Coordinating dialup ISP connections between servers

When two geographically distant servers are both connected to the Internet, they can use the Internet connection to replicate databases or route mail. When both servers have constant connections to the Internet, scheduling these tasks is easy. But if either server's Internet connection is intermittent, for example, if one server uses a dialup connection to an ISP, it can be difficult to schedule tasks to coincide with times when both servers are available.

About this task

Support for direct dialup modem (X.PC) connections is available only in releases of Domino® earlier than release 8.5. You may continue to use the Domino® Administrator client to configure and maintain direct dialup modem support, but only on servers running releases earlier than 8.5. You may continue to use network dialup connection through Microsoft Dialup Networking (DUN) or Remote Access Service (RAS) in all releases.

To automate the coordination of dialup schedules, IBM® Domino® lets you create an AutoDialer connection. An AutoDialer connection provides a link between two Connection documents: one document that controls when a source server initiates the given replication or mail routing task; and one document that controls when the destination server dials up an ISP to establish an Internet connection. An AutoDialer task on both servers tracks the task schedule set in the source server's Connection document and prompts the destination server to come online in time to receive requests from the calling server.

The source server uses the destination server's IP address to establish the connection. Because this requires a stable IP address, the destination server's ISP must provide static IP addresses; that is, it must assign the server the same IP address every time the server connects to the ISP.

AutoDialer connections honor the timeout settings specified for the modem communication port. If a connection is idle for the amount of time specified, Domino® closes the connection.

To enable replication, create an AutoDialer connection for the two servers using the following steps:


  1. Create a Pluto-to-ISP Network Dialup connection document that provides information on how to connect the destination server (Pluto) to the ISP, using a local phone number.
  2. In the Pluto-to-ISP connection document, perform the following steps:
    1. Enable AutoDialer and specify that Pluto will begin to dial up the ISP three minutes before the scheduled replication with Jupiter.
    2. Assign the AutoDialer connection the name PlanetReplication.
  3. Create a Jupiter-to-Pluto LAN connection document that provides information on how the source server (Jupiter) connects to Pluto.
  4. In the Jupiter-to-Pluto LAN connection document, perform the following steps:
    1. Specify Pluto's IP address in the Optional Network Address field; this enables Jupiter to locate Pluto on the Internet.
    2. Enable AutoDialer and assign the AutoDialer connection in this document the same name as the AutoDialer connection in the Pluto-to-ISP Connection document (PlanetReplication). This name provides the link between the two documents.
    3. Set the schedule on the Jupiter-to-Pluto connection document to begin replication at 10:00 AM.
  5. After saving both documents, the Domino® Directory must replicate so that both servers are aware of the change. From the destination server (Pluto) dial into the ISP and then issue the replicate command from the server console to replicate the Domino® Directory between the two servers.
  6. Adds the AutoDialer task to the ServerTasks item in the NOTES.INI file to start the AutoDialer task on Pluto.


Domino® then searches the available connection documents to locate any that have the AutoDialer connection name "PlanetReplication." After it finds the matching documents, Domino® calculates when Pluto must dial up its ISP to answer the replication request from Jupiter, and sets this schedule in the Pluto-to-ISP connection document. In this example, because Pluto is in the time zone GMT -08:00, it must dial up the ISP at 6:57 AM local time to come online three minutes before Jupiter, in the time zone GMT -05:00, initiates replication at 10:00 AM local time.

At 6:57 AM the AutoDialer on Pluto requests the dialup information from the Pluto-to-ISP connection document and dials the ISP. Three minutes later, Jupiter sends a replication request over the Internet to Pluto.