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Environment

Netmail 5.1.x

FAQ

What does it do?

The AWA Remote Provider (RP) is the service which acts as an intermediary between users and their archives.  It serves up the Netmail Search web portal and provides the back-end functionality for the archive links in Outlook Web Access (OWA) and the Outlook Plug-in.

Where can I run it?

Typically the RP is installed together with an Archive node.  This reduces the number of servers required to be deployed by the customer.  However it can also just as well be deployed on an independent server with similar specifications. 

Find Archive server requirements here: System Requirements for Netmail Archive

The particular requirement of interest here is Java (the RP is a Java-based software).

Can I update my Java to the latest release?

Newer updates within the same major version are usually safe (eg. v7u25 vs v7u51) however we recommend checking with Netmail Support before you attempt jumping to a newer major version.  Note that as of Netmail 6.x it is required to have both 32-bit and 64-bit editions of the JRE.\

NB: If the wrong version of Java is installed, the service simply won't start.  No errors or logs are generated.

For more about handling general Windows Updates: Appendix F – Best Practices for Change Management: Windows Updates


How many do I need?

There is not an easy answer to this question as it is heavily dependent on the size of the organization, and more importantly, the amount of archive access they require.  Clearly the shorter the period of time items are kept in the mailbox (before they are moved into the archive) the more frequently users will refer to their archives.

It is straightforward to monitor RP load.  As with any other type of server, CPU and RAM consumption speak volumes about their ability to cope with demand.  In an Exchange organization it is recommended you start with 1 RP per 2 CAS and monitor their load.  If necessary, it can be increased to a 1:1 ratio.

 

How can I tell where they are running?

Upon login to the Netmail web console, there is a Diagnostics tab which lists all RPs present in the cluster.  

 

How big should my Case Management Device be?

The size of the CMD will depend wholly on the size and number of eDiscoveries performed.  Each case will be saved there, together with the intermediate working set during an export and the final export result.   

Example: exporting 10 GB of data will require minimum 20GB of space: 10 GB to hold the temporary data in XML format, and another 10 GB to product the output.  This is multiplied by the number of cases & exports maintained by all case managers.  

If the amount of available space on the CMD falls below 5GB, an export will not proceed.

 

Does it provide any logging information?

By default the RP logs to …\Program Files (x86)\Messaging Architects\RemoteProvider\dp.log.  This file is cleared at start-up.  Default log level won’t provide much information, however it can be toggled into debugging mode

simply, via the Netmail console:  on the Diagnostics tab, find the RP in the list and select 'Enable logging'
manually, via the browser: type the following URL http://<RP IP:Port>/remote?cmd=log&status=on, where <RP IP:Port> is the IP address of the RP, as well as the port it’s configured to listen on (default: 8888).

A restarted RP will usually assume debug logging is disabled.  It will also clear the existing log file so that must be saved manually elsewhere if it is required for further analysis.

 

How do I change its configuration?

The RP draws its configuration from a few files in the …\Program Files (x86)\Messaging Architects\RemoteProvider directory.  Find a description of them here: Configuration

Any changes to these files will require a restart of the service to take effect.

 

Where is the certificate stored for SSL?

The path to the certificate being used by the secured port is specified in …\Program Files (x86)\Messaging Architects\RemoteProvider\jetty-ssl.xml.

The certificate installed by default is a self-signed one, generated in the manner described here: How to Generate a Keystore / Self-Signed Certificate for the Netmail Archive Remote Provider

 

How do I load-balance them?

Load-balancing the RPs is achievable two ways.

The best way to load-balance RP services for direct user access (via Netmail Search web portal) is to use a DNS round-robin mechanism.  This is true in both Groupwise and Exchange deployments.

For OWA/Outlook access in Exchange environments, the best method is to use a direct CAS-to-RP mapping.  Since connections to the CAS array are already load-balanced (usually by a NLB) then by extension the load on the RPs should also be reasonably distributed.  The number of CAS pointing to each RP is configurable and a function of end-user demand. 

Accessing the RPs via NLB is not recommended as it requires multiple conditions to satisfy, including session persistence, cookie handling, etc…  Also, it is not guaranteed that the nature of the communication won’t change on a subsequent release of Netmail, thus breaking the existing NLB configuration.

 

How are they resilient?

By themselves, the RPs are not designed to provide fault tolerance.  If an RP becomes unavailable, the administrator must manually re-direct traffic to another server (by updating the DNS entry, for example).  However a degree of resiliency can be achieved in an Exchange environment (albeit only for OWA access).

Originally designed as a mechanism to assist enterprises with multiple domains, the IIS extensions on the CAS were updated to allow for multiple RP entries.  Using this functionality the CAS can be configured to point at a primary RP as well as a secondary RP.  Upon user authentication to OWA, if the first RP doesn’t respond then the second will be called upon to provide archive access.

The secondary RP is specified in the dp.ip variable in the configure.txt by delimiting with a semi-colon.

Eg.
  dp.ip=<primary_IP>:<secondary_RP>
  dp.port=<primary_PORT>:<secondary_PORT>

 

How do I log in?

After accessing the Netmail Search portal in your browser, you will need to provide your credentials.  For AD/Exchange environments, the accepted credentials are in domain\userID format, or SMTP (e-mail) address. 

For eDir/Groupwise environments, it is necessary to provide the distinguished name (DN) egcn=userID,ou=container,o=organisation.  If you do not want to provide this information at every login (or if the users don’t know it) then the userID can be made to suffice if you provision the rest of the relative path in the user.container variable within the xgwxmlv.cfg file. 

Find more about RP configuration here: Configuration

 

Where are my cases saved?

All cases are created under the case manager's ID on the Case Management Device (CMD).

 

It says I don’t have archives?  /  I see archives in one repository but not in another?

The manner in which the RP locates archives for a user depends on whether it’s a GroupWise or Exchange installation, and whether it’s a GroupWise or Exchange repository.

GroupWise installations can only have GroupWise repositories.  The RP locates the user’s archive folder as follows: How Netmail Search Locates a User's Archives (GroupWise Install)

Exchange installations can have both GroupWise and Exchange repositories.  The RP locates the user’s archive folder as follows: How Netmail Search Locates a User's Archives (Exchange Install)

 

I see my mailbox folders, but none of my items in it?

The account may not have indexes created for it.  A re-index job may be required to restore visibility of the items.

 

I think some items may be missing from my archives?

The account may not be properly indexed.  A re-index job may be required to restore visibility of the items.  If after a re-index the items still do not appear, then further investigation of the files on-disk may be required.  Please contact Support for assistance in this matter.

 

How do I search for stuff?

Please see the end-user documentation available here: Netmail Search Documentation

 

Related links:

Configuring External Access to Archived Messages through a DMZ

How to Enable User Authentication in Netmail Search to use Active Directory

 


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