A few weeks ago, an updated version of the Lotus Notes Traveler product was made available – if you are not aware of the Traveler product, its basically a free addon for the Lotus Domino server that allows mail, calendars, contacts etc to be synchronised in realtime for users of Apple iOS, Android, Nokia and Windows Mobile devices – and is an incredibly popular product given the explosion of employees wanting / needing to be more mobile.
The new version (v8.5.3 Upgrade Pack 1), introduces some key new features such as :-
- Web based administration
- Updated / New Android client experience
- Enhanced filters and security settings for devices
- Ability to have Notes DocLinks exposed as URL’s
Additionally, and I guess the BIG new feature is the support (finally) for native high availability (HA) – so the ability to have a cluster of Traveler servers and provide a level of resilience for mobile users.
To achieve this HA, Traveler no longer stores device synchronisation history in a local Derby database, instead it now makes use of a backend relational database such as Microsoft SQL Server or IBM DB2.
My experience of working with this new version of Traveler has been great — customers appreciate the flexibility it gives them to provide corporate mail etc to employees and have a level of security around this (via policies), and whilst this is not a full Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution – it certainly provides for the basics (remote wipe, device locks, app sync etc).
Some things that I’ve learned :-
- Whilst there are no published limits to the number of devices or the number of HA service pool members, there is a practical limit governed mainly by the database I/O … so I typically design for a HA service pool to manange upto 10,000 devices.
- Design for number of devices and not users … a user (if allowed) can have many devices.
- The Android v4 client experience – especially on Tablets is starting to shorten the gap with the Apple iPad … the use of the “One UI” is awesome.
- IBM Edge Server works really well for IP load balancing and reverse proxy
- Configuration of multiple LAN cards in servers and segmentation of traffic between service pool members, the database and Domino mail servers is critical
- It works and scales especially well on Linux (Red Hat or SUSE) – and of course avoids the cost of Windows server licences 😉
If you are using IBM Lotus Domino as your mail platform – and need to get mail, calendar, contacts and web enabled apps to your employees, Traveler is the only way to go !
Great to here you’ve managed to complete the deployment. We’ve just completed our Project Build Phase and are now undertaking the Test/UAT Phase. I wonder if I could ask you a question; I assuming you’ve put your Traveler Server Pool behind some form of Load Balancer!
When your mobile devices connect to the Traveler Server Pool they do so via you load balancer. The reply / data sync traffic, does it go directly to the mobile device or via you load balancers? I am asking as I need to understanding the load this will put on our load balancers; if it goes direct *fantastic*.
Thanks in advance
It depends on your network configuration. In general terms, the mobile device connects to your infrastructure (load balancer / reverse proxy) and a channel is opened to the Traveler server — data sync uses this bi-directionally — if you want more info, see the IBM Traveler wiki >> http://www-10.lotus.com/ldd/dominowiki.nsf/dx/Planning_your_network_topology_A853UP1