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Introduction to Novell Netware 4.11 Hot

Added: 01/02/2000, Hits: 7,946, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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NetWare is a client/server based network operating system(NOS) that consists of client programs that run on a DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95, Windows NT, Macintosh, or OS/2 workstation and server programs that run on a central resource. It can also be used with UNIX when 3rd party utilities are employed. Netware 4.11 provides central disk storage and print sharing services.

NDS is the fundamental network service provided by Netware 4.11. It is a database of information on all network resources and allows access to these resources based on security settings for these resources. This database is known as "The Directory". The directory is commonly compared to a phone book. When a client sends a request to access a shared resource such as a shared printer, the printer is located in the database and authenticated. If the client has appropriate permissions then it will be allowed access to the resource.

There are 3 components that make up an NDS directory - Objects, properties and values.
  • Objects: These are the network resources that users wish to access.

  • Properties: Each object has properties associated with it. Properties include items such as the name, title, location, department, password, etc.

  • Values: These are the actual property entries. For example if "Name" is a property, then John Smith would be the value of that property.

There are different types of objects on a Novell network and they are laid out in a tree like structure known as the Directory Tree. There are 3 different types of objects:
  • Root: Referring back to the concept of a tree, the root is the base or most fundamental part of a tree. It is the starting point. While a Novell network can have multiple directories on the network, there can be only one root object per directory. All other objects are placed below the root object. Objects that contain other objects are called "Containers". This means that the root object is a container, however it is different than the containers found further down the tree in that the root object does not have any properties and cannot be modified, moved, deleted or renamed.

  • Containers: These are the next type of object. As previously mentioned, containers are objects that contain other objects. In the tree analogy, containers are like the branches of the tree. There are 3 types of container objects:

    • Country object: As you might guess, the country object organizes the directory by valid 2 digit country codes.

    • Organization object: This object represents an organization such as a company.

    • Organizational Unit object: This type of container organizes objects by subunits such as departments in a company. These containers are placed in an organization container or another organizational unit container and are optional.

  • Leaf Objects: These are end nodes on the directory tree. These are various classes of objects that represent the actual entities on the tree, e.g. users, groups, servers, applications, printers, etc. These objects do not contain other objects and may not be placed directly under the root object.

Tree Structure
How do users access network resources? This is accomplished by using the objects Common Name(CN). An object's CN is what is displayed next to the object in Netware Administrator. In order for a client to access a resource, they must know where it is located. This is where the term "Context" comes in. The context specifies the path from the object up to root. This is similar to the UNC path that is used in a Windows environment. The context is specified in the following format - OU=XXX.O=XXX where OU is the organizational unit object and O is the Organization object and "XXX" represents the names of these objects. To take it a step further, we can now identify an object by its "Distinguished Name". This is a combination of the Common Name(CN) and the context. Let's look at an example:

Let's define the distinguished name of a user object named JasonS that is located in the Organizational Unit object "sales" and Organization object "MCMCSE". The distinguished name for JasonS would be .CN=JasonS.OU=Sales.O=MCMCSE.

Once you understand this, you will be able to access network resources from a DOS prompt on a client. The CX command line utility will allow you to change context, and thus, navigate the tree.

There is an easier way to identify objects called "Typeless Naming". The typeless name for our previous example would be JasonS.Sales.MCMCSE.

So how do we administer the network? Novell is a little different than Windows environments in that it is typically adminstered remotely by default. This usually occurs on a client workstation or other server and is accomplished using a utility called Netware Adminstrator(NWADMIN). This application allows you to create new objects and containers, and modify values for the properties of an object such as the password, rights and other information.

Above is a screenshot of NWADMIN. This image should help make the concepts of root, leafs and containers that we discussed previously, a little bit clearer and give you an idea as to how a tree is laid out. Double clicking on an object or container will bring up the properties for that object and assuming that you have appropriate permissions, will allow to to make changes to the values contained within. Below is a screenshot of the properties for an object. Note that clicking on the buttons on the right will bring up another window that will allow you to make changes to an object.

Currently the "Identification" button is depressed. Note that currently, the only value entered is "Carter" for the property "Last Name".

Client Connectivity
Client 32 is used to connect workstations to Netware servers so that they can use the services offered by the server. Client 32 is used for Netware 2x, 3x and 4x servers. Client32 is stored in the local RAM of a workstation and is session oriented. While Microsoft provides their own solution for Netware connectivity(CSNW), Client32 is the only one which provides complete access to NDS. When logging on to a Netware client, a new splash screen will load once Client32 has been installed(see figure below).

The username is the same as the object name that is located in the NDS tree. If the user object doesn't exist on the tree, the user will not be able to login. Passwords are encrypted into a format that only a Netware server can decode.

The connection tab is an important area to pay attention to and is a common cause of logon errors. This tab allows you to specify the tree, server and context that will be used when logging in.

Once logged in, accessing shared Netware resources from a client can be done using the Network Neighborhood. When opening the network neighborhood, select Entire Network and then select the Netware Directory Services folder. You should then see a list of available trees and can drill down to find the resources that you are looking for.

When accessing a Netware server, you are accessing a specific volume on the server. DOS application are unable to access a Netware server by volume name. Instead a pointer known as a "drive mapping" must be created. A drive letter will be assigned to the mapped drive. When the mapped drive is used, client32 will translate the mapped drive into a volume name that the Netware server can understand. A workstation can have up to 26 mapped drives. At login, Netware will automatically map a drive to the first available letter that is used for users. Other drives can be mapped at each login by using a login script.

NDS also allows for applications to be run off of the server. Since Netware is administered remotely, NWADMIN is a good example of a shared network application that you will need access to. Netware searches for applications in 3 places. RAM --> current directory --> search drives. Search drives are mapped to directories that contain frequently used applications. It is preferential to use lower search drive numbers for more frequently used applications for faster access. Novell supports a maximum of 16 search drives. It is not possible to map search drives using network neighborhood. Instead, the "map insert" command must be used.

When setting up a network printer, a print queue object, print server object and a printer object must be created and configured. When a print job is sent, it lands in a print queue which is a subdirectory of the QUEUES directory found at the root of a volume. A print queue must have a corresponding NDS object which contains information about the physical location of the printer, access rights and status.

The print server is in charge of monitoring the print queues and sending jobs to the printer based on priority. Like a print queue, a print server must also have a corresponding NDS object(leaf object). A print server can support up to 256 printers.

The printer object contains information about the printer itself and properties regarding its connection.

Miscellaneous Tools and Utilities
Netware Application Manager(NAM) is another service that provides access to network applications.

SMS is a service that is responsible for controlling backup and retrieval of server and workstation data.

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