Performance enhancements - IBM Lotus Notes

Lotus Domino 8/8.5 added a number of new features designed to enhance its performance. The focus of these enhancements was on reducing server overhead and load from functions within the environment.

This section will focus on the following enhanced features:

  • Streaming cluster replication
  • New ODS design note compression, on-demand collations (ODS 51 is required for DAOS)
  • Simple search controls

Streaming cluster replication

The cluster replication process moves information between the cluster member servers to ensure that, in case of a server outage, users maintain access to the most up-to-date information. As a new item is received on one server, the cluster replication process pushes the information to the other server. A typical configuration of the cluster replication task is to have one instance enabled on each server. You can increase the number of cluster replication tasks within the environment, but doing so increases disk I/O requirements, and this may have an effect on performance.

Lotus Domino 8 introduced a new feature for the cluster replication process—Streaming cluster replication. Streaming cluster replication allows for the immediate transfer of information from one server to its cluster mate, without requiring the server to write to the disk. The replication process occurs within the memory, thereby reducing I/O requirements. Cluster replication works closely with the normal replication process to ensure that the impact on the environment is reduced. Streaming replication is a server-based feature that does not require Lotus Notes 8.5.3 or the Lotus Notes 8.5.3 mail template.


Lotus Domino 8 includes a new On-Disk Structure (ODS) that will allow the implementation of new features to increase performance and reduce the amount of overhead required to maintain and manage the environment. The new ODS 48 is not a requirement when moving to Lotus Domino 8. Instead, it allows the features of the design note compression (the design note compression and view collation features require ODS 48.) and on-demand collation to take advantage of the new ODS.

To upgrade the databases, add Create_R8_Databases=1 to your server's Notes.ini file. To upgrade databases to the new ODS and compress the design, run a copy-style compaction. Now with Lotus Domino 8.5, you can use ODS 51—this is required for DAOS. You will need to use a different variable (Create_R85_Databases=1) in the notes.ini settings, for this to work correctly.

Design note compression

Design note compression is a new feature provided in Lotus Domino 8 to assist in reducing the space required by the database templates. The compression feature allows design elements to be compressed, thereby reducing disk requirements. Based on preliminary testing, database size could be reduced by around 55 to 60 percent. Design note compression does not require Lotus Notes 8.5.3 or the Lotus Notes 8.5.3 mail template, but as this is a server feature, at least a Lotus Domino 8 server is required. As shown in the following screenshot, this feature can be enabled by checking the Allow compression of database design checkbox:

Design note compression

On-demand collation

A feature added in Lotus Domino 8 is the ability to allow application developers to leave the creation of indexes until the end user leverages the sorting feature within the database. This option will reduce unnecessary overheads for the Domino server. To enable this feature, Lotus Notes 8.5.3 and the Lotus Notes 8.5.3 mail template are not required. But as this is a server-based feature, at least a Lotus Domino 8 server is required. To enable this feature, add the following line to Notes.ini:


As index creation takes resources and time, this is going to have an effect on performance. Firstly, the creation time of the index will be unknown and thus can't be managed. Secondly, the user may have to wait for the index creation to complete before the search can be performed.

Managing simple searches effectively

The Lotus Notes/Domino environment allows for feature-rich searching capabilities. These capabilities leverage the full text index created for a database. If a full text index has not been created when the user searches for the information, the server attempts to locate the information within the database. The process of searching the database without a full text index can have a significant impact on the performance of the server. In Lotus Domino 8, a new enhancement is introduced so as to eliminate the use of simple searches and thus increase server performance.

By checking the Don't allow simple search checkbox within the Database properties tab (as shown in the following screenshot), you can significantly enhance performance.

If the database does not have a full text index and this feature is enabled, the end user will receive an error and the search will not be completed for the database:

Managing simple searches effectively

There are a number of other new performance-related features and enhancements introduced in Lotus Domino 8/8.5. These include improved server availability in a cluster and critical request scheduling. A new INI parameter has been added to improve server availability in a cluster. When setting up a cluster you specify a port for the cluster, and you limit cluster replication only to that specific port. Cluster traffic will fail if the port fails. By using the new parameter you can allow the use of other ports. The parameter is Server_ Cluster_ Default_ Port.

If you do not specify a default port in the Server_Cluster_ Default_Port setting, all ports are tried.

One improvement in critical request scheduling is the ability to specify the time interval for when a specific type of administration request will execute. For example, if you wanted to prioritize a specific task, such as renaming a person's documents, you could set it to a higher interval to run. By default, it runs daily.

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