GroupWise 8 Best Practices

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Contents


Introduction

Novell GroupWise 8 Best Practices   PDF

This guide serves as a set of considerations and guidelines for Novell GroupWise® administrators.

It is a comprehensive instruction set however it is not intended to replace product manuals. Administrators using this guide should consult product documentation, technical information documents (TIDs), and online help for further instruction regarding each of the guidelines offered here.

It is intended that this will be a "living document"; additional content will be added as it becomes available and content will be modified as necessary.

Please click on the links below for further information about each section.

GroupWise 8 Design

This section contains best practice information on the underlying architecture, system design and service design to assist GroupWise system administrators and consultants to deploy new systems or redesign existing system in the most efficient manner.

Throughput, Post Office Sizes, Disk IO, Structure are all explored depending on how it impacts upon a holistic approach to deploying GroupWise.

GroupWise 8 System Administration

GroupWise system administration is all done through ConsoleOne. Please ensure that you only use the latest version of the ConsoleOne snapins with 1.36h. However, client file caching should be disabled on all platforms. This setting can be found in the Protocol section of the System Settings of the Novell Client.

Within the administration section you will find the optimised settings for Agents, Gateways and servers that should be employed to ensure maximum efficiency and operational stability.

GroupWise 8 Security

GroupWise is and has always been the collaboration system of choice for security conscious organisations. With the passing of time, security protocols and deployment methods change. With these changes, keeping up with the latest security configuration becomes ever more important.

This Security section contains best practices for the optimal settings that ensure that a GroupWise system remains secure.

Note that GroupWise WebAccess stores the credentials used at installation in strtweb.ncf (older versions) or in webacc.waa (in sys:system). This is a security risk so in case the credentials are not needed, if WebAcc is in the same domain, then change these to some sonsense values.

GroupWise 8 Good and Bad Habits

This section contains clever working examples, good advice, some warnings, and just plain criticisms. Tips and tricks on extending your GroupWise services beyond the normal scopes are attempted. Hoping to help and prevent gotchas being the main theme .....

GroupWise 8 Moving GroupWise Users

Moving users used to be a problematic task within GroupWise, however since the release of GroupWise 6.5 this process has been dramatically improved. This element specifies in detail what needs to be done prior to moving a user in GroupWise 8 so that your User Move is successful. If you follow these steps then all should go well.

GroupWise 8 Troubleshooting

There are numerous tools available for the management, troubleshooting and reporting available to GroupWise administrators. Some of the most remarkable are listed here.

Many problems can be avoided by ensuring that any new system designs or changes meet best practice, meaning sometimes that a little bit of common sense can go a long way!

However, if you need to start troubleshooting, the GroupWise log files are the best place to start. In most cases, you will need to increase the log level from the default "normal" to debug or verbose. On a busy POA, this can mean large log files scrolling off the screen quicker than you can read them, but that's OK! As long as you have it logging to file, you can go back later and review what went on.

One way to get to salient information in log files quickly is to use GroupWise Monitor. One of the many things GroupWise Monitor does is allow you to aggregate access to the HTTP interfaces for GroupWise agents for your system(s) into a single view. The HTTP interface for the agent will allow the administrator to search on selected log files for a particular string of text (a problem username, for example), the Novell documentation will show you how.


Log file locations (default)

Message Transfer Agent (MTA)

  Linux - /var/log/novell/groupwise/domain.mta/mmddmat.nnn
  NetWare - /<domain>/mslocal
  Windows - /<domain>/mslocal

Post Office Agent (POA)

  Linux - /var/log/novell/groupwise/postoffice.poa/mmddmat.nnn
  NetWare - /<post office>/wpcsout/ofs/mmddmat.nnn
  Windows - /<post office>/wpcsout/ofs/mmddmat.nnn

Internet Agent (GWIA)

  Linux - /var/log/novell/groupwise/domain_name.gwia
  NetWare - /<domain>/wpgate/gwia/000.prc 
  Windows - /<domain>/wpgate/gwia/000.prc 

WebAccess Agent

  Linux - /var/log/novell/groupwise/webacc_name.waa
  NetWare - /<domain>/wpgate/webac80a/xxx.prc/mmddmat.nnn
  Windows - /<domain>/wpgate/webac80a/xxx.prc/mmddmat.nnn


Don't forget that sometimes, log files don't yield anything useful (or there isn't an issue with GroupWise per se). In this case, it may be related to network infrastructure issues (such as DNS lookups, IP address clashes, switch latency etc.). If log files don't bear fruit, consider packet tracing workstation issues with Wireshark. It's free, extremely powerful and can sometimes show up issues you didn't even consider in the troubleshooting process!

Document Viewer on NetWare

The GW document viewer is somewhat problematic on NetWare so a general recommendation is that if you are running WebAccess on Netware, you add /gwdvadisable to the WebAccess config file (webac80a.waa or similar).

Document Indexing on NetWare

The GW document content architecture is somewhat problematic on NetWare so a general recommendation is to add /nodca to the POA config file(s).

Enhancements


To enter a new Enhancement Request, visit the Novell RMS portal. You will need to login with your Novell.com account username and password, and then click the "New" button in the bottom left of the screen.

In the "Request Type" drop down, select "Enhancement request for an existing product" and give the ER a meaningful title (e.g. "Add button in toolbar for language translation") and fill out the other boxes in this screen as appropriate.

In the "scenario" section, please be as descriptive as possible as to the problem, your suggested solution and perhaps most importantly, its perceived benefit. Tick the radio button to define whether or not to be kept updated on the ER status by e-mail. Click "Submit" in the bottom left of the screen and you're done.


GroupWise 8 Active Partners

This page contains an incomplete list of third party application vendors for GroupWise 8

Data Synchronizer Mobility Connector

This is the link to the New Mobility Connector Wiki

Frequently Asked Questions


Some examples are listed here. For more or to add additional material use the section link above.


What is the latest release, and where do I find it?
As of February 2010 the access to updates, other than security patches will be restricted to customers with current maintenance for a product. For example, a patch applicable to GroupWise 6.5, 7 and 8 would be openly accessible, as GroupWise 6.5 has already moved beyond the general support phase of the Novell product life-cycle. If customers cannot access a component they believe they should be entitled to, they will have the option to click on a link to engage in a live chat with a Novell support representativeâ€"or place a phone call â€"to address the issue. The Novell Patch finder site will list all patches released for an application - For GroupWise 8
How many users can I have in a Post Office?
Discussed in the Architecture & Design Section
How do I run ConsoleOne on Linux if I have a Windows Workstation?
You need two applications, PuTTY and XMing - Ensure that you have X11 Forwarding enabled on the Putty session. A more detailed explanation can be found here
What hardware does Novell recommend?
The Design System section discusses this and Virtualisation
How many messages can a post office and domain handle in an hour?
Depends upon your hardware... Discussed here
Why should I deploy GroupWise services on Linux?
Platform options and see the next answer.
How many users can one WebAccess server handle?
In the past where NetWare was prevalent, the limitation placed on a WebAccess system was the number of threads that a NetWare server could host and the number of concurrent users per thread. In the real world this proved to be 2-3 users per thread and 250 threads maximum (?).
Both Apache and Tomcat come from the Linux world and have proven that scalability on Linux is considerably better than NetWare with 100 concurrent users per thread regularly seen in the real world. That would imply that the maximum would be 25,000 per WebAccess server; By that point there may be other factors to consider such as high availability, load balancing and security coming into play. A maximum of 5,000 concurrent users per Agent or Application (Half that if both on the same server) would be a good working number.

GroupWise 8 Virtualization Best Practices

This article focuses on virtualizing GroupWise on VMware ESX (or vSphere). Other hypervisors including Xen will work, but are not the focus of this article. Covered topics include LUNs, VMDKs and a little bit about implementation. Specifically best practices for virtualizing GroupWise on either Open Enterprise Server, or SuSE Linux Enterprise Server.

Planning and Design
Virtual Infrastructure Design
Storage System Design
Operating Systems
Implementation
Build Virtual Machines
Install VMWare Tools
Build GroupWise System
Move Data
Tools and Resources
TSATEST
Novell GroupWise 2012 Installation Documentation.
Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Server Documentation.
Migrating a GroupWise system to a new server.
Gregg Hinchmann - GroupWise consultant.