Hey, we just moved a bunch of Domino servers from Windows to IBM i!

Steve Pitcher
Steve Pitcher

Every now and then you get to help a customer via a cool solution.


We have a customer who was running three Domino 9 servers (mail, applications and Traveler) on three separate physical Windows servers at various OS versions. One of these servers was drastically underpowered from both processing and network throughput perspectives. Furthermore, nightly maintenance jobs (compact, updall, fixup) were not completing due to the large size of the databases and the underpowered servers. The lack of processing and network speed made backing up those Domino servers a challenge over the network. Each night the Domino backups would take over eight hours.


Luckily, the customer had at their disposal a new IBM Power Systems S914 server running IBM i 7.2. The S914 had all solid-state disk drives and could easily accommodate the extra workload. In advance, we created three dummy Domino servers on the S914 at the same release and fix pack version (Domino 9 FP8). This ensures that nothing changes except the hardware. Once we had those IBM i-based Domino servers registered I wiped their data directories to make room for the Windows-based Domino servers. I also created three IP addresses to match the addresses on the Windows servers. I didn’t start them of course. I just wanted them there in advance of the migration.

The following Saturday we shut off the Windows-based Domino servers and I copied and pasted their respective data directories and notes.ini files over to their IBM i partition. A few changes to the notes.ini files later I was ready to go.

I shut down the Windows servers so there wouldn’t have an IP conflict. I then bound those IPs to the Domino servers on IBM i. I also had to make a few changes to IBM i. For instance, IBM i has its own SMTP, POP and HTTP servers. By default they pick whatever IP address they can get their hands on. We don’t want that. So I had to bind those services to the standard IP address of the system so they wouldn’t interfere with the SMTP, POP and HTTP tasks on the respective Domino servers.

Once we fired up the Domino servers…they just worked. Like I tell people: Domino is Domino.

Moving to the POWER9 gives those three Domino servers the horsepower they need to function properly. IBM i is all about consolidation. Doing more with less. Bringing Domino under the IBM i umbrella also allowed us to incorporate Domino into their nightly backup routines seamlessly reducing their Domino backup time down to thirty minutes from the previous eight hours.

We implemented DAOS to reduce the size of each NSF file and provide more intelligent and streamlined attachment storage; reducing their Domino storage imprint by 40%.

A week later we implemented DBMT to provide a more feature-rich nightly maintenance as well as upgraded those three servers to Domino 10.0.1 to take advantage of the following features:

  1. Hot view updating
  2. DAOS resynchronization speed improvements
  3. Automatic index rebuilds
  4. Modern cipher management via the Domino administrator client
  5. Automated dead mail processing
  6. Breaking the NSF size boundary from 64 GB to 256 GB

As a longtime Domino on IBM i fan, I’m super stoked and just wanted to share this with you! If you want to consolidate your Windows-based Domino workloads to IBM i then please reach out to me at spitcher@itechsol.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *