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Using Hard Drives to Backup GroupWise

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Michael Bruner

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Posted: 11 Jan 2006

One of my greatest difficulties as a Director of Technology is how to achieve and keep good reliable GroupWise Backups. I think I've finally found the answer. Utilizing a a product called SNAPSHOTEFB (Snapshot Enterprise File Backup) I am using hard drives to backup GroupWise instead of unreliable tape.

Now, if I were backing up the entire GroupWise Post Office every day without any archiving, the backups could be huge and since the database files for each user change each and every day, you would have huge backups even if you were trying to do incremental backups. So, the trick is in the archiving.

When GroupWise archives the messages, it creates a file for each message. I created a Volume that will just hold the mail archives. I then used File System Factory to create directories for each user, assign rights to the directories, and assign space restrictions. After mapping M: for each user to their respective folders, I set the Archive Folder at the post office level to M:\.

I also hide drive M: with a group policy so the users don't start using this drive to save their personal MP3's etc. there. Since Snapshot EFB effectively does a full backup each time you backup the server, but doesn't duplicate files that have already been backed up, it will only backup the newly archived files on each daily backup of the ARCHIVE VOLUME.

Each daily backup of the Post Office holding 30 days of mail will only be fairly small. So, on one 250 gb hard drive, I can probably archive over 1 year's worth of email and I could restore the whole email server back to any day of the past year in less than 2 hours.

Each Friday I bring in a hot swap firewire caddy containing a 250 gb hard drive and synchronize this hard drive with the one containing the backups. I then take it back offsite for disaster recovery purposes.

In my opinion, this is much better than tape backups and much more reliable. You can find more information about the SnapshotEFB software at

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