Novell bolsters storage software

NetWare 5 users will soon be able to more quickly add storage capacity and monitor disk space with a support pack Novell will ship this month.

Dubbed Support Pack 1 for NetWare 5.1, the software lets network executives mount Novell Storage System (NSS) volumes in seconds rather than hours, mirror that storage for fault tolerance and manage end-user disk space.

Software mirroring allows data to be written concurrently to two disks connected by the same SCSI controller to increase data integrity. NSS has supported hardware mirroring since its introduction. Quota management customers monitor the amount of available disk space, limit disk space per user and regain disk space if necessary.

"We normally set disk quotas for people to handle all the student accounts," says Sean Eckton, a network engineer at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Eckton says he has stayed with NetWare 4.11 servers because he couldn't set disk quotas with NSS. Now that the capability is available, "We'll be moving to NetWare 5.1with NSS," he says.

When Eckton was working on the migration from NetWare 4.11 to 5, he built more disk space into clients' PCs than they would need because he knew he couldn't set quotas for a while.

NSS uses advanced journaling algorithms to speed the remounting of up to 255 NetWare volumes after the system fails or a network executive takes a server down. The software also lets up to eight trillion files - up to 8 terabytes - be stored on a NetWare volume. Previously, NetWare 5 networks with NSS installed did not support disk quotas or mirroring.

NSS still does not support a number of features: block sizes smaller than 4K bytes, data compression, referential integrity made possible by the Transaction Tracking System or NSS SYS volumes. Further, NSS does not support data migration, file locking, file system auditing or disk duplexing, in which data is copied to two disks on different controllers concurrently.

Support Pack 1 for NetWare 5.1 will be available for free download from support.novell.com/misc/ patlst.htm.

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