Managers of NetWare networks can now find out why their servers fail and bring them back online faster with software Novell Inc. is testing on the company’s Web site. Dubbed the NetWare ABEND Analysis System, the software determines why a NetWare 4 or 5 server fails or abends (abnormal end). To use the ABEND Analysis System, the user uploads a log file the server keeps called the ABEND.LOG. This file lists information that is helpful in solving server failures, such as the process running at the time of the failure, the most recent entries in the memory stack, the instruction that was last executed and a list of modules running on the server. The ABEND.LOG is analyzed by a Novell database of known causes of abends, and the user is given an answer within seconds. Each new abend incident is added to the database, also known as a knowledge base, to help future customers with their abend situations and increase the system’s effectiveness. Even if network managers did have the skill to diagnose abends properly, it would take several hours, most of which may occur when the server is down. Alternately, IT can call Novell’s technical support to seek an answer that might take days or even weeks. Novell declined to say if there would be a charge for the ABEND Analysis System, which will be available as part of a support package by the end of October. Not surprisingly, some users say Novell should provide the system for free. NetWare ABEND Analysis System is available at http://abend.provo.novell.com.
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