Improving basic server performance and capacity

You can use activity trends to help resource-balance, and use other methods of improving performance and capacity.

Domino's Activity Trends feature

Use Activity Trends, in the Domino® Administrator, to collect and store activity statistics as current observations and historical trends related to the server, databases, users, and connections of users to databases. You can determine how database workload is distributed across servers and you can review a recommended resource-balancing plan. You can also use a workflow, provided by Activity Trends, that facilitates implementing the recommended changes.

Improving server capacity and response time

These tips for improving server capacity and response time come from the analysis of NotesBench reports, which are published by NotesBench Consortium members. Some of this information may derive from earlier versions of Domino®, and, therefore, may not be completely applicable to Lotus® Domino® 7 and later releases.

Make sure your server memory matches the number of users you want to support. Most NotesBench vendors use 300K to 400K per active user. They also set their NSF_BUFFER_POOL_SIZE to the maximum for their memory configuration. This setting isn't necessary, because the Domino® server initially obtains a third of available memory and grows only if necessary (depending on the load). You should use published physical memory configurations as a ceiling for memory configuration decisions.

  1. Make I/O subsystem improvements. For example you can:
    • Move from EISA-based systems (such as, controllers) to PCI-based systems
    • Exchange EISA/PCI boards for PCI-only boards (this way, lower-speed EISA devices won't decrease the I/O throughput)
    • Use stripping to balance the load across all drives in the array. Use hardware RAID, such as RAID 0+1, to improve performance and availability.
    • Use multiple I/O controllers to distribute logical volumes (and use file pointers to databases across separate controllers). Make sure you have the latest BIOS for your I/O subsystem. This is an inexpensive way to remove a likely throughput bottleneck.
  2. Use faster disk drives.
  3. Increase the stripe size. Refer to the NotesBench reports to see what the vendors use. NotesBench vendors use a stripe size of 8K (Hewlett-Packard systems) or 16K (IBM® NetFinity reports). (The IBM® NetFinity report provides additional information on I/O settings such as IOQ Depth, Outbound Posting, PCI Line Prefetch, and Address Bit Permitting.)
  4. Use faster CPUs. NotesBench vendors have moved beyond the Pentium, Sparc, and PowerPC® processors, which were in the 100Mhz to 200Mhz range, to higher speed processors. However, they consistently use P6-based systems over the Pentium II systems for high-end Domino® server loads. The size of your Level 2 cache should match your expected user loads and the response time you want. Vendors have moved from 256K to 512K, 1MB to 2MB Level 2 cache systems, especially on their greater than two-CPU configurations.
  5. Improve your network. NotesBench vendors have:
    • Moved from 10Mbps cards and networks to 100Mbps configurations
    • Used multiple LAN segments (one for each partition) to isolate network traffic, at the high-end user loads
  6. Change your network protocol to IP.
  7. You can improve Web server performance by disabling HTTP server logging. Logging options are stored in the Server document. In the HTTP server Enable logging to section are two fields, Log files and DOMLOG.NSF. Disabling both of these fields improves Web server performance.
  8. You can improve general server performance by disabling the type-ahead mail addressing feature. (Type-ahead allows users to enter the first few characters of a user's name; the server then completes the rest of the name automatically.) To disable type-ahead on a server, open the server's Configuration Settings document in the Domino® Directory. On the Basics tab, choose Disabled in the Type-ahead field. Then save and close the document.