jpeteet Absent Member.
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NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Still running a NW 6.0 sp5 server. Ancient and hardware is getting very sketchy. Looking for an upgrade path - not sure about what direction to go. I know this is pretty open ended. We use the login scripts, file access and still use old DOS programs to access Btrieve files (business critical until we can get them migrated over to MySQL and programs written to access them), still use Netware print queues. And this server was the original server in the tree. We do have DS replicas etc and they are all in sync. We have 4 volumes on this server mirrored (one drive doesn't come up anymore). Looking for a way to move forward while maintaining the data as well as access rights. This server is so old that I would be scared of a migration utility type of upgrade due to the fact that it is wiped out upon reboot and I like the thought of being able to come back to it in the event my upgrade has issues.

We already have several OpenSuSe and NW 6.5 servers in our organization but first wanted to know what the current views are on migration (then decide on what is best way to achieve it).My plan is to obviously get new hardware. But, should/could I go with OpenSuSe and still access the files? (From what I can tell, no). Do I just install a NW 6.5 and dump the data? (Not a good option -I believe) so that begs the question do I go with SLES, OES 11 or OES 2015? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Knowledge Partner
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

jpeteet;2447574 wrote:
Still running a NW 6.0 sp5 server. Ancient and hardware is getting very sketchy. Looking for an upgrade path - not sure about what direction to go. I know this is pretty open ended. We use the login scripts, file access and still use old DOS programs to access Btrieve files (business critical until we can get them migrated over to MySQL and programs written to access them), still use Netware print queues. And this server was the original server in the tree. We do have DS replicas etc and they are all in sync. We have 4 volumes on this server mirrored (one drive doesn't come up anymore). Looking for a way to move forward while maintaining the data as well as access rights. This server is so old that I would be scared of a migration utility type of upgrade due to the fact that it is wiped out upon reboot and I like the thought of being able to come back to it in the event my upgrade has issues.

We already have several OpenSuSe and NW 6.5 servers in our organization but first wanted to know what the current views are on migration (then decide on what is best way to achieve it).My plan is to obviously get new hardware. But, should/could I go with OpenSuSe and still access the files? (From what I can tell, no). Do I just install a NW 6.5 and dump the data? (Not a good option -I believe) so that begs the question do I go with SLES, OES 11 or OES 2015? Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.


Well for file access, IMO, your only option would be to use OES. "pure" SLES will not migrate the NetWare file systems/rights intact (I believe you'd be stuck with a SAMBA implementation at that point).

IF it were me, and your strategic decision allows you to continue to utilize Microfocus/Novell stuff, then a migration to OES would be the "best" option.

https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes11/upgrade_to_oes_lx/data/bjuwlei.html

OES 2015 also supports the migration:

https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/upgrade_to_oes_lx/data/bjuwlei.html


For you, the "safest" option may be to just migrate and not do an ID transfer. The downside is that the OES server will have a new/different server name, and IP address, so you'll need to adjust your login scripts and other software accordingly. The migration utility would consist of using a "consolidation" project for the file system (not sure about the printers as we were on iPrint, but the doc links above should help you). That way, your data is still intact, and you just change login scripts/etc. as needed and have the users utilize the new system and if something bad happens, you just point then back to the old one. Technically the ID transfer may work (I haven't read the docs to be honest in regards to NW 6.0 so it may not even be an option), but it does require powering down the old server at a certain point, and in your case, it may not be able to be brought back online if something catastrophic happens.

However, from experience, I can assure you that you'll probably have a few users who don't reboot/etc. and as a result, you'll end up with updated files on both servers and then you're in a pickle. Or at the least, you get a time consuming job of slapping some users around and deciding which files are to be overwritten and who is going to lose in that case.

The benefits are that the same Novell Client/login scripts should continue to work, the users don't have to really learn anything new/different, and if you're familiar with iManager, you should be OK with learning some of the new things that change. The biggest/hardest part, IMO, from an Admin perspective was no more rconsole/Adrem free console stuff and some of the CLI utilities. Most are replaced with iManager/NRM and other CLI stuff with SSH/Putty/BitVise for the underlying Linux OS.

You will want to make sure your tape backup (Or whatever you use) solution supports OES 11/2015, along with any AV (if you use that).

I am unsure about Btrieve to be honest.

--Kevin
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jpeteet Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Kjhurni - thank you. We used to use Arcserve backup because it would backup the NDS specific stuff as well as just data. But it always caused server issues and any time the server crashed it was due to something going wonky with an Arcserve NLM. So we just stopped using it and just started backing up the files using a NCP package on OpenSuSe along with Rsync. Gets the files fine, but not the access rights. I understand that at this point we are in a bad way as far as that is concerned. I did use the Trustee.nlm to backup the file access rights for the particular volume, and then rsync that over as well. Which should give us some measure of ability to recover, if I understand it correctly. I am familiar with Putty and SSH and had used iManager/NRM on the other servers in the past when I was working with them extensively - hated all the package/pieces that had to be installed for NRM to work - they were always cranky.

Btrieve is a file system that has been included with Netware for many years. We use old DOS programs to access these as they used to be our only file system. Some of the data is still valid and used daily. So I need to maintain the ability to access these files. Actually that is on the same level as printing and file access because these are the specific files that they need to be able to access - if that makes sense. I can give the users a spot in any number of places to dump their daily use files, but these data files are of key importance...
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Knowledge Partner
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Hi.

Am 29.12.2016 um 21:36 schrieb jpeteet:
> access and still use old DOS programs to access Btrieve files (business
> critical until we can get them migrated over to MySQL and programs
> written to access them), still use Netware print queues.


Btrieve is the crucial piece here. If this is running client/server mode
using the btrieve database engine (vs simple shared database file access
with the DB engine running on each client individually), then your only
option would be Netware 6.5. No more Btrieve database engine beyond that.

Same holds true for the print queues, but those shouldn't be mission
critical to replace.

CU,
--
Massimo Rosen
Micro Focus Knowledge Partner
No emails please!
http://www.cfc-it.de
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Anonymous_User Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

On 29.12.2016 22:36, jpeteet wrote:
>
> Still running a NW 6.0 sp5 server. Ancient and hardware is getting very
> sketchy. Looking for an upgrade path - not sure about what direction to
> go. I know this is pretty open ended. We use the login scripts, file
> access and still use old DOS programs to access Btrieve files (business
> critical until we can get them migrated over to MySQL and programs
> written to access them), still use Netware print queues.
> And this server was the original server in the tree.


When retiring this original server, remember to transfer eDirectory CA
certificate..

-sk

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jpeteet Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Thank you Massimo. That was what I was afraid of.
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jpeteet Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Thank you Sami - I am looking for all the little details like this to make the transition easier.
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jpeteet Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

So now that I pretty much know I am going to need to go from NW 6.0 to NW 6.5. What is the cleanest upgrade path? I've read about migrating etc... Is that the easiest/most reliable option? Or is it better to just install in the tree as a new server and copy data over? I currently do not use a backup method that preserves user/group rights.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Am 16.01.2017 um 22:26 schrieb jpeteet:
>
> So now that I pretty much know I am going to need to go from NW 6.0 to
> NW 6.5. What is the cleanest upgrade path? I've read about migrating
> etc... Is that the easiest/most reliable option? Or is it better to just
> install in the tree as a new server and copy data over? I currently do
> not use a backup method that preserves user/group rights.
>
>

First of all, I would strongly suggest to virtualizy the new server, as
NW6.5 most likely won't run on current hardware physically.

Second, there are two options in my mind to get there:

1. COnvert the existing 6.0 Server to a Virtual Machine using Portlock
Storage Manager (or some other P2V or imaging tool), and then inplace
update it to 6.5SP8

2. Migrate the old 6.0 to 6.5SP8 using the migration toolkit.

Again, the unknown is the Btrieve database. On migration, the OS will be
basically brandnew, and any possible configuration to the btrieve engine
will be gone. Also, as the shipping btrieve engine of Netware is limited
to two users, I assume you must have a full license installed?! I would
thoroughly check all this, also if the possibly newer version of the
btrieve engine in 6.5 poses a possible problem.

CU,
--
Massimo Rosen
Micro Focus Knowledge Partner
No emails please!
http://www.cfc-it.de
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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

jpeteet;2448737 wrote:
So now that I pretty much know I am going to need to go from NW 6.0 to NW 6.5. What is the cleanest upgrade path? I've read about migrating etc... Is that the easiest/most reliable option? Or is it better to just install in the tree as a new server and copy data over? I currently do not use a backup method that preserves user/group rights.


As Massimo pointed out, you could go from NW 6.0 to NW 6.5 (but technically not supported any longer, so you're probably only going to want to do this for a very short time period). As from the Support lifecycle page:

"Extended Support for NetWare 6.5 is now available through the NetWare Premium Lifeline Support offering. This offering is available through December 31, 2016. If you are interested in this offering, please complete the request form here and complete a short survey. "

NW to NW migrations, in your case, would probably be best handled with Massimo's method, although I cannot remember if the source server (your old failing NetWare server) require a reboot/power cycle, as that would probably be the time that the hardware decides to totally fail on you (if you have my luck). And you wouldn't have support from Microfocus, AFAIK based upon the previous information, so you'll kinda be stuck with self-help support if something goes wrong. With the P2V method Massimo gave (we used something similar years before, and did run into many issues, most of which were on the Portlock software side of things), that's probably your "best" method, albeit not necessarily most reliable, but I don't really see any other decent choice given your hardware and software constraints.

Good luck!
--Kevin
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jpeteet Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Just a couple of follow up questions.
I do not have any experience with Virtual machines on the server level, but have done a bit with user workstations and VMs. If I choose to go virtual, can I do a direct upgrade from NW 6.0 SP5 to NW 6.5 SP8? Does that kill my original server in the process, or would I have it to go back to in case of some type of failure so that I could try again until I got it going?

I have read a little about migration and that "seems" safe. From what I understand the original server would still be available if it didn't work.... and I could try again. The Btrieve engine is somewhat of a concern. Currently the NLM on the 6.0 server is version 7.90.000, I have a NW 6.5 SP8 server and the NLM on that one is the same version....So maybe that would work. We do have full 100 user license of Btrieve.
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jpeteet Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

My plan would be to only stay on it long enough to get off of it gracefully. I have understood, for some years now, that we are really pretty much on our own as far as support. My biggest concern is being somewhere in between old server and new one really working, then the hardware fail and I don't have a good bridge to get back to up and running. When you encountered issues with Portlock, did they give good support or were you on your own with that? Also, what was your OS of choice on the new hardware? I understand that many on these forums would likely say SLES. We currently do not have any SLES servers, we do have several openSUSE servers that are production servers. I am guessing that I could go that route, if portlock would work? Just looking for suggestions here. Thank you Kevin, for your time on this.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

jpeteet;2448787 wrote:
Just a couple of follow up questions.
I do not have any experience with Virtual machines on the server level, but have done a bit with user workstations and VMs. If I choose to go virtual, can I do a direct upgrade from NW 6.0 SP5 to NW 6.5 SP8? Does that kill my original server in the process, or would I have it to go back to in case of some type of failure so that I could try again until I got it going?

I have read a little about migration and that "seems" safe. From what I understand the original server would still be available if it didn't work.... and I could try again. The Btrieve engine is somewhat of a concern. Currently the NLM on the 6.0 server is version 7.90.000, I have a NW 6.5 SP8 server and the NLM on that one is the same version....So maybe that would work. We do have full 100 user license of Btrieve.


It's been a while since I've used NetWare (we migrated to OES a long time ago).

An in-place upgrade from NW 6.0 to 6.5 will make the "original" server go bye-bye in the sense that the code and DOS stuff is upgraded. Theoretically if it was all in VMware prior to the upgrade, you could snapshot the Guest and then do an upgrade, but I'd be a little hesitant to just restore the snapshot as eDirectory stuff is touched in the process. But the server name, IP, and whatnot is kept the same.

I can't remember the name of the migration utility (don't know if it'd even work on a Windows 7 machine) but I think it was like SCM or something? (server consolidation and migration?) or something like that, that you could run to "migrate" (not upgrade) the data from NW 6.0 to a NW 6.5 server.

Migration may not be the "easiest" as I previously stated because you have to deal with a lot of stuff manually (again, printers, login scripts, etc.) But it may be the "safest".

Either way (in-place upgrade or migration), as Massimo pointed out, IF you can virtualize, you're far better off with it. In order to get a Physical NetWare server over to VMware, you'll pretty much have to use the Portlock software or something to "ghost" it over to the VM. Then you have your NW 6.0 server in VMware (again, as Massimo points out, it may not like Vmware with the 6.0 version but it may depend on what VMware version you have), and then you can setup a new NW 6.5 server in Vmware and migrate to that.

Alternatively you could migrate to a NW 6.5 guest in VMware, but again, you're still on old failing hardware on 6.0 and I think that's what has me and Massimo concerned.

Vmware ESXi (the free version) is pretty much the same as the workstation version except you use a slightly different console to manage it, but the UI is almost the same (well at least when I last used Workstation version of VMware). Installation on a physical machine is different of course. But it sounds like you have no VMware server environment at play. Ideally if you could have a new server and install VMware on it, you should, IMO. The snapshot and disk management abilities make it worth it, IMO. Plus if you need to setup another VM to migrate stuff to, it helps as well.

IF you go that route, I'd strongly suggest (I'm pretty sure so would massimo) that you create a virtual hard disk for the separate volumes/data. In other words, don't make one big honking virtual disk and put your DOS, SYS, and other volumes on it. Makes things "fun" if you want to go to OES or you need to portlock stuff.

--Kevin
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

I had an old NetWare 6.0.5 server running GroupWise 6. The hardware was the same vintage as the software. It was still working well and I had been putting off an upgrade for years but could wait no longer. About six months ago I was faced with a similar situation as you now are.

I have OES servers but there is no easy migration from Netware 6 to OES 2015. I first had to upgrade to NetWare 6.5 (SP8).

I had several concerns:


  • NetWare is unsupported.
  • The hardware could fail at any time.
  • I might encounter issues doing an in-place upgrade that could result in an extended outage.


These are conclusions I reached:

  • I would do as little as possible to impact the existing server. This meant no in-place upgrade.
  • I would need a new server


Since this was to be a temporary solution, a stepping stone to current releases, I wanted to keep things simple. I decided against a bare-metal deployment for two reasons: I was concerned about NetWare compatibility with current hardware, and, I didn't have a spare server. Instead, I decided to install NetWare 6.5 as a Xen virtual machine. I chose Xen as I already had a SLES server running Xen.

In my case I had only a few users and a few services running on NetWare 6. I opted to go for a new tree and migrate my users. You may have some other considerations.

This approach has a couple of advantages:

  • If you are unsure about setting up a virtual server, don't worry. If you make a mistake just blow it away and start again.
  • You can use snapshots on the new server before starting a migration and simply roll back if there is a problem.
  • You can verify that all applications are fully functional before cutting over.
  • Your current Netware 6 server continues to run until such time as you cut over to the new one.
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Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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jpeteet Absent Member.
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Re: NW 6.0 Upgrade - best option?

Thank you very much Kevin. That makes complete sense. I was speaking with someone and they indicated (actually stated) that only VMware would run Netware as a VM. I thought that Xen would....Thank you for this. Either way, I am leaning towards using Portlock to move my data to a new server in the form of a backup then restore to a newly created VM on new hardware. That seems to make sense to me. But I do like the idea of creating a new tree and moving the pieces over as needed. Did you use the migration utility to move them over?
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