Novell Replacement Moves Forward
Personal and shared drives to be hosted on new AD-based storage array
October 27, 2008
By Sean O'Malley
The Office of Information Technology (OIT) has begun work to replace its Novell network file storage system with an Active Directory-based solution. The new system, hosted on a massive disk array that was installed in April 2008, will offer improved reliability, greater capacity, and better integration with the university's changing IT infrastructure.
According to chief information officer Brice Bible, the move is part of OIT's continued efforts to modernize and stabilize IT services at the university. "Novell, due to its cost, is not scalable in our environment," Bible said. The new storage solution not only will save money but also will bring OIT closer to its goal of having a single environment for file storage.
To facilitate the move, OIT technicians will visit every Novell user in the coming weeks to move personal data to the new storage system, remove the Novell client from the user's personal computer(s), and join the individual's computer(s) to the university's Active Directory.
Although the process is fairly involved on the technical side, end users should notice little or no difference in the way they access personal and shared network drives after the conversion.
Because desktop computers often are not standardized across or even within individual departments, the time needed to migrate individual computers can vary widely. As a result, scheduling visits in advance can be a challenge. "We have a master schedule," says project lead David Belville, "but it changes, based on how each day's migrations go." To accommodate this need for flexibility, OIT sends out notifications each Thursday only to those departments scheduled for migration in the following week. Individuals within each department then receive 24 hours advance notice of their "OIT house call."
OIT already has moved a number of departments to the new storage solution, including University Communications and Marketing, Honors Tutorial, Diversity, Independent & Distance Learning, Judiciaries, Trisolini Gallery and Career Services.