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Degrees's Journal: Minor work milestone - one less GroupWise server 11

Journal by Degrees

Today, my quantity of GroupWise servers went from ten to nine. And with that, my GroupWise system is running 100% on SuSE Linux. We powered off our last NetWare GroupWise server.

It took a while to get to this point. I've been 90% on Linux for two years now. But our old anti-virus gateway ran on NetWare only, and moving people to the new anti-virus (plus anti-spam!) gateway was never highest on the priority list. Last Friday, we flipped the switch, and everyone goes through the new system.

You may recall that I'm in an organization that is merging with another. Likely at some point, I'll be the GroupWise admin for their boxen too. They have 20 GW servers on NetWare. That conversion will be a nice big fat project to look forward to (assuming I don't get moved to something else).

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Minor work milestone - one less GroupWise server

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  • I do envy you that; the Groupwise cluster I use is still all-Netware, with the spam filtering done on Solaris. On the bright side, $200k later the 15 servers are all on one giant RAID 10 volume on the SAN, rather than one giant RAID 5. It now works at a reasonable speed most of the time, but still provides feeble amounts of space (300Mb per user, compared to the gigabytes being given away free by webmail providers now!), lousy IMAP service and pretty basic webmail. Our 15,000 users may not be an easy setup,

    • by Degrees (220395)

      Well, 15,000 users over 15 servers is 1,000 users per server. That's pretty good. 300 MB per user * 15,000 users is 4.5 Terabytes. On cheap storage, that's nothing, but on expensive storage, that would be hard. We have Xiotech here, which is expensive (but works great).

      A new facet of my job is e-discovery - I'm having to cough up the email data due to lawsuits. I had heard (at a conference in January) that email compliance and e-discovery in the university setting is truly messed up. Privacy laws keep emai

      • by Cyberdyne (104305) *

        Fortunately, the 300 Mb is the quota limit (for staff - students get 40 or 50 IIRC), not the average size; actual storage used is a little short of 1 Tb. The storage is Sun/StorageTek, formerly RAID 5 (single FC loop), now RAID 10 (two FC loops).

        The scary thing here is that the $200k cost is not the total system cost. It's not even the total hardware cost. It's the disk cost, for adding a bunch of 15kRPM FC drives to the existing disk array.

        As far as I'm aware, we haven't had to deal with any sort of e-disc

        • by Degrees (220395)

          Yes, FibreChannel drives are awfully expensive. I don't know if it qualifies as ridiculous or not, but it's bad. We just did a $210,000 SAN upgrade, but at least we got 30 TB for it. A different recent upgrade was twenty uber-powerful blades, that ought to do 2-4 virtual machines each. So that 30 TB is going to be carved up between 40-70 new servers (that will let us age out our gear).

          My brother who works at a community college in Oregon just placed an order for 40 TB, and it only cost him $80,000. I don't

          • by Cyberdyne (104305) *

            My email archiving vendor specifically told us "don't put it on expensive disk". People just don't access their archives that much. For their backup product, they even say use the most economical standalone server with the largest chunk of disk you can get - and old box you retired from a previous project is fine.
            So my archive server has 2 TB of SATA disk. I'm hoping that's enough disk space for the next three - four years.

            *shudder* You just reminded me, we now have an "archiving project" underway, to mak

            • by Degrees (220395)

              One GroupWise add-on vendor, Silverdane, at BrainShare showed off the ability to add "stubbing" to GroupWise. The idea is that the pointer to a message can be replaced with a pointer to a message in an archive ("Any problem in computer science can be solved with another layer of indirection").

              It was a good enough of an idea, that Novell is adding it to GroupWise 8 (Bonsai).

              So your project of implementing a read-only archive should get a whole lot easier with GW 8. Of course, you'll still need to pick from o

  • But we never could find a BES (blackberry) connector that passed our tests, are you supporting blackberries?
    • by Degrees (220395)

      Yes we are. But the BES runs on a Windows server. That I have heard, RIM has no plans to re-write it to run on Linux. I've got about 150 BlackBerry users. The BES doesn't support more than one address book. That's my biggest problem with it. I love the BB as a lean mean email machine.

      There is some sort of special deal, where if you buy GroupWise, you get CALS for a BES server and five BES users for free. If you have a lot of BlackBerrys in place, your dealer ought to be able to get RIM to give you the serve

      • by illumin8 (148082)

        And for whatever reason, the iPhone isn't GroupWise compatible. Of course, it's the hot new thing right now, and there is much wailing and gnashing of teeth in the GroupWise community. Novell isn't going to do native support for the iPhone. Notify Technologies will have a GroupWise client for the iPhone real soon now (in "August", oh wait, that's now). Apple was happy to give Microsoft early access to their SDK, but everyone else was told to kick rocks.

        I would say that's more of a Novell problem, to be hone

        • by Degrees (220395)

          Yeah, I don't know what the deal is. I heard from some people at Novell that they were excluded from access to the SDK - Apple said "You'll get it when it's ready". But then a developer version of iPhone 3G gets out, and it has a working MS Exchange connector. Novell asks WTF? and gets a story about how Microsoft paid Apple (and provided developers) to have the Exchange connector in there on launch day. Then Novell management recants THAT story, and it's an all confused mess.

          I have no idea of what the real

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