The Groove Solution
Updated: April 1, 2008
Applies To: Groove Server 2007
The full capability of Groove tools and components can be exercised on just two user machines directly connected over a local area network (LAN). Figure 1-1 illustrates this simple Groove setup.
Figure 1-1. Peer-to-Peer Groove
But outside a LAN, other factors disrupt the real-time flow of information between users. Corporate firewalls may block transmissions, data can be unaccountably lost, slow internet connections can hinder transmissions, external events can cause outages, and users in different time zones may be online at different times. As more people collaborate, the impact of external conditions becomes more apparent. Each user's context and the environmental conditions affecting the internet as a whole challenge the effectiveness of direct peer-to-peer interaction.
To sustain successful communications among peers in this dynamic environment, Groove employs relay servers that enable timely information exchange regardless of corporate firewalls, weak communications links, internet traffic conditions, or client online/offline status. In a managed Groove environment, enterprises can obtain dedicated relay support by installing Groove Relay and Groove Manager servers onsite, or they can employ Groove Enterprises Services to avoid the burden of server administration and maintenance. The Groove clients and supporting servers employ a suite of proprietary and public protocols to enable PC communications in a wide range of network settings.
While Groove software is designed to allow individual users to securely collaborate over the Internet, businesses require a higher level of control and management over software use. IT departments in an organization must meet corporate productivity objectives while working within the constraints of budgets and policies that affect numerous aspects of software usage, including network bandwidth availability, data integrity, and the security of corporate resources. The Groove Manager installed onsite at an enterprise or procured via Groove Enterprise Services addresses this level of management. The Groove Manager or Enterprise Services allows administrators to oversee Groove operation. Using a browser-accessed interface, they can define Groove usage and security policies in accordance with organizational requirements, provision users with dedicated relay support, and monitor Groove activity.
For large organizations with a substantial software infrastructure already in place, Groove can be integrated with other corporate applications and servers, via the Groove Server Data Bridge. The Groove Data Bridge is an enhanced, server-level version of the Groove client that accepts Web services calls from other applications on behalf of managed Groove clients.
The following table summarizes the capabilities offered by Groove's enterprise servers and services:
|Servers and Services||Functionality|
Groove Server Manager
Enables in-house administrators to configure and monitor Groove Manager servers that host Groove management domains. Administrators populate domains with Groove user information, register onsite Groove Relay servers, set Groove usage policies, schedule user account backups, and oversee user activity via Groove Manager administrative Web pages.
Onsite installations of Groove Manager also support the following:
Groove Server Relay
Enables enterprise administrators to configure and monitor onsite Groove Relay servers in conjunction with onsite Groove Manager servers. Onsite relay servers provide the same cross-firewall navigation, store and forward, device discovery, and transmission fanout support as hosted relays, but in an in-house managed environment. Administrators control relay security and availability; for instance, locating relays within a private network if necessary, and installing redundant servers to provide failover.
Groove Enterprise Services
Provides Manager and Relay services that allow administrators to set Groove usage policies, schedule account backups, and oversee Groove user activity, without the overhead of server maintenance.
Note that LDAP integration, automatic account configuration, and Groove Auditing are not available via Groove Enterprise Services.
Groove Data Bridge
Enables administrators to integrate legacy systems into Groove via specific Groove Web Services.
Figure 1-2 shows the basic layout of Groove clients and servers.
Figure 1-2 Groove Installation with Supporting Servers