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HQ users going back and forth to jobsite - alias objects and drive mappings

Posted on 2007-03-22
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Netware 6.5. SP5 environment, OUs broken down by geographical location.  We have a large jobsite that is joining the WAN and will have a local Netware server, in a separate OU.  The users that are going to the jobsite will bounce back and forth between the jobsite and other locations (OUs).  Instead of creating multiple user objects for a user, it seems an alias object in the jobsite OU may be the way to go to simplify the password issue.  When using the alias object, what is the best way to control login scripts so that the headquarter scripts don't run, but rather the scripts written on the jobsite OU?  Perhaps a combination of detecting which subnet the user is logging in on?  While at the jobsite, the user should map the local server.  When back at HQ, map their traditional server.  The user will manually change their context as needed, no problem there.  What's the best way to accomplish this?  Thanks!
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Question by:rvthost
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by:ShineOn
ID: 18775031
First off, if the other site is going to be in the same tree, but in another OU, it would really be silly to create another user object...  Not only would you be needlessly consuming multiple user licenses for the same user (eDir/NetWare is licensed per active user object) they would also either lose access to their other stuff or you'd create additional administrative overhead replicating their rights between the two (or more) user objects.

There are many ways to do this, and some of it depends on how your tree is structured, how your resources get allocated and how these users connect to the different sites - mobile (carry a laptop) or roaming (log in wherever on a local PC already on-site.)  Another factor to consider is whether or not you use  ZENworks.

Aliases might help but not the way you think.  An alias object is simply a pointer to the "real" object in another container.  If the "real" object has a login script defined to it, that login script will run.  If you don't use a profile login script, the alias object's container login script should run.

Would you want to have separate home directories that these roaming users would have to keep track of themselves?  Are there any resources at the home site they'd need access to while at the jobsite?  All that needs to be considered.

How are your login scripts done?
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by:rvthost
ID: 18775073
For the most part, the users at the jobsite would not need to access resources back at the home site.  Actual user home directories are not much of an issue; the data in question is all in a shared location since it contains job related info.  So I guess the objective is to minimize anything that would force the user to cross the WAN link.  

Most of the login scripts are done at the container level, mapping to a specific server "shared" folder.  We do have Zenworks, no roaming profiles.  Majority of these jobsite users will be laptop users.  I'm certainly open to any best practice suggestions.  
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ShineOn earned 500 total points
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Laptop users.  OK.

Does each location have its own DHCP server?  If so, you can push various info including context via DHCP, so the user won't even have to choose a context - just log in.

Go with the alias object idea.  They should get the login script of the container for the context they're logging in to, IIRC, while 1) saving the overhead of maintaining 2 user objects and 2) saving you a user object license.

With ZEN, you can also set up site-specific applications, so if you're doing any application serving via ZEN, you could have each site's local server service the apps for that location, further reducing wan traversal.

The user licenses for the roaming users should be placed at the parent OU/root, and the WAN site server(s) should have a read/write replica of the [Root] partition, because license searches do not tree-walk, they only search upward.

Note: speaking of licenses - make sure your user licenses are not server-associated.  Only server licenses should be associated to servers.  If you assign user licenses to servers, you force the NW6.x licenses into a NW5.x licensing model - in order to connect to/access another server, they have to grab another user license.  Just some free advice that occurred to me as a random thought when thinking about this.
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by:rvthost
ID: 18778739
Great idea on the DHCP with the Context option, didn't know we could do that :)  Yes, the Netware box will be providing DHCP for its local subnet.  

Zen is no problem, already accounted for that.  And our user licenses are good to go.  Thanks for the advice!
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