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The Ultimate GroupWise PO Configuration Guide and Health Check

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Tay Kratzer

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Posted: 9 Nov 2000
 

This article was compiled from thousands of support calls and onsite customer visits. Any customer support operator could use it, but more importantly, any sys admin anywhere will find valuable information about the health of a GroupWise system, and how to maintain it. Very often sys admins hear complaints that GroupWise is locking up, doing weird things, and is generally unreliable. Some customers have so little problems with GroupWise that their internal support staffs are shrinking with each release of GroupWise. Others are just seeing more and more problems. After being to dozens of customer sites and sitting on thousands of customer support calls I can tell you that a GroupWise Post Office can be VERY stable if configured properly.

Most of the action in a GroupWise system happens at the GroupWise Post Office level. Configuration of your GroupWise Post Offices has the biggest impact on the satisfaction of your end-users.

If you go on-site to look at an entire GroupWise system, use the GroupWise Best Practices Guide for architectural recommendations.

For NetWare tuning refer to the Performance, Tuning and Optimization document.

Post Office Configuration

Conditions For Creating A Post Office

There is a cost associated with a GroupWise post office. The cost is administrative. Fortunately, a well-designed GroupWise post office, on a reliable server takes very little administrative effort to maintain.

Placement of Post Offices In NDS

The Post Office object should be in close NDS proximity to the users in that post office. The GroupWise client reads information about the user's post office object, from NDS. If the Post Office can be placed in the same OU as the end-user then this is ideal. If the post office cannot be placed in the same OU that the users reside in, at least see to it that it is in an OU that is in the same NDS partition as the majority of the users in the post office. Be sure that your users have the NDS rights of Browse, Read and Compare to the post office object, and the POA associated with that post office.

Numbers Of Users In A Post Office

GroupWise can scale rather well, if you've got the right hardware. The GroupWise client/server model requires a lot of the server component. A GroupWise post office can comfortably sustain thousands of mailboxes, it's the concurrent connections that scales things back down. A document called "The GroupWise Sizing Document" better explains these concepts. See the "For More Information" section at the end of this document for how to find the GroupWise Sizing Document.

In short, what the GroupWise Sizing Document says, is that a properly equipped and configured server can sustain 500 to 700 concurrent connections. Other factors may come into play that may require you to scale that figure back even more. For example, disk space. Disk space is cheap, but a nightly backup to tape is going to be hard if you've got 50 gig E-mail volumes. GroupWise is very efficient on disk space. However users get rather consumptive with disk space by sending audio files, movies, big presentation files, etc. Perhaps if you have a post office with marketing, sales and engineering folks the post office would have a lot of presentations files, and cad-cam files. By comparison, the production folks would generally just deal in simple E-mail with wordprocessor documents. With these realities in mind we would know that a server that may be able to easily sustain a total 700 production department users, could only sustain a total of 200 marketing, sales, and engineering users.

POA Configuration

The POA configuration, and the server configuration for the server the POA runs on, are the most important contributors to the satisfaction of your GroupWise users.

POAs Per Server

More then one GroupWise post office can reside on a server. Many customers have had success with more then one post office on a server, others have not. A general recommendation is to only place one GroupWise post office on a server. The reason for this is that the one GroupWise POA knows how to balance it's threads to see to it that Client/Server threads do not get starved for attention. When two POAs are loaded on a server, they have no knowledge of each other. Whichever POA gets to the processor at any given moment can dictate that it's threads get more attention then the other POAs. This can be problematic when one POA gets a hold of the processor first to do a bunch of message file processing when the other POA needs some client/server processing done. The end result is that end-users' machines will be tied up for an un-acceptable amount of time as their client waits for server to process their request.

Why is it then that some customers have success with multiple POAs and post offices on a server, whereas others have admittedly failed miserably with such configurations? Perhaps it has to do with the dynamics of how things are configured on the POAs, and dynamics of how E-mail is used in an organization. For example, imagine that at ACME, E-mail is expired after 90 days, trash is purged each night, and the quickfinder indexing is set to happen early each morning at 2:00 A.M. Other fine tuning parameters have been made on the POA to see that it runs efficiently. The users at ACME are motivated to work hard because of a good compensation and clear corporate goals. The users rarely have time for sending movies to each other in E-mail, and they don't deal much in other big files. Users at ACME work in close-knit workgroups, and E-mails to large groups are only sent by corporate communications after-hours. Do you think ACME can get away with putting more then one post office on a server, without any visible problems. Sure they might! Things that exacerbate GroupWise post offices are poorly configured POAs, bloated message stores, poorly configured file servers etc.

There are other things that dictate the numbers of a POAs that can run on a server, and they don't have anything to do with correct configuration of GroupWise. It's just how people use GroupWise. Some organizations literally use GroupWise for 50% of their computing. I mean, 50% of the time people sit at a computer they are in GroupWise. This is a testament to just how well developed GroupWise is! In these kind of computing environments one POA and Post Office to a server is generally going to be the rule of reality. The GroupWise product suite is just getting all the sweeter too, with document management and an increasing amount of third-party integration. This trend will more firmly dictate the one post office per server recommendation.

POA Settings - Network Address Page

Let's just talk about every setting, and it's relationship to a successful POA configuration.

  1. Network Address
    The network address can either be an IP address or a DNS name. The advantage to a DNS name is that if at some time the IP address changes for a post office, the change simply needs to be changed in the DNS, and it's transparent to the users.
  2. Message Transfer Port
    The Message Transfer Port (MTP), is the IP Port that the POA uses to communicate with the MTA at the domain that services this particular post office. It is advisable to use the MTP port on the POA. By doing this, messages will leave the post office more quickly and incoming messages will be processed more quickly. This is particularly important for busy searches. When the POA receives administrative messages through the MTP protocol, the POA processes them immediately. Even if the POA and the MTA are on the same file server the benefits of MTP communication generally outweigh the disadvantages of sending an item up the IP stack and back down. Some features of the GroupWise enhancement pack require MTA to POA communication via IP. It's just a good move.

POA Settings - Agent Settings

  1. Enable Automatic Database Recovery
    This feature allows the POA to fix a database when it determines that the database has structural damage. This feature should always be enabled.
  2. Enable TCP/IP (for Client/Server)
    You will almost always want to enable TCP/IP on the POA.
  3. Enable Caching
    Enable this feature. This allows the POA to cache files that it has recently accessed. The POA caches files for 15 minutes after the last time the file was accessed.
  4. Enable SNMP
    If you aren't monitoring the POA via an SNMP console, just turn this off. It makes the POA do work you don't need it to do.
  5. Message File Processing
    Keep this feature enabled for your standard POA.
  6. Message Handler Threads
    The Message Handler Threads should be set to half of the value of the Client/Server threads. The Client/Server threads should be determined based upon the number of users. The GroupWise Sizing Document says that a GroupWise POA's TCP Handler thread can service 20 to 30 connections. We'll average that figure to 25 threads per person. If a post office has 200 users, we would calculate that it needs 8 Client/Server threads. With this being the case, then we set the Message Handler Threads to 4. If your post office only has 30 people on it, certainly don't set the Client/Server threads to 1 or 2. Set the Client/Server threads as low as 6 and the Message Handler Threads to 3. Don't go below these figures, there's no reason to. The important thing is to see to it that the Message Handler Threads are set at half the number of the Message Handler Threads. This is done to assure that the Message Handler Threads don't have a mechanism to hog the CPU from the far more important TCP Handler threads (Client/Server Threads).
  7. TCP Handler Threads (Client/Server Threads)
    The TCP Handler Threads are often referred to as the "Client/Server" threads. These are the threads that maintain the client/server connection and the client/server data processing. The performance of these threads determines the quality of service that end-users get. The TCP Handler Threads should be set to a value of one thread for every 25 active connections. For example, if a post office has 500 users, but only an average expected concurrent connections of 300 users, we would calculate that the POA needs 12 TCP Handler Threads.

    300/25 = 12

    Both the TCP Handler and the Message Handler threads should not be greatly increased beyond the 20 to 30 users per thread. Perhaps you might think "well if 12 is good then 30 is better". This isn't true. Each thread is registered with the operating system. The operating system needs to poll all thirty threads to see if they have work to do. The majority of the threads will most likely never have work to do, and so the additional polling creates the in-efficiency

  8. QuickFinder Interval
    The QuickFinder feature must always be enabled. Even if you do not use document management, GroupWise uses the QuickFinder feature set when a user issues a find in their GroupWise Mailbox. If a QuickFinder indexing job is not done on a routine basis this causes server utilization problems. When a user issues a "Find" feature within the GroupWise client and a QuickFinder index does not exist this forces the POA to do a "scan search" which is kind of like kicking off a QuickFinder indexing job on the fly. Doing a QuickFinder indexing job in the middle of the day will cause the POA's indexing thread to hog the CPU. The end-result could be that TCP Handler Threads might be starved for attention giving the end-users the perception that their GroupWise session is locked up.

    The QuickFinder Interval should usually be set to every 24 hours. An offset mentioned a little later in these sections determines when, from Midnight, the QuickFinder indexing will be started. By doing the QuickFinder indexing every 24 hours, we can tune the POA to do the QuickFinder indexing early each morning, which is when we generally want it done.

    NOTE: By setting the QuickFinder Interval to 0 (zero) then you are actually telling the POA to run QuickFinder constantly.

  9. DiskCheck Interval
    Set this value to every 5 minutes. It's a very quick check. This DiskCheck Interval value corresponds with the diskcheck scheduled event mentioned later in this document.
  10. DiskCheck Delay
    Set this value to every 2 hours.
  11. Max App Connections
    An average GroupWise user uses two to three app connections while logged into GroupWise. Every GroupWise Application chews up at least one app connection. The GroupWise Applications are GroupWise, the GroupWise Address Book, Notify, GroupWise Desktop etc. Proxying and using shared folders also chews up additional applications connections. A post office with 500 concurrent users should generally get by with the default of 2048 App Connections. A post office with 1000 concurrent users will generally need more then the default of 2048 App Connections. The App Connections do not take a huge amount of memory to pre-allocate.
  12. Max Physical Connections
    The Physical Connections are when data is being passed between a POA and the client. The default value is set to 512. If your post office is large (over 500 concurrent connections) and your users really utilize GroupWise, then consider bumping this number up. For example, you could bump this value up to 1024.
  13. CPU Utilization (NLM)
    This value should be set at either 85 or 90%. This tells the POA not to spawn new threads if the utilization goes above 90%. Delay Time" just below this setting is the number of milliseconds the POA should wait before checking if the CPU can handle another thread if the POA needs to spawn one. The default of 100 milliseconds is good. One hundred milliseconds is 1/10 of a second which is a long time on the lightning-fast NetWare platform.
  14. Enable SMP
    Enable this feature only if you have NetWare 5 and SMP services. You may see an advantage with SMP, and then you may not. This is because NetWare 5 SMP still sends it's I/O and TCP traffic through processor "0" which is the main resources that GroupWise uses.
  15. Perform User Upkeep Definitely enable this feature. This feature advances user's Tasks to the next day in the calendar, and it deletes message items and trash items if the user has specified that they want this to happen. Probably the most important function of Perform User Upkeep is that it synchronizes the user's address book frequent contacts list with the system address book. This way if a user moves, then the frequent contacts will be updated with the moved user's new location. By doing the user upkeep in the middle of the night, the processing of these items happens at a non-peak time. This helps the morning GroupWise login process to go faster for end-users.
  16. Start User Upkeep (hours after midnight)
    Make sure to set this value for the early morning hours, not the late night hours. If you do it in the late night hours you aren't getting some of the effect that you want with user upkeep.
  17. Generate Address Books For Remote
    If you have remote users, by generating the address book in the early morning hours you create two benefits. Generating the remote address book in the morning assures that when a user requests the address book for GroupWise remote, the address book is already made and ready to ship to the user's remote mailbox. Another benefit is that the processing overhead that's generated, when creating the WPCSOUT\OFS\WPROF50.DB file, is offloaded to the nighttime.
  18. Start Address Book Generation (hours after midnight):
    This has to do with the generation of the WPROF50.DB file. It is best to do this address book generation in the early morning hours.
  19. Enable QuickFinder Indexing
    You will definitely want to enable this feature. Quite often people will say, "but I don't use document management, so I don't need to enable this." Quickfinder Indexing applies to the entire GroupWise Information Store, not just document management libraries. The very useful "find" feature in GroupWise uses Quickfinder Indexing.

    If you do not have the QuickFinder Indexing feature enabled, then the GroupWise POA will be forced to do what's called a "scan search", which is a much more CPU intensive process then reading the QuickFinder indexes. By all means, enable this feature! If you don't you'll see POA cause CPU spikes every time users use the Find feature in GroupWise.

  20. Start QuickFinder Indexing (hours after midnight):
    Start this process either early in the morning or late at night. The QuickFinder Indexing process takes a while, but since it will be done every night it won't take too long.

POA Settings - Log Settings

The logging level on the POA can be set to normal or verbose. What ever your preference is. The max log disk space default is generally not large enough for analysis of POA logs. Set the disk space to about 10 megabytes, rather then 1 meg.

POA Settings - Scheduled Events

Scheduled Events are some of the handiest things for maintaining your GroupWise system. You can tell the GroupWise POA to kick off a GWCHECK job on a post office whenever you would like it to. There are three kinds of scheduled events that customers will want to implement. They are:

- GWCHECK Structural Check and Fix
- GWCHECK Contents Check and Fix
- GWCHECK Expire/Reduce

Here are some guidelines and notes about scheduled events:

1. In order to create or edit scheduled events an administrator must have supervisory NDS object rights to the Primary Domain object.
2. An edited scheduled event quite often does not replicate to post offices. If a scheduled event's "actions" or time parameters need to be changed, delete the scheduled event and re-create it.
Sites that will allow administrators throughout a GroupWise system to enable and configure scheduled events need to be cautious. Make sure that the various GroupWise administrators define scheduled events, and the actions under those events specific to each post office.
3. The Structural Check should be scheduled to happen every day. Preferably before the daily backups. The Structural Check should occur before the Nightly User Upkeep, and before the QuickFinder Indexing.
4. The Contents Check should be scheduled to happen once a week. This should be done after the Structural Check has been run.
5. Index Checking should generally not be with the Scheduled Maintenance routines.
6. The Expire/Reduce routine should be designed to comply with your organization's E-mail retention policy. The Expire/Reduce should be designed to run each week. The Expire/Reduce should happen after the recommended weekly Contents Check and Fix.

NOTE: What if you don't know how long a structural check and fix takes, when should you schedule your weekly contents check and fix? Just make sure the time for the content check and fix is indicated for some time after the structural check and fix. Don't sweat the time. The GroupWise POA will not process two GWCHECK jobs simultaneously. If the contents check and fix were only scheduled to happen one minute after the structural check and fix, the contents check and fix would only happen after the structural check and fix.

Client Preferences

GroupWise allows you to set and control features available to GroupWise clients. These preferences can be set at a domain level, and excluded right down to a user level. There are few features that if used incorrectly they can generate more traffic in your system then you may want. Here are two client preferences to pay particular attention to:

- Wildcard addressing
- Status tracking

The client preferences can be modified in NetWare Administrator by selecting Tools|GroupWise Utilities|Client Preferences.

Wildcard Addressing

Wildcard addressing is a great feature. With wildcard addressing a user can send a message to all the recipients in a post office (that's the default), a domain, or even the GroupWise system and beyond that. The question then is, do you really want your users to have that kind of power? You can turn of a user's ability to use wildcard addressing at the post office level. Then for those users who should be allowed this functionality, you can enable it for them one by one.

Status Tracking

GroupWise has a great feature called status tracking. You can see if a message got to a person, and you can see when they opened the message. Status tracking is one of the things that sets GroupWise apart from other groupware packages, so we can't knock it. Status tracking can be taken to the extreme though. If your GroupWise system's client options for status tracking is set to "All information" then you are generating a tremendous amount of data that does not need to be tracked. By requiring the GroupWise system to track all information you impact the following:

- GroupWise remote users' downloads and uploads take longer
- When a user purges a large amount of messages from their trash, a tremendous amount of disk I/O is created
- Status messages are generated for just about every action to a message item, and rarely do people need that information

Most customers will not want to enable "All information" and check that this is not enabled somehow. Many customers will want to lock this feature down, so that end-users may not change the option to "All information".

NetWare Server Maintenance and Configuration

The GroupWise Sizing Document

The GroupWise Sizing Document is an excellent technical configuration document. This document is a living document in that it is improved when more data comes along. To find the sizing document go to Novell's support connection site http://support.novell.com and go the Knowledgebase. Do a search on "GroupWise sizing". The GroupWise sizing document supports many of the concepts in this document. Appendix A of the GroupWise Sizing document goes into Novell NetWare Server configuration. These parameters are well thought out and have fixed problems for many customers.

Tuning The NetWare Volume For GroupWise

GroupWise Only Volume

When you place a GroupWise post office on a file server it is best to create a volume that will only house the GroupWise post office. This just makes managing E-mail simpler, for example you'll have a good picture of just how much disk space is being taken on a post office.

Volume Block Size
The NetWare volume block size should be set to 64KB. This allows the NetWare operating system to access the GroupWise databases with the most amount of efficiency.

Compression
Do not enable compression on the NetWare volume dedicated for GroupWise. GroupWise already compresses the message store, and does so even better then NetWare does. It's redundant effort by the NetWare operating system to try and compress files in the GroupWise message store.

VREPAIR
Novell's NetWare disk subsystem has been so notorious for stability, that customers often forget about the notion of server maintenance. To maintain the NetWare server make sure to run VREPAIR on the volumes of that server. This should be done on a routine basis, perhaps monthly.

Immediate Purge
GroupWise deals with a whole lot files passing through queues off of the WPCSOUT, WPCSIN and MSLOCAL directories. Set these directories so that they are purged immediately. This allows the NetWare server to free up memory resources to optimize other parts of the NetWare server.

Every domain has the WPCSOUT, WPCSIN, and MSLOCAL directories. GroupWise post offices have just the WPCSOUT and WPCSIN directories.

Here is an example of a command line in order to do this:

Flag j:\wpcsin\*.* +p /s /do

NSS Volumes
Tune the volume for GroupWise. See Implementing GroupWise 5.* on a NetWare 5 NSS See the following URL:

http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/tidfinder.cgi?10065215

NDS Stability

You will certainly want a stable NDS tree to administer your GroupWise system under. Although GroupWise has it's own directory, if NDS is out of kilter problems can spill into GroupWise. If you suspect that your NDS tree is having problems on some particular day, you may have problems with functions such as moving users, renaming users, editing POA objects etc.

Walkthrough: Creating and Configuring a GroupWise Post Office

Pre-Configuration

Information On The Users

  • Four hundred users
  • This is a call center for 350 operators, 30 managerial types, and 20 operations personnel.
  • The call center is located in Tulsa Oklahoma.
  • The expectation is that there will be a medium amount of E-mail, and a light amount of attachments because the operators won't have any kind of an office suite.
  • The managers will have an office suite, but they will not use document management at this site.
  • The operators and managers are in an NDS OU called OK-CALL
  • The operations personnel are in an OU called OPERATIONS

Company E-mail Policies

  • The standard corporate E-mail retention policy of 90 day E-mail retention applies to all users on this post office, except four upper-management folks who may retain E-mail as long as they would like to.
  • Users may archive their E-mail, but only to their network user's location. Each user is allowed 50 megabytes of personal disk space on the user's volume. The corporate E-mail policy dictates that although E-mail archives may be used, users are to see to it that they only archive information that they deem necessary to retain. Users should not be automatically archiving their GroupWise message items.

Technical Directives

  • The GroupWise 32-Bit Client can be used
  • GroupWise Imaging Support must be installed for the fax viewing capability
  • GroupWise Notify will be used
  • GroupWise Desktop, Marquee, Workflow, and Conversation Place will not be used
  • GroupWise Document Management will not be utilized at this site
  • GroupWise WebAccess may also be used
  • GroupWise is business critical, GroupWise must be available during the business day
  • Scheduled outages of GroupWise are acceptable on weekends
  • The GroupWise POA should respond quickly to Client/Server requests
  • GroupWise Remote functionality will be used by the management and operations folks
  • Adequate hardware will be provided to house the GroupWise post office
  • GroupWise can be wholly contained on it's own file server

Server Configuration

Server
  • Compaq server with NetWare 5
  • An NDS Read/Write replica of the replica partitioned at OK-CALL will be placed on this server. The OK-CALL replica ring includes replicas on four other servers all on the same LAN in Tulsa.
  • The file server will have 500 megabytes of memory. The memory needed for the POA to sustain the 400 users is GroupWise is about 200 megabytes. The other memory is to help sustain the NetWare OS, the volumes and the NDS activity.

Server Volume Configuration

  • The server has RAID 5 drives.
  • The server comes with 20 gigs of disk space. The DOS partition is 2 gigs. The SYS volume is 3 gigs, and the MAIL volume is 15 gigs. The DOS partition is as big as it is in case a coredump image file is needed it can be written to the DOS partition with room to spare.
  • The volume block size of the MAIL volume is 64KB
  • The volume does not allow for file compression

Server Set Parameters
The GroupWise Sizing document recommends the following NetWare server set parameters.

The STARTUP.NCF file has the following set parameters (amongst others):

  • Set TCP defend land attacks = off
  • Set minimum packet receive buffers = 2000

The AUTOEXEC.NCF file has the following set parameters in it (amongst others):

  • Set directory cache buffer nonreferenced delay = 30
  • Set minimum directory cache buffers = 1200
  • Set maximum directory cache buffers = 4000
  • Set read ahead enabled = on
  • Set read ahead LRU sitting time threshold = 60
  • Set maximum file locks = 20000
  • Set maximum record locks = 100000
  • Set minimum service processes = 100
  • Set maximum service processes = 1000
  • Set new service process wait time = 0.3
  • Set maximum packet receive buffers = 4000
  • Set new packet receive buffer wait time = 0.1

Software Distribution Directory

The users on this post office will need to access a location from which to install the GroupWise client software. This directory should be created even before the GroupWise post office is defined. To create a Software Distribution Directory go into NetWare Administration and be connected to the GroupWise primary domain. You should not be connected to a secondary domain when creating an SDD definition. Select Tools|GroupWise System Operations|Software Directory Management. Select the create button. The most important aspect of an SDD is that it is in close network proximity to the end-users. The SDD created for the call center is on a file server that contains the applications and the users volumes for the call center site.

The GroupWise software should be copied over from the Master Software Distribution Directory. After the Software Distribution Directory is created it's important to see that all users have rights to the SDD location.

The GroupWise Win32 Client has a great feature that allows the administrator to define the installation defaults that the GroupWise client will use. The method of defining the installation defaults is with a file called the SETUP.CFG file. The SETUP.CFG will help the GroupWise Administrator define the GroupWise install according to the "Technical Directives" section earlier in this document. The SETUP.CFG file is created by running the SETUP.EXE in the SDD\CLIENT\WIN32 directory from a DOS prompt using a command line that reads:

SETUP RECORD
When the administrator runs SETUP in this manner the setup creates a file called SETUP.CFG on the administrator's machine in the WINDOWS directory. The SETUP.CFG is a recording of the preferences that the administrator specified while doing a GroupWise install. Here's how the SETUP.CFG looks after the administrator ran the "setup record" command:

[GroupWiseSetup]
Version=5.5
ShowDialogs=Yes
WindowsMessaging=Yes
Path=C:\NOVELL\GROUPWISE
Folder=GroupWise 5
StandardInstall=Yes
[IntegrationApps]
Lotus WordPro=Yes
Microsoft Binder 97=Yes
Microsoft Excel 7.0=Yes
Microsoft PowerPoint 97=No
Microsoft Word 7.0=Yes
Microsoft Word 97=No
Corel Presentations 7.0/8.0=Yes
Corel Quattro Pro 7.0/8.0=Yes
Corel WordPerfect 7.0=Yes
Corel WordPerfect 8.0=Yes
Microsoft Excel 97=No
[Components]
GroupWise=Yes
[gwdsktop]
Hide=No
Workstation=Yes
Default=No
[gwhtm]
Hide=No
Workstation=Yes
Default=No
[gwtip]
Hide=No
Workstation=Yes
Default=No
[Imaging]
Hide=No
Workstation=No
Default=Yes
[WorkFlow]
Hide=No
Workstation=No
bDefault=No
[Startup]
Notify=Yes bConversationPlace=No
[Languages]
English=Yes
Default=English

In order for the SETUP.CFG to take effect it must be placed in the SDD\CLIENT\WIN32 directory. Some of the lines need to be edited manually to make the SETUP.CFG file just perfect. First the line that reads:

ShowDialogs=Yes

This should be changed to:

ShowDialogs=No

Then the "[IntegrationApps]" section. All the lines should be changed to say "= No".

When using the SETUP.CFG when users install GroupWise, the installation does not prompt the users with any questions, it just run's through the install and prompts the user to launch GroupWise. Post Office Creation

The GroupWise Post Office is created off of a regional secondary domain called MID-WEST. To create the post office we go to the NDS browser view and to the NDS OU called OK-CALL. While highlighting the OK-CALL OU we select Object|Create|GroupWise Post Office.

  • Post Office Name will be OK-CALL-PO
  • The GroupWise Domain this post office will be associated to is the MID-WEST-DOMAIN
  • The post office will be placed on the dedicated GroupWise file server
  • The Time Zone reflects Oklahoma's time zone which is the central time zone
  • The Software Distribution Directory is the OK-CALL SDD that we created earlier

Post Office Configuration

Flagging WPCSIN And WPCSOUT Directories For Immediate Purge
Off of the post office there will be a WPCSIN and WPCSOUT directory. Flag both of those directories, and their subdirectories for immediate purge. This is done in NetWare Administrator by going to the MAIL volume and browsing to the OKPO\WPCSIN directory and selecting Details|Attributes and selecting the "Purge"checkbox. The same can be done for the WPCSOUT directory.

Setting the Post Office For Client/Server Only
When a GroupWise Post Office is first created, the post office supports the connection modes of Client/Server and Direct. We don't want to allow users direct access to the post office so we change the post office so that it indicates that the post office supports "Client/Server Only". This setting can be changed by editing the post office, and going to the Information page and changing the access mode to "Client/Server Only".

Also see to it that users do not have access to the volume that houses a post office.

Setting Client Options

A couple of GroupWise client options need to be set in order to assure that this GroupWise Post Office runs efficiently and complies with the company E-mail policy mentioned earlier in this document.

Status Tracking Defaults
First we want to see that users cannot set their E-mail status preference to "All Information". To do this we highlight the OK-CALL-PO and select Tools|GroupWise Utilities|Client Options|Send Options|Status Tracking. In this dialog lock the setting on 'Delivered and Opened".

Archive Preferences
The company E-mail policy allows for archiving. Archiving is to be done to a user's user directory, and it is to be done selectively. To see that this happens we will control these settings through client options. Select Tools|GroupWise Utilities|Client Options|Environment. Select the File Location tab and fill in U:\. This is appropriate because the user's U drive is mapped to the root of the user's user directory on the network. With this drive setting in place we lock the setting.

The company E-mail policy also dictates that users need to be selective in what they archive. Because of this policy, we want to take away the rights of end-users to automatically archive. In the same place, Client Options|Environment, we go to the Cleanup tab. With the Manual Delete and Archive locked on all items, the users will have to selectively archive their E-mail. And they will have to do so before the item has been there for 90 days because the E-mail policy dictates that E-mail will be deleted after 90 days.

POA Configuration

Configure the POA according to all the recommendations in the "POA Configuration section above" POA Software Installation

The POA software needs to be installed to the server that houses the new post office. The installation software for the GroupWise POA is in the SDD\AGENTS directory.

E-mail Policies

Any organization that uses GroupWise needs to determine their E-mail policies in relation to:

  • Correct usage policy
  • E-mail retention policy
  • Authorized usage of large E-mail groups
  • Acceptable attachment sizes internally as well as to Internet recipients

With an E-mail policy a GroupWise administrator is more effective and can . . .

  • Do a better job of projecting the need for hardware resources
  • Design the GroupWise GWIA to dis-allow huge bandwidth eating attachments going on the Internet
  • Run reports to see who is hogging disk space and encourage the abusers to delete certain sent or received mail items

NOTE: For more information on running reports to see who might be sending big attachments, see Novell's Support Connection document #2954163.

Backups of The GroupWise System

Domains

Backups should be done at the domain and post office level. At the domain level the WPDOMAIN.DB file is the most important file. A few other DB files off of the gateway directories are relatively important. That's all you need to backup. It is recommended that these files be backed up every night.

Post Offices

A GroupWise Post Office should be backed up every day. The OFFILES directory should also be backed up. Hopefully your backup software allows you to backup just the newly created files in the OFFILES directory. Once a file is in the OFFILES directory, it does not change.

Make sure that your backup software can backup open files. Some backup software cannot do that!

For More Information

See the GroupWise Sizing document. It has lots of great advice, beyond what we've talked about in this document. The document number for this document is: 10016883.

GroupWise Post Office Healthcheck

Things to look for when doing a general GroupWise healthcheck.

  1. Edit the GroupWise POA object, make sure all settings are correct according to this document.
  2. Does the post office support Client Server and Direct? Change that to Client Server only if you can. Make sure people have rights to the GroupWise POA so the can get the IP address for the GroupWise POA.
  3. Virus Protection: Make sure the virus protection does not scan any of the post office. It's futile doing so anyways.
  4. Edit the POA Startup file, make sure that some setting isn't enabled that you don't want. For example, at one customer site we found that the /threads=20 switch was enabled in the POA's startup file, when only 5 threads were necessary.
  5. Make the appropriate changes to the NetWare file server so that it complies to the GroupWise sizing document.
  6. Flag the directories for immediate purge per the recommendations of this document
  7. Make sure that if compression on the volume is enabled, that it's turned off for the post office directory and below.
  8. Make sure that the NetWare server running the GroupWise POA has enough memory. Look at the LRU sitting time, and the cache buffers. Look at purgeable disk space to free up memory also.
  9. Set the post office status tracking level. Change it from All information if the environment allows.
  10. Upgrade to the latest GroupWise GWPOA.NLM
  11. Look in the post office OFUSER and OFMSG directories. Are there a lot of DBX files. If so this tells you that there may be some problems with corruption.
  12. Looking to free up disk space? Do a CTRL-Q on the POA, it'll clean out a bunch of garbage in the OFUSER\INDEX directory. Do this after hours though it could take several hours.
  13. With GroupWise Diagnostics look at the FID of the POA. It should be OFS, if not delete the POA object and re-define it.
  14. Don't use the GroupWise 5.5 EP snapins or 5.5 EP SP1 snapins. Only use these for making modications to the GroupWise WebAccess agent. The GroupWise 5.5 EP snapins drop the MTP port on the POA. Development probably won't address this till 5.5 EP SP3. Make sure the customer is using GroupWise 5.5 SP2 or better snapins.
  15. The NetWare Volume that houses the post office, is it clean. Perhaps VREPAIR will be in order.

GroupWise Domain Healtcheck

  1. Edit the GroupWise MTA's startup file, look for settings that shouldn't be there. Generally it's hard to configure a GroupWise MTA incorrectly.
  2. Add the /NOMSGLOG switch to the GroupWise MTA's startup file


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