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Posted: 29 Apr 2004
 

A Business Case for Running GroupWise 6.5 for Linux Across Your Enterprise

You've no doubt heard the buzz surrounding the Linux* operating system (OS) and opensource development. The quiet revolution that began over a decade ago as a possible alternative to UNIX* and Windows* applications environments is emerging as an exciting and viable alternative.

But does it make sense to run your enterprise collaboration solution on Linux? Novell believes the answer is a resounding YES—which is why the company is aggressively developing Linux-based solutions and migrating its own business-critical systems— including enterprise collaboration—to Linux.

In the following pages, we'll explore the Novell rationale for adopting Linux and answer questions to help you determine why Novell? GroupWise? for Linux makes strategic sense for your enterprise collaboration environment.

A Secure Platform for Enterprise Collaboration

Today, security tops the minds and priority lists of every chief information officer. Forty percent of nearly 1,000 IT managers surveyed by IDC in July 2003 rated security as their single-highest priority. This same group indicated security was the only area where spending actually increased in their organization over the previous six months. Granted, reducing administrative expense, increasing business efficiency and minimizing licensing fees are also imperatives. And we'll cover them a little later.

A collaborative solution is only as secure as the platform it's built on, starting with the underlying operating system. If the OS presents security issues, hackers can exploit a multitude of security holes to easily spread viruses, worms and other security threats. The result is an IT staff that's relegated to reactive-mode security patching, virus administration and other forms of security triage. Malicious virus attacks, which are typically initiated through e-mail, can bring the productivity of an enterprise to a grinding halt, while leaving customers to explore other options.

Linux is a fundamentally secure operating system. It was created and refined over the Internet by open-source developers who understand the needs of a networked world. Robust security and reliability were designed in from the very beginning because the Linux founders knew the hazards of poor security.

The open-source Linux community works together to aggressively address security issues— which is a major advantage to corporate Linux users. If there is a security problem, you don't have to rely on a single vendor to rectify the problem when they can get to it, because developers around the world will quickly fix it and supply a patch to the entire community—often within days of the discovery. The point here is that Linux is a secure operating system designed to run highavailability applications in a networked environment.

Conversely, general-purpose operating systems such as Windows were designed to run as standalone desktop applications—and have been retrofitted over the years to become network capable. One look at the sheer size of the typical Windows XP installation (1.5 gigabytes ) explains not only the performance limitations of Windows, but the myriad ways in which hackers can target the operating system and cause mayhem within your organization.

Securing Peace of Mind with GroupWise

Novell is recognized for its superior technology in networking, security and identity management. Currently in its sixth generation of development, GroupWise continues to benefit from this security expertise and brings significant value to help protect your enterprise. With GroupWise for Linux, enterprises can embrace the Net knowing they are protected by field-proven security. Users authenticate to GroupWise using Novell eDirectory? or any LDAP-compliant directory. Once authenticated to GroupWise, users enjoy secure, end-to-end communications between client machines and even individual software agents.

This includes encrypted GroupWise instant messaging that remains behind a company's firewall for internal and/or external communications, unlike other IM clients that send information out over the public Internet in clear text. Multiple levels of encryption are available to users and groups, including 128-bit SSL. Users can even sign messages with digital certificates if they choose.

GroupWise has a proven history of security and reliability and is much less likely to be compromised than any other popular collaboration or e-mail system. The same Visual Basic* capabilities that allow programmers to automate tasks in applications running on general-purpose operating systems allow hackers to automate virus execution. Even Microsoft Word documents can contain macros that execute viruses. Fortunately, there no way to put Visual Basic hooks into GroupWise.

Opening unknown attachments is a primary method of launching a virus. The GroupWise Viewer feature allows users to browse most attachment types before opening them, giving users complete discretion over whether to launch attachments.

GroupWise 6.5 offers tight integration with leading anti-virus and anti-spam solutions. Working with partner products, it detects and eliminates viruses that might impair business operations. Multiple levels of spam control restrict unsolicited bulk e-mail, so productivity isn't impacted by e-mail overload.

Reliable Collaboration. No Ifs, and or Buts.

Linux provides exceptional availability and scalability, which impacts everyone from system administrators and employees to customers themselves. For Linux, uptime is often counted in months and sometimes years, whereas many traditional Windows-based systems have to be rebooted much more often, sometimes on a daily or weekly basis. Linux has mainframe-like reliability and scalability at Intel economics, which translates into a better return on investment. In September 2003, Evans Data Corporation surveyed 400 developers who indicated three main characteristics that drew them to the Linux platform: stability, its open-source nature and low cost compared to proprietary offerings.

These same price, performance and reliability benefits are a major reason why large IT vendors like BEA, IBM, Oracle, Novell and Sun are aligning behind Linux. Many of these vendors are porting their application servers and security tools to Linux while others, including HP, are providing extensive consulting services and support so you can easily plan, deploy and maintain your systems well into the future.

With estimates of revenue losses running as high as $1 million per hour of system downtime, Linux is becoming the OS of choice at companies such as Amazon.com, FedEx and Google, where continuous uptime and rapid response are critical to their business operation.

All GroupWise All the Time

When e-mail goes down, not only does productivity suffer, but you also lose your primary communications link to coworkers, customers and vendors— many of whom may think that you have received their messages.

GroupWise delivers the highest reliability of any messaging system. Many customers report that GroupWise uptime is often measured in years, not months. GroupWise includes built-in redundancy features, such as LDAP pooling, to keep essential services available. And GroupWise clustering support provides an even higher-availability messaging solution for fault-tolerant 24x7 operation—even in the event of system hardware failures. Combined with the virus-resistance of GroupWise, the chances of failure are very minimal.

Smart Administration Saves Money

Ask any CIO why they're considering a Linux expansion, and the first things you'll hear about are ease of administration and cost savings. In fact, 64 percent of companies surveyed by CIO Research cite lower total cost of ownership as their primary motivation for moving to Linux. Linux can lower a company's TCO by simplifying administration, making more efficient use of hardware, extending the life of legacy systems and ending your dependence on proprietary vendors.

To date, collaboration tools in the Linux environment have provided somewhat limited functionality. While it's possible to achieve basic enterprise collaboration using an assortment of point products, the resulting multi-product environment requires significant integration and redundant administrative efforts.

GroupWise for Linux provides a turnkey collaborative solution that is far easier to manage than multi-product alternatives—and less expensive.

GroupWise Integration Lowers Administration Costs

GroupWise is the most full-featured fully integrated collaboration solution for the Linux environment, allowing highly efficient administration and management. GroupWise includes industry-leading administrative tools, integration through open standards, scalability and flexible pricing options to significantly reduce a company's implementation and maintenance costs.

Consider this: it's not uncommon for companies to enjoy GroupWise user-to-administrator ratios of 10,000:1 or more. Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan serves 20,000 GroupWise users with a single administrator. The Swedish National Police Board manages its 26,000-user GroupWise system with two administrators. And in the U.K., Thames Valley University is achieving even higher levels of administrative efficiency by serving 25,000 users with a single GroupWise administrator. Compare this to a Microsoft Exchange model, where ratios range between 50:1 and 500:1, and it's easy to see why companies are seriously considering making the switch to GroupWise.

Novell GroupWise also allows central administration for remote locations, eliminating the need to place IT staff in branch offices, or have them travel between offices for routine administration. What's more, highly efficient GroupWise architecture minimizes network traffic for efficient bandwidth usage of local and WAN links—something that the Novell IT group is taking advantage of by consolidating its own GroupWise servers at a few central locations for greater hardware and administrative efficiency.

The GroupWise administrative tools can boost IT administrator productivity, minimizing IT staff requirements. Few if any companies have an overabundance of IT resources. And if your organization is like most, strategic IT projects often take a back seat to day-to-day administrative needs. Less time spent managing the collaborative environment can free IT staff to tackle strategic initiatives—the type of value-added projects that deliver real competitive advantage to the enterprise.

Empowering Users through Self-Management

GroupWise 6.5 includes enhanced shared-folder capabilities, allowing individual users to set up access rights to shared files and folders, rather than relying on IT staff. By eliminating the need to assign rights and map drives, IT staffs can save hours of administrative work each week.

Improved junk-mail handling in GroupWise 6.5 gives users the option to create their own block lists, which decreases the number of spamrelated helpdesk calls. In addition, the IT team can control spam at the gateway level, limiting the amount of unwanted messages that reach individual mailboxes.

Bringing Licensing Costs Down to Earth

It's impossible to discuss cost savings without mentioning licensing and upgrade fees. A growing number of enterprise customers feel dominant PC software companies are arbitrarily raising prices with little conscience or consequence. Flexibility of choice is the only real protection against vendor lock-in situations.

Novell GroupWise licensing fees are lower than those of competitive offerings—regardless of which operating environment you choose. GroupWise for Linux is no exception, providing very reasonable licensing fees with a model that keeps your options open as you move forward.

Getting From Here to There

Any platform migration is a strategic decision that requires thorough and thoughtful planning. You now have one source to help you transition to a Linuxbased solution that will save you money now and allow you the freedom to meet tomorrow's business demands.

Novell has developed best practices and migration tools that can help any organization achieve a successful migration—and quick time to benefit. It's worth mentioning that these migration tools aren't based solely on theory. Novell has real-world experience migrating its own business operations to Linux—experience that the company is openly sharing through a strong delivery system of consulting, education and customer support.

Broad Compatibility Simplifies GroupWise Migration

For many companies, it doesn't make sense to make wholesale, overnight changes to their e-mail systems. GroupWise and Linux give you the flexibility to ease into your migration in stages. Novell designed GroupWise 6.5 for Linux to coexist with a Microsoft Exchange Server environment to alleviate the burdens of migration. Novell also offers a GroupWise-to-Exchange Gateway. This simplifies control-group evaluations and staged GroupWise migrations for departments, divisions or corporate acquisitions.

Multiple e-mail systems can easily co-exist by allowing different clients to run against the same back-end GroupWise Linux server. In fact, as a company moves to Linux, it can connect a single GroupWise for Linux server to multiple collaboration clients, including Ximian Evolution?, Gaim instant messaging, GroupWise Messenger, GroupWise Cross-Platform and GroupWise Windows. Users are never even aware that a change is taking place.

Novell provides vast expertise to supplement the skills of your IT staff. Based on your needs, Novell has the right combination of training programs and consulting services to help your team research, plan and execute a successful GroupWise for Linux migration.

Making GroupWise Even Wiser Tomorrow

Lean organizations are the norm these days— not just in the IT department, but across the entire enterprise. Collapsed organizational structures mean workers must make far-reaching decisions that require input and insights from team members, vendors and partners. Effective real-time collaboration is the key to success in the new workplace—regardless of where that workplace might be on any given day.

E-mail has become the de facto habitat for today's information-based workforce. And they need a combination of Web-friendly and rich-client collaboration environments that go far beyond traditional e-mail capabilities to include efficient information management, document sharing, scheduling, instant messaging and more. GroupWise offers the richest set of productivity-enhancing collaboration tools available today. However, the ways in which people work are in a constant state of change. That's why Novell is continuing to improve GroupWise with a modular suite of collaboration services that will simplify:

  • Finding relevant information quickly and with meaningful context
  • Organizing and prioritizing around the way the user works
  • Coordinating events, documents and work to meet team and organizational needs

Developing Innovative Features and Momentum

New GroupWise innovations will soon provide more natural ways to access the people and resources you need—regardless of where you or they reside. GroupWise tools will become as malleable as the teams themselves. It's worth mentioning that new GroupWise capabilities will be made available on Windows, NetWare? and Linux platforms, providing a future with flexible choices and options.

As the demands for information and information sources continue to increase, it will become increasingly important to keep information in context. Too often, e-mail searches yield too much data but not enough relevant information. And e-mail content loses its original context so that you end up hunting through your inbox to make sense of it. The next generation of GroupWise collaboration will intuitively deliver e-mail with real focus and context that makes responding to business needs simpler.

The next generation of GroupWise will also make it much easier to organize information and projects. What's the best way to file an item? Should you organize it by subject, sender or project, or leave it filed by date? And how do you handle information from the multiple teams you work with? The next generation of GroupWise will provide intuitive organization and help users structure information based on the way they work—while maintaining relevant context.

Finally, GroupWise will also deliver calendaring built around people rather than just time. Do your collaboration tools help you make sure team assignments don't get lost, or are they tracked in such a way that everyone on your team can move forward? Do you have an easy way to generate friendly reminders so that the work gets done? To help you achieve greater coordination, the next-generation of GroupWise will:

  • Present a calendar built around people rather than just dates and time
  • Structure your own priorities in the context of your teams, organizations and personal life
  • Automatically track documents with up-to-date versions
  • Manage the documents and projects that go along with your calendar and schedule
  • Provide real-time collaboration to increase the organization's level of coordination

Enter Novell iFolder

Another innovative capability is Novell iFolder? technology. Novell iFolder automatically copies and synchronizes data files between servers and enduser devices whenever and wherever they connect— from home, at customer sites and in hotel rooms. Users maintain access to their files offline, with automatic backups when they reconnect.

Using GroupWise and Novell iFolder, users will soon be able to:

  • Sync data between multiple machines
  • Gain anytime/anywhere access to their data via the Internet
  • Share documents among team members
  • Preserve teamwork in a common storage area after team members move on to the next project

Like GroupWise, Novell iFolder runs on NetWare, Linux and Windows operating systems. And once it's integrated with GroupWise, users will be able to:

  • View and access their Novell iFolder from within the GroupWise client
  • Search for content in Novell iFolder and e-mails using the GroupWise Find feature
  • Enjoy a consistent experience using the address book, whether accessing it from within GroupWise or standalone Novell iFolder clients
Trust Novell As Your Partner

The Linux revolution is well under way. With it comes exciting new opportunities for enterprise computing and collaboration that will span employees, vendors, partners and the open-source community.

As the world's leading Linux company, Novell has already traveled the road you're looking down. Novell has everything you need to move your enterprise to Linux, from desktop to server, and from consulting and training to certification and support. The expert consultants at Novell can work closely with you to plan, design and execute a migration that achieves your business objectives, leverages your existing infrastructure and maintains the high level of service your users have come to expect.

Novell is committed to helping customers achieve the full benefits of Linux, while providing freedom of choice with enterprise-class network services on multiple platforms. Novell has stepped forward as the global leader in the Linux revolution, beginning with acquisitions of Ximian and SUSE? LINUX The rapid development of Novell Nterprise? Linux Services and native Linux versions of iPrint, Novell iFolder and GroupWise are further indications of the company's commitment—with more services moving to Linux every day.

Consider these facts:

  • Novell is the first $1 billion company to offer a comprehensive enterprise Linux solution from the desktop to the server
  • Novell offers services that support Linux with the same level of performance and professionalism as other platforms
  • With the recent acquisitions of Ximian and SUSE, Novell has expanded its ability to serve the full range of customer Linux and opensource needs
  • Novell offers industry-leading certification and education programs for Linux
  • Novell NgageSM consulting services offer real-world Linux and migration insights to your next Linux deployment project
  • Novell has award-winning 24x7 global support
  • Finally, through the Novell Linux Indemnification Program, organizations can deploy Novell Linux solutions with protection against future technology copyright challenges

Learn more about GroupWise for Linux

A key component of the Novell Nterprise solution family, GroupWise 6.5 for Linux represents a new level of open, intuitive, secure communications and brings it to the Linux platform on an enterprise scale. Look to GroupWise for Linux to help promote teamwork while building trusted relationships between your users.


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