Stampede puts some zip in Lotus Domino nets

Stampede Technologies has what every Lotus Domino network eventually needs -- more speed.

The company last week released Version 4.0 of its TurboGold acceleration engine for Lotus Notes and Domino. The software supercharges mail routing between Domino servers and replication between Notes clients and Domino servers, cutting bandwidth usage and replication time. It also has a new set of reporting capabilities that help customers track performance gains and user activity.

As administrators know, Domino doesn't always exhibit the most efficient use of bandwidth. TurboGold's server-to-server mail routing uses a combination of online caching, compression and data streaming that the company claims can halve the amount of traffic between servers. The software does not make any changes to the native mail routing in Domino. It is the same basic technology earlier versions of TurboGold use to speed traffic between clients and servers.

Lotus is adding similar compression and datastreaming features to the next version of Notes/Domino called RNext. But until users complete full upgrades to RNext, which won't ship until next year, they won't see performance gains. TurboGold works with Lotus Notes/Domino 4.5 and higher.

"If you are a distributed organization, then you will be replicating across a large number of servers," says Dana Gardner, an analyst with Aberdeen Group. "You want to optimize use of the bandwidth resources and speed up the process. If you can take care of both of those in one fell swoop, that is a compelling proposition."

Stampede also has added controls that speed replication between the Notes client and Domino server. The controls let end users specify a limit on the size of attachments that are automatically downloaded. Large attachments can be left on the server and only downloaded when needed.

"We have 80 to 85 people using an 800 number to dial in, and if we can cut the download times, it cuts our bills," says Mike Bohlken, manager of application development for Red Wing Shoe. "This product runs in the background and the user doesn't have to do anything. It's not an invasive product, and I like that."

Version 4.0 of TurboGold also accelerates the distribution of Lotus deletion stubs. The stubs are used in replication so the server where a document was deleted can tell other servers to delete their replicated copies. The stubs are sent between Domino Servers every time replication happens and can generate a sizeable amount of traffic. Stampede also has added the ability to set TurboGold to run as a low-priority service on Windows NT and 2000 servers. The feature previously was only available on IBM's AIX RS/6000 pSeries platforms.

"It's a nice configuration feature that guarantees TurboGold won't get in the way of other services that are critical to the business," says Gordon Dorworth, Stampede CEO.

In TurboGold 4.0, Stampede also has added new administrative tools that monitor replication, a sort of proof-of-concept feature that graphically shows the performance improvements generated by TurboGold.

The TurboGold server runs on Windows NT and 2000; and IBM AS/400 iSeries and RS/6000 pSeries. The advanced edition is priced at $2,300 and $7,900 depending on platform. The client runs on Windows NT, 95, 98, 2000 and Millennium Edition. Client pricing runs from $59 to $125 based on volumme.

Stampede: www.stampede.com

This story, "Stampede puts some zip in Lotus Domino nets" was originally published by Network World.

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