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Chapter 1: Introduction to ZENworks for Servers 2
- What Is the Purpose of ZENworks for Servers 2?
- What Is the Relationship between ManageWise and ZENworks for Servers 2?
- What Is the Relationship between ZENworks for Desktops and ZENworks for Servers 2?
- What Are the Benefits of Using ZENworks for Servers 2?
This guide helps you through the potential rough spots along your delivery of ZENworks for Servers 2 to your system. It also explains a little bit about how ZENworks for Servers 2 functions and affects your Novell network and your servers. Chapter 1 introduces you to the purpose and advantages of using ZENworks for Servers 2 on your servers and in your network.
What Is the Purpose of ZENworks for Servers 2?
ZENworks for Servers 2 is a server management system that has been introduced by Novell. ZENworks stands for zero effort networks; the name reflects the minimal effort required for you to manage the servers in your network. By reducing the effort necessary to manage servers, the end result goal is to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of dealing with the network.
ZENworks for Servers 2 focuses on several areas of server management, which are discussed in the following sections.
Server Management through Policies
A problem that many server administrators have to deal with is ensuring that all of the parameters on a server are appropriate and that no one has been messing around with those server's parameters. Additionally, they may need to change a server parameter on each of hundreds of servers. With ZENworks for Servers 2, the administrator can change that one parameter on all of the servers in your network with a single mouse click.
In ZENworks for Servers 2, the administrator can manage selected servers or all of the servers in the network through policies that are stored in your directory. These policies enable you to specify such items as server parameters and how a server should shut down (called a downing policy). As ZENworks for Servers 2 continues to mature, many policies that describe server behavior and response will be implemented into the product.
By placing these policies in Novell eDirectory (the new name for Novell's NDS product), ZENworks for Servers 2 allows you to enforce a common set of values and behaviors for the servers in the tree. You can associate these policies to any individual server, a group of servers, or to a container higher in the tree and affect all servers below that container. Changing a single value in the policy automatically effects change on all of the servers that are associated with that policy — either by direct association or by containment.
Currently, policies are only effective on NetWare servers. In the future, ZENworks for Servers 2 is expected to expand into Windows NT, Linux, and other server environments.
Tiered Electronic Distribution
In many environments, files and systems need to reside on many servers across a diverse network. Often an administrator must spend many hours or write many tools to transmit files across the network to many different servers. For example, you may have several application servers in your network — many in different parts of the world — and you need to make sure that the application files on each of these servers are identical to the golden image that you have in the network. Today, you have to manually copy these files around or write some homemade tool to do the work for you. With ZENworks for Servers 2, and, more specifically, Tiered Electronic Distribution (TED), these files can be easily transmitted across the world to all of the required servers.
In ZENworks for Servers 2, the administrator goes into eDirectory and administers a set of agents called distributors and subscribers. These agents, through the directory, discover the files that need to be transmitted across the network and efficiently transmit them across to the specified servers in your network. All administration of these agents is stored in eDirectory objects, allowing you to effect change efficiently and completely through the directory.
Once these files are received on the target server, the system invokes a local agent to unpack the bundle and deliver it to the specified file directories. TED can move any type of file through the network. TED can distribute files to both NetWare and Windows NT/2000 environments.
Server Software Packages
TED, described above, is a terrific way to move files through your network to be placed on your servers in the tree. One type of file group that TED can move is called a server software package. These Server Software Packages are sets of files and scripts that describe how the server files are to be automatically installed on a server. Can you imagine the savings if you can move a support pack for your servers through your network with TED and have it automatically installed on all of your servers? It’s going to save a tremendous amount of time having the system automatically upgrade all your servers with a few commands in the directory.
You, as the administrator, simply go into ConsoleOne. Once there, you administer a server package. This includes the ability to generate a script to load or unload NLMs, log out users, and so forth, before and after exercising the installation of the files. You can describe when the Server Software Packages should be installed, on what versions of the server, and so forth. With all of this control, you are able to install the package with confidence.
As Novell moves ZENworks for Servers 2 to support other platforms, this functionality is expected to move along.
The services that you have become accustomed to in ManageWise are in the ZENworks for Servers 2 product. The SNMP services that enable you to receive SNMP alerts and then act on them are included in the ZENworks for Servers product.
From within ConsoleOne, you can navigate through an updated map of your network, browsing for alerts and looking at the current status of any server or router in your network. This physical view of the world is seamlessly merged with the logical view presented in eDirectory, enabling you to move effortlessly between the two in order to quickly make any administration changes that require your attention.
Alarm Management Services
ZENworks for Servers 2 continues to provide the alarm management services that were provided in the ManageWise product. ZENworks for Servers 2 enables you to continue to set alarm thresholds on each of the measured attributes for your network or individual server. When these alarm thresholds are hit, the console in ConsoleOne displays the information and follows the procedures that you have outlined with regard to notifying the proper personnel.
Server Inventory and Trending
ZENworks for Servers 2 also performs inventory for each of the NetWare 5 and NT servers that are in your network. This inventory is stored in a ZENworks database stored on your designated server in the network. From this inventory information you can generate reports, with various options to help you get a handle on the hardware that you have in your network.
Additionally, the trending information is stored in ZENworks for Servers 2, enabling you to get some longer-term information on the performance and behavior of your servers. This enables you to anticipate problems before they happen and get the changes into your network before you see the effects of the problem.
A majority of the functionality of ZENworks for Servers 2, particularly dealing with a specific server, is manageable via the portal system that is supplied in the NetWare 5 product. Portal is an HTTP service that runs on a NetWare 5 server and enables the administrator to manage many aspects of the NetWare 5 server via a browser on any desktop. This can prove extremely useful when you need to quickly make a fix to a server while you are on your Hawaii vacation (couldn’t pass up the chance to capitalize on the commercials!).
ZENworks for Servers 2 delivers the plug-ins necessary to be placed on the NetWare server that enable its functionality to be viewed and managed through the Portal interface. Not all functionality is available through this mechanism, but the ones that are specific to a server are usable from Portal.
Common Management Console
Ever since the development of ManageWise and its functionality that manages servers, users have asked why one has to run a different administration tool to manage it versus the tools used to manage NetWare and NDS. Over time, the ManageWise product has evolved and moved its database to the server, but the majority of its work has been on a dedicated workstation. Now its functionality has been moved completely to the server and the network, and its interfaces have been updated to run in the ConsoleOne interface.
ConsoleOne is the common administration tool that Novell is using to manage all of their products. NetWare is now managed through ConsoleOne, and now ManageWise functionality is also in ConsoleOne. Now you have to use and understand only a single tool to use and understand in order to manage all of Novell products. Also, by having all of the administration functionality in a single place, there can be some synergy between the server management and eDirectory management, enabling you to move seamlessly between the logical and physical views of your network.
What Is the Relationship between ManageWise and ZENworks for Servers 2?
ManageWise has been upgraded and moved into the ZENworks for Servers 2 product line. All of the server functionality that you have come to expect with ManageWise is present in the ZENworks for Servers product, plus some new features.
It is expected that the ManageWise functionality of ZENworks for Servers 2 will continue to be enhanced over time, and the ManageWise product itself will be phased out.
What Is the Relationship between ZENworks for Desktops and ZENworks for Servers 2?
The name “ZENworks” originally was released as the name of a desktop management system. Since then, ZENworks has turned into a product brand name for Novell, and the original ZENworks is referred to as ZENworks for Desktops.
ZENworks for Desktops is considered a separate product and will continue to have its own independent releases, development cycles, and feature sets. However, some overlap exists between the two products. For example, the ZENworks for Desktops 3 version has shipped with the ability to interact with the Tiered Electronic Distribution portions of ZENworks for Servers 2, enabling you to transmit application objects and files throughout your network.
ZENworks for Servers 2 uses the same Sybase database engine that ZENworks for Desktops uses to store its inventory and other information. ZENworks for Servers 2 actually automatically creates tables in its own database files (
ZFSlog.dB) and uses the same Sybase engine that the ZENworks for Desktops installs. The two ZENworks products reuse several of the objects in the tree, and they both follow the same concepts of the policies. The only difference is that ZENworks for Desktops introduces workstation policies whereas ZENworks for Servers 2 brings server-related policies into the system.
We would expect as these products continue to mature that the relationships between the various ZENworks products will become more and more integrated.
What Are the Benefits of Using ZENworks for Servers 2?
Using the ZENworks for Servers 2 product in your network environments has significant advantages. The greatest benefit comes from the effect of leveraging existing information that is currently in your directory and combining this with the new components and tree extensions provided in ZENworks for Servers 2. By building relationships in the directory between servers and policies that govern their behavior, enormous management potential is gained and is easily available to the administrator. Using the eDirectory tree and its hierarchical nature enables you to manage all of the servers in your tree from one place in the tree, or delegate to local administrators in subcontainers.
ZENworks for Servers 2 also is an easy extension of the current administration system. All of the administration requirements for ZENworks for Servers 2 may be administered via snap-ins that are provided and plug directly into the ConsoleOne administration utility. Additionally, ZENworks for Servers 2 uses the familiar rights associated with your tree to govern the accessibility of the features, protecting them from unauthorized users.
The total cost of ownership (TCO) dealing with servers can be significantly reduced through ZENworks for Servers 2. Not only can you be proactive in monitoring and repairing your systems, but you can also ensure that the latest patches and system parameters are being delivered and installed automatically on your systems. By this alone you should have considerably less downtime with your systems. Additionally, the work required to keep common files across the network up-to-date will be minimized as TED is implemented in your system....