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Notes client: email performance too slow?
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Currently, I do Notes administration and development for 2 companies, both owned by the same person. All of our server equipment is in a data center in downtown Nashville. The physical location where I work (main office for Thompson Machinery and also corporate services) has a 100 meg NMLI connection to our datacenter. The other company's office has a T1 internet connection. They are mainly a Mac shop and were using Outlook and Entourage before we set them up on Domino and continued to use those 2 in additiion to iNotes for accessing their email.

It's been about a year since we got them on a Domino server and we probably have about 25-30 users on the Notes client now - mostly within the last month. It's a newspaper so they deal with a lot of attachments and we heard a lot of complaints on Notes being slow and how it becomes useless when sending an email (because of the slow connection they have and they have to wait for the email to send before being able to do anything). In hindsight, it would have been better to have a Notes server at their physical location but being locked into those i5 520s, can't really do that now.

Yesterday my boss, the IT Manager (he was the Domino Admin & Developer before the previous IT Manager decided to become a Six Sigma Master Blackbelt - I was just helping with the development, initially) and I went to the newspaper and configured most of the clients with some settings that should increase the performance. The changes are simple and the user works off of a local replica of their mail instead of the server.

  • Under File --> Preferences --> User Preferences, turn Network Data Compression on under the Ports tab.

  • In the location document on the Mail tab;
  • Change the mail file location to be Local

  • Change the recipient type ahead to be Local then Server

  • Change the mail addressing to be Local and Server

  • Change the last setting to be wait for 1 message before sending pending mail

  • Turn replication on and change your email database to be High Priority and set the replication interval time to what you think is acceptable - we went with 10 minutes.

  • I've been using this setup for a few days at work and I like it a lot. I can send a 10mb email and it only takes a few seconds after hitting send before being able to use my Notes client for other things while the email is being sent to the server in the background. Notes 7.0 might fix that anyway but there's no Notes 7.0 for the Mac yet. Hopefully it will work well enough for them until we can do something about increasing the bandwidth they have.
    posted by David Jones @ 8:24 AM  
    • At 7:25 AM, Blogger Chris Whisonant said…

      Good settings. I don't believe there is a fix in 7.0 client for the attachments being sent in the background. I haven't noticed it being different. I agree that they should do something about that.

      Also, for the network compression, under the Setup and Desktop Settings documents you can enable this to compress TCP data. Also, as I'm sure you have done, the server has to have this enabled. This is really a huge timesaver for replication! When we rolled out the Notes client to replace Outlook POP mail we had to convert their OL data to Notes. The easiest way is to create a replica with the same file name that the OL conversion uses and then it will replicate with folder names and all to the server. Anyway, we saw in our log.nsf usage views that we were compressing it 2:1 - a huge timesaver!

    • At 6:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      We run around 350 users with these same settings and very rarely have we experienced any issues in the 5 odd years we've been running this way.

      The only cavets are that renaming users, recertification etc don't happen automagically if a users only interaction with the Domino server is via replication. In these cases you have to get the user to open a database up off the server (or more correcly, simply browse for a database on the server).

    • At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

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