What is the Domino Configuration Tuner?
The Domino Configuration Tuner (DCT) evaluates server settings according to a growing catalog of best practices. All servers in a single domain can be evaluated together. DCT generates reports that explain the issues DCT uncovers, suggest mitigations, and provide references to supporting publications.
DCT is intended to provide customers with easy-to-use self-service configuration analysis so that their installations are more robust and experience better performance. A single Domino server includes thousands of configuration options. DCT provides best practice analysis as well as worst practice disclosure. It is our expectation that DCT will help reduce total cost of ownership by assisting in the identification of existing configuration problems.
DCT looks at settings in Server documents, NOTES.INI, and database advanced properties. Configuration settings are flagged when their values are know to cause problems based on prior customer experience. Out-of-range and unexpected values are reported so that undefined behavior can be prevented. Suggested adjustments help administrators achieve known server performance improvements.
Domino Configuration Tuner is delivered as an Notes Template File (NTF). Download DCT
to your Notes Data directory. Then, create a DCT.NSF database using the NTF file, and open that database with Notes 8.0 or higher.
It is available free of charge. DCT is also available as part of the 8.5 Domino Administrator.
Movie, Slide Show & Screen Shot
Watch this movie
, complete with audio narrative. Enjoy this slide presentation
Here is a stand alone screen shot
. A scan of many servers has generated the report. Individual entries of the report can be selected via the bottom left of the page, sorted by server, rule or severity. The an entry for the server Aerosmith/Iris has been selected. The right hand side displays details for that entry. Notice that links to on-line references provide comprehensive context about the configuration option.
DCT will evaluate any version of Domino.
Its rule catalog is specifically tailored to understand Domino 7.0 and later. There are no required changes to a domain configuration in order to take advantage of DCT because it just an observer. Being a template, DCT runs on the Notes client, standard or basic, version 8 and later
, only under MS Windows. DCT does not require use of the Domino Administration client.
For every Domino server being targeted, the Notes ID being used must have at least read access to the Domino Directory as well as 'View only administrators' access as defined in server documents.
DCT rules are based on the accumulated knowledge about Domino configuration. Many rules are based on preexisting documents available from IBM Support. Many have been created as a direct response to known customer problems. All rules are reviewed by Domino development team members. Every report includes linked references to supporting publications whenever available. The intention is to provide Domino administrators with as much context as possible so that they can make well informed configuration choices.
DCT for public beta 2 will include preferences, which is a list of all the rules. This will allow individual rules to be disabled. You can also visit the sister N/D wiki
post for a rule (a best practice) if the post exists. 73 of the current 90 beta 2 rules have sister wiki posts. All details about Domino, OS and hardware variations that apply to a configuration option are listed in the wiki post. The DCT rule honors those variations. For example, the absence of DEBUG_PD_NAGLE_OFF
from NOTES.INI is not reported by DCT for Domino 8.5 or when the server is running under MS Windows.
Any best practice included in a DCT report which has a sister N/D wiki post will include a link to that post. Wiki comments regarding any best practice are immediately available to the community at large. The wiki is monitored for rule corrections.
The 73 wiki posts can be found under the Best Practice
tag, if you want to see them all together prior to beta 2. Entries that end with the following statement are implemented as a DCT rule: "This setting is included in the DCT catalog of best practices as of Domino 8.5".
The DCT rules catalog is stored in DCT.NTF. When a NSF is created from the NTF, the rules are in the NSF, too. When 'Check for Updates' pulls down a new set of rules, it actually pulls a new template with those rules. The NSF used to 'Check for Updates' automatically receives that new template design. All other replicas of that NSF will get the updated design, which includes the rule catalog. If there are other DCT databases that are not replicas of that first NSF, the design of those databases need to be refreshed manually, using the newly downloaded DCT.NTF.
DCT vs. DDM
Domino Domain Monitoring
(DDM) is a run-time server feature. DDM is great for detecting, understanding and acting on run time issues.
Domino Configuration Tuner (DCT) is a client based static analysis tool. DCT is great for detecting a wide variety of server configuration issues. It evaluates server settings according to a growing catalog of best practices. All servers in a single domain can be evaluated together. DCT generates reports that explain the issues DCT uncovers, suggest mitigations, and provide references to supporting publications.
DCT is intended to provide customers with easy-to-use self-service configuration analysis so that their installations are more robust and experience better performance. DCT will provide Domino support staff with a base-line assessment when initiating customer engagements. A single Domino server includes thousands of configuration options - DCT provides best practice analysis as well as worst practice disclosure. It is our expectation that DCT will help reduce total cost of ownership by assisting in the identification of existing configuration problems.
This first revision of DCT looks at settings in Server documents, NOTES.INI, and database properties. Configuration settings are flagged when their values are know to cause problems based on prior customer experience. Out-of-range and unexpected values are reported so that undefined behavior can be prevented. Suggested adjustments help administrators achieve known server performance improvements.
Unlike DDM, improvements to DCT are available to any customer free of charge. Improvements are periodically posted on the internet and available for download (very much like virus detection definitions). DCT works with Domino 7.0 and later. The catalog of best practices understands configuration behavioral differences between versions of Domino and tailors the generated reports accordingly. Unlike DDM, there are no required changes to a customer domain configuration in order to take advantage of DCT evaluation.
Architecture and Development
Investigation into DCT was started back in January of 2007. The original specification was discarded and completely revamped. The charter was to improve server behavior for versions already in the field. The DCT project was 'forbidden' from imposing upgrade requirement. That is why DCT focuses on static configuration. DCT can assess and evaluate any version of Domino.
We wanted to hold the same high standard for Notes, which is why DCT is a template, not a Domino Administrator client feature. Originally, we had targeted Notes version 7.0 as the application platform. But we found that living without Java version 5.0 was just too painful. That is why the Notes minimum required version is 8.0.
Many features, like 'Check For Updates' are based on Lotus Script. The rules are defined as XML. At the core of the evaluation engine is the Saxon implementation of XQuery. Being able to express rules and in XQuery was a huge win. Server evaluation is all Java, but of course in the end there is plenty of Notes C code that executes. We needed a Java to C interface for behavior not exposed by the Notes back-end classes, so we created a JNI DLL. Do not attempt to use any interface defined in DCT.DLL, DCT.JAR, QUICKTUNE.JAR, CONFIG.XML, DCT.NTF or any other component of DCT. Every interface is subject to change without notice.
The development team considers DCT to be two significant components. First is the indispensable but relatively modest collection of code that is the application. We've had a lot of fun building it for you. Second and most important is our centerpiece, the automated knowledge base. You can expect the catalog of rules to continue to grow and become available. The intention is to programmatically accumulated and share knowledge for the greater good of the Domino community.
Credits and Acknowledgements
There are many, many people that contributed content, advice, direction and feedback. The DCT core development team extends a heart felt thanks to every contributor for their efforts. It has been a humbling exercise to assemble this list. These are the people that really made the difference! DCT is better for your contributions. Our apologies to anybody who has been inadvertently excluded from these acknowledgements. Stay tuned for future revisions!
The Global DCT Community
All Domino Design Partners, members of the beta program, and early deployment customers have helped tremendously. There have been more than 40 people participating from 23 companies. Thank you.
DCT got out-the-door because of wonderful contributions from the following team mates. Thank you.
Amy Reuss Caton, Andrew Eisenberg, Andrew Nolet, Ann Innis, Ayla Lari, Ben Pontrello, Bill Hume, Bob Balaban, Bob Schloss, Bob Stachel, Brent Davis, Brian Arnett, Brian Gallagher, Brian Richards, Brian Van Schaick, Carolynn McCarthy, Chad Scott, Collin Murray, Constance Martin-Wilson, Dan Rosato, Dave Davidson, David Attardo, David Kern, David Ogle, Debra B Thomas, Dominique Evans, Don Chamberlin, Ed Brill, Ed Knowlton, Eric Thibodeau, Gail Hughes, Gary Rheaume, George Demetriou, Ghislain Busque, Gilles Carrier, Greg Pflaum, Harry Murray, Ignacio Gende, Ilene Seelemann, James Cooper, Janet Thomas, Jason LaVoie, Jeff Eisen, Jeff Mitchell, Jennifer Kelley, Jenny Szawlewicz, Jerome Simeon, Jim Kirkpatrick, Jim Puckett, Jim Rouleau, Joanna Dapkevich, Joe Malek, John Curtis, John Paganetti, John Roman, John Woods, Julie Kadashevich, Kar Chung, Katherine Holden, Kathie Collins, Kathleen Henault, Kathleen Smith, Ken Brunsen, Ken Hampson, Ken Lin, Kevin Cavanaugh, Kristin Keene, Leah Busque, Leanne Newton, Leslie Steele, LotusLarry Mancini, Maher Samman, Margaret Rora, Mark Costello, Mark Skurla, Mary Jrolf, Mary Pagucci, Melissa A Klein, Melora Goosey, Meredith Roman, Merrill Kashiwabara, Michael Fraenkel, Michele Franklin, Mike Barcomb, Mike Gagnon, Mike Kerrigan, Murray Hurvitz, Neil Graham, Nirmala Venkatraman, Paul Dell'Anno, Peter Mierswa, Peter Rubinstein, Philip Fratini, Pietro Torchia, Raj Patil, Ralph LeBlanc, Razeyah Stephen, Rich Buck, Rich Epstein, Rob Gearhart, Robert Bishop, Robert Ingram, Robert McDonald, Russ Holden, Sam McNulty, Scott Boag, Scott Hopper, Scott Davidson, Scott Morris, Scott Puls, Scott Vrusho, Sharon Adler, Silvia S Pighin, Steve Gerdt, Steve Watts, Sudhakar Gaddam, Sumeet Toprani, Susan Bulloch, Susan Ricercato, Tim Southgate, Todd Flolo, Tracey Nolander, Varad M Rajulu, Vinod Seraphin, Vittorio de Gioia, William Whelan
Core Development Team
These are the folks that did the heavy lifting.
Amy "Word" Smith
Art "Here to Help" Thomas
Brian "I can do that for you" Arffa
Greg "Ironman of Automation" Grunwald
Harry "This is Fun" Peebles
Irene "Coding Gorilla" Ros
Keith "Island Man" LaMotte
Margaret "Elvis" Flood
Paul "Poolside" Roberge
Robert "The Very Best Chip Ever" Carter
Scott "Bring Six Up" O'Keefe
Thomas "Mr. Perfect" Gumz
William "The New Guy" Cahill
QuickTunin' Admin your so fine