Notes 8 performance update

February 11 2008

There are quite a number of new postings in the blogs, forums, and elsewhere about Lotus Notes 8 client performance.  We've talked about it previously here, but as time get close to the release of Notes 8.0.1, it's a topic worth revisiting.

John Head has written two blog entries on the topic.  His first was a ForumFriday posting, "Notes 8 performance":

So the whole point of this is to tell you that you can probably improve the performance with some tweaks to the machine running Notes 8 Standard today. You can improve the performance with hardware improvements, mostly in RAM and hard disk. And the future will bring some improvement.
This is pretty important.  I've been working closely with a number of customers on these performance issues, and we've definitely found things like video drivers, hard disk defrags, and aggressive security software impacting the Notes 8 client performance.  Some improvements exist in Notes 8.0.1, and more will come later in the year.  Development has been working aggressively to address some key points, and also to document best practices.  There will be some FAQs and technotes available around 8.0.1 release, so this idea from IdeaJam is a good one (I started pushing for this in November :-).  

One example of how useful this information is comes in one of the comment's on John's first posting:
I excluded my Notes Program and Data directories from Symantec AV and things are 200% better. I'll pass this on to those who are piloting Notes 8.0 with me. Maybe we can rollout after all.
This is great news and, from the work the labs and support have been doing, a typical and common way to speed things up.

John's second posting talks about one area of particular fixation, Notes 8 startup time.  In, "Why are we so concerned about start-up time?", John raises some questions about how critical this issue is, provides some timings, and asks some provocative questions about whether/what focus needs to be placed here, and how to proceed:
What I ask is that everyone make sure their machine is configured correctly. Then run your numbers. If there is still some major issues, then report them to IBM. Get in touch with the performance team there so they can fix the problem. Just complaining it is to slow will not correct the problems in the future.
I realize there are many different patterns to computer usage.  I am in the world John is in -- I can't remember the last time I had to start Notes.  But other users will hit this issue, and development is keenly aware that startup time can, and should, be improved.

One of the key points in the posting on the developerWorks Notes 8 forum is that customers seeing issues should open incidents with support.  This has been very effective in the last eight weeks, with quick escalations to the lead STSM (senior technical staff member) working on the area.  Please keep the actual data coming, and we'll all end up with best practices, hints, and ways to get past the performance hurdle to all the real value that Notes 8 has to offer.

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