|Inbox maintenance is a key factor in improving overall server performance, especially in larger organizations. This article provides an overview of tools available to Adminstrators to help manage users' mail file Inboxes.
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|A higher number of documents contained within the mail file Inbox creates extra work for Domino mail servers. The Update task must perform more processing to maintain the sort order in the View Index when new mail is added, or old ones deleted. When one considers the cumulative effect of many hundreds or thousands of mail files in large organizations, Inbox management is a key factor in maintaining performance and stability of the environment.|
This article provides Administrators with some tips on how to keep control of an ever growing estate of mail files.
Using Inbox maintenance to manage mail file size
The Inbox maintenance feature is designed to improve server performance by reducing the size of users' Inboxes in mail files. This has the effect of reducing the View Index size for $Inbox and also reduces the amount of work the Update task must perform.
When you enable the Inbox maintenance feature, the Administration Process periodically runs the Inbox Maintenance agent on each users' home mail server. The Inbox Maintenance agent resides in the mail template, MAIL8x.NTF. The agent removes documents from the Inbox based on settings you define in the Server document or the mail policy settings document. These documents are still stored in the mail file and can be accessed via the All Document view.
There are two methods to enable the Inbox maintenance feature; both in the Domino Directory (names.nsf). The first, is in the Server Document; Server Tasks -> Administration Process tab. The second is in the Mail Policy document; Mail -> Basics tab. The settings that are specified in the Server document override the Inbox Maintenance settings in the mail policy settings document. Administrators should therefore choose one method only, based on the following strategy:
- Goal: Implement Inbox maintenance globally on the mail server (Use Server document).
- Goal: Implement Inbox maintenance selectively to a subset of users or groups (Use Policy Document).
For further information, read Using Inbox Maintenance to manage mail file size, in the IBM Lotus Domino Administrator Information Center.
Quota Enforcement Options
For a beginner's guide, read Understanding Quotas for IBM Lotus Domino Mail Databases.
Administrators have a number of options available to enforce (or not) mail file quotas. The options available differ in strength of enforcement and help Administrators to implement organization policy. Administrators can set two thresholds; warning level and maximum level, and whether the maximum level is enforced. Notifications can be sent to user's Inbox to give early warning that they are close to exceeding their mail file size quota.
Administrators have three options of quota enforcement. These options are outlined in figure 1 and instruct the mail router how to treat mail addressed to an over-quota user.
|Over Quota Enforcement||Description|
|Delivery Anyway||Use this if quotas will not be enforced by the mail router. This is the default setting.|
|Non Deliver to Originator||New messages are not delivered and returned to the sender. They are informed that the message could not be delivered because the recipient's mail file was full.|
|Hold mail and retry||New messages are held in the MAIL.BOX. Further options must be set to refine behavior. Administrators need to be aware that using this setting can lead to very large MAIL.BOX sizes if large messages are held for long periods.|
For further information, read Setting Quota controls for the router, in the IBM Lotus Domino Administrator Information Center
Quotas with DAOS Enabled
When calculating the size of a mail file to determine whether it conforms to configured mail quota or warning threshold limits, the server treats attachments stored using the DAOS as though each user owned the entirety of the attachment file. Therefore the full size of the attachment in every message delivered to a mail file counts towards the mail file quota. Likewise, when a user deletes a message, the full size of the message is removed from the mail file quota.
The actual file size of the mail database that uses attachment consolidation therefore does not necessarily reflect its logical size. For example, a user's mail file might exceed its quota limit of 100MB even though the physical size of the file is only 65MB. IBM Technote #1405456 discusses how DAOS functions with Mail Quotas.
Administrators familiar with earlier versions of Domino may have viewed the Space Used column in the Files tab of the Domino Administrator. The Space Used column gave an indication of the actual amount of data stored within the NSF file, as opposed to blank space. Note that Domino 8.5 saw the last of the Space Used Column. For further information, read the DAOS and The Space Used Column wiki article.
Enforcing Quotas on Local Replicas
If a quota is set on a server-based replica, by default the quota is not enforced in a local replica and neither are quota warning notifications displayed. Administrators can configure their environments so a quota warning is displayed when users attempt to create a new mail message or calendar invitation on a local replica.
IBM Technote #1247798 provides a comprehensive guide to the procedure for implementing this feature.