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Which to Upgrade First: GroupWise or NetWare

Novell Cool Solutions: Trench

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Posted: 4 May 2004

Recently we ran this Open Call in the Q&A, and received some interesting feedback.

Question: As I was installing NW (upgrading from 6 to 6.5) I read another post about upgrading GW first, then NW. So as usual in my life, I did it what? I really need to get GW 6.5 use all of the functions of GWAVA. If I run the upgrade on GW, do I need to run the SP1 on NW 65 again?

Answer: It shouldn't make any difference whatsoever as GW doesn't install OS files, nor the OS GroupWise files. The only concern might be the GW plugins in the ConsoleOne directory, but that can be corrected very quickly either way. Mainly because you probably didn't install the GW plugins to ALL your servers, (at least we hope not). Other than that we aren't aware of any reason a GW upgrade should either precede or follow a NW upgrade.

Anyone out there with light to shed on this? Let us know.


Donna L. Seiser

We upgraded to NW 6.5 first; waited a few months to let all that shake out; then upgraded from GW 5.5EP to GW 6.5. Worked great and no major issues with Novell products.

Syed Quadri

Look at page 21 of the Readme file for Nw65 sp1. It says that GroupWise 6 with Support Pack 3 is supported, but talks about where the 6.03 webaccess servlet is only supported on an upgrade, but the webaccess servlet from gw6 sp4 is supported. I don't think it should be a problem if you upgrade your GW after the OS upgrade.

Brad Spilde

Which to Upgrade First? Both! Well, okay, only one can be done at a time so I say NetWare, but here's my story...

I actually upgraded a GroupWise system of over 1000 users in two post offices from NW 6 to NW 6.5, GroupWise 6.0.3 to 6.5.1 and a Compaq ML530 to a Compaq ML530 G2 all in one day.

Here are the basic steps (not being a fan of the migration utility although I may have used it for NICI migration):

  1. Install new server to temp tree.
  2. Shutdown GroupWise agents.
  3. Remark the gwtsa.ncf and gwstart.ncf file out of the Autoexec.ncf
  4. Log workstation into both trees.
  5. Use NWCopy to move GroupWise files to the new server.
  6. Bring down old server.
  7. Use NWConfig to remove the new server from the temp tree.
  8. Change the name of the server in the autoexec.ncf and the IPX server ID if used to that of the old server.
  9. Change the IP address to that of the old server.
  10. Restart server.
  11. Join it to the live tree.
  12. Use PKIDiag to recreate the SSL Certificates that will need the new IP.
  13. Run GroupWise upgrade procedure per Tay Kratzer's upgrade guide.
  14. Start GroupWise Agents.
  15. Install your backup software agents.
  16. Time for its first FULL backup on the new server.

The only problems we had with the upgrade turned out to be related to bad memory in the server. I would suggest however that you use a NW6.5.1a support pack overlay CD to do the install and then check for NSS and TCPIP patches after that. Make sure that you follow the GroupWise Best Practices guide, Volume recommendations, and server set parameters as recommended.

David Valentine

When upgrading from a single server to a cluster environment, it is extremely important to upgrade AFTER moving to the cluster. The GW installation has check boxes for clustering. Also, in a clustered environment it is typical to create a SYSTEM directory on the same volume that will be failed over with the post office. That way all of the modules are only in one place and can be easily patched and accessible.

Aref Mukred

I did upgrade from GW55 to GW 6.5 on a NW5.1 SP6 server without a problem. I also upgraded a NW5.1 Server to NetWare 6.5 first and then upgraded GW 6.0 to GW 6.5 SP1 without any issues except some small issues with the WebAccess which have been corrected by re-installing the WebAccess piece (because re-installing WebAccess is the easiest way to go rather than troubleshooting and wasting time).

As long as you always keep in mind to read through the requirements for any upgrade, you are safe, because we are dealing with Novell products. We also have to quit being scared about upgrades, and NEVER compare Novell products with Microsoft products. (For example, you MUST upgrade Exchange 2000 to Exchange 2003 Server FIRST before upgrading Windows 2000 Server to Windows 2003 Server, since Exchange 2000 will not run in a Windows Server 2003 machine.)

Gabriel Sanchez Coria

I did this procedure in a company with the following environment:

  • 6 NetWare 5.1 Servers
  • 1 NetWare 4.11 Server
  • 1 GroupWise 5.5. EP Domain and postoffice
  • Applied Support Pack 6a to all NetWare 5.1 servers.
  • Verified time and NDS sync with the NW 4.11 sp9 server.
  • Upgraded GroupWise 5.5.EP to GroupWise 6.5 using the NetWare Enterprise Server for Webaccess.
  • Configured all of the GroupWise components to get the most out of GW 6.5.
  • Applied GW 6.5 SP1
  • Waited one week to monitor and fix any trouble arising from the upgrade.
  • Upgraded all the 6 NetWare 5.1 servers to NetWare 6.5/edir 8.7.1
  • Reinstalled the GroupWise WebAccess to use Apache2/Tomcat Servlets.
  • Applied NetWare 6.5 Support Pack 1.1
  • Sat back and watched everything work like a charm. :-)
  • There was a little trouble with Apache2/Tomcat related to NLDAP and TLS; this was corrected using the PKIDIAG.NLM from Novell and reconfiguring the LDAP Server and LDAP Server Group objects, but that was the only problem I found with this upgrade.

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