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Going multiprocessor

Jun 09, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

Is it possible to add a second processor to an existing Novell 6 server on a software level, or must it be done only at OS installation?

– Via the Internet

Yes, it is possible. As with any change to the server, I would strongly suggest that you have at least one, or preferably two, full backups of the server. This may seem like overkill, but if you have a problem with starting the server after adding the second processor, you might have to restore some files if something was damaged during start-up or after the server had been running for a while.

Make sure you get a CPU from the server vendor that is specifically designated as the secondary processor. I have run across some servers that require a slightly different processor chip to be used when adding a CPU to a server that already has one or more in it.

Once you have the chip installed and restart the server, go into nwconfig to enable multiprocessor support. You want to select Multi CPU options and select the platform support module specific for the system you’re using. This is another area where the server vendor will be able to tell you which module to use, and more importantly, provide you with a newer Platform Support Module (PSM) file if one is available.

After this is done, you should restart the server to get the PSM file loaded in the order it needs.

To ensure you get the desired results, you need to do some checking before installing the second processor. Keep in mind that the NetWare Loadable Modules (NLM) on the server have to be written to understand multi-CPU operation in order for you to get full benefit from adding a second processor.

Check with the vendor of NLMs you’re running on the server to see if they can operate in this configuration and if any changes to their config is necessary. If the NLMs don’t support multiprocessor operation or you’re just using the stock Novell NLMs, you may find that you get better results from either just upgrading the main processor to a faster speed and/or adding additional memory to the server.