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Announcing Mobility Pack Technical Preview



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March 25, 2010 3:33 pm

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Some of you may have already seen or heard the announcement we just made during the closing keynote of BrainShare, but for those who haven’t, we have some exciting news to share.

We are acutely aware of the pressing need for a mobility solution to replace GroupWise Mobile Server. As many of you know, we have been actively working on a solution, the Novell Data Synchronizer Mobility Pack, for several months. The mobility pack includes a sync engine, a GroupWise connector and a mobility connector that supports all ActiveSync-enabled devices. The mobility pack is scheduled for authorized beta in April.

However, I pleased to let you know that in today’s closing BrainShare keynote, we announced a technology preview of the product. This open preview will be available at http://www.novell.com/mobilitypreview as of 3:00 p.m. MT on Thursday, March 25.

There are some very important details to bear in mind:

Remember that this is a technology preview that is not supported or recommended for production environments.

We plans to refresh the code with regular builds, that should be used at your own risk.

The mobility pack requires GroupWise 8 with latest patches and 64-bit SLES 11.*

Technology preview users can provide feedback and interact with each other at http://forums.novell.com/novell-product-support-forums/data-synchronizer/mobility-pack-tech-preview/

Please note that while product engineers will monitor comments, they will not be able to respond to all feedback and requests provided through this forum.

Customers can apply for the authorized beta (scheduled for April) at http://www.novell.com/beta/

The shipping mobility pack will be provided free of charge to all
Novell GroupWise, Novell Teaming, Novell Open Workgroup Suite and Novell Open Workgroup Suite Small Business Edition customers with current maintenance coverage.

You will need to re-install and re-configure the mobility pack when it ships. The technology preview cannot be converted into a production deployment.

Thank you for your patience to this point, and we hope that you will have an extremely positive experience with this new solution.

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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Novell. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.

8 Comments

  1. By:imc

    This tech preview is a good idea, even if it’s in flux. This gives people some idea of what to look forward to when it’s released, plus the feedback can’t hurt as well.

    • By:ericnako

      I totally agree that the tech preview is an awesome idea. It is so necessary to understand what is about to be released and it allows us to anticipate the release and the response of the audience. Thanks for your contribution

  2. By:JFechter

    We are using GW8 since more than one year, getting promised a sync-solution since the beginning.

    Before GW8-migration nobody told us, that the Nokia/Novell Mobile Server won´t be available for GW8. Disappointing.

    In the moment we wanted to buy and install GMS, anybody told us the bad news: “sorry, product no longer available.” Disappointing.

    So they bagged us to wait for GW8 SP1. “Sync solution included” they told us, but it was not. Disappointing.
    “Wait until autumn” they told us, but once again: no sync solution. Disappointing.

    Now, a new solution seems to be available (in a few month or so) and once again we are very disappointed.
    Nobody told us that a 64bit-system is required.

    May be we need “only a few licenses”, but we are also a paying customer.
    Or we have been in the past.
    Because disappointing customers won´t be customers any longer.

    May be some competing company has a product that works and does not need any additional servers, firewalls, gateways and so on to synchronize a cheap standard-phone/mda etc..
    Thinking about the whole story, it ssems like a bad joke.
    Disappointing.

    • By:aevans

      GMS has been available to GroupWise 8 customers, in fact it still is. It will be supported until December 31 2010. Dean and I have been giving updates as often as we can on this new mobility solution, and we have never stated that it was attached to SP1.

      When we decided to release on a 64bit only platform we did so knowing that the vast majority of our customers already have 64bit hardware. 32bit hardware has not been available in any quantities since 2007, so we know that most customers, if they have had a hardware buying cycle since then, will be ready.

      We feel that the Data Synchronizer capabilities are differentiating in the market – they go a lot beyond a simple mobility solution, even though it can fulfil the mobility need with ease.

  3. By:sveld

    We are using GW8 since more than one year, getting promised a sync-solution since the beginning.

    When GW8 was launched GMS was the sync solution that came with that for free.

    Before GW8-migration nobody told us, that the Nokia/Novell Mobile Server won´t be available for GW8. Disappointing.

    GMS is up to today still availbale for GW8 and is afaik still supported for 2 more years by Novell. Only -no- new devices are supported (as Nokia is not releasing any new code). Nobody new that Nokia was stopping the support for their mobile solution on which GMS is based, including Novell, until they announced it. If you want to blame Nokia, don’t buy their phones:) In they meantime the only thing Novell could do is create a complete new solution that is future save – that cannot be accomplished in just a few months, sadly. If you really nead to sync a phone today like the iPhone then just take a license on the online sync service from Notifylink. Cheap and easy if you just need to sync a few devices and no servers to install/maintain. Works with any device, including Blackberry. Use this for several customers and will decide next year I we move them over to the new Mobile Datasync solution.

    In the moment we wanted to buy and install GMS, anybody told us the bad news: “sorry, product no longer available.” Disappointing.

    You do not need to buy GMS, it’s part of your GW8 offer and assuming you bought maintenance. So in that case you can grep your install key for GMS from the Novell customer portal. Just checked the account of one of my customers which bought GW last June and the GMS key is still availabe in their portal. If your key is not their then contact Novell.

    INobody told us that a 64bit-system is required.

    What is the problem with that, can you buy any 32 bit server in the store today? Maybe you want to use an old server for it, then you could the install a virtualisation solution (take a look at VMWare ESXi if you want to go cheap and easy) on that and then install the SLES server and Mobility pack in as a virtual machine. Assuming you NEED this solution I would suggest not to use an old crap server:)

    May be we need “only a few licenses”, but we are also a paying customer

    Still assuming you have maintenance as you are a paying customer then there’s no problem and you’re -entitled- to run a SLES11 64 bit server with the upcoming Mobility solution. The serial key’s should be available in your customer portal when the new product ships.

    May be some competing company has a product that works and does not need any additional servers, firewalls, gateways and so on to synchronize a cheap standard-phone/mda etc

    If you need a -near perfect- sync solution take a look at BlackBerry.
    If you would look a the number one competitor for GW today, you assume that this solution would run on just one server? That solution btw does today also only do 64 bit.

    You could also run GW8 and the Mobility pack on just one server if you wanted to. This should not be a problem for small environments. Virtually splitting these services would be a better idea.

  4. By:JFechter

    First let me say thanks to all of you for your answers.
    Next let me tell you, that the informations I´ve been talking about (in my first comment)have neither been taken out of this blog, nor they were from aevans or Dean.
    (Please excuse me, if it seemed to be so!)
    May be I should have told you earlier.

    Next let me tell you our difficulties:
    1. We do not have any Linux server in the Moment (Neither 32 nor 64-bit)
    2. I hope we will get a vmWare ESX or anything else like that during 2010.
    3. Our GroupWise 8 is running at a Netware 6.5 OES-Server-Cluster (ok, it´s old – but reliable and running)
    4. May be anybody told us about the “old but still available” product, but let me ask you a question please:
    Why shall we buy a product in 2009 (that needs additional hardware and so on), when end of life / end of support can be seen in 2010 and there´s no support for newer devices? So waiting for a new solutions seemed to be the better way.
    5. Unfortunately we do not have any maintenance…

  5. By:blntskul

    J,

    It’s been pretty widely known and much publicized for a few years now that NetWare is going end of life, and OES Linux is the replacement. If you haven’t looked into migrating to OES Linux from your current NetWare 6.5 platform, you should start. It’s not that big of a deal, and it’s much easier than trying to switch platforms, such as moving to Windows, regardless of what the Microsoft consultants say. So as far as Novell requiring Linux, that and Windows are the platforms for their products moving forward. You’ll need to address this regardless of your mobility concerns.

    VMware ESXi is free, so you should check it out. You only have to pay for the enterprise features, which it sounds like you wouldn’t need. It works great.

    The ‘old but still available’ comment relates to GroupWise Mobile Server, which is free to GroupWise owners, so you don’t have to worry about investing in a product that’s already announced end of life. However, that product isn’t being enhanced, so it won’t support many of the newer devices on the market – iPhone being one. However, if you have some Palm OS or Windows Mobile, or Symbian devices, it should work for you in the short term. That product has been available for a long time, and if you don’t know about it, you haven’t been paying much attention. Note that this is a Windows server product, so you can’t run it on your NetWare 6.5 box either.

    Notify Corp. has a third party solution that works today with pretty much every device. It’s an additional cost, but if you have a real need in the short term that’s not addressed by GMS, they can help as well.

    So, my advice for now is to start working on your NetWare 6.5 to OES Linux migration. By the time you’ve worked that out and have it done, the new mobility product will probably be released anyway. However, I still wouldn’t plan on running it on your one and only server. You should plan for an additional server either way.

    Tommy

  6. By:swad

    Just a note to say that I’m really impressed with the tech preview so far. Granted, we are just a small K-12 school district and our needs are different than major corporations. We are running a small BES server for our tech department, but the draw to use non-blackberry devices is appealing. Luckily, I haven’t had to promise iPhone connectivity to our users, so the delay was nothing more than a personal disappointment. But, I’m really looking forward to offering this service to our Administration and Staff. With all of the new smart phones cycling in to mobile users’ plans, I’ve had several questions about Groupwise connectivity and have helped many connect with IMAP. Sure wish I had time to help beta test it. Keep up the great work!

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