DCLug – Great Location, Great Content, Great Participant, GreatMeet!


Today was the much awaited DCLug – a high-tech affair organized using LinkedIn and Meetup.com at the IBM Briefing Center on K Street in DC. Thanks for Jack Dausman and Kevin Pettitt (and all the others involved) who organized the affair.

It was the first of a regular string of meets that will be held regularly from here on forward – we had a nice sized crowd who came together to listen to some good content about Weilgut’s MindPlan software, the eProductivity software suite, tungle.me and a short presentation about new Lotus Notes Domino 8.5.2 features.

The next meet is not fixed yet, but there has been some talks about trying to arrange another DCLug meet around the time Erick Mack of eProductivity fame is in town sometime in November … now that would be sweet! Just join the LinkedIn group and our Meetup.com group – even if you are not in the immediate DC area – maybe you just want to come in, take part and then have some more fun at one of DC’s many cultural offerings.

Hope to see you there next time. Below are some pictures I took of Jack Dausman presenting.

Jack Dausman presenting Mindplan

Jack Dausman and Mindplan

Domino 8.5.2 with SMTP HF is in


Finally! I spent all of 25 minutes yesterday to upgrade my main Domino server to 8.5.2 with the new HF for SMTP that came out yesterday. I waited on this fix and all I can say is that the upgrade (from 8.5.1 FP4) was quick, simple and even the old HW that my server runs on had no issue with it. What took the longest was the download of the Domino install (15 minutes) and everything else was quick.

I do have clients that want to wait until FP1 comes out – somewhat short-sighted but I do understand some hesitation. That is exactly why I did not upgrade my servers immediately when the new version came out – I like to wait and see what issues and downright problems are found by those braver than me. Once I see a lull – then I go ahead and make a decision.

So, if Mr cautious did it last night while watching TV and sipping a nice glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and upgrading Symantec on another server, what are you waiting for?

How to crash a Linux Notes client ….


My main OS on my private machine is Linux and I love it. I have been workign with Linux for years now and still consider myself someplace int eh steep learning curve as there is a new thing I learn every week.

I also love the notes client on Linux because NOTHING “was” able to kill it – until I tried to create an update site and load in the language packs for German, French, Italian and Spanish for the new spell checker. These need to be integrated using an update site or can also be installed like a locally available widget.

Well, my linux client met it’s match. I run 8.5.1 FP4 on Red HAd workstation 5.5 …. it crashed on me every time. Made no difference if the update site was a local file or on the server.

Has anyone else out there run into this scenario? Ideas and input please.

I have not had the chance to look though all the crash information or turn on debug parameters to get to the root cause – but after I am done with the Webcast I am preparing for the Consultant In Your Pocket series run by Chris Miller  I will go and nail this one down and figure out what caused it. I can never rule out stupid user error, but I like to don my Teflon suite and make sure nothing sticks and I can blame somebody else ….

LotusLive – some questions not asked …


LotusLive – IBM’s entry into the whole cloud computing and SAAS field. Arguably Domino has had this technical capability to work in “a” or “the” cloud for years though there were no buzz words attached to it and – IMHO – the market would not have been ready for the whole thought process. Though there are a few hosting companies (IBM among them, or Connectria, Promenic, …) that have made a good living servicing this need before Google and Microsoft came along and claimed the patent on it.

I assume that most readers of this blog will also – at least occasionally – listen to Lotus technology related podcasts. Two of my favorite Lotus related podcasts are This Week in Lotus and the Taking Notes podcasts. Both are well by their organizers, have dubious side-kicks(*) that assist the grand pod-masters and cover some really interesting technology and trends in great detail.

I listen to podcasts allot on my way to work and back in the subway or, if they are longer (both of these go about an hour) in the car on the weekend driving back-and-forth between home and DC. so this weekend I got a double whammo of listening to TEB (The Ed Brill) twice in the span of two days as he was on both of these casts going into more detail of the latest LotusLive announcements, especially LotusLive Notes.

LotusLive:

Great feature set, good marketing, excellent price … wait, price – costs – there is something missing here. Timing of the release of these two podcasts made me first listen to Bruce and Julian (Taking Notes) talk to TEB and after it was done something was nagging me .. there were some questions missing that I had in the back of my mind ever since I heard the “official” announcements TEB had for us at IamLUG. Some of the blog entries Chris Miller wrote about Connectria already being in this hosting/SAAS/Cloud computing space for years were also racing around in my mind but it was close to midnight and I was trying not to get killed on the Jersey Turnpike so I just put those thoughts aside.

The Unanswered questions:

Sunday night I drive back south to DC and listen to Stuart (main man) and Darren (side-kick) 😉 talk to TEB and this time it came to me. Or maybe waiting in traffic after crossing the Delaware bridge to go through the toll booths (why does not EVERYBODY have an EZPass??????? make it mandatory!!!) jogged somethin in my mind – in any case, the thing that was nagging now became clear: everybody was touting the $5.00/user/month rate for clients and the minimum of 25 users per company for LotusLive Notes. Great cost, easy to deal with … yeah, until the words “integration”, “competitive offers” and “Client provisioning” came up and the fact that TEB mentioned that bringing a client on takes some provisioning work on the back-end.

Well, integration – that is what I do for a living and have done for many years. The process of bringing an existing Domino/Notes infrastructure into LotusLive Notes – along with all the history and garbage that probably exists: older version clients, inconsistent client configuration, specialized mail routing, existing internet mail access for clients, VPNs, users that are VEHEMENTLY against local replicas (I love local replicas, unfortunately allot of clients don’t understand why this is considered “BEST PRACTICE”) and lack of experienced IT staff – or just a lack of enough qualified IT staff, etc., etc., etc. …..

Integrating an existing environment takes time and effort – time and effort directly translate into $money$. Everybody was always talking about how Google sold their product with the slogan “$50/user will take all your probelms away” until clients had to go through the actual process to get all of their users into the cloud … just look at the city of Los Angeles. Other questions such as how long such a move can take (on average, every client is different) and what kind of architectural changes (more details, I only heard something about OUs) are going to be necessary would have been great. But then again – I am a technical guy who very well might find myself on a project moving a customer to LotusLive Notes someday and am naturally interested in these details.

What nobody was asking was what the average project to bring clients “into the LotusLive Cloud” was REALLY costing – either as an average per user or per project. Nor was anybody asking about what kind of contract clients will need to sign in terms of length of contract. Just like phone companies give you that phone at a reduced price but require you to sign a minimum 2 yr contract to recoup the expense I assume that IBM needs to look at something similar – or can you just take your 25 people and leave after 4 months if it just ain’t what you had expected?

The reason I am asking this is that this creates a per user cost that has to be taken into consideration by the client … when does the break-even point arrive? How are my licenses that I had up until now going to impact my costs? TEB eluded briefly to the fact that IBM will take a clients contribution to licensing into consideration … but what if that move to the cloud now takes license sales away from business partners? Is there something in the deal for them or does IBM just poach clients and tell the business partners to go and look for some new business … I assume not but then again this topic was not covered.

Another question I had was whether IBM will just take those integration services, hand them to ISSL and that be it or will a business partner that sells LotusLive seats OR the business partner that was servicing this client for years and did all their licensing also have the opportunity to do the integration work and benefit from the existing expertise and experience of IBM in this field and maybe make this kind of work into a major part of their business? If IBM takes business on one side, they will have to give something else in return or they are likely to loose partners down the road.

In all fairness – Stuart did put something out on his Facebook page and asked for people to contribute questions for the podcast and I did not .. I only wrote a half-witty answer to something my favorite little Scottsman of HADSL fame wrote so I can’t blame anyone but myself on this one. Also, the podcast is only one hour long and you can’ ask EVERYTHING in one hour, even if you talk as fast as I do – and most people don’t.

So, why am I nagging?

So, why am I writing this? Well, there are some more pod casts put there and TEB still has breath left to talk (I think) so somebody please get him on their show and ask some more technical and monetary questions. Or, I also assume there are some white papers, technical documentation that might already be out there which covers this but nobody has been able to easily find on IBM’s website (a common issue, but then again I did not put allot of effort into searching for them prior to writing this either).

Or, we can get TEB to fire up his iPad and add a few posts to his blog where he either goes into this detail or points into the direction of information where the answers to these questions and more could be found?

Details? Thoughts? Dementis? Opinions? – Anyone got something for me?

(*) My stab at the “Dubious Side-Kicks” was totally UNCALLED for – they do a better job than I would at their tiny, insignificant roles – but I just could not resist .. I beg forgiveness gentlemen!

Disclaimer:

I am writing this at 1:30 AM and no animals were harmed in the process of mangling the English language,  nor am I on the take of Google though I do like their Reader software and use Google Voice. I also must mention that I like cupcakes – though not at 1:30 AM

Domino: DAOS & Transactional logging error – “…Log file is full” results in server hang


While perusing the IBM site and reviewing new technotes and SPRs I came across this one: 1440744

Basically it pertains to DAOS and transactional logging and a potential issue. The work-around is classic – call IBM and see if they can create a HF for you … wonderful. The reported SW version is 8.5 and the wording is

“…is expected to be fixed in an upcoming release of Lotus Notes/Domino”

so now I’ll go through the fix lists of 8.5.1 and (hopefully soon) 8.5.2 to see if this SPR was fixed there.

******************* Technote details ************************

Error: “…Log file is full” results in server hang

Technote (troubleshooting)

Problem

In Lotus Domino, transaction logging and Domino Attachment and Object Service (DAOS) are enabled. However, every day the server hangs with the following error message; “Recovery Manager: Log File is Full”, necessitating a restart of the server.

Sample error in the console log:

[373070:00094-23131] RmFlush: Error calling DbDirGetBlockByDbiid for

DBIID E384E10C [span = 1649084K recLSN = 00002605-A2C3AE74] : Entry not found in index

[373070:00094-23131] RmFlush: Error calling DbDirGetBlockByDbiid for

DBIID E384E10C [span = 1690445K recLSN = 00002605-A2C3AE74] : Entry not found in index

……

[373070:00094-23131] RmFlush: Error calling DbDirGetBlockByDbiid for

DBIID E384E10C [span = 4000889K recLSN = 00002605-A2C3AE74] : Entry not found in index

When the span reaches 4G, the following error appears:

[495858:00002-00001] [datetime] Unable to update entry in catalog (for mail/xxx.nsf): Recovery Manager: Log file is full

Resolving the problem

This issue was reported to Quality Engineering as SPR# FLII8453UR and is expected to be fixed in an upcoming release of Lotus Notes/Domino. If you experience this situation, contact Product Support to see if a hotfix is available for your particular configuration.

via IBM – Error: “…Log file is full” results in server hang.

Sametime Install end-to-end


I normally try to avoid just re-posting stuff I see in other blogs but this one merits allot of attention: The Sametime blog has a recent post that points to a really great session on how to install Sametime 8.5.1 front-to-end … and it’s long – 277 slides!! Looking at all them will take a while but it is worth the time spent.

IamLUG: What comes next? Consultant in your Pocket


This is a place for a shameless plug: IamLUG is free, you most likely did not come because you are so cheap, free is still to expensive as it includes travel expenses. Or, maybe – if you are lucky, you can deflect blame to your company that they are too cheap. In any case, you are missing out on good education and a chance to learn something new and drink allot in the evening.

So, now you are in the hunt fo the next best thing: free webinars …. enter the “Consultant in your pocket” series.You can sit in front of your computer, wear your fluffy bunny slippers and do not need to shave or brush your teeth – it does not get any better than that.

Here the shameless lug: I will be hosting one of those on Sept. 1st about Lotus Protector. Almost as good as IamLUG – maybe better as you will not have to look at my but only will need to listen.

IamLUG: The Best tool you never heard about …


Just sat through the TDI session of Marie Scott and Tom “Duffbert” Duff. Really good. I work with TDI when implementing Lotus Connections mostly and use it sometimes outside of that but I did get allot of value out of this. I think EVERYBODY in the audience got something out of it. when you have a chance, download the session when it becomes available, well worth the time to look at it.

IamLUG: Eileen Fitzgerald – 10 Admin tips


Interesting topic from the point of view of somebody who was once on “my side” of divide (client) and is now with a vendor. Of course, giving some “secrets” away is paramount to shooting herself into the foot ….

Once the presentations become publicly available, I suggest a quick look at it.

IamLUG: Doug Cox presentation


For those who could not make it or did not get a connection to the live stream (some people complaining on twitter), here the presentation. I am timing for this to go out AFTER Doug is done (or close to being done) so that you pay attention if you are one of the people actually listening in … 😉

IamLUG.Keynote.Cox