This month's newsletter will give you information on Netware 6 and some backup problems you would like to hide.
A Microsoft competitor returns!
Novell's marketing has never been the greatest. The latest had me a bit puzzled. "One Net" "The power to change", etc. I finally get it. Novell wants to make your network, the Internet, etc. work together in a user-friendly way so we can do what we want to do. As an example, wouldn't it be great to have "My Documents" folder accessible from anywhere? Netware 6 has a feature called IFolder that does this, safely and securely. Your IFolder is created on a server, and can be accessed securely through a Java-enabled web browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc.) or desktop client. Any changes are automatically updated to all locations This sounds great, but what if you are on a beach with your notebook PC and don't have a 'net connection? Easy enough... the minor wording correction to the 40 megabyte presentation will be updated the next time you connect. "That's great, but I have a hot dinner date in 1/2 hour and a 14.4 modem connection in the motel. I can't wait hours to update that file." Well, Novell rewards its' programmers for writing fast, efficient, and solid code. They also make them use it on their computers BEFORE it goes to market. Your update will be fast. IFolder only sends the few changed bits, not the whole file. You'll make make the date without breaking a sweat. There are many new and USEFUL features... easier printing, even via the Internet. Easier server management. Better storage utilization options. etc. Check out Netware 6 at http://www.novell.com/netware6 for the full version or for small business, browse to http://www.novell.com/smallbiz . Try IFolder for yourself for a limited time at http://ifolderdemo.novell.com/ . Call or email me if you have any questions.
System backup challenges!
Hard drives are getting bigger every day. Keeping data safe seems fairly easy. That Zip drive holds most of your documents. Hey, the CD burner even can grab the picture files from the digital camera. If my hard drive crashes, I'll have the important stuff, anyway. I can just reload the software and be up and running in no time. Wishful thinking. When was the last time you did a Windows reload? Did everything work? It is painful to find Windows installed the wrong video card driver, getting the Internet set up again, downloading the driver to get the sound working. (The lost address book hurts,too.) Now where did the driver disks for the HP All-in-One box go? I'll just download 'em. Oops... the download doesn't include the handy bundled optical character recognition software. You get the picture. And it isn't pretty. Go-Back helps... but if the hard drive dies, likely so does "Go-Back". I know... hard drives are cheap. I'll add a second hard drive and just copy everything to it. (oops- open files, hidden files, Windows registry, did I really get everything? And how do I restore it? Some things won't copy back.) I know... I'll use Microsoft backup to back up my 8 gig of Win '95 stuff to the new 40 gig drive. What??? "Insert next tape" ???? I'm backing up to a FILE !!! On a hard drive!!! And I'm not even 1/2 done! I'll upgrade to '98 and see what happens. Almost there... it's going to work... "Insert next tape" NOT AGAIN!!! Now what??? Both Windows '95 and '98 backups seem to have a destination backup size limitation. Unless you want to break down your backups into smaller pieces, you'll have trouble.
How can we deal with this backup problem?
1) Keep system disks, recovery disks, driver disks, etc.organized
2) Back up important items frequently
3) Get a CDRW drive and use its' backup software. Plan a day and take the 7 or 8 CDR disks and burn a complete backup of your 10 gigs of data on your C: drive. Make the recovery floppies too! If you need backup software, a great deal is Click 'n-Burn. Recently available at Sam's for $49.95, it has a $20 competitive rebate and includes Veritas "Simple Backup" which by itself usually costs at least $29.95.
Tape drives are too expensive and finicky for home PCs. I recommend them highly for business server use where data needs to be recovered quickly.
Business users- have you tested your backup? Do you have a recovery plan?
A lost drive in a Novell server without a complete (not just data) backup means:
Replacing the drive
Reinstalling Netware- you do have the original disks and licenses, don't you? How about drivers?
Recreating users and groups, resetting rights, or possibly merging the server into an existing tree?
How does AT LEAST a day's worth of downtime sound? What is your business worth?
Ask me what my recommendations are. I'd rather prevent disasters than have the frustration everyone experiences when one happens.
That's it for this month... if you have a topic you would like me to discuss, just email me!
Until next time... Happy Computing !
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