Drive Mappings with BorderManager Client-to-site VPN without Login Scripts



By: laurabuckley

February 27, 2008 9:04 am

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Problem

We make extensive use of BorderManager client-to-site VPN. The problem is drive mappings. It’s difficult to establish drive mappings when the external computer does not have the Novell Client32 on it; therefore, the benefits of login scripts can’t be used to our advantage.

Many people have suggested iFolder. However, the data that is required in this specific instance does not suit an iFolder installation. The data is deleted every night, and a complete new copy is created from extracts from the ERP system. Because the file creation time stamp is never preserved, using iFolder would mean that all of the data would be required to sync to hundreds of external computers every day, as a delta sync would not take place! Hey, this is Africa, and we are talking dial-up!

I hear you cry “NetStorage” … yes, that’s where we will be moving to once we have redesigned our DMZ and have NAM and a portal in place. In there interim, management wants a drive mapping that can be accessed as if they were local on our network. Having said that, the drive mapping must only be established after the VPN has been established. Using a “permanent” Microsoft drive mapping didn’t suit the users, as it gives them an error when they turn their PC’s on. See the note above about not having the Novell Client and the benefit of login scripts.

Solution

To overcome this little challenge I wrote an incredibly simple batch file:

ECHO OFF
ECHO *****************************************
ECHO **** ****
ECHO **** Mapping G: drive to “Location” ****
ECHO **** ****
ECHO *****************************************
net use G: \\10.11.0.176\vol1\prod\

You can add as many drive mappings as you require.

The “ECHO” is so that the end users get a little DOS-like screen with a message telling them what’s happening – remember that this is Africa on dial-up so it can take as long as 30 – 45 seconds for the drive mapping to be established.

The Novell BorderManager client allows you to automatically execute an .exe once the VPN tunnel has been established. To this end I converted the batch file into a. exe file using bat-to-exe-convertor. Then you just configure the Novell BorderManager client to run this .exe when the tunnel is established.

See the graphic below on the configuration of the BorderManager client:

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Disclaimer: As with everything else at NetIQ Cool Solutions, this content is definitely not supported by NetIQ, so Customer Support will not be able to help you if it has any adverse effect on your environment.  It just worked for at least one person, and perhaps it will be useful for you too.  Be sure to test in a non-production environment.

2 Comments

  1. By:lhaeger

    instead of converting to exe, you could as well execute “cmd.exe /c mybatch.bat”

  2. By:laurabuckley

    …. the drive mappings are set to non-persistent.

    net use /persistent:no

    This can also be set directly in the registry.

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