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Problem monitoring available disk space with Remote Manager

I'm trying to use Remote Manager to view trends in available disk space on a Netware 6 file server. I read that the negative numbers are a cosmetic problem- just ignore the negative sign. But beyond that I really can't make any sense of the graphs I'm getting. For example, over the past month, available space (observed daily by other means) has varied up and down by several G. Just in the last few days it has gone from 17.6 to 17.1 to 14.5 to 12.7. When I ask for a graph of the past week's activity however, I get a graph of G vs time in 1 hour samples that has a straight line across at -1.470428946E9 G. (Actual disk space at the time the graph was taken was 12.5G.) When I ask for a plot of the last month's activity I get an even more bizarre plot with the same flat line at the same level except for a single day dip far into (unlabeled) positive territory. (I have a jpg of this last plt but don't know how to attach it.)

On the Server Health Monitoring screen of Remote Manager, Available Disk Space shows-17,592,183,918,811MB. I haven' kept a separate record of it but it seems to always have approximately this number- only the last few digits varying- which I suppose makes some kind of sense as our total capacity is around 245G. But the actual numbers are confusing to me.

Can anyone tell me how to interpret these strange graphs and figures.
Thanks for any help.
Anne Marshall
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andem
Asked:
andem
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2 Solutions
 
PsiCopCommented:
NetWare v6.0 or v6.5? Any Support Packs on that?

If the server is hosting filesystems for which Compression has been enabled, then (by default) NetWare will scan its mounted Volumes each night, looking for any files that meet the Compression criteria (by default, as best I recall, the criteria is that the file hasn't been accessed for 2 weeks, and that compression will save at least 14% disk space). If older files are constantly being Compressed, this could explain the up-n-down disk space usage stats.

Another possibility, if (I can't recall how NoRM works in this respect) there are a lot of file deletions going on, the changes could reflect routine Purges of deleted files.

245 GB.... is that all on one Volume? Is that NSS or Traditional/FAT?
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andemAuthor Commented:
The 245 GB is almost all one volume- There are a couple of other very small volumes. It is NSS file system. The things you mentioned are all reasonable except that the extent of the up and down is greater than the actual volume size. And that doesn't explain the spans that indicate no change when I know there were variations of several GB between days. That is why I wish I could attach the file showing the graph.

I had asked my rep at the company that 'manages' (and I use ther term loosely) our network about this and he had responded by telling me to ignore the negative sign and then basically by telling me not to use Remote Manager- instead just to look at the available space each day via Windows and record it for myself. (Which would work but ...) After that answer I posted this question. Today I spoke with him again and he finally agreed that RM is not providing accurate information at all. He told me that when he added a new drive to the volume several months ago that resulted in a 'segmented' volume and he thought that perhaps that was why Remote Manager is delivering inaccurate results. He did not however, suggest a way to fix what was obviously a misconfiguration by him in the first place.

Sorry for delivering information about the problem piecemeal but that is how I've gotten it. The question (if my rep is right) now appears to be, what does one need to do after adding drive space to a volume (--> a segmented volume) to make Remote Manager accurately report available drive space.
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PsiCopCommented:
Hmmm.....has the server been rebooted or NoRM unloaded/reloaded since the Volume was expanded?
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andemAuthor Commented:
Yes, it has been rebooted more than once since then. That was done last July and we had an eventful hurricane season after that! (No damage to the servers but extensive periods without power.) Additionally, we had another problem in the meantime with a battery on a scsi raid controller card that required a couple of reboots.
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ShineOnCommented:
Just an FYI, I have NetWare 6.0 SP5 (plus assorted post-SP5 patches) and run volume reports via NoRM quite frequently, and do not have any negative numbers issues like you're reporting - and my main pool is around the size you're talking about on more than one server.

We still don't know what SP you're on, or had confirmed whether it's 6.0 or 6.5... That has a great deal of bearing on this issue.  Enter "version" on the server console (colon prompt) without the quotes, and let us know what it says.

Also, what version of NSS is running - enter "M NSS*" (without the quotes) on the server console.

I wouldn't necessarily trust Windoze Exploder to give you an accurate picture of space utilization, either.  I'd fix the problem you're having, so you get accurate results from NoRM.  I agree with your assessment of your "management" company, if they accept an obvious bug that has likely been addressed.  I'd be concerned further about whether you have other, hidden issues if they don't seem to care about this.
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andemAuthor Commented:
Sorry, here's the version: Novell NetWare 6  Server Version 5.60.05.
NSS:  Build 666 MP, Version 3.05, May-10-04
I remain concerned about hidden issues and not so hidden issues and feel certain that things are not running as efficiently as possible. However, as they have 'managed' the network for 12 years and I was promoted last June to this position with almost no background in networking, my boss told me I had to 'play nice' and let them have their way.  I asked that he get an independent network audit done but got no answer. Since then, I just try to figure out how to work in spite of them.
By the way, when I first asked for a way to monitor available disk space trends over time with Netware, I was told that Netware didn't provide a way to do that. That was an absurdity on the face of it so I searched it out and that is when I found this mess.
Thanks for your help as always.
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ShineOnCommented:
This is probably your issue: http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?10074366.htm

I don't have this problem because I 1) don't have compression enabled and 2) don't have user space restrictions set.

If that scenario applies to you, then the fix in the TID should help you.  Even though you're about as current as you can get, so the bug that caused the bogus stats is fixed, the bogus stats are still hanging around in NSS, and the fix in the TID should force a recalculation, giving you realistic numbers for your trend graphs and such.
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andemAuthor Commented:
I provided your suggestion to my network support guy and was told flatly that it doesn't apply to this case since we have no user space restrictions and are running SP5 where the bug is fixed. He now says that if I insist on having this function availble (which he continues to indicate is an absurd request), that they will need to do 'maintainence on the volume' which he suspects won't fix it, and that he would then have to consult with Novell where we may or not be able to get a fix. His bottom line is that it is going to cost us a lot of money to get this fixed and I'm silly for wanting it. So I guess that is where I'm at since I don't have authorization to do anything to the servers without their permission. Thanks so much for your support which I always depend on to keep myself sane.
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ShineOnCommented:
<rant>

Dang, they're idiots.  It's a simple procedure, spelled out clearly in the TID, and if they can't see their way to do it, they should be gone.  I would not tolerate such a response, and I'd hope your PHB would see that and do something about it.

It's not "maintenance on the volume."  It's simply turning off user the user space restrictions setting, and then turning it back on.  It won't hurt anything.  It's not a pool rebuild or anything like that that could result in data loss.  It's just resetting some stats.  Geez.

Note to the morons: just because user space restrictions is turned on for a volume, does not mean that you're using use space restrictions.  It only applies restrictions if you set them.  Maybe it's not turned on now - but maybe it was turned on when the server was at SP2, and the stats never reset after the fix was applied with a later SP.

Message to the PHB: If issuing two simple NSS commands is too hard for them, they're useless as a wart on a dog's ass, IMHO, and if he's worried about them charging an hour's labor for a one minute operation, he should let you do it.

</rant>
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andemAuthor Commented:
Sorry I spread my own frustration about. I agree with you entirely but figuratively my hands are bound AND my mouth is gagged. I was so pleased to get this job thinking that we could finally get some improvements in place but, frankly, now all the pleasure is gone from it and I have little ambition to even learn more as it just frustrates me more when I do. I just hoped (Wasn't it Einstein who said to keep expecting a different result from repeating the same procedure?) that if I had something to actually suggest to them, they might act on it. Surreal is the only word to describe my work environment here. And the crazy part is that I've worked here for 8 years. The partners that promoted me KNEW that I have never been one to float along satisfied with the status quo yet they seem to have expected me to do just that (as the person before me did). Oh well.
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