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I spent the morning with a large, strategic Novell customer who asked a seemingly simple question:

“Can you give us a quick overview of ZENworks for Servers – we have it as part of our MLA and are wondering what to do with it”

A good question isn’t it?

Well – we talked for over an hour about three of the main roles that ZENworks 7 Server Management can play in an enterprise environment. I’ll cover these in a series of posts in the next week.

To start I’ll describe a common administrative headache – updating NetWare.

Written at: Edinburgh, Scotland

Patching and Update for NetWare

Sounds simple eh? But think about what really happens when you have to patch a NetWare server.

Most customers today (the ones that are not using ZENworks) download the Support Pack from Novell, unpack it, test it and then manually copy the Support Pack to servers (lots of XCOPY, batch files and crossed fingers here).

Next notify users that service will be interrupted (even if it is 3am in the morning).

Then it’s RCONSOLE to your server, unload NLMs, start the installation process, reboot and fingers crossed you have a good experience.

That takes time. It’s also not efficient and for everyone concerned about consistency, reliability and uptime this method doesn’t stand up.

Sound familiar? Are you the administrator stuck in the office at the weekend working into the small hours to patch servers?

The answer is to use ZENworks Server Management.

Novell are providing more and more patches and updates for NetWare in the ZENworks CPK format – examples include NetWare support packs, updates for the NetWare Java Virtual Machine, eDirectory – and – the newest addition – ZENworks Support Packs.

My colleague Martin Irwin has also worked to produce a migration from NetWare 6 to Open Enterprise Server using this technology!

Testimony from customers like yourselves really shows the value of this. I have worked with customers who have used ZENworks Server Management to automate NetWare and ZENworks Support Pack installation. They have taken the time needed to deploy from ‘weeks’ to ‘days’ – with a corresponding saving in time and effort.

Let me know your experiences with ZENworks Server Management – there’s a lot more information to share. Next time I will write about how Tiered Electronic Distribution can make the desktop administrators life easy.

Written at: Edinburgh, Scotland