Where now GroupWise Mobile Server?

Today, Nokia made an announcement that caused quite a stir in the GroupWise community. As of October 31, 2008, Nokia will no longer sell Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite. Of course, GroupWise Mobile Server is an OEM version of Nokia Intellisync Mobile Suite.  It was pretty clear almost immediately that this particular announcement came as a shock to Novell as well as to the GroupWise community. Alex Evans has posted information on the NGWList, and on his CoolBlog regarding the situation.

It’s pretty unclear at this point as to where this will land the GroupWise Mobile Server. Obviously, Novell has contracts with Nokia to provide support for GMS for the next two years. However, there has been no indication of what will happen with GMS 3 for Windows, currently in public beta, and the possibility of a GMS 3 for Linux.

All we can say from here is “stay tuned”. We will of course let you know as the events unfold.

Danita

(Posted from her iPhone, which is using NotifyLink – something to ponder I guess!)

Vienna waits for me!

Vienna is one of those cities that I’ve always wanted to visit, and luckily I get my chance in May! I’ve been invited by GroupWise & Friends to speak at their events in Austria and Germany during the EMEA GroupWise Tour. I will be speaking in Vienna on May 5 & 6, and on to Bad Homburg in Germany May 7 & 8.

My speaking topics and details of the tour meetings are still being worked out. But if you are in the area in May and want to drop by and say hi, I’d love to see you!

Bis bald!

Danita

Heads Up! Nasty ConsoleOne Bug

As many of you have heard by now, there is a nasty ConsoleOne snapins bug that could cause you serious headaches (thanks Tommy Mikkelsen for catching this one so quickly).

Locking out older snapins is broken.  It will be default lock out the currently shipping GroupWise 8 snapins, thus rendering your domain impossible to manage!  Find out more about it in Tid 7001968.

We’ve already had a couple of reports of folks being caught by this one in the Novell Support Forums.

Happy GroupWising

Danita

Are You Greylisting?

Greylisting you ask? Isn’t that a dirty word Danita? Well, it certainly can be. In fact, in its “default” implementation, greylisting can be downright detrimental to the efficient and timely flow of email. For those of you who aren’t sure what I mean, let me explain.

Most of you are familiar with the ideas of “blacklisting” and “whitelisting”. Blacklists are to prevent any mail from a certain sender, domain or even mail server from being delivered to your mailbox or your users’ mailboxes. Whitelisting, on the other hand, does the opposite. It provides for the immediate delivery of all mail from a particular sender, domain or even mail server. So what’s this “greylisting” thing then. Greylisting is the practice of initially rejecting an email, as though the email server is unavailable (usually a generic 450 message, or a 451 message specifically indicating that the message is being delayed), and waiting for the sending server to send again. The theory behind greylisting is that most spam, viruses and trojans are delivered by mail servers or PCs that aren’t interested in specifically getting to “you”. They are just interested in spewing out as much junk as they can in the hopes that a certain percentage “sticks”.

So, then, what is the problem with greylisting overall? The biggest problem is time. It’s bad enough that someone in New York sends me an email, and immediately after clicking “send” picks up the phone to see if I’ve received it. I mean, it takes a COUPLE of minutes to get from their server to mine for goodness sakes. But what if every email sent to my mail server had to “wait” until the sending server tried again on its regularly scheduled “defer” cycle? Most servers are set to try after 20 minutes. By default that’s what GroupWise has also always done. Some servers can be configured to send at a shorter interval. Indeed GroupWise can do that as well. But if you leave most things at their defaults, you will find that 20-30 minutes delay for the first mail deferment if a mail server is down is quite standard. Thus, greylisting gets a really bad name because it just serves to delay the orderly delivery of our email.

So, some bright guy (reportedly SATOH Kiyoshi (http://k2net.hakuba.jp/rgrey/, in Japanese) came up with the idea that not only is most “junk” sent from mail servers and PCs that aren’t really interested in “who” they hit (just that they want to hit a high enough percentage of their recipients), but also that most “junk” is sent from a certain type of mail host. This form of greylisting suggests seven rules to test for whether or not a mail host is “suspect”. These rules are based on the idea that most of these hosts will either not have a reverse DNS look up at all, will have one that doesn’t “match”, or will have a reverse DNS entry that seems to indicate the sender is on a dynamically assigned address. You can find out more about these rules here. If you could use these rules in greylisting to only greylist senders that are caught by one of these rules, well defined and maintained mail servers would never be trapped by the greylisting mechanism (thus ensuring that most “real” mail would be processed immediately), and only those that were “suspect” would be delayed. I’ve been using this mechanism for almost a year now in my own system. Here are some stats from one of the servers that I manage that show you how this works:

Attempted Connects : 1168385 ( 100.0% )
Invalid (No Such Recipient) : 811684 ( 69.4% )
Valid (Recipient Confirmed) : 356701 ( 30.5% )

Total Not Delivered Mail : 299783 ( 25.6% ) ( 84.0% )
Not Delivered – Spam : 5524 ( 0.4% ) ( 1.5% ) ( 1.8% )
Not Delivered – Virus : 82 ( 0.0% ) ( 0.0% ) ( 0.0% )
Not Delivered – Banned : 1 ( 0.0% ) ( 0.0% ) ( 0.0% )
Not Delivered – BadH : 68 ( 0.0% ) ( 0.0% ) ( 0.0% )
Not Delivered – GreyList : 294108 ( 25.1% ) ( 82.4% ) ( 98.1% )

GreyList Validations : 1775 ( 0.6% )

Total Delivered Mail : 56918 ( 4.8% ) ( 15.9% )
Unique Mail Recipients : 1236 ( 100.0% )

The important thing here (although it’s all fascinating) is that of 294108 greylisted entries, only 1775 attempted a second delivery! Now, is it possible that some real mail gets “dropped” in this? It would be possible, but not terribly probable. There are very few mail servers out there who will not retry an email on a 450 or 451 error. And in over a year of using this type of greylisting, I’ve only had to whitelist one IP address to avoid the greylisting process.

So, now I know your next thought is “But I use GroupWise, and we have GWAVA (or Guinevere, or GWGuardian, or whatever), and I have no idea how I would do something like this”. It’s easy to forget that Linux is our friend! I’ve put up Linux PCs (or even Virtual Machines) all over the place as front-ends to the GroupWise Internet Agent to provide this functionality for customers. This doesn’t have to be a “server” either – just plain old vanilla Linux with Postfix installed!  There is a Postfix add-on called Postgrey that can provide greylisting services for postfix, and it’s very easy to configure. In fact, to get it to work for this modified greylisting, you can get all of the information in this particular newsgroup post.

Imagine how much more processing power you could give back to GWGuardian, or GWAVA or Guinevere if you dropped 98% of the mail that it’s processing now before it even has to look at it!

Happy GroupWising!

Danita

Give Something Back

This year a group of us from the local Denver Area Novell Users Group (DANUG, our local NUI Chapter) got involved with the Tennyson Center for Children. These are great kids who are truly at a “home of last resort” in many cases. As part of our local community outreach, we decided to have a bowling / pizza party for the kids, and since it is close to Christmas we also want to provide them with a few gifts. Here is an invitation (the link is to a PDF describing the party) to join us in body or spirit for this venture.  There are instructions on the PDF for sending in a donation of gift cards or check.  If you would like to contribute via credit card, you can click this link and put in the Dollar amount you would like to contribute.  Just please be sure to put “Tennyson” in the comments field when you make the charge, and I will make sure that the Tennyson Center gets a detail list of who has donated so that you can receive a receipt directly from the Center.

Thanks for taking the time to at least find out more about the Tennyson Center for Children, and their excellent work.

Danita

Caledonia Upgrade Guide has “hit the streets”

The Caledonia Upgrade Guide for GroupWise 8 is now available for purchase and immediate download.  To find out more about the guide check it out here.

We made our “ship date” promise of the week of November 17, although it was much closer to the end of the 17-23 span than we had hoped for.  I’m still fussing with InDesign, but have actually been surprised that I’ve done as well with no training as I have 🙂 – guess it’s one of those things like having had oboe lessons for years, and picking up the flute and clarinet by myself out of sheer obstinance!

Anyway, the book is ready to go.  We’ve already had a great response during pre-sales, and that’s good, because we want your GroupWise 8 upgrade to be smooth and stress-free!

Happy upgrading!

Danita

Adobe InDesign CS4 - Full

Adobe InDesign CS4 – Full

Adobe InDesign CS4






Simplify with Notify

It used to be so simple, this GroupWise wireless issue. We didn’t have anything! It might have been frustrating, but hey, we had simple answers for our users when they asked about wireless sync options for their new devices.

My how things change. Over the years we’ve gained so many options. I have used various IMAP programs, Toffa’s SyncWise Enterprise (which still has a very special place in my heart), NotifyLink, Blackberry Enterprise Server, GroupWise Mobile Server, etc. Each of these solutions has very unique and useful features for the mobile user, and since I’m a tester extraordinaire, I’ve switched back and forth between 2 or 3 of them a week at times!

But face it. YOU don’t really want to have 2 or 3 different servers and solutions at your site if you can avoid it. However, many sites have become resigned to the idea that a BES and a GMS are necessary to keep all of their mobile users satisfied.

Then enter the iPhone! This device has shaken things up, both by the very quick adoption rate of users, and by its unique synchronization needs. You may already have a BES and a GMS, or a BES and a SyncWise server. Now you have iPhone users knocking down your door! Currently, NotifyLink is the only provider of a server-based GroupWise synchronization solution for the iPhone. For many sites this means three separate solutions for their wireless users. How are you going to manage that?

I’ve been chatting with the NotifyLink folks about this dilemma. I think they have some good solutions.

If you only have a few iPhone users parked in your office, you can give them a hosted NotifyLink On Demand account, and have these users up and running in a matter of minutes! This On Demand service has an annual fee of $180 per user, which is really a good deal if you think about it. Notify handles the device setup and support for your On Demand users for $15 a month. A perfect solution for a handful of iPhone users who just want their GroupWise (and what a worthy desire)!

On the other hand, if you are ready to “simplify” your wireless server situation, Notify has a deal for you! Consolidate your wireless servers with an On Premises NotifyLink server and offer a unified solution to all of your wireless users.  If you are using GMS, you will need to double-check your devices to see that there is a NotifyLink client for them, but chances are there will be.

And here at Caledonia we want to sweeten the pot a bit.  For a limited time, set up either On Demand users, or consolidate your servers in-house, and we will send you a coupon for our next Upgrade Guide, due out when Bonsai ships.  Just tell the NotifyLink folks that Danita sent you, and shoot us an email at info@caledonia.net to let us know you’ve signed up and get on the list for the book!  And if you want to “Simplify with Notify”, NotifyLink is offering an additional incentive by giving you a $500 discount on the NotifyLink server software.

In the meantime, let me know what you think about all of the options and solutions that are available to you for your wireless users!

Danita (posted from my iPhone – what a geek!)

A New iPhone Owner

Okay – so I did it!  I decided to buy an iPhone.  My excuse is that our new foreign exchange student needed a cell phone, so rather than add a new line to our family plan, I got a phone on an entirely different cell phone provider.  Hmmm – I’m sure there is more logic to this than it sounds like NOW!

I had been using a NotifyLink hosted account for testing on my iPod Touch (I know – I’m a true geek), and I liked the Notify implementation, even if I wasn’t convinced that I like the device overall.  But now that I’m REALLY using for more than just “testing” (errr that probably means “play”), I’m starting to like it a bit better.

I have to say that NotifyLink is perfect!  The service does everything that you can expect for this phone.  No tasks (because there is no native Task app on the iPhone), but otherwise, I’m thrilled with the NotifyLink part of the experience.

So, if you have an iPhone and want to hook it up to GroupWise, contact the good people at www.notifylink.com, and tell them that Danita sent you 🙂

Off to play with, ummm TEST my iPhone some more!

Danita

GMS 3.0 for Windows Public Beta

The GroupWise 3.0 for Windows Public Beta has been posted here.

There are a few notes of import if you want to try the beta.

  • If you use the Palm or Symbian clients with a prior version of GMS, and you are not using network push you might need to open port 3102 to your GMS server.  While the earlier versions only needed 3102 for true network push, GMS 3 clients require port 3102 be open even for polled syncs!
  • Both the Palm and Symbian clients have some cool new features, but watch out for the new hot keys!  They have changed quite a bit since the earlier clients, and you might need to retrain yourself (and your users) on getting the most out of the keyboard.
  • I wasn’t that familiar with the prior Symbian clients, being a die-hard Treo user (Palm OS) myself, but there are MANY new cool features in the Symbian client, at least from a Treo user’s perspective 🙂
I didn’t really run into any snags in the installation of the server, and if you are already a GMS for Windows admin, it will seem very natural and familiar.  But if you run into troubles, come see us in the Novell Support Forums in the Wireless newsgroup.
Good luck!
Danita

BrainShare is Canceled

Novell has just announced that BrainShare 2009 is canceled.  Times are tough right now, all around of course!  I had heard rumors that many state agencies and larger corporations had simply mandated that NO out of state travel be allowed until further notice, and so this had to have a pretty big hit on anticipated attendance.  For those who would typically freak about this, I point you to the news that Apple says it will discontinue it’s participation in Macworld too!

For a very thoughtful and sincere discussion of the issue, read Kim Groneman’s post in the Novell BrainShare forum. Kim is definitely one of the good guys and I always appreciate and respect his take on these types of announcements.

Last month I talked about GWAVACon and how it is my favorite GroupWise Conference ever!  If you were thinking of attending GWAVACon, but could only afford one conference for 2009, this is something you should consider.  Read about the Caledonia presense at GWAVACon in my earlier blog entry, entitled GWAVACon is Just Around the Corner.  I don’t know if GWAVA will extend the “goddess” discount for Caledonia customers.  I have an email out to them to find out.  But it doesn’t hurt to try 🙂 – I’ll post back and let everyone know of any updates. [Update – yes indeed, the GWAVA folks say the $100 “goddess” discount is good right up to the day of the conference, so if you need some love, there you have it!]

Good GroupWising,

Danita