Case study

Office of Physical Plant at Pennsylvania State University uses GroupWise Disaster Recovery for hot backups, quick restore, and push-button disaster recovery

Challenge

A key role for the IT department is preventing data loss and providing system recovery in disaster situations. Initially, the department did this by creating a backup using a third-party, snapshot style solution. While this did the job, backups took more than 24 hours and were very time and labor-intensive. This is typical of third-party solutions with mailboxes of this size – they can be extremely difficult to back up. In order to save time, money, and hassle, the OPP implemented GroupWise Disaster Recovery by Micro Focus, a solution specifically designed for GroupWise.

Solution

GroupWise Disaster Recovery is the fastest backup and disaster recovery tool available for GroupWise. It delivers quick message restore as well as hot backups of post offices and domains, ensuring that critical data is always current and available. It was built for GroupWise, using features such as Micro Focus’ “Smart Purge,” which ensures that no email message is purged until a backup has been made. It handles larger mailboxes using single instance storage, which stores only one copy of an email or attachment, keeping storage costs low.

The software works using a collector/server model, which can install a Collector on the Linux server that houses the GroupWise Post Office or Domain. The GroupWise Disaster Recovery Collector then gathers the contents of a GroupWise post office OFUSER and OFSMG directory into a staging area on the local GroupWise server. RSYNC technology is used to replicate the contents of the post office to the GroupWise Disaster Recovery server. This new architecture creates faster backups, backup redundancy, elimination of the need to have an on-premises GroupWise Disaster Recovery Server, and less required disk space and processing power.

These features have made backups a breeze for the OPP. With GroupWise Disaster Recovery installed, post office backups now take less than two hours. Because backup speeds are so fast, Penn State has designed GroupWise Disaster Recovery server to perform backups of one of its post offices four times each day. This way, in the case of a disaster recovery event, the OPP can restore to a very recent backup at the push of a button.

80-90%

Reduction in backup times

2 hours

Current time to complete a backup

Results

The solution provided an instant ROI when, within a couple of weeks of implementing GroupWise Disaster Recovery, a user lost their GroupWise personal address books. In a matter of minutes, the GroupWise Administrator, Joe Laskowski, was able to restore the user’s GroupWise personal address books. Joe, who has become a big fan of GroupWise, explained, “Reload (now GroupWise Disaster Recovery) has cut our backup times by 80–90%. I no longer have to cringe when users call to have messages or address books restored. It’s now a few clicks and done, instead of never having enough disk space to restore our entire post office. Reload is like an insurance policy for your GroupWise system.” As GroupWise administrator, as well as Network & Information Systems Manager, the software has allowed Laskowski to focus more time on other projects, and less time in GroupWise disaster recovery.

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Office of Physical Plant at Pennsylvania State University case study

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Tue Sep 15 18:06:14 PDT 2020