Neat reporting tricks

I've played around with the stuff on _admin a few times in the past, but not seriously since the NW65 update. And I have to say that they've really improved things. You can extract a lot of information from there.

All this data comes from the _ADMIN directory that all Netware servers have if NSS is running. This is where more an more OS and filesystem meta-data is being stashed. NW5 (or was it 5.1?) introduced NSS and the _ADMIN directory, and not much was in there back then. NW6 had more interesting data, and NW65 has even more detailed data. This behaves sort of like the /proc filesystem on linux, but not quite.

The thing that grabbed my attention most recently is the per-volume NSS data. The path of:

Gives you six files that hold meta-data for that volume.
DirInfo.xmlDirectory quota information
FileEvents.xmlNot quite sure
ModifiedFilesList.xmlIf you've turned on the MFL for your volume, this file keeps that list
TrusteeInfo.xmlThe list of all trustees on a volume. Useful!
UserInfo.xmlPer-user disk-quota and disk usages, if user-quotas are turned on
VolumeInfo.xmlMisc statistics for the volume

Each of those files is in reality a pre-built query that executes when you open the file and read the contents. Novell calls this the Virtual File Services.

It was the DirInfo.xml file that got me. We use directory quotas to manage disk-space, so on volumes like user home-directory volumes all root-level directories have a quota on it. It gives output like this:


Which, as you can see, can be quite useful. Especially if we grab it once a day, throw it in a database, and track how each directory grows over time. Very useful indeed.