The Lotus Notes consultant and administrators running the environment today used to be employed by TrePum and joined SunPharma during the Lotus Notes consultant outsourcing project. This means that they have a deep knowledge of TrePium and the processes that the environment must support. This type of information is very hard to transfer to someone else.
When the same group of people Lotus Notes consultant and administrates an environment for a long time there is a risk that processes and information are not documented in textual form. Much of the know-how is only contained within the heads of the employees.
In the worst case there might be a lack of interest to provide information from the current administrators. Finding out the necessary information may then take longer than expected.
It is a short timeframe and it might be hard to finish all tasks in time. There might be additional cost and problems if current support contracts need to be extended.
A Lotus Notes database can be encrypted on disc and this is an option when the database is created for the first time or when a new replica is created on a server. When a database is encrypted, it is done so using the server’s certificate. This means that only that exact server will be able to read the database which in turn means that the restored file must be placed on the same server as it originated from.
If the database only resides on one small/medium location a restore operation will require that large amounts of data be transmitted over the WAN. If the database is replicated among Lotus Domino servers it might be possible to restore the database from another server where the file is not encrypted and therefore utilize the central restore server (encryption is chosen on the file level so not all databases in a replication chain need to be encrypted).
To be able to change hardware and underlying SAN, there is a dependency in that it is delivered and working properly.
No new constraints are known that are not already impacting the service today. Since the functional infrastructure will remain as-is this should not be an issue.
The infrastructure gained the design it has today in the year 2008. During this process the logical design received a total overhaul and servers were consolidated.
Today there are no outstanding changes that are planned or required from a service perspective. This means that the best solution is to acquire the existing infrastructure without any major logical changes. A few new servers will be introduced to meet contract demands and the required backup/restore solution.
TrePium will manage servers in the same locations as they exist today. The servers on large sites will be replaced by virtualized servers but the hardware on medium sites will remain.
The current Lotus Domino servers are placed in locations as close to the user as possible. Information in italics relates to servers not yet put in production by IBM (as of 31/3/2008).
The new servers are introduced when the current servers run out of disc space and more discs cannot be housed in the hardware. These will not be needed in the new design since the large site servers will run on SAN that can be extended.
Most servers are placed in one big Lotus Domino domain that also contains the servers located in North America, South America and APAC. Some of the servers (like the web servers) are placed in their own domain for security reasons.
The environment in EMEA supports about 10.000 (out of the total 24.000) in-scope mail users and about 900 applications.
On site Nuremberg, Stockholm and Pordenone mail and application servers are clustered on the Lotus Domino server level. This gives fail over and load balancing when using Lotus Notes client.
All Lotus Domino servers in the cluster are active and it is the client that knows if one server is not responding and will try the next server in the cluster list if needed. The connections between cluster members use the same replication technique as between all servers in the domain. The only difference is that the connection is instantaneous rather than on a schedule. Since standard replication is used, no special requirements are placed on network or server configuration.
The new design uses SAN for storage. Using SAN makes it possible to make changes to the storage implementation without impacting the running systems. This improves the environment’s flexibility to grow.
By virtualisation using the computing component becomes more independent from the physical hardware. It also makes it possible to run multiple server instances on the same hardware for better utilization.
By decoupling the servers from the hardware you also get the possibility to move a server from one piece of hardware to another without disturbing the service delivery.
Almost all configuration of a Lotus Domino server is contained within the Domino Directory which is replicated between all servers. This makes it a relatively simple operation to set up the server again on a new piece of hardware and then restore the rest of the data files from the backup solution.
Usability is mainly a question on how the applications and the Lotus Notes client are developed. Therefore this is a question that is not covered in this document.
Many of the problems in the existing environment have to do with large and growing data sizes. Today no policies exist that apply to the whole domain neither are there common incentives to reduce the total amount of data.
The Lotus Domino server is normally not resource-intensive but when it is set to handle too much data it may have an impact on other server functions. What starts as a storage issue might lead to problems with replication, index updates and mail routing.