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Novell NetWare File System

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The NetWare filing system consists of servers with storage systems that have one or more volumes of information. The first volume on a server is called SYS. Additional volumes can be assigned a name of choice, such as VOL1, VOL2, and so on. Each volume has its own directory structure.

The way you reference a server, its volumes, and the directories of a volume is illustrated next. For example, the following refers to a file called BUDGET.XLS in the BUDGDOCS directory on the APPS volume of the ACCTG server:

Illustration (see book)

A NetWare volume is the highest level of storage in the NetWare filing system. It is a physical amount of hard disk storage space. You can expand a volume at any time by adding more physical disk space and making it a part of any existing volume. Volumes appear as objects in the NDS (Novell Directory Services) directory tree, so they are easy to locate by administrators and users from anywhere on the network. A NetWare 4.11 server supports up to 64 volumes.

The NetWare UFS (Universal File System) provides many performance-enhancing features as described here:

  • Elevator seeking    Prioritizes incoming read requests according to how they can best be accessed by the read head in relation to its current location

  • File caching    Minimizes the number of times the disk is accessed by holding commonly accessed information in memory

  • Background writes    Handles disk writes separately from disk reads so that data is written to disk when disk requests from users have minimized

  • Overlapped seeks    Improves read performance if two or more hard disks are connected to their own controller (disk channel) by allowing NetWare to access each controller simultaneously

  • Turbo FAT    Indexes the file allocation tables of files over 2MB so that the locations of their segments are immediately available

  • File compression    Increases disk space by up to 63 percent by compressing files as a background process

  • Block suballocation    Maximizes disk space by allocating partial disk blocks to small files

NetWare also includes several important features that ensure the survivability and quick recovery of data on servers, as described here:

  • Read-after-write verification    Verifies writes by reading every write after it is written.

  • Duplicate directories    Provides a backup of the directory structure by duplicating it on disk.

  • Duplicate FAT    Provides a backup of the file allocation table by duplicating it on disk.

  • Hot Fix    Detects and corrects disk defects by automatically marking potentially bad sectors as unwritable.

  • TTS (Transaction Tracking System)    Protects files from incomplete writes. If a record in a database is being altered and the server goes down, incomplete writes are backed out.

  • SFT (System Fault Tolerance)    Provides redundancy in hardware by allowing administrators to duplicate disk controllers and mirror hard drives.

Copyright (c) 2001 Tom Sheldon and Big Sur Multimedia.
All rights reserved under Pan American and International copyright conventions.