Monday, November 10, 2008

Regular or Extra-Crispy: Which version of Notes to roll out?

In the beginning, The Colonel created Original Recipe Kentucky Fried Chicken, and it was good. Then as tastes and time marched on, the big wigs that bought his company from him created Extra-Crispy Kentucky Fried Chicken and the masses were pleased. It seems Lotus has followed that same kind of flow. The “original recipe” Lotus Notes client with its happy little workspace and all its icons hasn't changed all that much over the years. The addition of the tabs and customized startup window was a nice, but for the most part, it's the same old Notes client that we have enjoyed. But now, the "extra-crispy" Standard client with all of the new bells and whistles has intrigued us all to think differently about Lotus Notes and the possibility to tame our appetite for a modernized work and collaboration environment.
(Editors note:I know, a fat guy coming up with a food analogy for a software product. Who would have thunkit?)
So that leads us to the gravy of this blog post. I've recently run into an issue at work that has gotten me into a bind. Lotus marketing, along with my own internal selling, has done a great job with selling how cool the new Standard Notes client is with all its java based goodness. But after my own internal testing on myself and others, we've found that even with 2 GB of RAM on a laptop, the startup and shut down of the client is just too painfully slow. The Notes2w.exe process just takes it own sweet time on both sides of the coin. I've tried using the CCH1 hotfix as well as using the enable_early_authentication=0 to make it appear as though it is starting faster, but my test subjects still feel that it's too slow and clunky compared to the Basic Notes 8 client. So now that I'm sitting on the beginning of a huge Exchange->Notes migration, as well as rolling out an upgrade of my current R7 user base and the question in my mind is do I go regular or extra-crispy? In conversations with other admins, I know I'm not alone in the issues that we are seeing, but with the task before me should I trade the performance for new features?
So I ask you, dear reader, to give me your insight to what you have done to rollout the Notes client. I’m thinking that if I roll out the standard client with the –sa in the shortcut so that the basic interface loads, but is that truly the best answer? Please, share with me your thoughts, triumphs and failures when it comes to rolling out the client. Time is short and I have to come up with something quick!

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW! 2 GB of RAM and it's still slow? Did you look into the JVM.properties file changes here:

http://www.thenorth.com/apblog4.nsf/0/BB5DDB03611B2BB1852574D7005FF852

are you sure anti-virus isn't contending with the PC in the data folder?

try and use filemon to see what is going on, on the PC during the notes client session and startup:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896642.aspx

we are moving with Notes 8.0.2 for the standard client enterprise wide to about 40k users.

HTH,
Tim E. Brown

Jim Casale said...

Tim beat me to it :-) Andrews posting on jvm properties does work. I have 8.0.2 and it flies. I have 3 GB of RAM but I am also running VMware server with at least one virtual machine running at all times. I thought the jvm properties change would be living dangerously but I haven't seen any issues for the month I have been running with it.

Andy Donaldson said...

@Tim - I tried Andrew's suggestion in the past and didn't get anywhere. Tried it again, and it's now a 7 second load over a VPN connection. Wow!
Thanks for the reply!

Andy Donaldson said...

Forgot to mention, I've set it for 512M.

Chris Whisonant said...

Glad that's working for you!!

Anonymous said...

Use Notes 8.0.2. Much better performance. And, Imust ask, "too slow for what"?? compared to the fact that now you can move entire mail trhead to afolder 9incl trash0 all at once? how much time does thAT save?
see your calendar in the sidebar without swtiching? how much time does THAT save??

Andy Donaldson said...

@anonymous from New Hampshire (at least that's what Sitemeter tells me),
Please don't take my blog post as a slam on the Notes client functionality. That's the farthest thing from the truth. I love it! I see the value of it. The issue is what my end-users are going to be coming back to me with. "Why is the client so slow to start up and shut down?" My internal test subjects are all people that are either on the Help Desk or have been involved with end-user support. Not just regular IS people. People that know what our users like and don't like and the time to start up the client and even to shut it down so they don't get an error on the Notes2w.exe if they go to shut down their PC right after closing Notes, is too slow. But with the help of the community, it's acting much better now.