Restoring GroupWise Accounts – Getting it to a Science
Now that our GroupWise 7 deployment is completely moved onto Linux servers with Solaris back-ending the storage, I have finally got a consistent backup and restore solution that allows me to recover accidentally deleted users without pulling out all my hair.
Our GroupWise post office directories live on Solaris zfs partitions exported to the Linux post office servers via nfs. When I want to back them up, I stop the poa for five seconds and do a zfs snapshot. Then I use zfs send and zfs receive to replicate the snapshot to another Solaris box with oodles of SATA disks. I snapshot the replica every day and keep daily snapshots for 60 days. The snapshots are very space-conservative so it’s relatively cheap to do this.
When one of my administrators deletes a GroupWise account that he or she shouldn’t have, I can use this system to recover the deleted accounts quickly. On the Linux post office servers, I created /mnt/restore/po directories for each post office. Then using ConsoleOne, I defined restore areas pointing to those directories.
When I have to restore a user’s data that was deleted on a certain day, I do a zfs clone operation on the backup server to clone the zfs snapshot made the day before the user was deleted. Then I use zfs set sharenfs= to export the clone via nfs and make it mountable on the Linux post office server. Back on the Linux post office server, I mount the exported post office under /mnt/restore/po, and I now have a working restore area for that day. Choosing a different day is as easy as doing a new zfs clone, exporting it, and unmounting and remounting on the post office server.
If I have to restore a deleted user, instead of just deleted mail, I just have to do the same clone, export and import operation with the GroupWise primary domain directory backup, and then use ConsoleOne, select Restore Deleted User, browse to the mounted clone, and pick the user to restore. Then I follow the above procedure to get the data back for that user.
This is so much easier than dealing with our former backup service provider, where I would have to get a full tape restore done, see if the user was on it, wash, rinse and repeat. That process sometimes took days if the administrator wasn’t sure which day the deletion happened on.