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About the new Hosted Enterprise Mail solution



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June 10, 2011 10:44 am

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Hosted Enterprise Mail powered by Novell GroupWise represents a significant development in the hosted-email market. And marking, as it does, the first appearance of GroupWise in the cloud, the launch of HostedEM has naturally raised many questions from the customer and provider sides of the email marketplace.

HostedEM is a straightforward port of Novell’s GroupWise email platform into a fully managed, cloud-based environment. It relies on Kaspersky for its comprehensive security, Verizon for its place in the cloud, Sonian for its cloud archiving and Novell for the actual email software. It is, in some ways, the simplicity of this arrangement that can create problems in understanding it.

As previously stated, the HostedEM platform is relatively simple.

What does the architecture look like?

The architecture of HostedEM relies on many cooperative pieces provided by its core partners. The service is based in the Verizon cloud, which provides a strong foundation of guaranteed uptime to customers because of Verizon’s network of global datacenters. The HostedEM Managed Services team of engineers manages each running install of GroupWise. The HostedEM engineering team has overseen countless on-premises installations and configurations of Novell GroupWise.

The next significant pillar of the HostedEM service is delivered by Kasperky. Kaspersky Lab provides the front end anti-virus anti-spam gateway. The Kaspersky engine runs as a plugin that screens all incoming mail, and is directly managed by the HostedEM team.

The final element to HostedEM’s service is provided by Sonian Cloud Archiving. A connection to the Sonian Cloud archiving service is built into each GroupWise system set up by HostedEM. This connection remains dormant until the customer decides to activate the unlimited archiving and eDiscovery capabilities of HostedEM provided by Sonian. If activated, custom archiving policies can be designed to divert data into the cloud-hosted archive.

What does an administrator need to know about the changes in the email architecture that come with the move to the cloud?

Nothing.

While HostedEM engineers are happy to make the infrastructure of the cloud GroupWise solution transparent to any client, and admins are welcome to choose to be as involved as they please, an admin does not need to learn anything new about running cloud email, as the operation responsibility will be outsourced to the HostedEM team.

How will migration work?

HostedEM has developed custom tools that seamlessly sync all info and archived data from an on-prem email solution into the cloud. This seamless integration delivery is unique to HostedEM.

The process is has two-parts. Migration consists first and foremost of a one-time sync that migrates the user community. This first sync is carried out entirely in the background of normal email operation without interrupting access for any users. This sync is the workhorse of the migration process that moves the majority of the info into the cloud ‘behind-the-scenes’ while email is still available to the user base.

The second part is a review or ‘catch-up’ sync, which is much faster and requires typically two to three hours of downtime for the email system. This sync is usually carried out after hours at a time selected to least affect users.

The HostedEM engineering team leveraged a deep understanding of and expertise with Novell GroupWise services and architecture to develop these migration tools. Because migration is often the most daunting element to consider in adopting a cloud solution, we wanted to push ourselves to provide the most pain-free migration in the market.

Will this allow the Windows feature set to be available on Mac & Linux clients?

This question has been asked, and needs to be addressed because it displays a slight misconception about the user experience HostedEM delivers. The client (web and desktop) available to users in the HostedEM solution will be no different than the on-premises version. Because HostedEM is not altering the GroupWise software, but rather managing its operation, there will be no change in the Mac, Linux or Windows clients.

There is, however, somewhat of an advantage in user experience afforded to HostedEM clients. After all, though the Novell software team is always working to improve the user experience across all platforms, many corporate users have no regularly set schedule to check for updates that might have gone out for their GroupWise client. Those relying on HostedEM will have all updates pushed to their system and installed as soon as they exist.

So while HostedEM will not be actively working to improve the user experience for GroupWise users across the board, it will put organizations into a much more direct contact with the Novell software team and make sure a business’ version of GroupWise is always up to date.

New to the Cloud

As a service, Hosted Enterprise Mail powered by Novell GroupWise is relatively straightforward. Created with an emphasis on security, availability, scalability and ease of migration, HostedEM is thrilled to deliver GroupWise into the cloud and make it available as a utility.

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