will hopefully be ready for med team approval later this year if not early next year.

    Based on the above-stated issues and software configurations she has found the one thing she'd be giving up by moving to the Windows-based eDir & Co. solution is the (semi) self-serve password reset.  I say that it's the "semi" self-serve password reset solution because of the below:

    • Under the current setup, she's set up universal password and set up appropriate password policies via iManager on NetWare then turned OFF all the default MS password policies on the AD side of the house.
    • A user (e.g. me, my wife, a visiting IT person, whom ever) sits down at her laptop (which is just a glorified launcher for VMWare Workstation, FireFox, Office, and MS Remote Desktop that she can remote into from the road) or brings in their own, launches the RDS client and signs on for the first time
      • Since my name (jmccurdy) is the same in both directories, I get the Novell Client box asking for my windows credentials and all I have to fill in is the default password (iNovell@123 (not the actual default))
      • I check the box at the bottom of the workstation login box that reads something along the lines of "change my windows password to match my Novell password".
      • I set up my challenge/response questions (or hint) depending on how she's got it set up) then go about my day
    • In the event I forget my password, I call her over and she resets my AD password back to the default and then tells me to "do the Self-service password flow on the login screen"
    • I do the self-service flow reset my Novell password and change my windows password to match my Novell password and I'm back to work at this site.

    so, in summary what we are after is the following:

    • confirmation of Carly's preliminary testing that NetWare 6.5 is indeed impacted by the 2038 bug, or will it live to fight another day?
    • Any and all patch files, service packs, and/or ancillary downloads put out by Novell for our products (NetWare 6.5, eDirectory 8.8 for Windows, GroupWise 8 for both Windows and NetWare, and Novell Messenger 2 for both Windows and NetWare) if anyone still either 1) has access to them or 2) has them in their acrhives in an old backup somewhere.
    • Any thoughts on how to do the self-service password thing given the products we currently have in our possession and where we (might) have to move to.
    • any thoughts on implementing ZENWorks 7 in our environment (everything is server 2003 with a single terminal server that acts as our doorway to everything else (very much a "thin client" approach rather than having2 or more XP VMs going at once to support the legacy systems or insisting that everyone visiting this site care an XP VM on their laptop or an external HDD/SSD))

    Jennette M.:

    Advocate III:

    Office of Carly G. Fleischmann

    [DISCLAIMER: I am a 3rd party advocate writing this post using the credentials stored in our central logins system.  The views and opinions expressed herein are my own and unless otherwise noted do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.]