Tuesday Jun 30, 2009

Communications Suite: Cutting Your Storage Costs

Just published: a white paper on designing tiered storage with Messaging Server, with the eye on cutting storage costs. Abstract:

Service providers face unrelenting pressure to increase storage for user mailboxes. This paper explains how using production products, such as Sun Communications Suite software, the Solaris ZFS file system, and a Sun Storage array, can cut storage costs by half, while performance (measured by messages per second) can be increased by more than 50 percent in environments with millions of users. Extensive load testing has shown that this single-rack solution provides a cost-effective message store for two million users. It is easily replicated and highly modular.

Thursday Jun 25, 2009

Communications Suite Wiki: Top Twenty Pages

Have a look at the top twenty most frequently accessed pages on the Communications Suite wiki(s) for June. I see a noticeable uptick in access to Communications Suite 6 Update 2 information.

Tuesday Jun 23, 2009

What Anthony Says

Please all welcome Anthony Waldron, Messaging Server expert, to the Sun blogosphere. Anthony has his first post up on detangling the CommSuite installation, configuration, and deployment..

If anyone can untangle those wires, that would be Anthony.

Tuesday Apr 28, 2009

Communications Suite 6 Update 2: Get it Now!

Download the latest update to Communications Suite 6, aka Communications Suite Update 2.

Quick list of Communications Suite 6 Update 2 docs:

Saturday Apr 25, 2009

Communications Suite 6 Update 2: What's New

The next update to Communications Suite 6--aka Update 2--is on the very near horizon. Here's what to expect in terms of changes and new features. And don't forget that our new Calendar Server (CalDAV server) and Indexing and Search Service are also releasing beta versions.

What's New in Sun Java Communications Suite Update 2

System Virtualization Support

System virtualization is a technology that enables multiple operating system (OS) instances to execute independently on shared hardware. Functionally, software deployed to an OS hosted in a virtualized environment is generally unaware that the underlying platform has been virtualized. Sun performs testing of its Sun Java System products on select system virtualization and OS combinations to help validate that the Sun Java System products continue to function on properly sized and configured virtualized environments as they do on non-virtualized systems.

Communications Suite supports the VMware container (VMware ESX Server 3). As support for other virtulization platforms (LDOMs, xVM Server, and so on) becomes available we will update this document.

For information about Sun support for Sun Java System products in virtualized environments, see http://docs.sun.com/doc/820-4651.

Updates to comm_dssetup.pl

The comm_dssetup.pl script has been updated to include support for OpenSSO and to add schema for Instant Messaging.

What's New in Sun Convergence 1 Update 2

Convergence 1 Update 2 includes the following changes and new features:

Shared/Subscribed folders

Users can now share their mail folders or subscribe to other's shared mail folders. To learn more about how to Share a mail folder or subscribe to a shared folder, see the online help.

Mail Quota

The mail quota feature enables you to see mail usage information. You can see mail quota when the administrator sets your mail quota. To learn more about how to see your mail quota, see the online help.

Spell-Checking Email

Sun Convergence enables you to perform a spell check automatically before sending email. To enable this feature, select the "Always spell check before sending a message" option from the General Mail Preferences. After you enable the spell-check feature, your email will be checked for spelling mistakes before you send the email. For more information about setting the spell-check feature, see the online help.

Marking Messages as Spam

Spam messages are unsolicited bulk emails that the you get in your mailbox. You can mark messages as spam or not spam from the mail user interface. To learn more about taking action against spam messages, see the online help. To know more about how to do this, see the online help. To know more about how to configure Convergence for handling spam messages, see Enabling the Spam Feature .

Single SignOn and Authentication using Sun OpenSSO Enterprise 8.0

Sun Convergence 1 Update 2 now supports OpenSSO Enterprise 8.0 for authentication and Single SignOn. To know more about how to do this, see Configuring Sun Convergence With Sun OpenSSO Enterprise 8.0.

What's New in Messaging Server 7 Update 2

Messaging Server 7 Update 2 includes the following changes and new features:

Internal Version Number

The internal version number (displayed in various places like the SMTP and IMAP banner) is now 7u2-x.yy (was 7.0-3.01 for 7 Update 1). The number 2 in 7u2-x.yy now signifies the update number to help associate specific releases with the update release it was based on.

Microsoft Exchange Journaling Format

Messaging Server 7 Update 2 supports the Microsoft Exchange Journaling Format, enabling integration with ZLTI's archiving software.

Update of MTA ClamAV Filter Plugin to Support New INSTREAM Command

The following table shows the new option for the ClamAV option file, its description, and default value.

Option Description Default
USE_INSTREAM Enables (1) or disables (0) the use of INSTREAM scanning in clamd. Starting with ClamAV 0.95, clamd fixed the deficient design that required two TCP connections to be made when scanning a data stream (control connection and data connection). Now only a single connection is needed which allows for simpler and faster processing (no setup/processing/teardown of data connection) and also allows ClamAV to scale horizontally by placing multiple scanning systems behind load balancers. Attempting to use this option with an earlier version of ClamAV will result in a scanning failure. 0

Redesign of the ENS Client and Server

The Event Notification Service server and client were redesigned in this release. There is a new client API (ens.h) that is backwards compatible. The previous ENS server is installed under the name enpd1 for customers who may wish to use it.

Enhancements to the reconstruct Command

reconstruct -a attempts to rebuild most aspects of a user's folder, thereby eliminating the need to run multiple commands (such as reconstruct -m then reconstruct -r. Since reconstruct -a rebuilds the entire folder, it was time consuming.

To rectify this, reconstruct -a now performs a consistency check on each folder in order to determine whether or not to reparse all the messages along with various other repairs. If you run reconstruct -a -f, a full repair and reparse is forced. If you run reconstruct -a -n, only a consistency check is run, printing out errors found in the folder. This may be useful in order to catch issues before fixing them.

LOG_ACTION Mapping Table

IP v6 Phase 1 Support

IP v6 Phase 1 is supported in this release of Messaging Server.

What's New in Instant Messaging 8 Update 1

Instant Messaging 8 includes the following changes and new features:

Yahoo Gateway in Instant Messaging

Sun Java System Instant Messaging 8 Update 1 co-packages a gateway for Yahoo messaging clients. The gateway enables Sun Java System Instant Messaging users to communicate with their contacts on Yahoo. This feature enables easy installation and configuration of the Yahoo gateway with Sun Java System Instant Messaging. You can configure the gateway by using the configure utility.

What's New in Delegated Administrator 7

Delegated Administrator 7 includes the following changes and new features:

Direct LDAP Access to the Directory

There are two choices for accessing the directory with Delegated Administrator:

  • Direct LDAP access to the directory
  • Directory access through Access Manager (Legacy Mode)

In this release, by default, Delegated Administrator accesses the directory through direct LDAP calls. By using direct LDAP access, Delegated Administrator removes the former dependence on Access Manager. You can now provision Communications Suite domains, users, and groups without installing or using Access Manager.

Alternatively, you can continue to use the old access method, via Access Manager.

  • You can provision objects in a Schema 1 or Schema 2 directory
  • You can use Access Manager (Realm mode) with the Communications Suite products (including Delegated Administrator)
  • You can run Delegated Administrator, and any other Communications Suites product, without installing or using Access Manager

To take advantage of these choices, you must

  • Select "Direct LDAP access to the directory (DL)" when you run the Delegated Administrator configuration program, config-commda

Support for Schema 1

Delegated Administrator supports provisioning domains, users, and groups in a Schema 1 directory. To enable Schema 1, you must

  • Select "Direct LDAP access to the directory (DL)" when you run the Delegated Administrator configuration program, config-commda

Custom User Attributes Can Be Added to the Delegated Administrator Console

You can add custom user attributes that can be provisioned in the Delegated Administrator console. The custom attributes must belong to your LDAP schema before you can add and use the attributes via the Delegated Adminstrator console.

For more information about this feature, see Customizing the Delegated Administrator Console.

Preserving Customized Configuration During Upgrades

Now you can run a merge utility, damerge, to preserve your customized configuration after you upgrade Delegated Administrator and run the Delegated Administrator configuration program.

When you upgrade Delegated Administrator and run the Delegated Administrator configuration program, the properties in the configuration files are reset to the default values for the new release. However, you can replace the default values with your earlier, customized configuration by using the damerge utility.

For more information about this feature, see Preserving Delegated Administrator Customizations During Upgrades.

What's New in Connector for Outlook 7.3 Update 1

Connector for Outlook 7.3 Update 1 includes the following changes and new features:

Bug Fixes Only.

What's New in Communications Express 6.3

Communications Express 6.3 includes the following changes:

Login Access to Access Manager From Within Communications Express

You can now login to Access Manager directly from Communications Express. To do this, you must set either of the following parameters in the uwcauth.properties file:

  • uwcauth.identity.login.url
  • uwcauth.identity.ssl.login.url

If you have enabled identity, then you must set the above parameters to avoid receiving error messages when you login.

This configuration would only be possible if you have enabled Access Manager by setting the uwcauth.identity.enabled parameter to "true" in the uwcauth.properties file.

Friday Oct 24, 2008

Communications Suite 6: New VirtualBox Image

A VirtualBox image is now included as part of the Communications Suite 6 software download as a simple and portable method for demonstrating Communications Suite 6 features without the overhead of installation and configuration. This VirtualBox image is intended only for demonstration or evaluation purposes and not for production use.

The VBox image is available on the Sun Java Communications Suite 6 Download site, in 7 parts (under Optional Files), named: SunJava_Comms_Suite6_VBox-part-#, where '#' is a letter from 'a' to 'g'.

Wednesday Oct 01, 2008

Communications Suite: Distributed Installs Just Got a Bit Easier

Installing a full Communications Suite deployment may still not be for the faint of heart, but things just got a bit easier thanks to the availability of the Enterprise Messaging Reference Architecture (EMRA) Toolkit. For more information, check out the Communications Suite Tools and Contributions page, where you can get the EMRA Toolkit software, Getting Started Guide, and other helpful information.

Tuesday Aug 26, 2008

Communications Suite 6: Living Wiki or Snapshot?

A couple of folks have been asking about the Comms "living wiki" and how that sits with the "snapshot" of the Comms Wiki. In brief:

  • Mostly you'll want to use the main, "living wiki" Communications Suite wiki to get information about Comms Suite products. The living wiki is the only place where you can add wiki edits or comments. It's where people are continually contributing, and it has the most up-to-date information.
  • The "snapshot" is an image of the entire Comms Suite doc wiki as of July 22nd and resides on a separate space on wikis.sun.com. The snapshot allows you to check which features were current with the RR software. The snapshot is static and closed to edits and comments. It exists solely as a back-up for people who want to double-check what works with their version of the software.

We'll continue to make snapshots of the wiki at future releases/updates as they come out.

Question: Would you like to see the link for the snapshot in a more prominent location than in the left-hand sidebar? For example, would it be better to include the snapshot link right in the header of the main landing page? If so, drop a line or reply in the Comments.

HT Steven

Monday Aug 25, 2008

Deploying Communications Suite 6 on RedHat Linux

Looking to get Communications Suite 6 up and running quickly on a single Linux host? Thanks to Shane Hjorth, you can now do just this. See the Sun Java Communications Suite 6 on a Single Host (Linux) document on the Comms Wiki.

Monday Jul 28, 2008

Comm Suite 6: Installation is Better

One of the major complaints against Communications Suite has been the difficulty with the initial install/configure process. And that frankly, new customers who want to evaluate the product are often left holding the bits, literally, trying to find their way out of a fun-house tunnel.

One of our goals in Comms is to simplify installation. And I think what we need is an installer that provides the option of a quick evaluation mode. Okay, while we're waiting for that, I have to say that the Comms 6 installer is a real improvement over past releases. I just went through the Single Host Deployment Example and though the process is somewhat time-consuming, I successfully had all components running smoothly, installed and configured as documented.

Second improvement: If you don't have half a day or so to run through this deployment example, then consider downloading the Comms VMware image, which will enable you to evaluate Comms 6 without the installation and configuration required of a production deployment. (The VMware image runs on Linux and Windows platforms.) Running the VMware image is described here.

In either case, I think you'll find we're making improvements and lowering the barriers to evaluating and learning about a Comms Suite deployment.

Friday Jul 25, 2008

Sun Convergence: Give Our New Web 2.0 Collaboration Client a Test Drive

Everyone is invited to try out the new Web 2.0 client, Sun Convergence, available as part of Communications Suite 6, at the following site:

Test Drive Convergence

Log in with the userID field1 and password cosmo.

Monday Jun 02, 2008

CommSuite Wiki: How Did We Ever Manage Without It?

What I'm finding exciting about using wikis.sun.com for the Communications Suite product documentation is that we can continually find new ways to enhance the information and try something out on-the-fly as part of the evolving grand experiment.

Today I realized that we've been adding some important new pages to the wiki. And I began to wonder, how does one find out about these new pages? So I added a "What's New" panel to the CommSuite Wiki front page, alerting readers to pages have recently been added (as opposed to this list, which tracks recent changes to pages).

I realize that at times it can be difficult to search for and find the exact information that you are looking for. I hope this "What's New" panel helps at least with alerting you to new pages as they get created.

Thursday May 15, 2008

Comms Suite Doc Wiki: The Whole Enchilada

Someone was asking me today, "How do you find things on the Comms Doc Wiki?" A valid question, to be sure. I thought about it for a bit, and asked back, "What are you looking for." "Everything, the whole enchilada" came the reply. "I want to browse everything."

Fortunately, wikis.sun.com (by way of the Confluence wiki engine) has an easy way to do this. For the Comms Suite Wiki, we made use of a macro to generate an index of all content, organized A-Z:

CommSuite Doc Index, aka The Whole Enchilada

Friday May 02, 2008

Installing Comms: Lowering the Barriers, Day 3: Two Steppin' & The Func Funk

Much of the deployment experience for Comms Suite involves running individual product configurator tools. That is, when deploying Comms, you do the two-step dance of installing the bits and THEN configuring them.

If you're new to the product, or coming from the world where the installer DOES everything for you, well, that's just not so in Comms. For better or worse, we split up the deployment experience into laying down the product software and then configuring that software.

I'm at the point in the Single Host Deployment Example where I have installed the Comms Suite bits and am now configuring the component products.

You run the component configurators in the following order:

  • comm_dssetup.pl to prepare the LDAP directory with Comms schema
  • config-commda for Delegated Administrator
    BTW, here's a shot of the DA Console (a feel good that yes, the process is working as documented)
  • configure for Messaging Server
  • csconfigurator.sh for Calendar Server
After running csconfigurator.sh, you need to hand-edit the Calendar Server ics.conf file and a few other Calendar Server files, then reload the service schemas. A really useful error then appeared when trying to stop/restart the Calendar Server:
# ./stop-cal
[30/Apr/2008:19:32:21 -0700] elwood2 [11006]: General Error: func=_configdrv_file_readoption; error=unexpected character after value; data="
ERROR: Could not initialize config system
Okay, after so much smooth sailing, I've got the func FUNK.

I'm thinking, what the heck, and how am I even supposed to begin troubleshooting this with such a helpful error message. (Perhaps to seasoned Calendar Server admins, it's obvious.)

As I had just edited the Calendar Server files, I figured that was a good place to start. Careful examination revealed that I had left off an ending double quote (") on a value in the ics.conf file. Which points out to a real issue with deploying Comms: With all the typing and hand-editing of files involved, human error is a very real problem. So far, that has to be my major complaint with this deployment methodology.

Hmmm, would have been interesting, in hind sight, to have used this Error Rate Calculator, telling you what your typing error rate is - that is, how often you have to hit that Backspace key to correct an entry.

Up Next: On to Instant Messaging.

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Reporting about Unified Communications Suite Documentation, including news, Comms 101, documentation updates, and tips and tricks.

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