WARNING: GroupWise 6.5 Organizations


WARNING for all organizations running GroupWise 6.5 or older. You could be headed for a major failing of your GroupWise message databases. Here is why.

Up to and including GroupWise 6.5, there are only 26 msg databases. The back end database -FLAIM- can only support up to 2GB in 1 database. This means any user db, msg db, etc. will only grow to the size of 2GB and stop. This does not apply to OFFILES (attachments) Well, it will not stop really, it will start back at the beginning and overwrite old messages. This causes potential corruption issues and on the POA you will see a message like: Error 8200 Generic File I/O. Not a good thing. See TID: 7001830

How do you fix this issue? Easy. Just have your users keep their mailboxes clean. Ok, not realistic but unless you upgrade to GroupWise 7 or GroupWise 8, it's your only option.

What's in a GroupWise 6.5 or older userxxx.db? Userxxx.db has 2GB size limit. Only 1 userxxx.db per mailbox. The following are stored in a userxxx.db database:
* Message header information
* Pointers to messages
* Personal groups
* Personal address books
* Rules

What's in a GroupWise 6.5 or older msgxx.db? Msgxx.db has a 2GB size limit. There are 26 msgxx.db's per post office. Messages larger than 2KB are stored as attachments. The following are stored in a msgxx.db database:
* Outgoing messages from local users
* Incoming messages from users in other post offices

For more reading on GroupWise 6.5 database go to:


Here are my Short Term recommendation if you have MSG databases that are close to 2GB in size.

  1. Delete all old disabled/expired accounts

  • Run an Expire/Reduce on the Post Offices for items older than x days, where x is a date in the past say 1826 days. (365 days x 5 years 1 day for Leap Year). You may find this will not help enough and you might have to do more on this step.

  • Run a Reduce Only after the Expire/Reduce to get the databases trimmed down then look at their size.

  • Enlist the aid of end users. Have them delete old emails, Sent Items, Empty Trash, etc. You may even want to ask them to do personal archives. But once you open this door it creates another mess with personal archives everywhere.

  • Implement an Archiving solution like M Archive from Messaging Architects to archive at an enterprise level and then run an Expire on all Post Offices to remove email older than x days, say 365 days and allow users access to enterprised archive email with M Archive.

Here is my Long Term recommendation if you have MSG databases that are close to 2GB in size.

  1. Upgrade to GroupWise 7! Or GroupWise 8! Once you get that first domain -the Primary- upgraded to GroupWise 7/8, the MSG databases will grow in number from 26 to 256. This will not shrink your first 26 MSG databases but any new mail will start using the new MSG databases. You will still have to implement some of the Short Term recommendations to slow/stem the potential failure.

NOTE: This is NOT a flaw in GroupWise. Consider that GroupWise is nearly 20 years old. The original designers did not conceive that we would have disk space sizes or email systems as big as they are today. Novell pro-actively planned for this limitation back in 2004/5 as GroupWise 7 was being developed.

Hope this has helped you be proactive with your GroupWise system. If you find you need help with the Short Term or Long Term recommendations, feel free to look me up at: gregg@hinchmanconsulting.com . I am always available for hire.



How To-Best Practice
Comment List
  •   in reply to MigrationDeletedUser
    I believe that you are correct in your calculations for number of messages. However, remember that all users messages are stored in those 26 message databases. If you have 1000 users that would be 38 users per message database. If each user had 30,000 items then it would reach the 2GB limit. It all depends on the size of the Groupwise system. If you increased to 2000 users that would be 76 users per message database and they would need to have 15000 items each to fill it up.
    Your Groupwise system may not be near this, but I have seen some large systems that had a lot of users and a lot of e-mail because they did not have any policies in place to limit or reduce the amount of e-mail stored. They did implement some changes because the Groupwise Maintenance would take a long time to run.
    AFAIK, OFFILES doesn't just hold attachments but any GroupWise item (body or recipient list) that is larger than 2KB (the largest record size in the FLAIM databases).

    A 2GB database would therefore hold a million items minimum!

    For email messages that's a million emails in each of the 26 message databases, over 50 million emails in each post office.

    For a user databases we're talking a million calendar items, contacts or posted messages in a shared folder. Even if you posted 100 items a day it would take you 27 years to reach that million.