Enlisting an outside service to host your Groove 2007 server certainly has merit, as I discussed previously. But companies with the in-house expertise can reap benefits by running the server themselves. First, you gain greater control over managing the servers, controlling service levels, and handling security. Add to that the flexibility of how you set up your Groove servers, such as deploying them all in one datacenter or spreading them out. Finally, you can optimize your machines for behaviors on the network that only in-house experts know to expect.
Essentially, there are three main components in the Groove Server hierarchy that you might install at your organization: Manager, Relay, and Data Bridge. Each has its own functionality and set of requirements that come together to help build out your Groove environment. Let's examine each.
Groove Manager: The Manager contains the Web-based interface that manages all user accounts, policy settings, reports, and so forth. The Manager integrates with your Active Directory (or any other LDAP solution) so that you can add users when you add members to your domain.
Groove Manager grants admins various levels of control, such as the ability to determine which tools are available to specific users. For example, you can ensure your users are all on Groove 2007 Workspace and that everyone is working with the latest implementation of the Files tool. You can also restrict the file types that can be shared within the workspace -- either by using the default list or customizing your own. Further, you have control over security levels, such as the length of passwords and expiration intervals.
Typically, you aren't able to view the data that is passed between members of a workspace. The way Groove is designed, the encryption operates between users of a group. However, you can use an integrated Groove Audit service that allows you to audit your selected workspaces, if necessary. For example, it may be necessary to audit the communications of the team involved in a merger or acquisition.
Groove Relay: Relay ensures communication and collaboration between members of a workspace when several issues impede the process. One of those issues is a network firewall. If two users are members of a workspace within the same subnet (no firewall between), you don't need a server relay. Odds are, however, that users working that close to each other can find other ways to collaborate.