Hi everyone. So here's what I'm thinking of doing-

I have a Netware 6.5 SP8 environment consisting of 7 servers with DS version 10554.64. My replica ring consists of just the one master and two read-write replicas. I have two new servers with a third on the way and want to start migrating to OES11 before making the jump to Groupwise 2012 (on 7 right now) but I have a few questions I can't seem to find the answers to anywhere:

1. Is it safe to mix eDirectory versions in your replica ring? Is there a best practices document on this? Is it safe to install the new server into the ring as a read-write, wait for everything to sync, then designate it the Master? Or perhaps install it into the ring as a read-only, then wait, etc?

2. Is there a server role more conducive to housing a replica than others? In other words, what type of server would you NOT install into your ring? A heavily-used file server? A VM? The servers to be installed first are going to eventually replace the GW primary domain/master replica, the post office, and the MTA/secondary domain server. I'm looking to avoid making a mistake that could snowball later.

3. Finally, is there a feasible backup solution available for OES11 yet? I've searched these forums for days and it seems to boil down to waiting for Symantec to "evaluate" the need for OES11 support in BE2012, going with an alternate vendor like Sesam, or doing it via scripts. There has to be a better way!

Sorry for the deluge of questions, but this is a huge task that's quite literally been dropped into my lap because I'm the only one with Linux knowledge in my workplace and the brass wants a new email system yesterday. I'd really appreciate any help or insight. Thanks!