How to change the OES CIFS virtual server name

  • 7015948
  • 03-Dec-2014
  • 19-Jan-2015

Environment

OES 10
OES 11
CIFS

Situation

It is not a recommended to have a CIFS virtual server name that matches the NCP server name.

The reason is that this type of configuration can cause confusion when accessing the server via different applications, and protocols.

For example:
When you access the server via the Novell client you will be using the NCP protocol, and therefore will need to use the NCP server name that is associated with the "handler" of the NCP protocol.

When you use a Windows workstation without the Novell client installed to access the very same server, the Windows workstation will be using the smb protocol and will therefore need to talk to the "handler" of the smb protocol on that same server.  In this case that would be the CIFS virtual server.

If the NCP server name and the CIFS virtual server name are the same it becomes confusing as to which server you are accessing.

The default CIFS virtual server naming convention is to take the NCP server name and add an _W to it to indicate that it is the CIFS virtual server (Windows or Linux or Unix ) running on that NCP server.

Additional Details:
Here is an example of one of the ways that an end user can become confused by having the NCP server name and the CIFS server name be the same:
NCP server name:                         NS1
CIFS server name:                         NS1
NSS Volume name:                        VOL1
CIFS Share:                                    Music
Path to CIFS Share named Music   VOL1:\Music

On the Windows workstation with the Novell Client installed, in Windows Explorer do a:
Tools > Map network drive to \\NS1\Music
This will most likely fail and cause confusion.

The reason it will most likely fail is because NS1 is the name of the NCP server AND the CIFS server so there is ambiguity.

Windows is an event driven operating system, and this mapping will cause a network event which can be serviced by either the Microsoft network client or the Novell network client.

These network clients each use a different network protocol to fulfill the network event.  Microsoft uses CIFS which knows about the Music share and Novell uses NCP which does not know about the CIFS share named Music.

A Windows workstation with the Novell Client installed will by default fulfill all network mapping events using the Novell Client as the network provider.  That means that NCP will be used.  NCP does not know about CIFS Shares.  NCP can only map to the root of the volume.  Which means that the same procedure to \\NS1\VOL1 would be successful over NCP at which point navigation to the Music folder could be performed.

On the other hand if the CIFS server name was NS1_W denoting the CIFS server running on the NCP server named NS1, and the mapping was for \\NS1_W\Music this would likely succeed.  The reason is this, as before mentioned the Windows network event would by default be picked up by the Novell Client first and the Novell client would fail to find NS1_W.  That would then allow the Microsoft network client an opportunity to fulfill the event request.  The Microsoft network client would be able to find NS1_W.  Having found the Windows server, over CIFS it would map to the CIFS share.

If you want to see which network provider actually mapped a drive you can open a command prompt and type: net use

Under the column for each drive mapping labeled "Network:" you will either see "Microsoft Windows Network" which means the drive was mapped via CIFS, or you will see "NetWare Services" which means that the drive was mapped by the Novell Client over NCP.

It is best practice AND the default configuration to keep the NCP servers name and the Windows servers name running on that NCP server individually unique.

Resolution

If your NCP server name and your CIFS server name are the same it is recommended that you change the CIFS virtual server name to avoid confusion.

Steps to change the CIFS virtual server name using iManager:
- Open a web browser
- Authenticate to iManager on the server where you intend to change the CIFS virtual server name
- Under Roles and Tasks > File Protocols > CIFS > Server: > Enter or browse to the NCP server where you  wish to make the change > That will pull information from that NCP server into the General tab of this CIFS plug in.
- In the CIFS Virtual Server Name: field enter the name that you want the CIFS virtual server to have.  Anything other than the same name as the NCP server will do.  Keep in mind that for an NCP server named FS1 the recommended/default CIFS virtual server name would be FS1_W.
- Click on the OK button.
- You will be taken to a new dialog that says: "The CIFS properties were successfully update."
- At this point the CIFS virtual server name has been changed in eDir on the NCP servers object.
- You will need to restart CIFS for the change to be read in from eDir and take effect.
- Restart CIFS by running the following command at a Terminal prompt:
rcnovell-cifs restart

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