OS/400 Edition
Volume 11, Number 40 -- September 23, 2002

Stampede's TurboGold EE Boosts Domino/Notes Performance

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Stampede Technologies has spent years developing and installing software that speeds up the performance of IBM's Lotus Notes/Domino messaging and groupware software, which known as much for its sluggishness as it is for its elegance. Stampede launched its first Notes accelerator products five years ago, and is keeping ahead of IBM in developing features that make Notes/Domino run faster on a broader number of workloads and jobs with TurboGold Enterprise Edition, which started shipping last week.

With TurboGold 4.0, announced in April 2001, Stampede had delivered a much-improved version of its compression, streaming, and caching software for offline replicated Notes databases. In October 2001, Stampede delivered TurboGold 4.2, which provided online compression of attachments in Notes documents and databases, as well as compression, streaming, and caching for offline iNotes clients. With TurboGold Enterprise Edition, Stampede is accelerating Web performance for iNotes and QuickPlace clients, as well as a bunch of other features that cut down on the storage and network bandwidth requirements for Notes/Domino applications, while at the same time improving the performance of those applications. This will obviously play into the plans of IT managers, who are pinching pennies these days.

The new Web acceleration features in TurboGold Enterprise Edition interface with the Domino HTTP server to speed up offline synchronization between the Domino Server and iNotes clients by up to a factor of five. Online access to Domino applications based on HTML interfaces into Domino databases will, because of the caching, compression, and streaming technologies that are at the heart of TurboGold, will see network bandwidth requirements drop by a factor of 65 percent. The QuickPlace online meeting software, which rides on top of Domino, makes use of the Domino Web Server, and its performance is similarly speeded up by the new Stampede software.

There's more to Domino than replicating databases and a Web server, and that is why TurboGold Enterprise Edition has a number of new features that are aimed at features in Domino that are used in Domino applications, whether they are put on the Web or not. Specifically, the new program is aimed at improving the ways that Domino data is stored, moved, and controlled.

TurboGold Enterprise Edition includes a feature called AutoZip, which, as the name suggests, automatically compresses files that are stored on Domino servers and Notes clients. TurboGold created its own compression algorithm for AutoZip, but the resulting files created by AutoZip are in the same Zip format that programs such as PKZip and WinZip create. Files are only compressed on Notes databases and in e-mail attachments for an internally defined network; once a file is sent to the outside world, it is sent uncompressed, since a receiver of a message may not have WinZip or PKZip software on their machines. According to performance tests done by KMDS Technical Associates, the same company that administers and audits the NotesBench performance tests for Domino servers, AutoZip can reduce internal network bandwidth by 85 percent and similarly reduce the amount of disk space required to store databases and e-mails, which are generally packed with attachments these days, by about 85 percent. The new TurboGold client has the unzipping software and unzips compressed files automatically when they are saved on a PC client or when they are launched; users don't even know they are compressed, in fact.

The new TurboGold software also includes a new feature called the Multicator, a piece of middleware that rides between Domino servers. Notes clients not using TurboGold can detect changes in Notes databases and individually replicate those changes to their local copies of those databases. This is fine with a relatively low number of Notes clients. But with a large number of Notes clients, this replication can put a large burden on the network and servers hosting Domino. The Multicator keeps track of all of the changes that need to be replicated in Notes databases, then simultaneously multicasts them to all subscribers to those databases, using streaming technology. The server only has to replicate once, instead of hundreds or thousands of times. It's a client-push, rather than a client-pull, approach. KMDS found in its tests that Multicator reduced network traffic by as much as 85 percent for Notes/Domino applications.

TurboGold Enterprise Edition also includes new features for controlling how data is managed inside the Notes/Domino environment. Policies controlling what TurboGold features are assigned to servers or databases can now be assigned, by feature, at either the server-wide or database level. Stampede has also added a layer of software to Notes/Domino that allows system administrators to allocate network bandwidth by application, according to a set of policies. As Notes/Domino currently works, the network bandwidth for applications inside the Notes environment cannot be prioritized against each other or against applications running on servers outside of the Notes environment. For years now, Cisco Systems, Packeteer, and a number of other network hardware suppliers have provided hardware that allows bandwidth to be shaped for applications, and network usage to be tracked for applications. With TurboGold Enterprise Edition, Stampede is cracking into the Domino protocols and allowing individual TCP ports to be assigned to different Notes and Domino applications, so they can be given specific slices of network bandwidth that reflect the relative priorities of those applications.

TurboGold Enterprise Edition is available now worldwide. A single TurboGold client costs $63, and a server license costs $1,913; volume licensing with discounts of up to 25 percent off list, per client or server, are available. Annual subscription maintenance and support services cost extra. TurboGold Enterprise Edition works with Lotus Notes/Domino R4.5 and higher (including the Domino 6 version that is due sometime in October) running on OS/400, Windows, AIX, and z/OS-S/390 platforms, and expands on the Notes and Domino acceleration features delivered with TurboGold 4.2. TurboGold products are not supported on Sun Microsystems' Solaris or Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX Unix variants, which support Domino but which comprise a miniscule slice of the Domino installed base.

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But Wait, There's More. . .

Timothy Prickett Morgan

Managing Editor
Shannon Pastore

Contributing Editors:
Dan Burger
Joe Hertvik
Kevin Vandever
Shannon O'Donnell
Victor Rozek
Hesh Wiener
Alex Woodie

Publisher and
Advertising Director:

Jenny Thomas

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Last Updated: 9/23/02
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