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Cool Blog: Setting Up a Customer System

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Alex Evans

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Posted: 1 Aug 2006

Along the lines of "How does Novell do it?" I thought I would share with you all how we set up a customer system in-house - well, the GroupWise part anyway.

All in all, it's a pretty easy process. I guess a lot of people may not realize it, but all the configuration for a GW system is stored in the primary domain database, and that database is replicated to all other domains and Post Offices. So, all we need to set up a complete copy of a customer system, excluding the mail of course, is the wpdomain.db from the primary domain.

Important: If you attempt to do this in your own environment for your own testing, then (VERY IMPORTANT, KEEP READING THIS SENTENCE) do it on a server that has NO access to the rest of your network. If you don't follow this advice then it is very possible that all the "test" changes you make get replicated into your live system.

So, set up a test server with eDirectory and copy your wpdomain.db to it. It helps to have the agent NLM's already installed on the server (just copy them to sys:\system) and some "empty" domain and PO dirs. An empty dom directory just needs the 4 .DC files in it; an empty PO dir needs the 3 PO .DC files and the ofviews structure.

In ConsoleOne connect to this domain (Tools | GroupWise System Operations | Select Domain). If you followed my advice and you are not connected to your corporate tree, you will be prompted for a login. Cancel this dialog and continue connecting to the domain.

Once connected, highlight an eDirectory OU and select Tools | GroupWise Utilities | GW/eDirectory Association | Graft Objects. Follow the wizard to create eDir objects for your GW objects - you only need to graft as many as you need to test with. This may only be one or two domains and a couple of post offices.

Once all that is done you need to change the config of the objects to reflect your test server. Specifically, you will need to change the domain and PO UNC paths and any paths and IP addresses on the MTA and POA. This may also include reconfiguring the ports so that they are all unique (assuming you are doing all this on a single server).

Once done you can just start the agents up manually:

gwmta /home-data:\testdom
gwpoa /home-data:\testpo

as an example.

Now you have a basic copy of your system, you can get as fancy as you need to be to duplicate whatever problem you are working on. This may require getting more data from the live system copied over, such as user and message databases, or setting up a GWIA - but the basic are there.

For us in NTS, this is a real easy way to duplicate customer problems and test potential fixes, without disrupting users. If you are going to try this then please be really careful and heed my warning above. If we get calls asking why users are magically disappearing from GroupWise we'll know what you did - or didn't do - as the case may be.

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