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regischapman Respected Contributor.
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Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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On another thread,

https://community.microfocus.com/t5/GroupWise-User-Discussions/Problems-Upgrading-GW-Mobile-server-to-SLES-12/m-p/2693076#M83991

I went through a protracted process of discovering just how long this inherited infrastructure has been neglected, and now I'm just thinking it would be good to get your input on how to manage the upgrades on multiple servers and three different email domain contexts so I can run all of my GW services and then have a place where I switch to the upgraded 18.1 versions for all of them.

GWAVA, GWIA, CalDAV, Webacc, Teamworks, Reload and Retain.

They are all running SLES 11.4 and in one case SLES 10.

I'd like to just spin up SLES 12 versions of all these running GW 18.x, whatever is the latest and migrate the data over.

I've also just discovered that we have been running Groupwise and LDAP separately from a user perspective. I don't know if this has changed much over the lifespan of GW, but I'd like to know that as well.

Any tips about this?

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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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@regischapman wrote:

We have mostly eDirectory 8.8 (again, multiple servers on Netware) here, although we made some half-hearted attempts to get to AD at different points, so we ALSO have dsfw (old).


You keep mentioning SLES in your posts yet you have NetWare servers running eDirectory. Will you be installing new OES servers?

I ask because:

  • OES has dependencies on specific versions of SLES.
  • eDirectory is not compatible with btrfs so the OES install doesn't use btrfs, something you will have to deal with when installing GroupWise on SLES.
  • If all your servers are running the same OS and version they may be easier to manage.

Will GroupWise still use eDirectory or will you be running GroupWise on a pure SLES server with no AD/eDirectory?

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Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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I have not used Teamworks or Retain so I can't speak to those.

I assume by GWAVA you mean the spam filter?  If so, Micro Focus is planning to release a new version of that based on their common appliance model in the near future.  So I would just wait for that.  See https://community.microfocus.com/t5/SMG-User-Discussions/Update-Ubuntu/m-p/2685836#M131

For GroupWise/GWIA/CalDav, it might be easier to spin up a new server(s) and copy your data over to it.  There are methods to do this with minimal downtime.  There are discussions about this here in the forum.

Reload is a fairly simple setup, so you could spin up new servers for those and point them to the new GroupWise servers.  Keep your old Reload servers around for however long you need access to those backups.

Not sure what you are asking regarding LDAP, you'll need to be more specific.

Read the docs!  You need to have a good understanding of what you are doing.

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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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As they say, the devil is in the details and so far you are providing very few.

Some of us here have completed various types of migrations and we would be happy to offer you some suggestions and steer you in the right direction. To begin, perhaps you could identify for us:

  • Each of your servers, physical or virtual (which hypervisor?)
  • The OS, version, and patch level they are running
  • The version and patch level of GroupWise they are running
  • The GroupWise components each is running
  • Are you using eDirectory or AD?

It would be helpful to know the approximate size of your post office(s).

You may find it useful to review this article I wrote:

GroupWise Migrations – A Better Way

Do you want to do any consolidation or configuration changes?

What do you expect the final outcome to look like?

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Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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regischapman Respected Contributor.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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All good questions. Here is what I have:

I have 7 servers running Groupwise and related services, which I have migrated away from our old VMware 6.0.x system to our new 6.7u2 hypervisor.

In general, our entire system has been extremely neglected. We still have our main enterprise file servers on Netware 6.5, which I will be upgrading after I complete the upgrades of our GW system. I'll need to complete that because we're running out of disk space, since MBR filesystems have a hard limit of 2TB.

Frankly, I'm not entirely sure why we chose to have so many servers, given that we've never been above 500 users... but, as I was not around for any of it; and I'm open to hearing some options around consolidation if you please:

GW 2014 r2 14.2.2 Build 126868 running on SLES 11 sp4

GWIA Server 2014 r2 14.2.2 Build 126868 running on SLES 11 sp4

Groupwise Calendar Server 14.2.1 running on SLES 12 sp0

GWAVA Server GWAVAMAN 6.50/build 116. running on SLES 11 sp4

Groupwise Mobility Services 2.1.0-x86_64-230 running on SLES 11 sp4

Groupwise Reload 18.0.0 Build (1800273) running on SLES 10 sp4

Groupwise Retain 4.7.0.0 running on SLES 11 sp4

We have mostly eDirectory 8.8 (again, multiple servers on Netware) here, although we made some half-hearted attempts to get to AD at different points, so we ALSO have dsfw (old). My boss continues told hold on to the "good old days" where he could use ConsoleOne for everything.

Frankly, I'm not sure what can be consolidated here, as everything is SO old. My migration paths for nearly everything is a completely nightmare due to the age of stuff... so any help you can give is great. That article is really good, by the way.

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regischapman Respected Contributor.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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Also, I'd like to use the very latest SLES, where possible. I'm standing up some servers to get mydata migrated TO right now, and the main GW server I'm installing SLES 15 sp1 at the moment, as it appears to be supported on that.

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regischapman Respected Contributor.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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I did forget to include another server for WebAccess running SLES 11 sp4. SO EIGHT servers in total.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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@regischapman 

As a wise man once said, there is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”!

The task you face may appear to be overwhelming so:

  • You need to define your goals
  • You need a plan

You said you want to use the latest SLES release but that decision will likely be influenced by other considerations. For example, unless you want to be offline for an extended period if time, it is unlikely that some Monday morning you will suddenly have a bunch of new servers all running the latest software versions. There must be a business case driving this effort. What is it?

With so many (old) products involved, the first thing to get a handle on are component dependencies:

  • For each product and component, what SLES versions are supported?
  • For each GroupWise component, what other versions of GroupWise are they compatible with?
  • What are the dependencies between the different versions of the products you are using?

There may be issues with the latest versions of some of the products that may need to be resolved before they are deployed.

A good way to get an overview is to build a table:

  • Each row represents a specific version of a product component (GWIA, WEBACC, etc.)
  • Columns will include the same product component versions as contained in the rows but will also include each SLES release.
  • Where the rows and columns intersect, a code will show compatibles or dependency restrictions.

This will give you an overview of what will work with what.

Next you can choose a particular component and see what the impact might be if you were to upgrade to a specific version. Perhaps the best path may not be the latest version. Perhaps a previous version will facilitate an easier migration of the remaining components. This can only be determined once you have all the details before you. As for the SLES version, that will likely depend on the particular version of the product that is to be installed.

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Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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@regischapman wrote:

We have mostly eDirectory 8.8 (again, multiple servers on Netware) here, although we made some half-hearted attempts to get to AD at different points, so we ALSO have dsfw (old).


You keep mentioning SLES in your posts yet you have NetWare servers running eDirectory. Will you be installing new OES servers?

I ask because:

  • OES has dependencies on specific versions of SLES.
  • eDirectory is not compatible with btrfs so the OES install doesn't use btrfs, something you will have to deal with when installing GroupWise on SLES.
  • If all your servers are running the same OS and version they may be easier to manage.

Will GroupWise still use eDirectory or will you be running GroupWise on a pure SLES server with no AD/eDirectory?

_____
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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Just some thoughts to add to what Kevin has mentioned...

You could possibly combine GWIA, Web Access, and Calendar servers.  Keep your domain and post office on its own server. Gwava, Mobility, Reload, and Retain should be their own servers.  But that gets you from 8 to 6.

GroupWise runs nicely on the NSS file system, so OES would also be an option for your domain/post office server.  But use SLES for the others.  Verify supported versions/service packs of SLES before setting up your servers.  Since a new Gwava appliance should be available before too long, I would hold off upgrading that one and just wait for the appliance.  For the others, just plan how you will stage the migration.  It is a fairly straightforward process, you just want to have the process you are going to use defined first.

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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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@regischapman wrote:

All good questions. Here is what I have:

 

Frankly, I'm not sure what can be consolidated here, as everything is SO old. My migration paths for nearly everything is a completely nightmare due to the age of stuff... so any help you can give is great. That article is really good, by the way.


Quite frankly, you don't seem to see many networks out there. You're is not even old. It's a tad dated, but hey, you're mostly just one version down.

There is one *extremely* important question here: Are you sure these are native SLES Servers, and not OES?

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regischapman Respected Contributor.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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Again, good questions:

I am going to be installing OES servers, but after I've done the email server upgrades.

I'm avoiding btrfson every server at this point. 

I don't want to install newer versions of OES since these would break my eDirectory, according to the Microfocus tech support folks, if I'm still running Netware.

Our Groupwise has always been configured with synching to LDAP (to eDir not AD) but authenticating to Groupwise.

There are some steps we need to take regarding modernizing the rest of our eDirectory infrastructure that will impact Groupwise, and once these are done, I'll likely change that to authenticate against the new OES Master servers vs. the old Netware ones now.

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regischapman Respected Contributor.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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Perhaps not. When every person I talk to says "I didn't even know Novell was still in business!" when I tell them about my servers or Groupwise, then I start to think that maybe it's old.

I always cat /etc/SuSe-release and find the version of each. Also, I've used cat /etc/os-release.

It's also true that the old admin tended to do things in this way. Basic "command line or bust" kind of mentality. GUIs are for wimps, I guess.

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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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@regischapman wrote:

Again, good questions:

I am going to be installing OES servers, but after I've done the email server upgrades.

I'm avoiding btrfson every server at this point. 

I don't want to install newer versions of OES since these would break my eDirectory, according to the Microfocus tech support folks, if I'm still running Netware.

Our Groupwise has always been configured with synching to LDAP (to eDir not AD) but authenticating to Groupwise.

There are some steps we need to take regarding modernizing the rest of our eDirectory infrastructure that will impact Groupwise, and once these are done, I'll likely change that to authenticate against the new OES Master servers vs. the old Netware ones now.


My idea of creating a matrix was to show the kinds constraints you may face...

There are always issues doing upgrades. That used to be the standard way to do things unless you had to install a new physical server but after several in place upgrades we are finding those servers sometimes are still relying on old features that were not changed when the server was upgraded and they are no longer supported. My preference now is a new install and a migration. This way I know I am current.

This brings me to eDirectory. You are already have additional constraints imposed due to the eDirectory version on your NetWare servers. I'll also bet also that the design of that tree is is likely no longer optimal. Have you considered designing a new tree, installing new OES servers into that tree, and migrating files and services from NetWare to the new OES servers? 

I know that's a lot of work but there are advantages:

  • Your existing systems will continue to run without any changes.
  • You can create a new infrastructure that runs in parallel with the current one.
  • Because it is new, you can blow it away and start again should encounter major issues.
  • You have the ability to fall back to the existing servers.
  • You may avoid multiple upgrades to an existing server.

You do have options, perhaps too many! You need to define your goals, and come up with a plan. If you find there is more than one viable approach, then plan out the activities for each. You may find that one requires significant  less work and has fewer risks than the alternatives.

 

 

_____
Kevin Boyle - Knowledge Partner - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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regischapman Respected Contributor.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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Your comments are well appreciated by me and I'm going to pose these things to my boss. I think it's a great idea.
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Re: Planning Groupwise Upgrades

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Novell (the name) is gone, but the products still exist under Micro Focus.  I run into that with some people also.  I find it easier sometimes to just tell them I prefer Linux over Windows.

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