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Follow-up on Recent Town of Cobourg Success Story

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Buck Gashler

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Posted: 5 Mar 2004

Canadian town's Novell Small Business Suite and GroupWise 6.5 system withstand virus attack that cripples other municipalities' Microsoft Exchange and firewall systems


Many of you will remember the Town of Cobourg article that we ran in December of 2003. The article dealt with the Canadian town's challenge of finding an affordable way to replace its unstable Microsoft Mail post office with the stability, security, and feature set of an advanced collaborative system. Marie Perry, a Novell CNI/CNE with MTech Services proposed a creative and cost-effective solution using the Novell Small Business Suite 6 Starter Pack and GroupWise 6.5. The solution ended up being about half the price of a Microsoft Exchange system by another local government department.

January Virus Attack

In less than a month following the deployment of the Novell solution, the Chief Administration Officer D. Steven Robinson, of the Town of Cobourg received a phone call from another municipal government department, notifying him that their e-mail server was down due to the latest e-mail virus and the mail server was totally destroyed. The caller stated that this was the second time in two weeks that there had been issues at this site, and that this time, the results were crippling. The fact most startling to the caller was that this was a system that the government had spent $24,000 (Canadian Dollars) for a Microsoft Exchange system and more than $30,000 (Canadian Dollars) for a third-party firewall to secure it.

Sensing a similar fate to the Town of Cobourg's e-mail system, the CAO quickly called John Grozelle, Supervisor of the town's IT department, for a status of GroupWise and the NetWare server it was running on. Grozelle was happy to report that there were no performance problems with either system and that no viruses had penetrated the GroupWise system.

Upon further investigation the IT department determined that the inherent security features in the Town of Cobourg's inexpensive NetWare and GroupWise, systems, coupled with the supporting GWAVA and Symantec antivirus systems had been the difference between the Town of Cobourg's e-mail system remaining unaffected and operational, and the other systems' crashing.

Tragically, Cobourg was not completely spared of the January virus disaster. Headlines in the local paper reported that the Cobourg Police Department, which runs a Microsoft Exchange system was hit by the virus and it shut down the server for two days.


Following the virus outbreak and the subsequent monetary costs that came as a result, the Town of Cobourg's CAO took the time in a meeting to remark on how impressed he was with Novell GroupWise and MTech Services for convincing him to choose Novell over Microsoft. He recognized that Novell and MTech, along with some third-party antivirus software had averted a major catastrophe.

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