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Novell GroupWise vs. Microsoft Exchange Competitive Guide

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Posted: 23 Dec 2002
 

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Contents
Introduction
Why Migrate From Exchange?
Novell GroupWise: An Alternative With a Future
Novell Eases Migration From Exchange
Competitive Summary
Novell Product Training and Support Services
More Information
Introduction

If you are like most organizations using Microsoft* Exchange 5.5, you face a vexing dilemma. If you decide to move to Exchange 2000, you face a difficult and costly migration. If you stay with Exchange 5.5, you will still have to move eventually when Microsoft phases out support for Exchange 5.5. To make matters worse, whether you migrate from Exchange 5.5 or not, you still have to face the odious Microsoft Volume Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance programs, which in most cases mean significantly increased costs.

Novell has an attractive alternative: Move now from Exchange 5.5 to Novell GroupWise 6.5. The migration is easier and less costly, and you'll reap many benefits. You'll avoid Microsoft Volume Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance. You'll have a more secure system. You'll simplify system management. And you'll better position your company for the future.

Why Migrate From Exchange?

There are several major business reasons why many organizations are migrating away from Microsoft Exchange, including:

  • High cost of upgrade to Exchange 2000
  • Increased costs of Volume Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance
  • High risk of susceptibility to virus attacks
  • Difficult administration and support
  • Unclear path to the future

High cost of upgrade
Not only are Exchange users facing major losses due to security holes, they are also facing substantially increased costs. Microsoft's new Volume Licensing 6.0 program, in force since August 2002, has increased the cost of operating Exchange significantly. According to a Sunbelt Software survey1, 90 percent of all interviewed decision makers said that their Microsoft Licensing 6.0 costs would rise anywhere from 5 percent to 300 percent. The problem is that when Titanium is released early next year, Microsoft will begin to phase out support for Exchange 5.5, requiring Exchange users to upgrade to Exchange 2000 with Volume Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance if they want to continue support.

Increased licensing cost is only part of the problem. As you well know, each time you upgrade Exchange, you have to deal with architectural changes that drive up the cost of upgrade. In upgrading from Exchange 5.0 to 5.5, you had to deal with revised data store formats resulting in painful conversion of data stores. Now look what you have to deal with in upgrading from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000: to be able to take advantage of the full functionality of Exchange 2000 you must:

  • Upgrade all Exchange 5.5 servers to Exchange 2000
  • Upgrade all Windows NT* servers to Windows* 2000
  • Deploy Active Directory*

The effort and cost are substantial. Moreover, you'll need to retrain your IT staff. To make matters worse, you must run in native mode to take advantage of all the new Exchange 2000 features. Unfortunately, you can't switch your Exchange system to native mode until you have upgraded all servers to Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000, which in many instances requires swapping out old hardware for new.

It's no wonder that the Sunbelt survey cited above also reveals that almost 40 percent of respondent companies said they plan to move away from Microsoft.

Increased costs of Volume Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance
Information technology executives are up in arms over Microsoft Volume Licensing 6.0. An article in CIO Magazine2 states, "Underneath this seemingly simple plan to change how companies pay for software lay a not-so-simple plan to turn Microsoft into a utility that provided the electricity to power businesses, now and forever. Once that was understood, a strange thing happened. CIOs began to say no. No to Licensing 6.0. No to Software Assurance. And no to Microsoft's vision of the future."

In the same CIO Magazine article, customers complain that they are between a rock and a hard place. Either they pay annual Software Assurance fees beyond their normal licensing fees at the high rate of 25 cents on the dollar for servers and 29 cents on the dollar for PCs, or they have to pay for new licenses when they upgrade. In the article, the CIO of Rock-Tenn Co., a $1.5 billion packaging maker, said the 29 percent annual rate for Software Assurance was twice what he thought was justified for a subscription. The CIO says he expected to pay Microsoft approximately $1 million for upgrades without Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance. Under the new pricing and licensing plans, he says, "Either I pay $1 million extra now [to sign up for 6.0 and Software Assurance], or $8 million three years from now," which is when he would prefer to get a Windows or Office upgrade. If the CIO upgrades when he wants to, on a timetable that makes sense for Rock-Tenn, it will cost his company $7 million more than if he upgrades now, when he doesn't want to.

As you know, the August 31, 2002 deadline to make your decision on your licensing future with Microsoft has already passed, and none of the options were attractive.

  • You could have done nothing. But that means you must buy new licenses when you upgrade, and you must also enroll in the Software Assurance program at that time. The resulting costs are substantial.
  • You could have bought the Upgrade Advantage Plan. That would have given you a two-year extension beyond the Software Assurance enrollment deadline. But you must pay for Upgrade Advantage for those two years, driving up your costs.
  • You could have enrolled in Software Assurance. But you must pay high Software Assurance fees whether you take advantages of upgrades or not, increasing your costs.
  • You could have purchased an Enterprise Agreement. That gives you upgrades as long as you are enrolled, but you must agree to use only Microsoft products purchased directly from Microsoft, and you must meet certain Microsoft-specified minimums. This approach locks you into Microsoft.

Because they are feeling squeezed by Microsoft, many organizations are considering a fifth option: moving away from Microsoft altogether.

High risk of susceptibility to virus attacks
It's no secret that Microsoft Exchange users continue to suffer from e-mail viruses and worms. Through a 3-year, $40 billion onslaught of Melissa, Love Bug, Code Red, Nimda and other viruses targeted at Microsoft Exchange, Outlook* and IIS, Exchange users have suffered serious disruptions to their businesses3. And that goes right to the bottom line.

The Code Red and the Love Bug attacks alone cost Exchange users an estimated $11 billion in 2001 and accounted for more than one-quarter of the costs associated with lost productivity and virus damage control for all viruses reported during the period of 1999-20014.

Difficult to manage and support
Exchange is noted for its management difficulty. This is evidenced by a joke circulating around Exchange sites. Question: Why is a Microsoft Exchange manager like a voodoo doll? Answer: Somebody is always needling him about a problem.

Exchange management and support costs are high due to several factors, including:

  • High susceptibility to virus attacks. The IT staff spends considerable time repairing damage and supporting users.
  • Cumbersome management by domain. Exchange 5.5 administrators have to manage each domain separately, greatly complicating administration. The only way to get single point management is to migrate to Exchange 2000 and Windows 2000 with Active Directory, and run in native mode. We've already discussed the high cost of making that move.
  • Low reliability. Exchange is notorious for problems with reliability and system corruption. As a result, system managers and support staff spend quite a bit of time chasing down problems and supporting customers during outages.

Rocky path to the future
A recent article on the NetworkWorldFusion5 site states, "Microsoft stuffed a number of collaboration features in Exchange Server with great fanfare. Last week, the company started to tell network executives why it now plans to pluck them out. At its annual Microsoft Exchange Conference, company executives said that real-time collaboration, most notably instant messaging and conferencing, belongs in the base operating system and not Exchange." This will require considerable effort on the part of Exchange customers' network to make the switch. This announcement is yet another example of Microsoft's ongoing attempt to define its convoluted .NET infrastructure which will be its foundation for the next generation of distributed applications based on Web services technology.

A recent article on vnunet.com,6 a U.K. technology news site, states "SP3 for Exchange 2000, which Microsoft claimed would now be available, is anticipated to be the last one, as the company diverts its attention to Titanium development. "Instead of issuing a patch for Windows 2000 we decided to go back and make all of the improvements for .Net,' said Barry Goffe, group manager, enterprise marketing strategy at Microsoft." The same article also carried another quote that is unsettling to Exchange users. Gary Tugwell Smith, Exchange product manager at Microsoft said, "Architectural changes, functions and the way the software interacts with Windows means Titanium will only work with .Net."

Although Microsoft has promised that Titanium will be backward compatible with Windows 2000, Ewan Dalton, architectural systems engineer at Microsoft U.K., said, "The first release of Titanium will be at least feature compatible with the current Exchange 2000, but improvements to cover major features [as promised for .Net] will come in later versions."7

Novell GroupWise: An Alternative With a Future

Novell GroupWise provides an attractive alternative to Exchange 5.5 customers. By migrating to GroupWise 6.x, you can solve the dilemma you now face with Exchange. And in the process, you'll strengthen security, reduce costs, simplify administration and support and better position your organization for the future.

Lower migration costs
It costs substantially less to migrate from Exchange 5.5 to GroupWise 6.x than to migrate from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000. A major reason for the difference is that, in migrating to GroupWise 6.x, customers don't have to upgrade all their Windows NT servers to Windows 2000 because GroupWise 6.x runs with full capability on Windows NT as well as on Windows 2000.

According to Ferris Research8, a major upgrade such as that from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000 ends up costing between $50 and $700 per user with a typical cost of $400 per user. Compare this to the $120 to $140 per user that Novell customers have experienced in migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Novell GroupWise 6 - even on smaller installations of 500 users.

More advantageous licensing
If you are like the many Exchange 5.5 organizations that opted to do nothing with respect to Software Assurance, you now face the expensive prospect of buying new licenses when you decide to upgrade. You will also have to subscribe to Software Assurance at that time. That's why now is a good time to migrate to GroupWise.

Novell offers flexible licensing options that include traditional purchase or maintenance subscriptions. Licensing features include discounted pricing, worldwide availability, upgrade protection, technical services, consulting and other services to those customers who qualify. Novell offers several purchasing options to customers who wish to take advantage of their volume purchases. In addition, Novell offers a competitive upgrade from Exchange to GroupWise, so you don't have to pay full price as you would if you stay with Microsoft and upgrade to Exchange 2000.

Another factor in favor of GroupWise is that, unlike Microsoft licensing that is device-centric, GroupWise licensing is user-centric, and that saves you money. For example, with GroupWise, you don't pay additional license fees for mobile users who need access from their office desktop and from wireless devices. Exchange wireless access, on the other hand, requires an additional Exchange client access license (CAL) and the addition of a Mobile Information Server (MIS) CAL for that device.

Stronger security
Novell GroupWise has gained a well-deserved reputation for security and resistance to attacks. Exchange is clearly more susceptible to security attacks than GroupWise. What's more, when attacked, Exchange systems experience significantly greater damage than GroupWise systems. That's because Microsoft has implemented a number of Visual Basic hooks to Exchange that permit hackers and vandals to create viruses that cause extensive damage. Unlike Exchange, GroupWise doesn't have Visual Basic hooks, making it far more difficult to create viruses that cause extensive damage.

Furthermore, ICSA Laboratory's 7th Annual Computer Virus Prevalence Survey 2001 found that the most prevalent type of viruses in 2000/2001 were those that spread by attacking the address book and auto-e-mailing themselves to discovered addresses. GroupWise implements a far more secure address book then Exchange, one that is fully encrypted and has a unique API. As a result, even if a virus does infect a GroupWise user, it would not be propagated to additional users and cause widespread damage as it would in an Exchange system.

Viable Solutions, a large reseller that maintains both Exchange and GroupWise, tracked the downtime of their clients due to viruses. The chart below, derived from that study, shows the average number of system down days for both Exchange and GroupWise caused by some of the most infamous viruses of recent years. For Exchange users, the hit was severe, ranging from one to four days per virus attack. For GroupWise users, the downtime was so low it didn't even register.

Simplified administration and support Exchange is difficult to manage due to a variety of factors. It is notoriously unreliable and highly susceptible to virus attacks. In addition, Exchange 5.5 administrators have to manage each domain separately.

GroupWise, on the other hand, has rock solid reliability and is far less susceptible to virus attacks than Exchange. In addition, GroupWise is tightly integrated with Novell eDirectory, the industry's most popular directory service. So you can enjoy the efficiencies of single-point, directory-based management.

As a result, it takes far less administrators to manage GroupWise than to manage Exchange. Exchange customers report typical ratios of users to administrators that range between 50 to 1 and 500 to 1. By comparison, GroupWise customers are able to maintain user-to-administrator ratios of over 10,000 to 1. Nathan Parton, Senior Systems Administrator at Thames Valley University in London reports that they comfortably manage about 40,000 users with only 1 administrator.

Think of the impact these kinds of ratios will have on your system management costs.

Smooth path to the future
Unlike Microsoft, Novell continues to add capabilities to, not subtract them from, GroupWise. GroupWise 6.5, the most recent version of GroupWise, brings a number of new features to the already feature-rich GroupWise 6.0, including:

  • Secure, open standards-based and policy-based instant messaging
  • New, easy-to-use client with productivity tool enhancements that include contact management, color-coded message categorization, message checklist, and message heading personalization
  • Enhancement of the already extensive GroupWise out-of-the-box wireless support with extended support for mobile devices
  • Exposing of GroupWise data, permitting administrators and third-party products to access the GroupWise backend using open standards such as IMAP 4
  • LDAP pooling that allows users to authenticate from a pool of LDAP servers, increasing availability through failover and boosting performance through load balancing
  • Enhanced anti-virus capability using trusted application technology that permits anti-virus software to search the message store for new and previously undetected viruses
  • Enhanced spam filtering with several layers of tools for filtering spam from the system, offering administrators and users a variety of options that can satisfy the needs of even the most diverse organizations
  • Even easier management through new administrator utilities and enhanced user and system activity monitoring
  • Enhanced Web access enabling users to communicate more effectively whether they are in the office or on the road

For customers that select maintenance, Novell has published a roadmap with two major versions beyond the GroupWise 6.5 release in February 2002. Gartner Group has said that GroupWise investments are good at least until 20059. (That's as far into the future as Gartner makes estimates.)

Novell Eases Migration From Exchange

Now is the time to get out of the Exchange mire and move into the more secure, less costly, easier to manage and far more advanced GroupWise environment. Your users, your administrators and your chief financial officer will all thank you. And you'll rest easier knowing you no longer face the Exchange dilemma.

As we have seen, it is easier to migrate from Exchange 5.5 to GroupWise 6.x than it is to migrate from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000. Because GroupWise installs on both Windows NT and Windows 2000 Servers, you can operate in a mixed Windows NT/Windows 2000 environment keeping your familiar platforms and still enjoy the full, rich functionality of GroupWise 6.5. Compare this to Exchange, which requires you to run in native mode in an all Windows 2000 environment to take advantage of the full functionality of Exchange 2000.

In addition, Novell and its partners provide a variety of tools that facilitate the most complex part of the migration - the data store. For example, Novell partner products CompuSven E-mail Shuttle* and Com/Axis UniAccess facilitate migration of the message store from Exchange to GroupWise.

For more information on migrating from Exchange to GroupWise, refer to the Novell document "Migrating to Novell GroupWise from Microsoft Exchange." You'll find it at http://www.novell.com/collateral/4820915/4820915.pdf.
Competitive Summary

The following bullets review some of the main reasons why you should consider migrating away from Microsoft Exchange 5.5 to Novell GroupWise.

  • Over the last three years, bugs targeting Microsoft Windows/Exchange/Outlook/IIS including Melissa, Love Bug, Code Red and Nimda, have cost the industry an estimated $40 billion. The Code Red and the Love Bug attacks alone cost users an estimated $11 billion in 2001, and accounted for more than one-quarter of the costs associated with lost productivity and virus damage control for all viruses reported during the period of 1999-2001.
  • Microsoft's new Volume Licensing 6.0 and Software Assurance program has increased the cost of operating Exchange so much that according to a Sunbelt Software survey, 90 percent of all interviewed decision makers said their Microsoft Licensing 6.0 costs would rise anywhere from 5 percent to 300 percent. The Sunbelt survey also reveals that almost 40 percent of respondent companies said they plan to move away from Microsoft.
  • To use all of the improvements in Exchange 2000, you must run your e-mail system in Native Mode. To run in Native Mode, you must replace all Windows NT with Windows 2000, replace all Exchange 5.5 with Exchange 2000, and deploy Active Directory. You must be absolutely certain that you have correctly deployed Windows 2000, Exchange 2000 and Active Directory before you convert your system from Mixed Mode to Native Mode because the conversion is irreversible.
  • According to Ferris Research, upgrading from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000 will cost between $50 and $700 per user with a typical cost of $400 per user. Compare this to the cost of migrating to GroupWise. Novell ConsultingSM Services has migrated several customers from Exchange 5.5 to Novell GroupWise 6 at an average cost of the $120 to $140 per user, even on smaller installations of 500 users.
  • Migrating from Exchange 5.5 to Exchange 2000 will require substantial retraining for Exchange administrators because the architecture is so radically different, most notably the networking (replacing NetBIOS and WINS with DNS) and the reliance on Active Directory.
  • GroupWise 6.x can run on your existing Windows NT servers, as long as they meet the hardware requirements.
  • A recent article on the NetworkWorldFusion site states, "Microsoft stuffed a number of collaboration features in Exchange Server with great fanfare. Last week, the company started to tell network executives why it now plans to pluck them out. At its annual Microsoft Exchange Conference, company executives said that real-time collaboration, most notably instant messaging and conferencing, belongs in the base operating system and not Exchange."
  • A recent article on vnunet.com, a U.K. technology news site, states ?SP3 for Exchange 2000, which Microsoft claimed would now be available, is anticipated to be the last one, as the company diverts its attention to Titanium development. ?Instead of issuing a patch for Windows 2000, we decided to go back and make all of the improvements for .Net,' said Barry Goffe, group manager, enterprise marketing strategy at Microsoft.?
  • Although Microsoft has promised that Titanium will be backward compatible with Windows 2000, Ewan Dalton, architectural systems engineer at Microsoft U.K. said, ?The first release of Titanium will be at least feature compatible with the current Exchange 2000, but improvements to cover major features [as promised for .Net] will come in later versions.? Gary Tugwell Smith, Exchange product manager at Microsoft said, ?Architectural changes, functions and the way the software interacts with Windows means Titanium will only work with .Net.?
  • ICSA Laboratory's 7th Annual Computer Virus Prevalence Survey 2001 found that viruses that spread by attacking the address book and auto-e-mailing themselves to discovered addresses were the most prevalent type of virus in 2000/2001. GroupWise implements a far more secure address book then Exchange, one that is fully encrypted and has a unique API.
  • Exchange customers typically maintain a ratio of users to administrators of between 50 to 1 and 500 to 1. By comparison, GroupWise customers are able to maintain user-to-administrator ratios of over 10,000 to 1. Nathan Parton, Senior Systems Administrator at Thames Valley University in London, reports that they comfortably manage about 40,000 users with only 1 administrator.
Novell Product Training and Support Services

For more information about Novell's worldwide product training, certification programs, consulting and technical support services, please visit: www.novell.com/services.

More Information

Contact your local Novell Solutions Provider, or visit the Novell Web site at: www.novell.com. You can purchase Novell Solutions online at: www.novell.com/shopnovell. You may also call Novell at: 1-888-321-4272 US/Canada, 1-801-861-4272 Worldwide, 1-801-861-8473 Facsimile.

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2002 Novell, Inc. All rights reserved. Novell and GroupWise are registered trademarks, eDirectory is a trademark and Novell Consulting is a service mark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

*Active Directory, Microsoft, Outlook, Windows and Windows NT are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. E-Mail Shuttle is a trademark of CompuSven, Inc. All other third-party trademarks are the property of their respective owners.




  1. "Microsoft's New Subscription Plan, The Meter Is Running - but CIOs are saying 'STOP THE CAB'" CIO Magazine, January 15, 2002.
  2. http://enterprisesecurity.symantec.com/content.cfm?articleid=852&PID=4402422
  3. Same Symantec article, 1999 = $12.1 billion, 2000 = $17.1 billion, 2001 through September = $10.7 billion
  4. http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3649/is_200210/ai_n9115053, "Microsoft shuffles deck on Exchange," John Fontana, October 14, 2002.
  5. Upgrade Woe for Exchange, vnunet.com, David Ludlow, July 31, 2002.
  6. Complex .Net migration worries users, Peter Williams, vnunet.com, August 13, 2002.
  7. Major Hidden Costs When Running Exchange Server, Ferris Research, May 29, 2002.
  8. "Novell: The Pain of Rebirth," Gartner Group Research Note, March 2002.


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