I’ve finished building the four new GroupWise servers, which are VMware virtual machines in our IBM bladecenter. Three of the servers will be post office servers where users’ mailboxes reside, and the fourth will be a gateway server with the GroupWise Internet agent, Monitoring agent and WebAccess agent. I already have the post offices built, and I have successfully transferred a couple of users into one of the new post offices. Once I have the gateway done, I’ll start moving users over en masse.
We’re using an interesting approach to storing our mail in order to allow mininmum downtime backups and to ease the act of doing backups and restores. I’ve configured a blade running Sun Solaris, as a file server that serves storage to the post office severs, which are running SLES 9. The Solaris server is configured with three ZFS filesystems, one for each post office, and it serves those via NFS. The SLES 9 GroupWise post office servers then mount the storage over NFS and run the post offices from there. It’s slightly slower than using native SAN partitions for GroupWise, but it allows us to host the mail on ZFS, which I’ve raved about previously. To do a post office snapshot, using this approach, takes seconds. A simple shell script like this allows a snapshot to be made with minimal GroupWise downtime and no specialized backup tools.
/etc/init.d/grpwise stop po1.poa ssh -i ssh_key storageserver "zfs snapshot data/po1@snapshot" /etc/init.d/grpwise start po1.poa
Once this snapshot completes, GroupWise is up and running and we have a complete coherent snapshot that we can synchronize to our disk-to-disk backup server, while users continue to use the system unimpeded. It works great.
We went out to Rabbit Hill on Sunday for our first day of snowboarding and skiing (Mack’s the skier). We are starting a few weeks earlier than last year, because we’ve had way more snow. Snow started sticking and staying this year before Halloween, as opposed to last year, which was around mid-December. It was super-busy and not all the runs were open, but it was great to get the board out and take a few runs.
I waxed all our boards right before we went out. It was my first wax-job and all three boards turned out great. We got Mack a season’s equipment pass, so he can rent skis and maybe a board if he feels like it later in the year.
Next weekend we’re hitting Marmot Basin after the company Christmas party in Jasper, so that should be awesome. A few couples from work are all going.
The kids played at the Sask Open Waterpolo Tournament in Regina this weekend.
Emily and Mack’s Atoms (11 and under) team won silver, finishing ahead of five out of the six other teams. Emily also “played up” on the older Bantam girls team, and they also won a silver medal. Emily got billeted for the first time ever, with a local family in Regina. She really enjoyed that. Mack stayed with us in the hotel. He’s a bit young yet to be billeted.
The bus ride was brutal, and we were forced to endure many kids movies and chick-flicks as we rode there and back.
Last night I started working on our GroupWise 6.5 to GroupWise 7 upgrade. We are moving from a two-node NetWare cluster running GroupWise 6.5 with a third box running WebAccess and the Internet agent to a four node configuration on IBM Blades with SAN storage running SUSE Linux Enterprise Sserver 9 and GroupWise 7 virtualized under VMware hosted on SLES9.
The first step was to update the existing GroupWise back-end running on NetWare to version 7. That will allow me to create new GroupWise domains and post offices on Linux and add them to the existing system. Then I will be able to live-move the users from the NetWare post offices to the Linux ones, and finally decommission the NetWare post offices. That’s the plan.
The update of the back-end stuff from GroupWise 6.5 on NetWare to GroupWise 7 SP1 on NetWare took place last night and was entirely successful. The only glitch was that when I sent out a notice to the users at the end of the process early this morning using my Evolution client, the message got stuck somehow in my outbox and got sent to everyone three times. I just told them all that we had made our GroupWise system three times more reliable.
I wanted to go with the family to Rabbit Hill on Monday, but Emily got invited to a birtdhay party, so we did the next-best thing: We went tobogganing. It snowed a lot so the snow was packed underneath and loose on top. I did a few runs on the snowdeck while the kids rode their sliders, and I was starting to feel pretty confident on it. I could make turns back and forth all the way down the hill. Then, I slipped, as that thing likes to do, and it was just like in a cartoon when somebody steps on a banana peel. The deck shot out and I tipped 90 degrees in the air, and fell over sideways. I landed on my elbow, which pushed up my shoulder, and I heard my shoulder and neck make a whole series of cracks and crunches.
I got up and was OK for the moment, but I knew with certainty of experience that I would be half paralyzed later. Later, I was most definitely half paralyzed. I had to resort to ice and Robaxisol.
I’m getting ready to deploy new servers for GroupWise 7, updating our existing GW 6.5 servers running in a NetWare cluster to a set of virtual machines in VMware Server running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server on the Bladecenter, with GroupWise 7.01 for Linux.
The first step, which I’m planning for Tuesday night next week, is to upgrade the back-end NetWare boxes to GroupWise 7 so that the primary GroupWise domain will be version 7, allowing me to then add Linux GroupWise 7 domains to the sysetm. Then, I will create the new GroupWise secondary domains for GroupWise 7 on the Linux virtual machines, create post offices on them, and start migrating users over. The hundred gigabytes of live email on our existing GroupWise systems is going to take a while to move over.
Saturday I took Mack and Emily, and Emily’s friend Kendra to “Seven Hills”, the local toboggan hill where we live. Emily brought her snowboard and did a few runs, and we all rode the snow sliders. Emily and I also had a go at the snowdeck, but the snow was soft and loose, which made for poor conditions riding the snowdeck.
Sunday I took Emily and her friend Christina to thill again, and they sledded the whole time while I worked away at figuring out the snowdeck. Someone had build a small kicker and Emily and Christina were trying to hit it with their snow sliders. There were a few other decks there, but nobody who seemed to be really good at it. I saw one guy who could ride all the way down, but he couldn’t turn much, especially heel-side, without losing it. The snow was a bit more packed down so I was able to ride a bit better, and by the end I was able to go all the way down, linking turns, and even stop at the bottom without wiping out. I’d like a longer deck, because this one, at a typical skateboard length of about 75 or 80 cm, is way to small for my weight. There’s not enough edge to hold a hard turn.
By the end we were all worn out from hiking up, but it was great fun to spend so much time with the kids over the weekend.