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VSI Recover•Able™

Disaster Recovery and Backup Service for: Novell GroupWise®


Viable Solutions, Inc. can provide an effective, reliable, and complete Disaster Recovery solution for Novell GroupWise® (GroupWise) as an out-sourced service. This service allows you to “Fail-Over” to our systems and yet have full access to Your most current GroupWise accounts and data. It is a complete complement to your existing system, and can even provide restore capabilities ranging from individual item retrieval for single users to full system recovery. During a total environment outage, users will still have full access to their actual GroupWise account. Everything will be working just as they are accustomed to. If you want it configured so, they can continue to send and retrieve mail from Internet, log in using WebAccess, Get Device Synchronization, Access their Address books, Create and Access Documents in GroupWise Document Management, Create and receive Appointments and Tasks, Make Folders, etc. Your end users will experience little to no GroupWise service interruption.

Using a versatile high-bandwidth connection, the Viable Solutions, Inc. GroupWise Disaster Recovery and Backup Service protects your environment by performing real-time backups of your system. With the proper configuration, these backups can be run as frequently as every two hours and will most likely have no performance impact on the user’s experience as they are utilizing your live system. This is because unlike standard backup software, we are not loading any Agents or additional software on your GroupWise server. Also, we are using specialized native GroupWise file access software to access your data, so we do not communicate through your GroupWise Agents either. What actually happens is that we make licensed NCP connections to your server. This makes us a client which is subject to the controls of your environment- unlike a backup agent which dictates behavior to your environment. We allow NetWare to do its job, and only use the cycles we are entitled to. Then, utilizing the native GroupWise DBCopy technology, we optimize our access to your database and file structures to move data as efficiently as possible. We also properly flip the internal flags to facilitate such features as Smart Purge. Another advantage we have over traditional backup software is that we are writing directly to fast disks, not slow tapes. This allows us to get data on and off very quickly. Familiarity also enhances our success. The software we use knows exactly where and what everything is in GroupWise. Like a good implementation of (but not utilizing) the GWTSA, we know we only need to get certain data and directories, and we know how to look for what we need. Then, it gets even better, because after the initial collection, we only need to move the delta, which is usually about 12% of the data, for each subsequent copy. The end result is unprecedented data collection speeds with minimal server impact.

The Facility

The Viable Solutions, Inc. Facility from which we power VSI Recover•Able™ is a SAS 70 Level II Tier 3B location. It is comprised of dedicated, appropriate classed servers with massive storage arrays located in a biometrically secured environment with redundant, self-sufficient power. Here are some highlights:

Security and Reliability :

The State-of-the-Art Data Center is Monitored 24/7 by a Network Operations Center

Our servers are housed in secure, fireproof, climate-controlled data centers with direct connections to the Internet backbone. Multiple, high-speed connections ensure that the servers are always up and running. A network support team is on call around the clock to respond to any emergency outages.

Communication Configuration:

Multiple Redundant Connections to the Internet Backbone

We use Internet service providers that own and operate their own networks, which combines big

bandwidth with multiple, redundant, high-speed connections to the Internet backbone. The network is monitored 24/7 to ensure that our servers are always up and running. The system automatically selects the fastest way to move data. It even switches to another Internet backbone carrier if a provider goes down.

Facility Details


   Redundant UPS

   Redundant AC/DC Power

   Data-Grade HVAC24x7

   Secure Entry

   Advanced Fire Suppression System

   Secure Cabinet and Cage Space

   Continuous Camera Coverage


   Power circuits are available in 120/208v AC and -- 48v DC.

   The UPS system is deployed in a parallel redundant configuration with N+1 modules.

    Generator backup for 100% of customer peak load with a fuel supply of 24 hours, with guaranteed refueling contracts in the event of an extended utility failure.


Environmental Controls:

    High Volume Air Conditioning systems with 100 tons plus .01 tons per square feet floor capacity.

    Temperature: 72 Degrees +/- 2 throughout the facility.

    Humidity: 45% +/-5% throughout the facility Security:

    Standard data centers are secured 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

    Biometric palm scanners, in conjunction with proximity card readers, control access to the facility.

    All cabinets and cage spaces are locked

    Facilities are monitored via closed circuit digital camera coverage with 24-hour recording and 30-day digital video storage.

    Facilities are equipped with centralized security stations.

24 Hour Critical Systems Monitoring/Disaster Prevention:

    All systems (including UPS, DC Power, PDU (Power Conditioning and Distribution Unit), HVAC, Temperature, Humidity, Security, Fire Threat) are constantly checked by an advanced monitoring system.

    Zoned fire detection is managed with the VESDA air sampling system.

    Zoned dry-pipe pre-action systems complement the front-line detection system.



    Monitored network 24/7 to ensure that servers are always up and running.

    Automatic selection of the fastest way to move your data and even switches to another Internet backbone carrier if a provider goes down.


Internet Backbone Providers:

    Level 3


    Time Warner



How Our Group-Wise Disaster Recovery Service Works

There are two methods that can be deployed to implement your Disaster Recovery and Backup

solution. One is a fully remote implementation that requires no additional equipment or software in your environment. The other provides you with an in-house redundant level of Back-up and Recovery, and can further improve the communications to our end of the solution allowing for the most frequent real-time backups of your live system to be collected.

Method #1- Fully Remote:

Quite simply, our systems communicate securely with your GroupWise system using true GroupWise technology enhanced specifically for this purpose. Based on the amount of data to be communicated regularly, and your available bandwidth for this process, together we determine the frequency and optimal times for collecting data. The data is then collected and stored in True GroupWise format on our systems.

Access and Recovery Methods

Recover Lost User Items

When there is a need for an end user (or users) to recover lost data:

    If your GroupWise Post Office is running on Linux and the Restore Area is defined

Then users can simply click File and Select Open Backup from the GroupWise Client. They will then be presented with only those items that are currently missing from their account. Highlighting one or more items, right clicking, and choosing Restore will return those items to the user’s account. Then the user only needs to Click File and Select Open Backup again to return to the normal GroupWIse Account View and resume normal operations.


    If your GroupWise Post Office is running on Novell NetWare®, or if you need to search an older backup.

You need to contact us and we will set our system to “Access Mode”.

This allows the user’s GroupWise client to be directed to our system instead of your live system. The user can then log in to his/her account just as they always do. There, they will see their account just as it was at the time of the desired backup. They then simply locate the missing items and Archive them to their regular Archive Directory. Next, they log out of the GroupWise client, and then log back in, directing their client to its normal location. Now all they have to do is access their GroupWise Archive and return the recovered items to their “Live” account.

Full System Fail-Over and Recovery

Fail-Over Access

If ever there is a catastrophic loss of access or data, our system is there for you. Be it natural

disaster, utility failure, or some other cause, you’ll find Viable Solutions, Inc.’s GroupWise

Disaster Recovery Solution is ready and easy to access. In this situation, our system is set to

“Disaster Recovery Mode”. Pre-defined configurations will automatically have mail destined for

your location redirected to our systems. All that is necessary then, is for your users to point their

GroupWise clients to us as well. By properly leveraging DNS systems, this can even be automated as well.

Now users are able to access all their GroupWise material. Mail, Calendar, Tasks, Address Books, even Documents stored in the GroupWise Document Management System are available just as if they were coming from your system. The only difference is that data they received since the last Backup was collected is missing (but not necessarily lost). Users can now work in this

environment for as long as necessary.


Once the situation is resolved and your own systems are back on line, you have a number of


      1.   If you have recovered your systems and the original GroupWise Data is in tact


In this scenario, you have retained the original Post Office data, therefore, any items that may have been missing from our last collection (before the outage) are present in your recovered system. However, items that have been created and received by your users while the environment was Failed-Over are not. If you determine the additional material from your recovered system must be retained, let the Viable Solutions, Inc. Disaster Recovery and Backup Service can collect one additional data set of your newly recovered system BEFORE we return your users to it. While we gather this backup, users are still up and functioning as they have been throughout the entire event. This allows us to have data that was current before the outage as well as data generated during the outage.


Once that collection is completed, we will replace your GroupWise data with the data your users have been accessing during the outage. This will contain all the most recent activity, but not the material that was not collected at the time of the original Fail-Over. Once the data is transferred back to your systems, we will make the additional data set collection be the “current” backup. Now users can follow the steps in Recover Lost User Items above to retrieve any items they deem necessary.


      2.   If you were not able to recover your original GroupWise Post Office Structures, or you are making a decision that any material which was created or received between the time of the last pre-event data collection and the initial Fail-Over is no longer relevant and is to be discarded.


In this scenario, we do not need take the extra time to collect any data from your local systems. We simply replace that data with the current data sets from our system that your users have been working with throughout this event. This will contain all the most recent activity.

Method #2: We Backup Your Backup:

In this configuration (which we strongly recommend even for our Hosted customers), we install the same technology that we use, at your facility. This allows you to have your systems backed up locally and reliably. You could provide all the same functionality described above from within your own network. This may provide faster backup speeds, which could allow even more frequent data collection. It also allows you to create local Portable (Full System) Backups that can be compressed into TAR files and places on the storage of your choice.

Once the local VSI Recover•Able™ backup is completed, it is pushed to our Remote system so we can still provide you with our Disaster Recovery Services. It really is that simple and effective.


As you can see, the Viable Solutions, Inc. Remote Disaster Recovery and Backup Solution is a full featured solution that doesn’t consume resources like traditional backup solutions, instead, it actually adds value to your GroupWise environment by providing recovery access to anyone who needs it for what ever reason. Since it is always available, it reduces the administrative cost of recent material data recovery at many levels.

If you are not using Method #2: We Backup Your Backup as described above, then we recommend you continue to back up your GroupWise system locally with traditional backup methods in order to maintain a history of your system. But remember, when recovery of items within the current data sets is required, there is no need to restore from those local backups.

You simply point your client to us.

VSI Recover•Able™ Service ®Hosted and Managed by: Viable Solutions, Inc.

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