NSW Health has started preparing the consolidation of all its disparate e-mail systems into one Microsoft Exchange environment for some 200,000 end-users across the state government department with the big loser being Novell’s GroupWise.
To prepare for the migration, the health support services (HSS) infrastructure office within NSW Health is installing a centralised e-mail archiving system based on Quest Archive Manager specifically for the GroupWise environments.
The new archiving solution will address “pressing GroupWise storage capacity concerns” and allow the historical GroupWise e-mail to be centrally stored and accessed without a dependency on GroupWise itself.
HSS anticipates the new e-mail archive system will be switched on in August 2011.
Last month the NSW Department of Health’s director of e-health and ICT strategy branch Ian Rodgers, said there is a renewed focus on the IT systems and infrastructure strategy which needed to be modernised to support the electronic medical records (EMR) programs.
Although NSW Health has been planning to migrate to Exchange for some time, this move strikes another blow for Novell’s GroupWise which has to compete with the Microsoft juggernaut both on-premise and in the Cloud. Last year the Australian National Maritime Museum migrated off GroupWise to Exchange in the Cloud.
To prepare for e-mail archiving, NSW Health IT support is recommending all GroupWise users undertake “housekeeping” tasks, including deleting empty or unwanted folders and messages; re-organise folders; and identify all required GroupWise e-mail archives data and data sources like local and network drives.
It is anticipated the new Quest Archive Manager solution will reduce the amount of data that needs to be stored in GroupWise and provide staff with access to their historical e-mail through a Web interface.
Having messages archived will also permit legal discovery searches across all GroupWise e-mail in NSW Health, decrease the Novell GroupWise licensing commitment and streamline the migration to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook, according to the department.
Another goal of the project is to replace existing “client-based distributed archiving” with an automated, centralised system. A centralised system will also permit the long-term retention and searching of historical GroupWise e-mail.
When Archive Manager is enabled it will automatically archive e-mail messages, including attachments, as they are sent and received.
When messages are deleted from inboxes or sent messages in GroupWise a copy will always remain in Archive Manager, which will also progressively copy all of the existing GroupWise e-mail into the permanent archive.
NSW Health staff are advised to continue to archive messages they want to retain in GroupWise as normal as Archive Manager will not be directly accessible by users until later this year.
When the project is complete, staff will be able to access Archive Manager from any computer connected to Health’s network.
Message forwarding and replies without having to un-archive and re-archive them is supported.
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