Open Mic Replay: What's the Latest with Notes Traveler? April 24, 2012
IBM hosted an Open Mic webcast with Lotus Development and Support Engineers on 24 April 2012. The topic was "What's the Latest with Notes Traveler?."
This document includes the presentation slides, a recording of the Open Mic call, and a summary of questions and answers from the session. Check the "Resources" section after the Q&A web chat for important links to Traveler information.
For more information about our Open Mic webcasts, visit the IBM Collaboration Solutions Support Open Mics page.
Recording of the webcast (.mp3 file, 8.7MB, duration 1 hr:12 min)
Click the link and choose Open to start the recording or Save to save the .mp3 file to your computer.
Q. Regarding quota honoring and Notes Traveler, we have soft quotas so we don't balance down, and so on, but as soon as Traveler sees a quota being reached, it starts to not rout, throwing errors. It would be nice if there were an option in Traveler to ignore quota warnings, let things process, and then deal with them at a later date.
A. Are we honoring it too soon?
Q. No, it's just honoring too strictly; can it respect a soft quota vs. the hard quota?
A. I think we're only honoring the hard quota and we certainly have some code, that once you get to quota we won't even attempt to do writes into the database, because it will blow up on us. But maybe there's some nuance there that we're missing....we can certainly take that back...and also you should probably open a PMR for this. Typically the type of issue we see with quotas is that we currently don't have a way---even in hard quota case---once your mail file is in quote, to start deleting records from the mobile device, get them to synch up, and compact the mail db, etc. In other words, do everything that would force the database to get under quota. We do have a requirement for that. but this is different.
Q. Yes, this is more like an enhancement request: To respect a soft quota everywhere, including Traveler.
A. So it would be best open a PMR and we'll work with you and your environment directly, to take a closer look.
Q. Regarding attachment handling on smartphones such as Android (iPhone seem to handle theirs more securely),.....Are there any plans to secure attachments in a better way on the Android devices that would prevent users from copying them off, or put in a secure wrapper or container-ize them in some way on the device?
A. Yes, we do have plans for this and definitely understand the problem. It's in Beta and is definitely on our list of top requirements. As we move forward with Beta releases, we will make sure that it's available for customers who want to look at new functionality. It certainly is a high priority for us and we're looking at it for a future release.
Q. Do you have a time frame for Traveler to support doclinks?
A. So, on the device, the ability to just click it and open the doclink? We've done some work in that area, but it s not currently in the field. Are the applications to which you connect already web-enabled?
A. OK, we do have some work on that..
Q. Well, do you have a time frame for that? We're considering replacing our BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) and go with Traveler instead, but we can't do that unless we can open the doclinks for the apps we've already web enabled.
A. You probably want to get the latest Beta available as there is some support included that converts Notes database and document links to web links. There is some limited support for doclink access in the Traveler 8.5.3 Upgrade Pack 1 beta in progress now. Full support would likely require a VPN client solution on the device. If interested in joining the beta mentioned above to preview functionality, simply go here to nominate your company: https://www-304.ibm.com/software/earlyprograms/surveys/cust/nomination.wss?id=1163 (Provide your IBM ID at the prompt. If you don't have one, click the "register now" link on the Sign-in page to create one. Easy!)
Q. So you have this already working in Beta now?
A. Yes, but we really can't talk specifically about features and dates with respect to future releases, so for beta questions, contact Jan Kenney offline at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. When looking at performance and tuning documents, I notice that all of them state that you need to change the JVM values, but it seems to be quite random as to what values are actually put in there. Is there any formula to use in relation to the types of devices and configuration values?
A. What JVM parameters are you referring to? The main one we deal with is just the memory.
Q. Yes, within Traveler itself, all the documents recommend changing the JVM settings as a general tuning step rather than leaving them at the 512 default value.
A. The 512 default is for 32-bit machines, so my first suggestion would be to get to 64-bit OS machines. Normally when I've start getting higher number of users, I've put machines up to 4GB or 4096 MB, to handle the large number of users. The only disadvantage of using a large number is that, when Traveler starts up, it looks to see if it has that much free memory and the memory that is available. It's not going to allocate it, it needs to see if it's even there, so if you over-allocate it, it may cause Traveler not to start because you have all the other applications. But if you have a lot of free extra physical memory, it's probably a good suggestion to move the value up to 4GB, if you have a large number of users. One qualifier, though: this applies to Windows 64-bit machines.
Q. So, basically you're saying that "more is better", as long as you have sufficient physical memory to cope?
A. Yes, true, in this case. And, you're right, there's not really good formula in our documentation for controlling that. We should take that as an action to try to clarify that. Note, however, that going over 4GB is really not needed. That's the highest number I've ever seen, other than just a couple of rare cases.
Q. Regarding performance monitoring of Traveler itself within the Domino environment, is there a "cookbook" of best practices for Traveler that would utilize server statistics, amount of data transmitted to the devices, the connection backlog, etc., so we could measure the performance going out to the devices, defining the server loads, etc. Any documentation on this?
A. The Capacity Planning Guide, at the end of it, discusses some of the stats to look at, like HTTP stats, memory and CPU.
Q. But nothing in real time that we can start monitoring to determine when the Traveler server is having problems?
A. Internally, we have the "tell traveler status" command that basically just looks at existing stats, comparing them to current thresholds, and if the stats are over the threshold, then it pops up a yellow status and tells you why. I don't see why you couldn't do the same with the Events monitoring; you could turn on Statistics export, and apply those same rules to the exported stats. Then for a particular stat, you could trigger a trap or event. We are looking at this internally, but not tied to a release. Again, this is something we can take back and see if we can accelerate that effort.
Q. For high availability and failover, I notice that you mention it's an ongoing thing in Beta. The only Technote I found on this described a case in which you have a load balancer and want to put up a couple of Domino servers in a cluster and do some kind of load balancing. The response was that it's not recommended because if you switch the server you're on, something would have to be reloaded. It really didn't explain why that was bad. I'm considering a sort of primary/secondary scenario in which, if we had some rare, unexpected server failure, then all our users could then resume activity on the other server, and it's not really clear to me what would happen in that situation.
A. Good question. You certainly could do that; we have a number of customers that have that scenario in which they set up a backup server, to be used only if the primary server goes down, but they aren't load-balancing across multiple servers. The reason you can't load-balance across multiple servers is because, until we have the high-availability support, each one of the Traveler servers has it's own State database, so it's keeping track which devices have connected to it in the past, of the records of what's on the devices, and how those records map to the records on the Domino mail servers for those device.
If the device is communicating with Server A and all is OK, each time it does a synch, it just gets the changes since the last time it did anything. If it should suddenly switch over to a completely new server, assuming that server can connect to its mail database just like the other server, that server doesn't have access to that State database, so the problem now is the server and client don't know what to do: they don't have the mapping info, and if a device syncs up a delete or an update to a previously synced record, the server won't know what it's talking about.
So the way this is fixed---it happens under the covers---the server will tell the device, "I can't find your data, we need to do a refresh synch." This is basically like the synch when you first register your device, there's no data there. It will be a bit slower, take a bit longer, and use more bandwidth to get your current data down from the device. It will, of course, continue to work once it get past that point. But, if you were to move 100's of users over all at once, it will take a while for the server to get through that large workload. But if you have a situation where your primary server is completely gone, then that's when customers do this.
Q. So, basically, it's possible to do it, but be aware that I'll have a performance issue after some kind of failover?
A. Yes, and we are working on this---that's the whole point of our high-availability requirement, so it can occur seamlessly without the performance issue.
Q. Troubleshooting question: Over the weekend I did a manual defrag of the internal database, but it failed to complete the indexing, throwing out some exception errors. I opened a PMR with IBM, and they are still analyzing the logs. With respect to why it failed to complete the indexing, I made the call to Support two hours after seeing the repeating exception errors to run the -defrag command again, and that eventually completed the re-indexing of those indexes. Aside from that, has anyone else experienced an issue where the defragging process failed, and what would cause it to fail?
A. Most likely the problem is that, when defrag runs, it can run out of Java memory. And that's one reason why we asked to increase Java memory, to handle that case. You did exactly the right thing in this case. Defrag is a kind of two-step process: The first is compression and the second is the re-indexing of the tables. So, you got halfway thru, hit the exceptions, and had the problem. By re-issuing the -defrag command, it took over from where it stopped last time, restarted, and finished completely. So the best action you should take, if you have enough physical memory, is to increase the Java memory for the Lotus Traveler task.
Q. Ah, so increase the Java memory, OK.
A. Yes, and there's a way you can confirm that too: In the IBM Technical Support Directory there should be a .txt file---I believe it will start with javacore---and will have the word Traveler in it. If it's an out-of-memory condition, I believe you'll see a javacore that happened right at that time. If you look at the top, you should see an indication of whether it was some kind of general protection fault or if was out of memory. Also, there is an error in the error log.
Q. When can we migrate from BlackBerry as regards Secure MIME (S/MIME) I realize there's an open request for it, and was wondering if there's a date range for support for it. Basically this is the ability to send secure messages to recipients outside the Domino domain via SMTP. I pasted the request in the Web Chat.
A. We do have a requirement for that and it will be in future beta. Not sure when, but think in terms of months, not a year. We can't get any more specific unless you have a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with Jan.
Q. Regarding support of RIM Playbook and BlackBerry10 products, I understand that essentially their products use active-synch protocol proxy. Will IBM be incorporating some of the policies similar to those that manage the Apple and Android devices into Traveler, to manage BlackBerry products so as to totally solidify the need not to have a BES. Realistically, since we have well over 10K BlackBerry devices, and people will be moving to new BlackBerry devices once new ones come out, we're still going to need a BES server. But if Traveler could do some or all of what the BES does, especially from the security standpoint, that would help.
A. Our active-synch support today for Traveler is basically that we've implemented enough to do what we need to do on iOS. We certainly understand that RIM brought forward, I think in February, their support for active synch around Mobile Fusion 6 and Playbook 2.0, and today that's a kind of a solely RIM-supported solution. Because we have not extended our active-synch support to go beyond what's needed for iOS today, and we also haven't yet implemented a model in which anyone who wants create an application and use active synch to synch to the Traveler server, it's just not a supported model for us.
Having said that, however, RIM certainly continues to be a valued partner of ours, and we'll continue to work with them to make sure the right things will get done in Traveler going forward. But as it stands today, we don't have plans to extend our active-synch support beyond what we're doing for iOS. We are considering investigating bringing something forward that would support Windows phone, and if we do that, there's likely some active-synch support that we'd add to support Windows phone.
Q. Is there currently a Beta that includes support for High Availability?
A. Yes, that's in progress now. It's a private program, so you just need to contact Jan K. and she will arrange for you to participate in the program.
Q. On just a high level, what is your strategy for achieving Traveler HA, with respect to customer's needing additional hardware, etc.?
A. That would be part of what we'd share with you as a Beta participant under NDA. By it's nature, High Availability requires backups for servers or whatever component you're making highly available. But one thing to remember, in Traveler we will always carry forward the existing function that you have today. So, if you don't really need High Availability, then you can just continue to use your current version. But yes, High Availability will take you to another level of "commitment".
Q. I just would like to be able to plan for deploying it my environment before rolling out new mainstream code.
A. As soon as we can, we'll be announcing and publishing High Availability info, so you'll be able to plan. In the Beta program we have recorded video information that addresses what you're asking about, and that falls under NDA, so let's talk!
Q. Do you have any plans going forward to allow mobile devices to access the All Documents view? Our workflow requires that we need access to this view.
A. We don't at the moment, and not sure we even have a requirement for it. Potentially we could get it to work on the Android, given our architecture. We will go back and confirm whether we have a requirement for this, and if not, we'll add it.
|Q&A Web chat|
Q. We have iPhones configured with Traveler but how can we verify that they are actually using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) to sync? Is there any way to check if an iPhone is synching through SSL?
A. An easy way is to turn off HTTP (non-SSL) on the Domino HTTP Server. On the device, the option to set SSL to on or off is under the mail account settings.
Q: If SSL is added to a currently running server, will existing devices use SSL or must they be reconfigured to use it?
A. You must reconfigure the devices to use SSL.
Q. Can our Traveler server allow connectivity to users with both SSL and non-SSL simultaneously? We started with non-SSL and want to implement SSL but we hope we can use both simultaneously for testing/migration.
A. Yes, you can use both simultaneously.
Q. Any news about high availability (HA) for Traveler?
A. HA will be available very soon and is currently in beta mode. There are some "hints" to HA in Ed Brill's blog at http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/lotusphere-2012-mobility?opendocument&comments#anc1.
Q. Our Android users complain about having two different calendar applications: the native one that synchs with gmail and the one that synchs with Traveler. Can there be a Traveler integration with the native Android calendar, similar to the integration on the iPhone?
A. There is no truly "native" Android calendar so we provide an optimized function in Domino and look for additions to it.
Q. Are there any plans to support Kerberose authentication on Traveler?
A. That's a Domino HTTP question so you may want to ask your Domino Support representative. There are third-party tools available that provide authentication.
Q. Is there any plan to support Traveler servers on the iSeries platform?
A. There are no plans for other server support at this time.
Q. Is BlackBerry supported on Traveler?
A. RIM has provided an ability to sync to Traveler via ActiveSync. IBM is working with RIM to insure this continues to function but there is no formal support for BlackBerry at this time.
Q. Any news on when the PlayBook or operating system -10 devices will be supported?
A. IBM does not offer formal support for PlayBook (or Blackberry). RIM recently released an operating system update to allow the PlayBook to sync to Traveler via Active Sync. You can find more information here: http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21585360
Q. Android cannot forward attachments. Will this ever be possible and is there any release date?
A. Android will forward what the device contains. If the device has the attachment downloaded, it can be sent. Remember that you must download any attachment before you can forward it on.
Q. My iPad users cannot resolve the group names in the Domino server. Is there a way to do this?
A. This sounds like a lookup configuration issue. Be sure you have the groups listed in the NTSConfig.xml file. You can always open a PMR if this still doesn't work. .
Q. Traveler doesn't allow copy, print or forward. Will there be any change so that you can view these e-mails via Traveler?
A. This is on our requirements list.
Q. Are there any plans to add a return receipt request to the message options when composing an e-mail on Android? The other big three message options are already available.
A. This is on our requirements list.
Q. What is Mobile Iron?
A. Mobile Iron is a partner of IBM. We are working with them to meet customer needs with Traveler and complementary modem (MDM) solutions.
Q. Is there any plan to notify users when their passwords will expire and prompt them to change?
A. That is controlled by HTTP, not Traveler. Mobile Iron supports certificate-based authentication so when a user changes the password, it synchs to the device. But this doesn't work on Traveler due to the lack of Kerberose authentication. There are some third-party apps such as Pistol Star.
Q. Is Traveler able to sync To-Dos in Notes using the iPhone?
A. Yes, this is possible. (Some participants did not have this capability.)
Q. When will we be able to sync To Dos on Android?
A. This is on our requirements list.
Q. Journal synching has been listed as a request for a long time but it still isn't available for devices. When will this be available?
A. Journal sync is still on our requirements list but is not planned for immediate release. For synching Journal / Notebooks, there's a third-party iPhone app named "Notesbook".
Q. What is the best way to split 10,000 users on multiple Traveler servers?
A. On an existing Traveler setup, you must administratively assign the users to specific servers. High availability support will allow a multi-server pool.
Q. What is "LMC" and when will it be available?
A. Lotus Mobile Connect. Release 6.1.4 is available now.
Q. How can you assign a user to a specific server with thousands of users on multiple Traveler servers?
A. An administrator must configure the users to different servers. LMC is coming out with a single URL capability that would allow one URL and assignment of users to different servers.
Q. Do you mean a different server pointing to a different URL?
A. With the current Traveler, it requires unique URLs (one per server). LMC will allow a single front-end URL with multiple servers behind it.
Q. When do you plan to implement PIN code protection for Traveler on an Android?
A. There is a device app password that is explained in the slide presentation.
Q. Does Directory Assistance (DA) work to allow an incoming name to display if the caller is in a secondary NAB? Can new memos pull names from there for type-ahead?
A. Directory Assistance already works for name lookup by searching the directories.
Q. Does DA work for incoming calls and name lookups on new memos? Ours works for new memos but not for incoming calls.
A. The device does not make name lookup calls for incoming phone calls. It only searches locally because that's the design of the device, not Traveler.
Q. Are there any plans to integrate Traveler with the Sametime and Connections applications? On the iOS? As in moving attachments to Files and vice versa?
A. Sametime Mobile is available and is independent of Traveler, It is currently available for the Android and iOS. Your Sametime infrastructure (Sametime Standard, Sametime Advanced Server, Sametime Proxy) must also support it.
Q. Can you force sync intervals on Android? For example, is there a way to turn off the automatic push synchronization? I'd like to force a 15-minute sync.
A. The push settings can be controlled by the server. The settings are located in the NTSConfig.xml file.
Q. How does the password at the application level work with mail / calendar widgets?
A. Widgets go blank after the idle timeout.
Q. We're using the iPhone with a 5.1. operating system and Traveler 22.214.171.124. When opening the web page to set up a user profile, we receive an error that the device is running on an older Apple operating system. Is this solved in 126.96.36.199?
A. The iOS 5.1 recognition occurred in 188.8.131.52 so you shouldn't get the error message. We suggest you upgrade to 184.108.40.206 and if you still have trouble, open a PMR.
Q. Can Traveler be put on a VM machine?
A. Yes, the Traveler server can host a VM machine.
Q. The Resource Monitor always seems as if it uses more HTTP threads than allocated. We use more than 500 devices and set the HTTP threads to 700 but the Resource Monitor says NHTTP is using 728 threads. Is this something to be concerned about?
A. Traveler can be heavy on disk usage. Managing the log levels to "low" (information levels) can help. iOS devices can use more than one connection at a time but that is rare so your setting should only be slightly more than the number of devices. Also, devices need to be able to reconnect which then closes the old connection. But it shouldn't be constantly that high. If you open a PMR, we can look at the logs to see what the connections are doing - how many Traveler has versus other applications.
Remember that the HTTP threads must be set on the Traveller server, not on the mail server(s).
The Traveler Cookbook discusses HTTP thread monitoring at this link: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/dominowiki.nsf/dx/Capacity_planning_guidelines_for_Lotus_Notes_Traveler_LNT853.
Q. How and where do you set your HTTP options?
A. The HTTP options are in the Internal Site Document --> Configuration tab --> Methods list. However, if you aren't using site documents, the setting is on by default and cannot be disabled. Traveler will update the setting for you unless you have the NTS_AUTO_CONFIG= false option set in the notes.ini file.
Q. Can we use the Internet Site Document in Domino to load balance Traveler between multiple Traveler servers? Sometimes for our iOS devices, the profile is installed but the device does not appear in the Traveler database on the Traveler server. We're running 220.127.116.11. Is there a command to see all registered devices?
A. We thought we resolved any issues with devices not showing up in 18.104.22.168. If not, please open a PMR. You can always use the "tell traveler show" command to see what devices Traveler knows about for a specific user.
Q. When does defrag run?
A. Defrag is run at Traveler startup.
Q. Can you run defrag as an agent?
A. No agent is needed. Use the nts_defrag_interval_days=xx parameter in the notes.ini file. The "xx" is the number of days to the next restart of Traveler.
Q. Can you schedule defrag?
A. Yes, you can schedule defrag to run (refer to the parameter in the preceding question) but if the scheduled interval has expired, defrag only runs the next time Traveler starts. Remember that defrag will stop devices from connecting while it is running which can take up to 20 minutes. Refer to this link for more information: http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/dominowiki.nsf/dx/Defragging_the_database_for_improved_performance_LNT853
Q. We use a reverse proxy. Should we use LMC too or is the reverse proxy secure enough?
A. This depends on how good your current proxy is. If it's an authentication proxy as is LMC, it should be fine. An advantage of using an authentication proxy is that authentication is verified prior to getting to the Traveler server.
Q. Are you working on providing a month view for Android?
A. A month view for Android is part of the Tablet UI work underway (check the presentation).
Q. When will Traveler support e-mail drafts? Also, will the Trash folder ever be displayed?
A. The drafts are already supported everywhere except for iOS because Apple decided not to sync with the server. Stay tuned for Trash display (check the presentation).
Q. Does 8.5.3 provide FIPS 140-2 support (Federal government customers) on Android and iOS platforms?
A. Not at this time.
Q. Will the Derby database work for high availability in 8.5.4?
A. Derby cannot provide what we need for HA. We need the ability to share the sync status across multiple servers.
Q. Will the Derby database be migrated to DB2 for V8.5.4 high availability?
A. Yes, this is in our plan but not yet in beta. Derby will be standalone only.
Q. Will WebSphere Portal be required for high availability?
A. No, WebSphere Portal will not be required for HA.
Q. How long before users will be able to encrypt and send mail from iOS devices?
A. The Lotus Notes Traveler Companion app does that today.
Q. What about encryption to recipients external to the Domino domain?
A. That is an S/MIME function and is separate from the Domino encrypted mail support. S/MIME is a requirement for future release consideration.
Q. How to you check the companion version on an iOS device?
A. In the Companion --> About settings.
Q. Why must we have to manually select folders to sync?
A. To limit data across the wire and the space on the device.
Q. Does the Traveler Companion app work with the ID vault if there is no ID file in the mail file?
A. Companion works with the ID vault. The ID vault will put the ID file back in the user's mail file if needed.
Q. Will there be any support to open doc links in apps that are not web-enabled, such as mail notifications to which a user has security access?
A. Doclinks will only work on web-enabled applications.
Q. Is there a feature for Traveler to delete devices after a certain number of days since they were last synched?
A. This is already in place - after 30 days.
Traveler Deployment Cookbook
Capacity Planning guidelines
Before you upgrade the server
Moving Traveler to a new server
Open Mic Webcast Replay: What's the Latest with Lotus Notes Traveler? October 12, 2011
(includes the slides, recording and Q&A from this previous call).
Original publication date
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