Tuning Windows for Domino

This tip discusses how administrators can make Windows 2000 or Windows NT work best with a Domino server.

Microsoft Windows NT and 2000 servers can be tuned to perform at their best with Lotus Domino. These tips may not look like much, because they are some OS maintenance and management practices some of us always do, but they will definitely help improve performance of your Domino Server.

Network adapters and RAID controllers

It is important to distribute I/O activities onto different buses so each PCI bus will produce better output than it would if it were connected to the same bus. This means you should not put your network adapter on the same bus as RAID Controller.

HDD partitions and logging

Following partition structure will help you improve system performance. When creating partitions it is important that you choose NTFS file system over FAT16 or FAT32 with 16k cluster size. NTFS file system with bigger cluster size has significant performance improvement compared to FAT16 and FAT 32.

If the below logical disk drives can be physical disk drives (meaning if they are different disk drives) it will improve performance on your system by improving the performance of your disk read/write access.

C: O/S Installation (e.g. C:Winnt)
D: Lotus Domino Server binary installation (e.g. D:LotusDomino)
E: Lotus Domino Application Data installation (e.g. E:LotusDominoData)
F: Transaction Log Directory (e.g. F:ServerNameTransLog)

Meanwhile, transaction logging is a very important functionality of Lotus Domino and at the same time one of the most expensive ones. It is important to cut the cost where possible. However, it is also vital that you use a separate physical disk drive for transaction logging. It should not be a RAID 5 disk controller, although you may use RAID1 or a normal single disk.

Background vs. foreground

In Microsoft Windows foreground applications get priority over background applications by default. When a user or an administrator interacts with the Windows O/S where the Domino server is installed, foreground applications will get priority over Domino server because Windows consider Domino as a background application.

You may favor background applications by doing the following:

In Windows 2000, open the Control Panel, double-click System, click the Advanced tab, click the Performance Options button, and select Background services.

In Windows NT, open the Control Panel, double-click the System icon, click the Performance tab, and then move the "Select the performance boost for the foreground application" slider to None.

Maintaining LargeSystemCache

Microsoft Windows maintains its disk activities on a cache file called LargeSystemCache. By altering the settings of this cache file you may get the best performance for your Domino System. Steps are as follows:

In Windows 2000, open the Control Panel, double-click the Network and Dial-up Connections icon, double-click Local Area Connection, click the Properties button, and select "File And Printer Sharing For Microsoft Networks".

In Windows NT, open the Control Panel, double-click the Network icon, click the Services tab, select the server icon, and then click the Properties button. These options will appear:
1. Minimum Memory Used
2. Balance
3. Maximize data throughput for file sharing
4. Maximize data throughput for network applications

If your system is running with minimum memory you may select "Maximum data throughput for network applications." In a worst-case scenario select "minimum memory used." Select "Maximum data throughput for file sharing," which is the default, if your server has enough memory. This will optimize physical disk activities.

Fragmented disks

Another way to aid your server is through defragging, which consolidates files and folders on local volumes. Fragmented disk drives will degrade performance drastically. You may defragment disk drives as frequently as every 10 days.

Do you have comments on this tip? Let us know.

This tip was submitted to the SearchDomino.com tip exchange by member Suminda Dissanayake. Please let others know how useful it is via the rating scale below. Do you have a useful Notes/Domino tip or code to share? Submit it to our bimonthly tip contest and you could win a prize and a spot in our Hall of Fame.

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