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The No Brainer Approach to GroupWise TCO

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Staying Ahead with GroupWise Lower Total Cost of Ownership

Do you feel like you’re always under pressure? Pressure to keep systems running smoothly? Pressure to facilitate more efficient collaboration between your users, partners and customers? Pressure to keep your infrastructure secure? Fortunately, GroupWise has a proven track record of simplifying your life in all those high-pressure areas. Even so, there still might be some in your organization pressuring you, against your better judgment, to switch to Exchange.

However, with the current state of the economy, you’re likely receiving even greater pressure to streamline your budget and cut costs, which means it makes more sense than ever before to stay with GroupWise. According to a GroupWise white paper, organizations can enjoy considerably lower total cost of ownership with GroupWise than they can with Exchange. (See Novell GroupWise v. Microsoft Exchange.).

Hardware Savings

The first area where GroupWise helps you cut costs over Exchange is in the area of supporting infrastructure. With the Microsoft solution’s dependency on Active Directory, Microsoft Exchange 2007 requires the deployment and maintenance of more servers—with their associated software licenses—than Novell GroupWise 7 or GroupWise 8.

Microsoft Exchange 2007 requires that all users exist in Active Directory before they can become Exchange users. Therefore, if you do not have Active Directory fully deployed with all your users in it, you will need to build a new Active Directory infrastructure. This will require new servers, the number of which will depend upon the size of your organization. Additionally, Microsoft recommends that dedicated servers be used to support the Active Directory infrastructure.

GroupWise 7 and GroupWise 8 use Novell eDirectory, but only for management purposes. Users do not need to exist in eDirectory before they can be GroupWise users. Also, unlike the case for Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange, you do not need to have dedicated servers for eDirectory in your GroupWise implementation.

Novell GroupWise also lets you get the most out of your current hardware investment. It has no requirements for 64-bit hardware, allowing you to upgrade from an older version of GroupWise—or migrate from Exchange—to GroupWise 8 without typically having to buy new hardware.

However, Microsoft Exchange 2007 requires 64-bit hardware. If you move from earlier versions of Exchange or GroupWise to Exchange 2007 you’ll have to migrate from your old hardware platform to a new platform, which can be an expensive and time consuming effort by itself. Even if you are already running on 64-bit servers, you might need to purchase higher performing hardware to adequately service Exchange.

Compared to GroupWise, Exchange 2007 has higher hardware requirements in other areas as well. For example, a typical Exchange 2007 environment with 5,000 users would require a minimum of seven servers; two Active Directory servers, one Exchange Client Access server, one Exchange Hub Transport server, and three Exchange Mailbox servers.

In a similar GroupWise environment only five servers are needed; one server for the primary domain and one post office, one server for the post office domain and one post office, two servers for one more post office, and one server for a gateway domain, Internet access gateway and WebAccess Gateway.

With the additional number of servers required, along with the requirements for higher performing platforms in Exchange, the investment in hardware alone for such an environment could easily cost more than $35,000 than it would for GroupWise. (See Figure 1 and Table 1.) But the hardware costs are just the tip of the iceberg.

Exchange 2007 Servers Needed Hardware Unit Price Hardware Total Price
Active Directory Server 2 $8,712 $17,424
Exchange Client Access Server 1 $8,712 $8,712
Exchange Hub Transport Server 1 $8,712 $8,712
Exchange Mailbox Server 3 $14,056 $42,168
Total Hardware Price for Exchange 2007     $77,016

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GroupWise 8 Servers Needed Hardware Unit Price Hardware Total Price
Primary Domain and One Post Office (eDirectory for Management of GroupWise) 1 $8,363 $8,363
Exchange Client Access Server 1 $8,712 $8,712
Post Office Domain and One Post Office 1 $8,363 $8,363
One Post Office 2 $8,363 $16,726
Gateway Domain and One Internet Access and One WebAccess Gateway $8,363 $8,363 $77,016
Total Hardware Price for GroupWise 8     $41,815
Total Hardware Savings with GroupWise 8     $35,201

* Comparison is based on the costs associated with 5000 users. Prices are based on advertised prices of major distributors and do not take into account any discount pricing.

Table 1: Exchange and GroupWise Hardware Costs Comparison

Software Savings

The interoperability inherent to GroupWise provides you a wide variety of benefits. If you're using GroupWise v6.5, v7 or v8, you can run your infrastructure on a number of different operating systems. You can even mix operating systems within a single GroupWise system.

GroupWise supports NetWare 5.1, NetWare 6, NetWare 6.5, Open Enterprise Server 1, Open Enterprise Server 2, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Windows Server 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2003 R2. GroupWise 8 adds support for Windows Server 2008 to the already-long list.

The ability to run GroupWise on your platforms of choice helps you recognize significant savings on your OS investments. To add even more to your savings, if you're a GroupWise customer, Novell offers SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 for free for as many servers as you need to run your GroupWise system. This can result in enormous cost savings for most organizations.

However, Microsoft Exchange 2007 has very strict OS requirements that result in very significant additional expenses. It requires Windows 2003 R2 Server x64 for each server role. Additionally, for all midsize to large environments, you’ll need the Enterprise Edition for Mailbox Server roles and any server roles that you want to cluster. The Standard Edition only supports up to 4GB of RAM, along with 4-way symmetrical multiprocessing.


  • Figure 1

    With the fewer number of servers required for GroupWise compared to Exchange, you can easily save more than $35,000 in hardware costs with GroupWise.

  • Figure 2

    Compared to Exchange, GroupWise can simplify and lower your software licensing costs by about $300,000 or more.

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