Magic v3.0 - part one
Reviewed by: Jim
by: PowerQuest Corporation, go to the web site
NetWare 3.12 or higher, 16MB RAM, a CDROM and 8MB
of drive space
(Ed Note: Reviewed in 2000. The second part of this review
can be found here)
review will be in two parts. The product comes supporting
both NetWare and NT Server. This is about the NetWare side
of the product.
get too excited anymore about PC and network stuff. I've
hardware and NOSes so long that new stuff
inevitably makes me wonder "So what doesn't work with
this?" I'm not totally jaded. Linux is interesting and
NetWare 5.0 is pretty slick. The last utility that really
got me jumping though was Snapback - that is until I received
the package arrived I thought someone in the Abracadabra
Magic Co's shipping department had goofed. There were all
these magic tricks in the box. The real magic however, was
at the bottom - a CD and two manuals. One manual for NetWare
and one for NT. Since I'm more of a Novell geek I started
with the red book. I've been grinning ever since.
Quest makes a bold statement right on the cover. "Cradle-
to- grave control over your server's data storage." After
my test runs, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Server Magic allows, no, enables you to perform partition
and volume changes quickly that previously required some
intensive downtime. Have you ever been short of space on
your SYS volume and already used up your eight segments?
Ever wanted to add a volume for some task but had no free
space left on the partition? Ever wish you could readjust
your existing volumes size to accommodate another volume
or resize a too small one? Ever wanted to replace your primary
drive with a new one but had no time to reinstall the NOS
and restore the data? Heh, heh, read on.
Installing Server Magic on a NetWare box is dead simple.
If you have 4.x or 3.12, use INSTALL.NLM. Under 5.x use NWCONFIG.
I installed it on both a 4.2 and 5.0 box and it took longer
to get to the install screen than it did to actually install
the product. RAM requirements are fairly modest, and Power
Quest includes a formula for estimating required RAM based
on volume and block size. There are two caveats about volumes
here. One is that Server Magic does not support NSS type
volumes. PQ says it's working with Novell to add this functionality.
The other has to do with using IDE disks on a NetWare server.
PQ makes the suggestion to use ISADISK or NWPA and HAM drivers
instead of IDE.DSK.
You start Server Magic by entering SMAGIC at the console
prompt. PQ recommends unloading all NLMs and logging off
all users before loading the utility. Server Magic must dismount
volumes to do it's work and since most operations require
a reboot, it just makes sense.
The utility only performs two operations, partition and
volume operations. The magic is that each operation has a
fine series of tools for manipulating either a partition
or volume. With the partition operation you can create, copy,
mirror, resize, move, hide and delete NetWare partitions.
The create partition operation allows you to put the new
partition at the beginning or end of available free space
available on the drive. No volumes are created, use NetWare
for that. You can also copy partitions to available free
space. As Power Quest points out, NetWare doesn't tolerate
duplicate volume names so after a copy you are prompted to
hide one or the other dupe partition. This is great for retaining
the original until you're sure the copy is OK. It also allows
you to have multiple versions of NetWare on the same disk.
The Move partition action can move a partition to free
space either on the same disk or on another disk. Talk about
a quick HD upgrade. You will probably spend more time resetting
SCSI IDs and maybe termination than you will making the move.
The partition operation also includes an information option
with nice data on the partition and the physical disk. The
last two partition operations are format and delete. The
standard caveats apply here, so use common sense. One note
on deleting partitions. If the partition contains volume
segments that are part of a multi- segment volume located
on another drive or partition, the entire volume is deleted.
This makes sense, but keep it in mind.
The Volume operations include moving, merging multi-segment
volumes, resizing, information and deletion. There are several
options to moving a volume, the only requirement is sufficient
free space on the target partition. With enough space, you
can move a volume to the left or right in a partition and
tell Server Magic, in the number of megabytes, how far to
move it. If you have other disks and partitions you can also
move a volume to one of those.
The Merge option is very handy. Server Magic makes is easy
to merge any set of adjacent volume segments. There can be
free space between the segments but not another volume's
segment. Using the move and merge options, you can probably
eliminate most volume segments. Resizing gives you the option
of expanding or reducing the size of an existing volume.
To reduce, the volume must have unused space and enlarging
a volume requires available free space on the partition.
You can also change the size to the left or right again dependent
on where the free space is.
The delete volume has the same cautions as stated before.
Server Magic will also create, copy, move and resize non
NetWare partitions. Under NetWare it supports FAT, NTFS and
HPFS partitions. The manual includes in Chapter Five nicely
detailed instructions on replacing a server hard disk and
using Server Magic to assist in upgrading from 4.x to 5.
It also has a pretty good trouble shooting section and good
documentation on contacting technical support.
This is a great utility for anyone managing NetWare servers.
Go get it.
Next time I'll look at the NT side of Server Magic.
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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