The Portal Has Landed

The NetWare Management Portal utility in Novells NetWare 5.1 promises Web-based server management, but does it deliver? Drew Bird looks at NMP and finds out just how good a tool it is for NetWare 5.1 server management.

By Drew Bird | Posted Dec 13, 2000
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The NetWare Management Portal utility (NMP) included in Novell's NetWare 5.1 promises Web-based server management, but does it deliver? In this article, we will look at NMP and find out just how good a tool it is for NetWare 5.1 server management.

Loading the Portal

Loading the Portal support on the server is as easy as loading PORTAL.NLM, and unloading it is just as simple. The basic requirements to access the NMP system are a Web browser and the ability to reach the target server. The NMP is accessed by connecting to port 8009 over a secure connection. For example, if your server's IP address were 10.0.0.1, you would connect to NMP by typing:
https://10.0.0.1:8009

Accessing the portal NLM does not require that you be logged in to NetWare or authenticated to the server in any other way, which may seem a little loosebut without authentication, information can only be viewed. To access the full functionality of NMP, you must authenticate by using the Login tab on the main page. Once you are logged in, you can perform actions on the server such as disconnecting users, loading and unloading NetWare Loadable Modules (NLMs), and accessing the server's file system. Only users who have Supervisor rights to the NDS server object have the ability to make changes on the server.

On the main screen (see Figure 1), the first thing that catches your eye is the traffic light server health indicator. It's a simple way of representing the current state of the server, and it lets you know whether any specific problems require further investigation. A green light, shows a healthy server, and an amber or red light indicates trouble ahead. What actually constitutes a symptom worthy of a red light is somewhat unclear; my test server showed an amber during an intentional abend, so I wouldn't want to know what kind of situation would trigger a red! Also included on the main screen is a link to Novell's Internet support site.

Figure 1: The NMP main screen.

CrossLinks

Clicking on the traffic light takes you to the Server Health Monitoring screen, which can also be accessed through the Health Monitors link from the main page. The Server Health Monitoring screen provides a breakdown of the major system areas along with a tag that displays the current state of that component as Good, Suspect, or Bad. From the Server Health Monitoring Screen, as with any other area of the NMP, you can return to the main page by clicking on the Home link in the upper-right corner of the page.

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