GroupWise Archiving Strategies

  • 7019174
  • 30-Nov-2015
  • 07-Aug-2017


Retain 3.x
GroupWise Module


What is the best way to archive GroupWise?


As the system administrator it is your job to comply with your organization’s data retention policy. It is best to talk to your organization’s legal counsel to determine what you are required to keep and for how long. Part of that is retaining an archive of the messages in your GroupWise system. This is where Retain helps make your job easier, by copying messaging in GroupWise and keeping them on a separate server where they don’t put extra stress on the GroupWise server.

You have to find a way to balance the required message retention policy of your organization with the limits of your GroupWise system. You could certainly enable the Message Retention Service and keep everything forever. But it would not take all that long before your heaviest users would run into performance issues. And we know any message system runs best when it is storing the least messages. Moving the older messages to the Retain archive leaves the GroupWise server free to process messages rather than store and search for them.

Out of the box, a GroupWise system and Retain are setup to take snapshots of the state of user mailboxes at a given point in time. There may be items that were deleted and purged between archive jobs and those would not be in Retain. That might not be good enough for your retention policy. There are holes that messages can leak through and be lost instead of being retained properly.

That are options in GroupWise and Retain you can enable that will allow you to plug those holes.

GroupWise Message Lifecycle
The lifecycle of a message in GroupWise goes like this: A message enters the user’s mailbox, it gets read, maybe moved to a folder for a while, then trashed and deleted.

Archiving GroupWise requires some understanding of how GroupWise is designed. GroupWise does have message level flags that can tell you if a message has been archived or not. There is the Digest Retention Time (Retention Flag, set in the Profile and is recommended for use with Retain) and the Backup Time (Purge Flag, can be st in the Profile but is usually used by Reload or other backup software). So all you really need to do is enable Message Retention Services and GroupWise will hold onto the messages until they have been marked as retained.

Putting Messages into Folders
Retain does not do file management, so users won't be able to put items in folders once they are in Retain. However, Retain can update the location of items to where they are in GroupWise.

The best thing to do is to archive every night so you have all the messages. Retain will store the message where ever it finds it.

What you can then do is run a job where the Profile settings are:

  • Date Range to Scan is set to "Number of day from job start" and set the date to 90 days or newer.
  • Duplicate Check is set to "Try to publish all messages (SLOW)".
  • Make sure no flags are updated.

You can have this run, say, every weekend. This wil update the locations of the messages in the database so they are where the messages are in GroupWise. Since these messages will be in Retain already the job should go pretty fast. This way users will be able to find their messages by folder, which is how some people think.

End of Message Life
Almost all data retention policies have time limits on how long you must keep a message and after that time you are free to delete them. A little thought now can make your life easier in the future.

You can use Deletion Management to remove messages from the Retain archive. At the simplest, if your retention policy is seven years, you can use Deletion Management to delete messages whose delivered date is more than seven years ago.

You may have different retention policies for different groups of users. You may have to keep corporate level users for ten years but hourly workers may only need to be retained for three years. In GroupWise, you can group them into Distribution groups. In Retain, you can create jobs for those distribution groups under Jobs/Mailboxes/Distribution lists and use “Enable data expiration” under Jobs/Core Settings to set when the message can expire in Retain. Then have Deletion Management use the Expiration date for the criteria.

Since Retain uses Single-Instance Storage and only stores one copy of a particular message, some items will be held until the last user releases it. So an organization-wide announcement might be held far longer than you might expect. If a user is under Litigation hold in Retain all messages linked to that user will be kept until that hold is released.

Additional Information

This article was originally published in the GWAVA knowledgebase as article ID 2666.