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Novell blogs on the move

I decided to move my Corporate Blogs from Novell Cool Blogs to Novell Cool Solutions.

Novell Cool Solutions

I announced this in October; this month I started the move.

Why move?

Mainly the volume of postings and the amount of traffic at Cool Blogs compared with Cool Solutions.

Cool Blogs started as the first open, unfiltered blog from Novell almost two years ago. Since then I’ve made over 25% of the posts to the blog. That’s too much. I’ve slowed my blogging on Cool Blogs and moved a lot to this site; but still the proportion of posts that are my ZENworks posts is too high.

By posting on Cool Solutions I hope that my posts get a wider readership and I don’t take a too large proportion of the postings.

Windows 2003 services on a stressed VMware workstation; aka fixing the ZCM Utopia services startup

Novell has a fantastic demo suite known as Utopia – listen to this Novell Open Audio Podcast for details.

One issue that was reported by the field was that running Windows 2003 server on VMware workstation with ZENworks Configuration Management would sometimes cause the ZENworks services not to start.

I’ve never really seen this issue; I saw one VM that was broken – but only saw that everything was slow.

For the sales kickoff I built a set of VMs and was testing them. Moving from ESX to VMware Workstation on SLED running on a Thinkpad T42p laptop I saw the issue.

In short the workstation service was being slow to start; the server was stressed – and the service timed out. The dominos started to fall; Net Logon failed etc etc etc.

My fix is simple. Make the workstation service dependant on something that is relatively benign but that will start with some reliability. I chose the DNS service (it’s a single server) – because that ultimately provides the DDNS underpinning to Active Directory and other services.

Here’s how:

sc config lanmanworkstation depend= dns

That simple. Reboot and you should now have a working ZCM Utopia demo.

For the internal Novell people – did this fix your problem?

Code names.. something stinks

I blogged last year on ZENworks project code names.

We recently almost announced a project codenamed “Brown Trout”.

Innocent sounding to the US reader; I’ll let the rest of the English speaking world share what the context is.

Hint: It’s brown, streamlined and lives in water. But it’s not a fish.

ZENworks Configuration Management – imaging, PXE and DHCP

ZENworks imaging can use the Preboot eXecution Environment – PXE – to start it’s imaging engine.

When the imaging server components (TFTP server, Imaging engine, Proxy DHCP) are running on the same server as the DHCP server there are certain configuration changes that need to be made.

Read the ZCM10 documentation for more.

Three steps to happiness – I’ll document this for Windows; SLES is broadly similar.

– set the Proxy DHCP to run correctly
– set Proxy DHCP to start automatically
– add DHCP option tag 60 to the DHCP scope