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Domino Domain Monitoring pros and cons

SearchDomino.com contributor Chuck Connell provides an overview of Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) and outlines strengths and weaknesses of the Notes/Domino 7 administration tool.

Domino Domain Monitoring (DDM) is a new feature of Notes Domino 7 that gives administrators another tool for keeping tabs on the Domino server. The primary feature of DDM is consolidation of information from more than one Domino server into a single screen or report. DDM also includes new tricks for monitoring each server, such as Lotus Sametime awareness and "out of the box" best-practice monitoring configurations.

Before looking at the details, it is important to understand that DDM is a new monitoring tool that alternatively overlaps and subsumes the existing Notes/Domino monitoring options.

Current options include:

 

  • Statistics (statrep.nsf)
  • Reports (reports.nsf)
  • Activity logging (activity.nsf)
  • Database catalog (catalog.nsf)
  • The standard log (log.nsf)
  • Log analysis (loga4.nsf)
  • The DOS-like server console
  • The monitoring panels in the Domino Administrator 7 client

I hoped that Domino Domain Monitoring would provide a single unifying (and demystifying) point for all Domino monitoring. Unfortunately, it does not. It requires Lotus Notes and Domino administrators to learn yet another tool and to keep straight where DDM replaces an existing method, where DDM offers new features, and where an existing tool offers features not in DDM.

Despite this criticism, anyone administering an enterprise-grade Notes/Domino network should learn DDM and take advantage of its features where appropriate.

You set up and control DDM from the Monitoring Configuration database (Events4.nsf), and then view DDM results in the Domino Domain Monitoring database (DDM.nsf).

Notice that Events4.nsf is the old event monitoring method from Notes/Domino Release 4 through Release 6 days. If you have already been using Events4.nsf, you will see that the familiar features are still there, along with new DDM capabilities. I appreciate this integration by IBM Lotus, rather than giving in to the impulse to invent yet another control database.

Within Events4.nsf, you can find the ability to "roll up" Domino Domain Monitoring results from many servers into one display, which is at DDM Configuration -> Server Collection. Since effective server monitoring is a complicated topic (relatively easy to do, but hard to do correctly), you will like the pre-defined DDM probes found at DDM Configuration -> DDM Probes -> By Type.

IBM Lotus programmers should consider using application-generated events, which report into the Domino Domain Monitoring database. This can be done with the Lotuscript method NotesLog.LogEvent, setting the log queue to EventDispatcher.

Domino Domain Monitoring runs only on Notes/Domino 7 or later, and can probe only Domino 7+ servers. But, for some degree of backward compatibility, DDM can inspect the server configuration documents for pre-ND7 servers and produce best-practice reports about them. This is possible because the server documents for all servers in the domain are stored in the Domino Directory on the server running DDM.

While learning Domino Domain Monitoring, keep in mind that IBM offers two other enterprise-level monitoring tools -- Tivoli Intelliwatch and Tivoli Monitoring for Messaging and Collaboration.

If you are using these Tivoli products for other non-Domino parts of your corporate infrastructure, you should consider integrating all of your monitoring by using Tivoli for Lotus Notes and Domino as well. If you do, be aware that the Tivoli solutions do not offer some of the low-level Domino-specific report detail that native Domino monitoring provides.

For more information, see:

 

About the author: Chuck Connell is president of CHC-3 Consulting, which helps organizations with all aspects of Domino and Notes.

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This was last published in January 2007

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