The GroupWise 2014 Administration Model

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GroupWise 2014 introduces an entirely new administration model that will take some getting used to. First let’s look at the components that are involved in the new GroupWise 2014 Administrative Model.  They are:

  • GroupWise Admin Service
  • GroupWise Administrative Console
  • GroupWise Command Line Utilities
  • gwadmin-ipc
  • gwadminutil
  • gwcheck
  • Redesign of some GroupWise related directory structures

Now we will look at these components in more detail

The GroupWise Admin Service

In prior versions of GroupWise, administration was accomplished through ConsoleOne (or even NWAdmin or ad.exe if we go back far enough).  The administrator needed direct file access to a domain database in order to do domain level administration (configure system, create objects, perform directory maintenance), and also required direct file access to a post office database in order to perform post office or user level maintenance (run stand-alone GWChecks, document properties maintenance, etc.).

As ConsoleOne became deprecated in all other Novell products, largely being replaced by iManager, the need for direct file access kept GroupWise tied tightly to ConsoleOne.  The need to access databases directly made the idea of a web based tool very difficult to accomplish.

Enter HTTP REST (Representational State Transfer).  Now, the inner workings of REST go far beyond the scope of this guide.  However, in a nutshell, Novell’s implementation of REST for GroupWise 2014 allows instructions to be transmitted from the administrator’s web browser to the admin service of a GroupWise agent.  For writing instructions such as creating users, configuring links, defining Internet Addressing and the like, the connection by the Admin Console is to the “Admin Service Port” of the MTA.  For functions such as restarting an agent, the connection by the Admin Console is to the Admin Service Port for the POA or GWIA in question.  As you configure your GroupWise 2014 system, each agent will receive a unique “admin port”.  The default ports for a given agent are:

  • MTA: 9710
  • POA: 9711
  • GWIA: ____

Thus, in addition to needing to configure things such as the MTP and HTTP ports for an MTA, you will also need an Admin port.  The same goes for POAs and GWIAs.  Like all other ports on a server, you can opt to not use the default ports, but really only should change them if you have a conflict.

As an aside here, some administrators change the ports based on a wish to have more security.  I can appreciate that, but as a consultant, you make my job a lot harder if I come to work on your system and need a long list of ports to help me move around.  Given that up until now the actual instances of security breach based on attacking a GroupWise agent are negligible (personally, I’ve never heard of ANY, but never say never), this is really not necessary.

Thus, the GroupWise Admin Service gathers the configured Admin ports for the agents on a given server, and feeds this information into the Admin Console to effect a connection between the administrator’s web browser and the agents on the servers where the databases actually reside.  In this way, most GroupWise administration can be accomplished from any web browser that has access to the admin ports in question.  While it would be possible to nat through to these admin ports even from the Internet at large, it is recommended that sites use a VPN and LAN access for accessing GroupWise administration.

The GroupWise Administrative Console

ConsoleOne, be gone!  Music to some administrators’ ears no doubt!  And indeed, while Danita has played around a bit using ConsoleOne against a GroupWise 2014 domain, it is neither recommended nor supported by Novell.  Once your GroupWise domain is upgraded to GroupWise 2014, you should no longer use ConsoleOne to manage those domain’s objects.  In fact when you install the GroupWise 2014 “server” on a Linux server, the GroupWise administration snapins are removed from ConsoleOne on that server.  The Windows snapins stay, not because it’s okay to use them on Windows, but because GroupWise snapins are not registered as an “installed” program in Windows and cannot be removed automatically during the instalation.

Figure 2-1 shows the main GroupWise Administrative Console screen.
Insert screenshot of the 2014 Admin dashboard here

GroupWise Command Line Utilities

gwadmin-ipc

 

gwadminutil

 

gwcheck

 

Redesign of some GroupWise related directory structures