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back to article Novell tongue-lashes LA for Google cloud switch

Los Angeles has broken a lot of hearts in its history. You're on top of the world one day, then tossed into the heap the next when the new big thing arrives. That Sunset Boulevard moment came for Novell last week after the LA City Council unanimously voted to replace its existing Novell communications systems with the apparently …

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Oops... The internet's down again!

Okay, let me get this straight. You want to save some money by going to cloud-based computing. Doesn't this require a connection to the internet if you want to get anything done? You know, silly things like e-mailing the guy in the cubicle across the room. Or, say you need to e-mail the disaster plan to your public affairs officer on the next floor. Things you may want to do after say... an earthquake, or something. You know, one of those pesky little natural disasters that may not destroy your building, but might just have the teeniest possibility of trashing your internet connection?

After an earthquake, how will the police process arrest documents? How will the public works director get a list of priorities to his managers in the same building? With building based servers at least you can get work done on site, even if you can't communicate with other locations.

Seems like a risky proposition in a city that has suffered many disaster related outages in the past.

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WTF?

LA

LA is the two letter code for the state of Louisiana ... Los Angeles is L.A. indicating that the city name is two words.

Whew - I guess Baton Rouge can rest easy...?

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Reliability

@mac42: if reliability mattered, they wouldn't be inflicting Groupwise on their users. For any critical information like disaster plans, I am sure there will be offline procedures (actual paper plans, like the ones in my own building) which are immune to power cuts, connectivity issues and everything else short of the information itself being destroyed. Not to mention you can easily maintain offline synced copies of your Google data on laptops anyway - rather more easily and effectively than with Groupwise, and without getting your attachments scrambled as often. How does the director get urgent information to his managers in an emergency? Not by the mail system which sometimes silently fails to deliver messages entirely (as happened to some of my users after being moved between NDS containers, and to my head of dept last week as well), randomly delays them by an hour or more (as happened earlier today) and stores offline data in an obfuscated and failure-prone format which seems to guarantee data loss in the long term.

I migrated another of my users off Groupwise earlier today, after being asked for about the third time: "why's all my outgoing mail not going?" We are both very relieved to be free of Groupwise's constraints: tiny mail quotas, a ridiculous proprietary "archive" hack to compensate for that deficiency and an IMAP implementation written by people who clearly can't even spell RFC.

Quite where Novell get the idea switching will cost millions of dollars more than propping up their fiasco, I don't know - but if my own experience and my co-workers' are anything to go by, we'd gladly pay the extra $50 each ourselves to be shot of their abomination. I've actually had fewer problems with Exchange/Outlook than with Groupwise, for all the former's notoriety!

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Big Brother

Eric Arthur Blair,

was an Englishman. Now with Airstrip One almost but not quite yet owned and controlled by Oceania I think he may have been around a hundred years too premature when he dated his novel.

In 75 years time will everything be processed by the Minitrue, sorry Google cloud?

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Just what is the cost of this off-again, on-again service?

After I did a Reg search of various cloud outages, it makes me quite leary of leaving any data on a "cloud" system. Oops, someone "bumped the plug" as it were, and in the event of everyday life, leaves LA without its very important data. It's one thing to have an in-house cloud system, and it's something else to blindly trust your data to a not-so-proven technology.

If the Google cloud isn't working, how will LA have access to its data? I hope that they have some kind of redundant system. I'd like to see what it will cost for this transition.

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questions

Koretz said: "It's unclear if this is cutting edge, or the edge of a cliff we're about to step off,". I say that it's definitely the bleeding edge, and they are, in fact, going to bleed. A lot. The real question is "will they bleed as much as they did under Novell". At least if "the cloud" doesn't crap out on them they'll still have their data available after the next earthquake. Assuming they can get an internet connection.

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Grenade

Exaggeration I Think

A Govt organization this size will invariably have numerous custom applications that only run on old hardware and ancient OS revisions. How this will be magically translated to Google Apps would be a real feat. Court and Police Applications might not likely be able to legally move at all. I think were are talking about email and general office automation here --- not "Everything".

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@James 100 - Technical Skills??

James it sounds like you organistaion should move to Google - at least they might have some staff with enough technical skills to maintain a basic email system.

1) GroupWise doesn't use NDS containers to deliver email, so what you mean is *you* fried something and choose to blame the software.

2) That "obfuscated" offline data format is called "encryption" - you may not have heard of it but most people quite like the idea of security.

3) "tiny mail quotas" - err that would be a setting - you the email administrator define the size of.

Actually thinking about it, perhaps you should just give up using email altogether and go back to practising your joined up handwriting?

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FAIL

Cliff

What's that whistling noise?

Why are those dots getting bigger?

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Coat

@Version 1.0

> LA is the two letter code for the state of Louisiana ... Los Angeles is L.A. indicating that the city name is two words.

As someone who grew up in The Land of LA, let me assure you that many, many people do abbreviate Los Angeles as "LA", just as we also often write UCLA, CSUN, and <bleah> USC, which, by your logic, must always be written U.C.L.A., C.S.U.N., and U.S.C., just to give a couple examples.

Next thing I suppose you'll be telling us that CA is some international standard two letter code for something like Canada, or that USC is the University of South Carolina; when in fact those of us who know better know that they are shorthand for California and the University of Southern California, respectively.

Coat? It's 78°F/25°C in LA, don't need no stinking coat.

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@James 100 - Clueless!

James, you are sounding a little out of your depth here. You clearly have no idea how to administer an email system. Perhaps you are in the wrong profession ? If indeed you are as you claim in charge of your email system.

The sad part is that if you had actually spent some time correctly configuring your Groupwise system you would have had an email system that runs and runs with no problems.

The only problem with your mail system at the moment is you!

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