CUST109 Implementing IBM Lotus Notes in a Heterogenous Client Environment

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Oct 30, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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© 2011 IBM Corporation
CUST109
Implementing IBM
Lotus Notes
®
in a Heterogenous
Client Environment
Roberto Mazzoni
|
Project Manager
|
University of Zurich
Roman Meng
| Director Lotus |
University of Zurich
© 2011 IBM Corporation
2
Agenda

Introduction

Challenges, requirements & why IBM Lotus
®
?

A technical approach

Overview

IMAP

POP

Lotus Traveler

Lotus iNotes

Multilingual

Conclusion
© 2011 IBM Corporation
3
University of Zurich - Introduction
© 2011 IBM Corporation
4
University of Zurich - About

Established 1833, first radices date back to 1525

The largest university in Switzerland with over 26,000 students
(as an International comparison: Oxford: 20,000 students)

Alumni of the University of Zurich include 12 Nobel Prize laureates
(W. Röntgen, A. Einstein, E. Schrödinger, K. A. Müller, et al.)

Rated 51 in the “Academic Ranking of World Universities 2010“

Worldwide rank 38 in “Clinical Medicine and Pharmaceutics”

Worldwide rank 30 in “Life Sciences and Agriculture”

Member of the „League of European Research Universities“ (LERU)

Schrödinger supercomputer ranked 96 in November 2009
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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University of Zurich – Mission Statement

pursues scholarly research and teaching and provides related services

strives to provide exceptional quality in these areas and measures itself
against the highest international standards

is aware of its responsibility in maintaining and offering a wide range of
academic disciplines

grants as high a level of independence and shared responsibility as
possible to its students and staff, and promises equal opportunity on all
levels

nurtures the intellectual, professional, and personal development of its
students and staff

is committed to a participatory management style

offers its staff modern contracts and working conditions
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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University of Zurich - Funding

Total income/costs: 1,162,000,000 CHF (2009)
49.00%
11.00%
10.00%
10.00%
2.00%
18.00%
State of Zurich
Other States
Swiss Confederation
Services
Tuition Fees
Third-Party Funds
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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University of Zurich – Structure

People – including guests approximately 35,000 members

over 26,000 students

approx. 500 professors

approx. 2,700 academic personnel

approx. 2,000 administrative personnel

approx. 800 private lecturers / nominal professors

approx. 2000 assistant lecturers

numerous guests


Decentralized and self-governed – 180 self-governed units

7 faculties

approx. 150 institutes

about 15 competence centers

numerous associated institutes
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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IBM Lotus
®
@ UZH – History

2005

The university's IT strategy retains the evaluation of a groupware containing the
usual suspects: e-mail, scheduling, contacts, tasks, mobile synchronization

Opting for document management, synchronous communication, workflows

Replacing the old solution for approx. 35,000 users

2007

Open tenders

2008

End of evaluation, final decision done by the university management

2009

Internal “Going live” with IT services

2010

Official “Going live” and migration of the 40'000 users
(yes, we found some more...)

2011

Closing operations for the project
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Challenges, Requirements & Why IBM Lotus
®
?
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Challenges

Faculties/Institutes have very high degree of autonomy in the name of
"freedom for research and teaching".

The instruments for the academic usage ranges from magnetic resonance
imaging (MRI), super computing up to devices suitable for outdoor use in
extreme conditions. (Sounds strange, but believe us... they want them all to
collaborate...)

Software needed for academic usage is built on a broad range of operating
systems, some of them very exotic. (Do you really believe OS/2, AmigaOS
or OpenVMS is exotic? Don't even dare...)

Academic work is international, public, interdisciplinary and strongly
networked. (like a good MMO...)
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Challenges

The academic user has a very mobile working environment. (you remember
the terms “outdoor” and “extreme conditions”?)

Most people work for different Institutes/Faculties/Universities
simultaneously and are often sharing a full-time equivalent with other
people. (Guess where we found the “other” users, so the headcount went
from 35'000 up to 40'000)

High fluctuation due to academic interchange and the nature of academic
studies.

Most of them are university graduates... (“No, you can't use this mouse for
bio-chemical experiments... It's for your computer...”)
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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All these challenges lead us to...

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Requirements

Some more requirements
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Free choice & No standard environment

People / institutes don't pay for the service, its free of charge, so they are
not obliged to use it. We have to SELL the service with persuasion, so it has
to be „good“.


So let's raise the bar, as we have to meet the standards as expected by the
users (and provided by the old solution)

High availability from every workplace

Transparent service cloud needed

Scalable & Fast

Disaster-resistent (failover)

No enforcement possible neither for an operating system, a client nor for a
version of it

Different deployed version of all (non-lotus) applications

What we try is to “enforce” at least a common “major” version of Lotus Notes
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Free choice & No standard environment

Lotus Notes support for at least the main operating systems

40 % Microsoft
®
Windows
®
, from Windows 2000 to Windows 7

40 % Apple
®
Mac OS, from 9.x to OS X 10.6

20 % other, mostly Linux
®
of various distributions and some exotic ones

Everything available in every bitness or flavour

How to „close the gap“ if no Lotus Notes
®
is available

Not all systems allow a fat client, in many cases only a light-weight client as an
imap-only-client is possible.

Or the OS is simply not supported

Open protocols to support a lot of (native) clients where Lotus Notes/iNotes is not
possible or feasible (see later)
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Role centric model

Not only the person is important, but their role is it too and it has to be
separable from the person

Need for non personal, shared collaboration resources accessible through
access rights

Mailfiles, Calendars, Contacts, Room/Resources, Applications, Databases,
etc

Shared Mailbox: That's where mail-in kicks in
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Multilingual

Switzerland alone has 4 languages of the country

Full support for different languages needed

Combined with the role centric model this means that people need to have
the possibility to dynamically switch the language

Not only multilingual templates

Multilingual Mailfiles too...

And that dynamically in realtime...
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Openness of data

No vendor lock acceptable (sorry guys...)

Possibility to extract data after work done needed

Access to data from non proprietary client required

Open protocols (see later) to exchange/extract/import data

Guest users
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Part of the data on foreign systems

It is not possible for the people to have all their data they need for their work
on the lotus system. Some data has to be stored on foreign systems

If we want that they use Lotus Notes/iNotes
®
as a sole system, it will have to
support the protocols to access the data on foreign systems.

Example

IMAP Implementation in Lotus Notes...

That's one of the main reasons we can't recommend Lotus Notes as the „one
and only“ client
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Interchange with non-lotus-systems needed

The lotus systems have to connect with non-lotus-systems

Open standardized protocols are the key

IMAP/POP3 - standard for mail

iCal – standard to read calendar data

ics - to exchange calendar data in file format

CalDAV - standard for read/write access to calendar data incl. free/busy

CardDAV - upcoming standard for contacts data

SyncML - standard for mobile pim synchronization

ActiveSync - standard for mobile pim synchronization
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Interchange with non-lotus systems needed

And by the way... (sorry, we couldn't resist...)


Open Source & Standards are key to making our planet smarter and
improving the way we live and work. [...] IBM is an industry leader helping
governments move toward greater openness and innovation. Our
commitment and perspective on intellectual property, open standards, and
open source software emerges from our experience in the marketplace and,
equally important, from the direction in which we see information technology
taking the larger society.“

(http://www-03.ibm.com/linux/ossstds/ - Open Source and Standards @ IBM)
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Why Lotus
®
?

Clients

Highly heterogeneous environment at the UZH (→ diversity / autonomy)

Lotus Notes supports a broad client infrastructure at the different release levels

The most important operating systems are supported for the full client

OS X, Windows, Linux

Strategical importance of the web frontend: Lotus iNotes covers basic to
advanced functionality for desktop up to mobile computers

Works with a wide range of browser, supported for the most important of
them

Open technology

Server infrastructure leaves a very solid and sophisticated impression. (→
high quality)

Scalable!

Most of the time very stable

Also great flexibility in the host operating system for the servers

Extensive documentation

Extension possible with other Lotus products
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Why Lotus
®
?

Scope of function / flexibility

Very broad (!) scope of function, very well covered to a great extent

Coverage of demands with regard to „Accessibility“ and „Usability“
(→ equal opportunity)

Potential for closing existing gaps
(IMAP implementation, etc.)

Open platform with possibilities for expansion and further development
(→ self-management / autonomy)

Costs

Within a 3-5 year perspective with a favorable and transparent cost structure

We got a big academic discount

License model

The university treats all members (~40,000) equally and offers them all the
opportunity to use the system (→ equal opportunity)

Flexible offer, well suited to the purposes of the UZH

Supplier as implementation partner
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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A technical approach
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Solution Overview

The current (simplified) server situation
Administration
1
Mail
1
Application
1
Test
1
Development
1
Traveler
®
1
IMAP Proxy
1
Sametime
®
1
Mail
2
Mail
3
Mail
4
Mail
5
Mail
6
Mail
7
Mail
8
Mail
9
Mail
10
Mail
11
Mail
12
IMAP Proxy
2
Traveler
2
Sametime
2
Application
2
Test
2
Development
2
Test Environment 1
Test Environment 2
Test Environment 3
Intranet
Mail Gateways +
Anti Virus / SPAM
Internet
SMTP
SMTP
SMTP
IBM Tivoli
®

Identity Manager
®
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Drawbacks and Opportunities: IMAP Task

Read / Unread, does it matter?

PMR 68612,211,848

Unread Mark Inconsistency on Server with IMAP

Status:

Closed

SPR

PMR 68751,211,848

Deleting mails in IMAP leads to incorrect unread marks for new mails (read
instead of unread)

Status:

Closed

Fixed in 8.5.1 via private hotfix

Included in 8.5.2 Mainstream (SPR #TPON7MFEPW)
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Drawbacks and Opportunities: IMAP Task

How to transform that task into a transparent service (cloud)?

External solution with a open-source imap proxy called Perdition (and the
nomen wasn't an omen)
IP Dispatcher
idlperd01
207.48
idlperd02
207.49
Round
Robin
IP Dispatcher
idlmail01.lotus
207.12
imap.lotus
pop.lotus
207.6
idlmail02.lotus
207.13
idlmail03.lotus
207.14
idlmail04.lotus
207.15
idlmail05.lotus
207.16
idlmail06.lotus
207.17
idlmail01
207.42
idlmail02
207.43
idlmail01
207.42
idlmail04
207.45
idlmail05
207.46
idlmail06
207.47
idlmail03
207.44
LDAP-Map
Perdition IMAP/
POP Proxy
Lotus
Domino
®

POP/IMAP
Port 110,143,
993,995
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Drawbacks and Opportunities: IMAP Task

Challenge: Can you cluster IMAP with Lotus Domino?

Short answer: No

Long answer: Yes, now, after a long ride, you can...

PMR 67789,211,848

No clustering for IMAP and no possibility to solve it with external solutions.

Development of a solution by IBM

Status:

Closed

Private Hotfix in 8.5.1

Included in 8.5.2 Mainstream (SPR #YDEN7F8HBQ)

So what's the problem?

For IMAP unique ids (UID) are crucial for every client

Without the client looses track

Best Solution: Guarantee on every server the same IMAP UID for the same
message (which wasn't and isn't the case)

Problem: UIDs aren't replicated, instead they are generated by every server
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Drawbacks and Opportunities: IMAP Task

The solution IBM provided: If we can't make them the same, at least make
sure that they differ

Implementation of IMAP_UIDVALIDITY. If set to a different value on every
server, it guarantees that the UIDs are different.

So, when a IMAP client fails over, no UID he knows does exist, so he will
download all messages again (drawback), but you get a stable state
(opportunity)

We had some problems with customers complaining that they see deleted
mail again after a fail-over, but couldn't reproduce these issue. We think
these problems are based on other issues.
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Drawbacks and Opportunities: IMAP Task

IMAP Data Corruption

PMR 13416,999,848

Increasing number of error reports: Note NTxxxx was not updated in the IMAP
btree. Corruption of database.

Seems to happen when moving documents from one folder to another in IMAP.

There's even an article about it in the DominoPower Magazine, a quote from it:
"IBM suggested that we temporarily disabled IMAP on all mail files, but that was
out of question..."
(http://www.dominopower.com/issues/issue201004/00002501001.html)

Status:

Open / we never could really track it down

May be fixed in 8.5.2 (Time will tell...)

Delegation of Mailfiles

PMR 01921,SGC,848

There is a fine IMAP delegation functionality included in Lotus Domino.

It enables you to access other maifiles via IMAP if you got the rights

It maps it in the folder tree in a new folder called “Other users”
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Drawbacks and Opportunities: IMAP Task

Delegation of Mailfiles

Sadly, it does not work if the mailfile of the access right holder is not present on
the same server as the accessed mailfile.

So with about 12 Mailservers and 80'000 Mailfiles we were in trouble, especially
as we have a lot of delegations (remember the “role based”?)

The restriction wasn't documented anywhere. And (from a customer view) it
doesn't makes sense anyway: Why should you need your own mailfile only to
access another mailfile?

PMR 01921,SGC,848

We're still in discussion with IBM about this.

Status:

Open

CritSit
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Minor Pitfalls: POP Task

Ever seen a server sized for 10'000 users (2000 concurrent) going down on
its knees with the load of 20 POP Users?

Don't use exact sizes! (we never did)

And even estimated sizes are not enough (we did)

New Notes.ini-Param in 8.5.1FP2:

SPR #JKUR7TY97B

POP3_List_Size_Estimation=1

Gives back 40k for every message as size.

The 40k is a fake, but better than intensive number crunching including a
take down of the server
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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447
46
21
29
2
3
Apple iPhone
Apple iPad
Apple iPod
Nokia Symbian S60
Android
Windows Mobile
Lotus Traveler

We would have preferred SyncML (Open Standard)

Did you know that 99% of the synchronization inside Lotus Traveler is SyncML? (except
ActiveSync)

But we're happy with the current solution as it works for all needed mobile OS

Works like a charm

Our current population:
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Lotus Traveler

Now a problem: How to cluster Lotus Traveler and to keep it transparent (as
a service)?

You can't do this out-of-the-box, but maybe this could be a working solution
for you too:

Flip-Flop with a standby-server.

Caveats: Users will do a prime sync when they flip-flop. But better than
nothing.
IP Dispatcher
idltrav01
207.58
idltrav02
207.59

Flip Flop“
Lotus Traveler
All Ports
sync.lotus
207.10
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Lotus iNotes/DWA

Same procedure as everywhere else: How to cluster Lotus iNotes and to
keep it transparent (as a service)?

We've chosen a simple solution:
IP Dispatcher
idlmail01
207.42
idlmail02
207.43
idlmail01
207.42
idlmail04
207.45
idlmail05
207.46
idlmail06
207.47
Round Robin
IP Dispatcher
idlmail01.lotus
207.12
idlmail03
207.44
webmail.lotus
207.5
idlmail02.lotus
207.13
idlmail03.lotus
207.14
idlmail04.lotus
207.15
idlmail05.lotus
207.16
idlmail06.lotus
207.17
idlmail01
207.42
idlmail02
207.43
idlmail01
207.42
idlmail04
207.45
idlmail05
207.46
idlmail06
207.47
idlmail03
207.44
Round Robin
Redirect
iwaredir.nsf
Lotus iNotes
Port 80,443
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Multilingual and dynamic

Think about the following situation:

A professor and three assistants share a mailfile

Two of them speak German and English, one only English and the last one only
German

Which language template would you apply?

That's one of the reasons for us to have multilingual mailfiles, so the users
can choose their language dynamically

PMR #11101,112,848, #11995,112,848 et al.

Hot fix developed by IBM

ENABLE_MULTILINGUAL_FOLDERS=1 & Merger tool for the template

Worked great for the last 7-8 months

We found now a problem with Lotus Traveler which didn't synchronize the inbox
anymore by some users.

Status:

Closed (Not yet anymore)

Included in 8.5.2: SPR #SHEZ6VLEDR, #RGAU7ZXN4T
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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CalDAV

De facto standard for synchronizing calendar data

Based on iCal – format

Able to do read/write – access, tasks, busy/free-schedules, etc

Implementation on many devices (iPhone...) and clients (Mozilla
Thunderbird, etc).

IBM was talking about it since years behind the curtains

But we haven't seen a solution yet

Even a subscribable read-only iCal-Feed of the calendars would be great

(and better than nothing)

At the moment: No out-of-the-box solution to give third-party-co-workers a
feed about your calendar data.
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Conclusion
© 2011 IBM Corporation
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Conclusion

We're still happy!

We licensed Lotus Sametime Standard one month ago for all users

What we think about IBM as our provider and implementation partner:

Flexible, reactive and open minded to our needs

But we still agree with Marie Scott
(Director of E-mail Services, Virginia Commonwealth
University)
: “Why do universities like “free, free, free”?”

© 2011 IBM Corporation
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