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Easy steps for monitoring application size

Karen Fishwick, author of Exam Cram 2: Lotus Notes and Domino 6 System Administrator, offers methods and tools to help you control, minimize and monitor the size of your DB.

Editor's note: Karen Fishwick, author of Exam Cram 2: Lotus Notes and Domino 6 System Administrator, offers several methods and tools to help you control, minimize and monitor the size of your database. This tip is excerpted from her book.

When an administrator effectively monitors and minimizes database size, database applications typically show increased performance. Database operations require less I/O and fewer CPU resources, view indexing and updating is faster, and memory and disk space allocation is improved. The maximum database size in Domino R6 is 64 GB on the Windows and Unix platforms.

There are a variety of methods and tools that can help you control and minimize database size.

  • Compact databases. When documents and attachments are deleted from a database, Domino tries to reuse the unused space rather than immediately reduce the file size. You should regularly compact databases so that the fragmented or "white space" can be reused effectively. Compact is the process by which a database is compressed, in order to reclaim space freed by the deletion of documents and attachments. The Compact command can be issued manually from within the database properties or by invoking the Load Compact command at the server console. Most administrators choose to schedule Compact to run at an off-peak time on a daily or weekly basis through the use of a Program document.

  • Set database size quotas to prevent databases from growing beyond a specified size. Quotas are set using the tools on the Files tab of the Domino Administrator client. When a database reaches its quota, users receive an error message stipulating that the database has exceeded its quota. Data cannot be saved in the database until the file size has been reduced.

  • Delete inactive documents using the document archiving tool or using agents. Archiving allows the administrator to move old or inactive documents to an archive database, thus freeing up space in the production database.

  • Disable soft deletions in database. Documents that have been soft deleted remain in the database until the specified time interval has passed.

  • Disable the default user activity recording in databases. By default, each database logs and records information about each user who has read or written to and from the database. Disabling this feature in the database properties reduces the size of the database. To prevent Statlog from automatically recording activity in User Activity dialog boxes, add No_Force_Activity_Logging=1 to the NOTES.INI file on the server. Then, the administrator can enable activity recording per database, as needed.
You can further control database size by setting database performance properties that also reduce database size. There are several settings in the Database Properties box that can be set to help reduce database size.
  • Allow use of Stored Forms in this database. This option should be deselected so that the form isn't saved with every document in the database.

  • Don't maintain unread marks. This option should be selected so that the database doesn't have to track unread documents for each user.

  • Limit entries in $UpdatedBy fields. Limit entries in $Revisions fields. This option limits the entries in both of these fields, saving space.
In addition to the options in the preceding list that help control and reduce application size, you should use the following tools on a daily or as-needed basis to monitor database size.
  • Domino administrator Files tab -- The Files tab lists all files stored on the Domino server, from the root data directory through all subdirectories. The administrator can use the Files tab to quickly glance at the database size as well as the quota and warning amounts set on each database. This Files view can be sorted in ascending or descending order by size.

  • Log file (LOG.NSF) database -- sizes view -- Similar to the Files tab, the Notes log for the server has a sizes view that lists each database with its corresponding size. The Statlog task on a server runs by default once a day at 5:00 a.m., at which time it reports database activity for databases on the server in Database Activity Log entries in the Usage-By Date and Usage-By Size views of the log file (LOG.NSF) and to the User Activity dialog box of individual databases.

Karen Fishwick is an independent consultant, book author and technical editor in Ottawa. She focuses on administrative troubleshooting for servers and resolving access-control problems within applications and holds the CLP designation for R6 in both the system administration and application development tracks.

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