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08/04/2010

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Here's the thing about the idea of Lotus and i. Many of the "big picture" topics that you address here are accurate. However, it's the details that end up killing the deal. So much of the article lives on the success of the past that is unimportant to my present.

I have recently begun working on trying to win over some Domino servers to i, but it's a challenge for many reasons. Not the least are these:

OS version and Domino versions are extremely restrictive. OS 7.1 only supports the very latest Domino 8.5.1.
6.1 doesn't run (easily) anything before 8.0. I know that neither OS 6 nor Domino 8 are brand new products, but you have to recognize that no one likes to rush updates out for either. I also don't want to be forced into upgrading my OS every time I want to upgrade Domino.

Sametime is in the same boat as Domino. As for Quickr, IBM didn't even bother to make the current version supported. We can wait for another release? Really? This is what passes for dedication?

As for statistics, we'd love to see some of those too. The Four Hundred had a timely article about that just last week (http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh080910-story02.html).

I've been hearing IBM beat the 'Lotus on i' drums for about six months now, and I keep hearing that "nothing will be cheaper than i". I guess now we just wait to see if there's anything behind the talk. I sincerely hope there is, but right now i feels like a step-child that is minimally supported out of tradition.

Doomin, thanks for your comments! Please see my responses below.

re: I have recently begun working on trying to win over some Domino servers to i, but it's a challenge for many reasons. Not the least are these:

Good to hear that you are working to win some Domino servers over to i! It remains a very strong platform for Domino and Lotus workloads. Sorry to hear about the challenges. I would like to understand these better.

re: OS version and Domino versions are extremely restrictive. OS 7.1 only supports the very latest Domino 8.5.1.

It is true that this is more restrictive than in the past for Domino on i. However, this is the typical approach for Domino on the other platforms regarding new OS versions. I.e., only the most recent Domino release is supported on a new OS version. For Domino on i, our traditional guideline has been to support the prior Domino release if the current release had less than two MR's. In this case, due to the eventual timings of the OS release and the Domino release schedules, it was not possible to follow the traditional Domino on i guideline. We plan to maintain the guideline in the future though.

re: 6.1 doesn't run (easily) anything before 8.0

Are you saying that i 5.4 is better? I am not aware of anything unique to IBM i in this area (5.4 vs. 6.1). I asked our support team about this and they were not aware of much specific to IBM i other than having to deal with program conversion. The majority of the issues that they have seen are cross-platform.

re: I know that neither OS 6 nor Domino 8 are brand new products, but you have to recognize that no one likes to rush updates out for either. I also don't want to be forced into upgrading my OS every time I want to upgrade Domino.

I don't see that we are putting that requirement there. E.g., Domino 8.5.2 just came out and it is supported on IBM i 7.1, 6.1 and 5.4 and so is Domino 8.5.1. Can you give me a more specific example?

re: Sametime is in the same boat as Domino. As for Quickr, IBM didn't even bother to make the current version supported. We can wait for another release? Really? This is what passes for dedication?

This is not something that we planned to have happen. In the past, we have always worked hard to make sure that when a new version of IBM i came out, that there was Lotus product support. That was the plan in this case but due to product development cycle shifts, we were not able to maintain that tradition, which we were disappointed with ourselves. We hope to plan better in the future in order so that we can avert this situation in the future (and return to the traditional approach). Note that the general guideline used for Lotus software support on new OS releases is to have support available within 90 days of the OS GA, but for IBM i, we previously always had Lotus product support available at the OS GA.

re: As for statistics, we'd love to see some of those too. The Four Hundred had a timely article about that just last week (http://www.itjungle.com/tfh/tfh080910-story02.html)

Notesbench is a thing of the past, for all platforms, so this is not something specific to Domino on i. From an IBM perspective, Domino on i gets the same level of focus as other platforms. E.g., see this doc on Domino 8.5 performance: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/library/domino85-performance/ We continue to have a strong performance focus for Domino on i internally. Domino on i performance assessments are done for each new Domino MR, for each new IBM i release and for new hardware (e.g., Power 7).

re: I've been hearing IBM beat the 'Lotus on i' drums for about six months now, and I keep hearing that "nothing will be cheaper than i". I guess now we just wait to see if there's anything behind the talk. I sincerely hope there is, but right now i feels like a step-child that is minimally supported out of tradition.

From my internal development perspective, support for the Lotus products on i is very much alive and well and support for additional and new products is expected in the future. IBM i is very much a part of the Lotus strategy; in fact, the Lotus VP of Development presented this strategy to the IBM i LUG group at the June meeting. In addition, with the introduction of Power 7 hardware this year, there is increased interest in Domino consolidations to the platform.

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