Collin Murray is the Program Director for Lotus Domino, part of my product management team.  After hearing some recent competitive FUD, he asked for the opportunity to share some realities about cost-effective storage for Domino.

Storage.  I've been hearing about it a lot lately, and not just about cleaning up the garage to get the snow blower some exercise.  I've been hearing a lot of positive acclaim about the storage savings in Domino 8.5.x along with questions about Exchange storage improvements.  

The initial 'grabber' for most people to talk about storage has been disk savings of 40 – 60%.  Imagine not having to purchase new storage, not having to backup large volumes of data, and not having to archive or break up mail files into smaller psts (oops, did I say that?).  That's just for starters...

Now, imagine being able to use less expensive disks to store information.  For example, while a 30 day old email message may be periodically referenced, it is unlikely that an attachment in that message will be accessed with any significant frequency.  Domino 8.5's DAOS feature securely stores attachments outside of a Notes/Domino application or mail file.  This capability allows for the separation of static and dynamic data.  Storage acquisition costs can be dramatically reduced by using less expensive storage for older, or infrequently accessed data.  Considering each higher tier of storage can increase by a factor of 3, we're talking real money here.

Still not a believer?  Since Domino 7, we have reduced I/O consumption by more than 50%!  That's a significant reduction of a precious resource.  Reducing the amount of IO consumed allows for greater scalability (e.g.: more users) and corresponding cost reductions (e.g.: lower cost disks).  Perhaps we've been a bit too reserved about publicizing the significant IO reductions that Domino has achieved.  Our west coast competitor has been talking about the IO improvements in 2010.  I'm not sure if they woke up to the fact that Domino has been addressing this angle for the past several releases, or if they realized that in order to use their product for hosting -- they need to be much more efficient with storage.  While they're off re-designing mail file storage (again), we've been steadily investing in NSF improvements and optimizations.  That 50% IO improvement mentioned earlier is on top of already efficient IO handling.  Given where Microsoft is starting from, they must see any progress as good progress, but comparatively, it's still thin.  Eliminating 90% of the U.S. national debt is progress but it still leaves more than $1 trillion of debt!

As many of you know, this is really nothing new for Lotus -- we've been on the storage related savings 'kick' for some time now -- witness document compression, attachment compression, DAOS, optimized view updates, etc.  Without stealing too much thunder of what will be discussed at Lotusphere 2010, there are efforts underway to further reduce storage related costs (physical storage, reduced IO use, addressing peak IO times, administration, etc.).

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