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 [F] MCPressOnline  / Article Library  / Articles by Publication  / Midrange Computing Magazine  / September 1998  /

Consolidate Your Network with Novell-AS/400 Integration

Merge your AS/400 and NetWare worlds to leverage your network power.
by RICHARD SINN
Published 9/98
Now shipping from MCPress!

e-RPG: Building AS/400 Web Applications with RPG

e-RPG: Building AS/400 Web Applications with RPG

The dream of every RPG programmer has finally come true! Now you can develop fully functional e-business solutions using nothing more than RPG and the Web facilities already included in OS/400.

Network integration is essential in today’s information technology environment. If you are responsible for a network that includes both AS/400s and Novell NetWare servers, you probably want to combine the strengths of AS/400 application and database serving with Novell file and print serving. In addition, you want to enable automatic user profile management to eliminate dual user ID maintenance in different networks and establish basic NetWare server administration from the AS/400. And, most importantly, you want to be able to back up your NetWare server data to AS/400 tape drives using your favorite utilities, such as SBACKUP or Computer Associates’ ARCserve. In this article, I will examine a combined AS/400 product solution that helps you achieve these AS/400 and Novell NetWare integration goals. (For more information on general network integration considerations, see the sidebar, “The Six Critical Areas of Network Integration.”)

A set of IBM AS/400 products—OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare, OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell, Integration Services for IPCS/FSIOP, and the Integrated PC Server hardware—provides the flexibility to choose the appropriate integration level for your network. You can consolidate your servers by running NetWare inside AS/400 on an Integrated PC Server (IPCS) or integrate your existing PC-based NetWare 3.12, 4.10, and IntranetWare servers with your AS/400. Let’s take a look at some of the core components that make up this total AS/400 and Novell network integration solution.

The IPCS and Novell NetWare

The IPCS can be thought of as a specifically designed PC server running on an expansion card inside your AS/400. All the features and power of a regular PC server are available on the IPCS. Most importantly, it improves your control and remote operations, providing a combination of servers for AS/400 applications and NetWare services. The AS/400 IPCS is designed for the AS/400e series and other 64-bit RISC AS/400 models. It

features an Intel Pentium or Pentium Pro processor, and Novell certifies it as an official platform for NetWare servers. With OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare, the IPCS can be loaded as a NetWare server that uses AS/400 disk space (DASD) instead of a PC-based hard drive. Users can load a Novell NetWare 4.1x or IntranetWare server on the IPCS and manage the IPCS by using standard NetWare utilities, such as remote console. From the AS/400 console, users can submit NetWare commands directly to the NetWare servers running on the IPCS. Rebooting the IPCS NetWare servers is also possible with the use of vary on/off commands on the AS/400.

Many companies deploy PC servers by function, service, or department, with each server dedicated and tuned to an individual application such as file, print, or Web serving. With the IPCS, the challenges of operating servers in distributed locations can be addressed. You can consolidate multiple NetWare servers inside an AS/400e series and keep each server logically separate but still house and manage them together in a single physical system. The reliability of the AS/400 can be extended into the network by sharing AS/400 tape drives, CD-ROM drives, and disk resources. Disk space is assigned to the NetWare server from the AS/400; then partitions and volumes are created using standard NetWare utilities.

With the ability to support up to 16 IPCSs depending on the AS/400 model, PC server hardware and operations can be consolidated and managed easily. IPCS operations enable AS/400 series operators to restart and add disk space to remote NetWare servers, allowing skilled IT staffs to be centralized and managed in a single location. Since the IPCSs are considered features of the AS/400 system and are covered by the AS/400 system warranty and maintenance contract, the cost of server maintenance can be cut down.

Apart from being a full-purpose PC server, the IPCS can serve as a dual-purpose adapter in an AS/400 system, providing standard AS/400 communications over SNA, TCP/IP, and IPX. Each IPCS can have a maximum of two LAN adapters, and each adapter can be ordered as Ethernet or Token-Ring. In other words, once there is an IPCS, a LAN adapter card becomes optional.

AS/400 and IPCS Network Protocol Support

Even though Novell is moving to fully support TCP/IP, IPX is still the main communication network protocol in many Novell NetWare networks. Starting from V3R7, AS/400 support for the IPX protocol is built into the OS/400 operating system.

AS/400 IPX command interfaces are provided to fully explore the functionality of native IPX. The AS/400 can be easily set up as an IPX router in a LAN or WAN environment. It eliminates the cost and complexity of dedicated multiprotocol routers in many AS/400 networks. An existing AS/400 network can be used to access and support NetWare servers in remote locations.

Native IPX also provides Novell’s latest routing services options, enabling NetWare Link Services Protocol (NLSP), Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Service Advertising Protocol (SAP). If you have in-house programmers, sockets-based application interfaces are provided to allow them to develop IPX-based applications between the AS/400 and NetWare. In short, your AS/400 seamlessly interoperates with your existing Novell IPX networks, eliminating the cost and complexity of dedicated multiprotocol routers in the network.

Enhanced NetWare Integration

Besides running NetWare on the IPCS with OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare, IBM offers an AS/400 product called OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare that provides higher levels of network integration between the AS/400 and NetWare. This operating system feature provides NetWare services for AS/400 operators and users, linking them to either PC-based or IPCS-based NetWare servers to provide network integration.

The OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare product can be viewed as a client/server application with the AS/400 running as a client accessing Novell network resources. Two Novell programs are shipped with the product (one for NetWare 3.12 servers, and one for NetWare 4.1x servers) to allow NetWare to provide access services for AS/400 systems.

With OS/400 V3R7 and up, this feature supports full resource sharing. AS/400 users and applications not only can access NetWare files and directories through Integrated File System (IFS) support (as shown in Figure 1), but they can also access NetWare printers. With some basic setup, printouts can be sent from an AS/400 output queue to a printer queue managed by a NetWare server.

A mechanism called authentication entry is also provided to map network security from AS/400 user profiles to NetWare user IDs. This feature keeps the integrated network secure by authenticating each AS/400 user in NetWare Directory Services (NDS) or on the NetWare 3.12 server. User profile synchronization is also provided to simplify network administration with user profile and password integration. AS/400 user or group profiles are shadowed to multiple NDS trees and NetWare 3.12 servers. When AS/400 users change their passwords, the change is sent to the NetWare server automatically. There is no need for dual user ID maintenance.

OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare also provides integrated network operations. Administrators can manage NetWare user connections and disk volumes in an Intel-based PC server or IPCS from the AS/400.

With Novell NetWare moving to fully support TCP/IP in future releases, an updated OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare product will also be available to support both IPX and TCP/IP, providing seamless NetWare server upgrades in the integrated network.

Server Backup Functions

Ensuring good server uptime and error recovery are the two most important aspects in providing services to internal or external customers. With OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare and OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare, different levels of error recovery or save/restore operations are available.

High-reliability AS/400 disk drives with RAID-5 and mirroring options can be used to store all the data of the IPCS. Because the data is on the AS/400 instead of the IPCS, a spare IPCS can be used to replace a failed server without reloading the NetWare operating system. And, because the IPCS is physically located inside the AS/400, all the recovery operations can be done from a central location.

With the IPCS and OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare, there are three different methods to save and restore NetWare data, with enough flexibility to custom fit different network setup environments:

• As of OS/400 V3R7, NetWare tape support is provided for OS/400. This allows SBACKUP or ARCserve to save and restore NetWare data (like files and volumes) directly to or from an AS/400 tape device. The only requirement is an IPCS running a NetWare program called AS400TP.HAM on the same AS/400 system as the tape device.

Operators can then save or restore data on local or remote NetWare servers that are IPCS- or PC-based. In addition, if you have the Enhanced Integration product installed, you have the option of saving NDS information as well as NetWare volumes.

• Standard AS/400 SAV and RST CL commands can be used to save and restore storage spaces when the IPCS is varied off. The IPCS storage spaces are AS/400 disk spaces allocated specifically for the NetWare IPCS servers.

• Since an IPCS NetWare server is a NetWare server, the standard way of utilizing a NetWare client with any NetWare allowable save/restore function can be used to save and restore server data using a client media device such as a PC, a CD-ROM, or a hard drive.

With OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare, AS/400 SAV and RST CL commands can also be used to save and restore individual files using the AS/400 IFS. This method will work on either IPCS- or PC-based NetWare servers in real time. Thus, the server (IPCS- or PC-based) can be up and running while the save/restore operation is in progress.

The Big Picture

With the combined features of an IPCS, OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare, OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare, and native IPX support, AS/400 and Novell networks can be easily integrated to address the challenges of operating servers in distributed locations. In general, two levels of network integration can be provided. In both levels, assume that you have remote offices (i.e., branch offices) that use a Novell network for file and print serving. The first level of integration is illustrated in Figure 2. With the installation of OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare, the Novell network and the AS/400 network can be integrated as one (illustrated by the red link). AS/400 operators can access Novell network data and print AS/400 application reports to a remote Novell printer. Basic server administration and save/restore operations can all be done on the AS/400. The two networks work together as one.

To take the level of integration one step further, we can employ the technology available with OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare and the IPCS. As Figure 3 illustrates, an AS/400 with an IPCS can be installed in place of the remote NetWare server. As the IPCS is a specifically designed PC server card, all the power and features of a PC- based NetWare server can be captured and run physically within the AS/400. Thus, aside from resource sharing between networks, single-control point of hardware can also be achieved. A truly integrated network emerges as a result. Last but not least, multiple save/restore options, as mentioned above, become accessible to the operators.

As a result, a truly integrated network emerges. The administrator has a single point of hardware control, with maximum resource sharing, multiple backup choices, and flexible server administration options.

If you are responsible for both a NetWare network and an AS/400 network, then IPCS, OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare, OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare, and native IPX should be the perfect tools to start building an integrated network!

Find It on the Web

IBM and Novell provide official education on the products discussed in this article through RiverHead Training, Inc. For AS/400 education and the Certified AS/400 Integrator for NetWare training information, visit the RiverHead Training Web site at http://www.riverhd.com/. For information about how to get certified as an IBM Certified

Specialist - AS/400 Integrator for Novell NetWare, visit the IBM Professional Certification Program site at http://www.ibm/. com/Education/certify.

Additional information on network integration with AS/400 and NetWare can be found under the AS/400 home page at http://iws.as400.ibm.com/frameset/netware.htm.

References

ADSM V2 Novell NetWare Backup-Archive Client (SH26-4055-01) OS/400 Integration for Novell NetWare V4R2 (GC41-5085-01) OS/400 Integrating AS/400 with Novell NetWare V4R1 (SC41-5124-00)

Figure 1: OS/400 Enhanced Integration for Novell NetWare provides access to NetWare data through AS/400 IFS support

Consolidate_Your_Network_with_Novell-AS-400_Integration05-00.png 900x708

Figure 2: Enhanced Integration allows integration of Novell and AS/400 networks

Consolidate_Your_Network_with_Novell-AS-400_Integration06-00.png 900x777

Consolidate_Your_Network_with_Novell-AS-400_Integration07-00.png 900x777

Figure 3: An AS/400 with an IPCS can be installed in place of an Intel-based NetWare server

The Six Critical Areas of Network Integration

If you’re an IT manager trying to integrate two different network servers—such as an AS/400 and Novell NetWare—it can become very confusing trying to determine how these pieces fit together. In general, however, the following critical areas should always be considered when doing network integration.

Software—Before and after the network integration, IT staffs should make sure that most (or all) of the software is portable. In other words, there should not be any major rewrites or upgrades in existing software. Some of the critical production software, such as backup utilities, should be available in the process of network integration.

Hardware—If the network integration requires migration of hardware platforms, you must ensure that the hardware is inexpensive, accessible, performance-compatible, and stable. Most importantly, the hardware platforms should be easily controllable within the business organization. Think about all the Novell PC servers you have in different departments and locations. Maintaining and managing all the hardware in a centralized location is not an easy task.

Staffing—A common problem in business organizations is different groups of IT staffs for different networks. You might have a group of PC LAN staffs for Novell networking and another group for your AS/400. And, of course, they may not talk to each other very much. A network integration solution should bring these two groups of people together and leverage each group’s technical skills. In the case of network

integration, a certain amount of retraining is unavoidable. You must ensure that some form of education is available for your IT staffs.

Network—Network communication protocols are the backbone of a network. In the case of Novell NetWare and the AS/400, the protocols are IPX and TCP/IP. When doing network integration, you have to make sure that different network communication protocols can coexist. Ideally, no protocol conversion gateway should be needed to achieve network integration. The main goals of network integration are resource sharing and better resource management. A protocol gateway (either hardware or software) becomes an overhead item in an integrated network.

Application Development Environment (ADE)—After network integration, shared resources, such as data and hardware (including printer devices), should be available to application programmers as well as end users. The ability to access any data file in the Novell LAN from the AS/400 opens up a whole new world of software possibilities within the business organization. For example, AS/400 application programmers can now collect data from a Novell PC LAN, use the AS/400 to do core processing, and then remotely print the reports back to a printer in the Novell PC LAN. More powerful applications can be built after the network is integrated.

Administration—A good network integration solution should provide user profile management and network server operations. IT staffs should be able to use one user ID for both the AS/400 and the Novell Network. A single integrated network with the same look and feel should be presented to users without the hassles of dual-user ID maintenance and administration. Critical operations such as backup and storage expansion should also be centralized for ease of administration.

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