Lotus Domino has long been a solid platform for organizations that want to have a powerful groupware package and an alternative to Microsoft Exchange. As powerful as it is, Domino isn't the easiest piece of software to install on the platform. You need to carefully plan and make the proper choices to successfully install it. Here's what you need to know about installing Domino 6.
Look before you leap
Proper planning is essential to implementing Domino in your organization. Without proper planning, you are going to have a mess on your hands, especially if your Domino implementation consists of multiple Domino servers. Before you begin following the steps below, I recommend reading the Daily Drill Down "How to prepare before deploying Lotus Domino." For the purposes of this article, I will be installing Domino Version 6 onto a server that's running Windows Server 2003.
Selecting your hardware
Before installing Domino, you must make sure that your hardware is up to par. The Lotus Web site isn't very clear on exactly what Domino's hardware requirements are. Therefore, I went to several other Web sites looking for the requirements. One site indicated that the minimums are a Windows 2000 Server with 256 MB of RAM and 4 GB of free hard disk space. Another site suggested that you need to have a minimum of 75 MB of free disk space for every Domino user. While it's obvious that Domino is hungry for hard disk space, I would also recommend beefing up the memory and CPU.
I would suggest having at least 512 MB of RAM in your server. However, you might want to increase this number if the server is going to have more than a few Domino users, is going to be running other server applications, or is going to have multiple processors. Likewise, I have spoken to several people who tell me that although Domino will run on a single processor, it runs much more efficiently on two- or four-processor servers.
Finally, before installing Domino, I recommend taking some time to optimize your server. Any time that you see Domino performance benchmarks from the different hardware manufacturers, those benchmarks are based on optimized servers. Optimizing a server isn't an exact science. At a minimum, though, I would recommend disabling any services that aren't critical for running Domino. This will improve both performance and security. After Domino is installed, you can also use the Performance Monitor to watch how Domino is using hardware resources. This is a great way of finding out if your server has sufficient RAM and CPU resources.
Unlike most software you've ever run, you don't install Domino directly from the installation CD by running a Setup wizard. Instead, begin the installation process by copying the C493WNA.EXE executable file to a place on your system's hard disk that has plenty of free space. This file is almost 240 MB in size, so it may take some time to copy. Although it's possible to run the program directly from the CD-ROM, IBM doesn't recommend it because it will execute much more slowly from the CD than it will from disk. Running the file from your hard drive will make the installation much faster.
When you have copied the executable file, double-click it to begin the installation process. It will take a few minutes for the executable to unzip all of the necessary files and launch the Installation Wizard. When the Installation Wizard does eventually start, click Next to bypass the Welcome screen. When you do, the Installation Wizard will display the end user license agreement. Click Yes to accept the agreement.
On the following screen, you'll be asked to enter your name and the name of your company. More importantly, though, this screen contains a check box at the bottom of the screen that says Partitioned Server Installation. You would select this check box if you were planning to install multiple partitions simultaneously. In Domino, you use partitions if you plan on having multiple instances of Domino Server running. For the purposes of this article, though, I will be installing Domino on a non-partitioned server.
After you click Next, the Installation Wizard will ask you for the path to the Domino program folder and the Domino data folder. By default, the program folder is set to C:\LOTUS\DOMINO and the data folder is set to C:\LOTUS\DOMINO\DATA. If possible, I recommend placing the data onto a different partition or physical disk than the program folder resides on. This will give you better data security and better overall system performance.
Click Next and you'll see a screen that asks you which type of Domino Server you want to install. Your choices are:
- Domino Utility Server: Setup will install a Domino Server that provides application services only. This particular server mode does not support the messaging services. An interesting side note about the Domino Utility Server mode is that it removes the client license requirements that exist with other installation modes and in earlier versions of Domino. The Domino Utility Server Mode is also compatible with Domino clusters.
- Domino Messaging Server: In this mode, Domino is configured to provide the messaging services, but it does not offer support for the application services or for Domino clusters.
- Domino Enterprise Server: This mode supports both messaging and applications and also Domino clusters. This is the mode that I will be using for this article.
After selecting the Domino Enterprise Server option, click the Customize button. This will allow you to control the specifics of the installation rather than just using a generic, one-size-fits-all installation.
Upon clicking the Change button, you'll see a screen that lists the individual Domino components and the amount of space consumed by each of those components. You can use this screen to select the components that you want to install and to deselect those components that you don't need.
I should mention that although Setup allows you to install or not install components of your choice, it doesn't mean that all of the components on the list are optional. For example, the Data Files component is an absolute requirement. The only time that you would want to perform an installation without having this component selected would be if you were reinstalling Domino and didn't want to overwrite the existing data files. Other required components include the Program Files and the Template Data Files. Both the Notes Performance Monitor and Help files are optional, but it is advisable to install them if you have the disk space available.
Most of the components include multiple subcomponents that can be enabled or disabled. You can access the subcomponent lists by selecting a component and then clicking the Change button. Once a subcomponent list is displayed, you can enable or disable the various subcomponents by selecting or deselecting the corresponding check box. Again, be careful about deselecting required subcomponents.
Once you have selected all of the desired components, click the Next button to continue with the installation process. Set up will now ask you the name of the program folder to place Domino into. Normally, you would want to use the default selection of Lotus Applications and click Next.
At this point, Setup will begin copying all of the necessary files. When the copy process completes, you'll see a Thank You For Installing Domino message. Click Finish to close the Setup program. You'll then need to restart your server.
After Setup completes, the real work begins. Start out by clicking Start | All Programs | Lotus Applications | Lotus Domino Server. When you do, Windows will launch yet another Domino Server Setup wizard. Click Next to bypass the Welcome screen and you'll see a screen asking whether this is the first Domino Server in your organization or if this server will be added to an existing Domino organization.
For the purposes of this article, I'm assuming that this is your first Domino server. Therefore, select the Set Up The First Server Or A Stand Alone Server radio button and click Next to continue.
On the next screen, you are asked to provide a server name and description. Keep in mind that Windows already requires your servers to each have a unique name. Because of this, I recommend using your Windows Server name as your Domino Server name. You can enter anything that you want for a description, but I recommend using something that will help others to figure out the server's role. After you've entered the server name and description, click Next to continue.
The next screen that you will see is probably the most important screen that I have talked about yet because it asks for several critical pieces of information. You can see what this screen looks like in Figure A.
|Be careful when entering your organization name and certifier password.|
First, you must enter a name for your Domino organization. This process should not be taken lightly, because the name that you choose here will become a part of each server name and each Domino user name. Lotus recommends using your company name, but stresses that you should keep the name short. For example, if you work for Acme Corporation, then you would want to set your organization name to Acme and not Acme Corporation. Although it is important to keep the organization name short, the name must be at least three characters long.
The other important step that you must take is to set the password for your organization's certifier. Remember that the certifier is the key to Domino's security, so this really needs to be a strong password.
After specifying this information, click Next, and you'll be prompted for the Domino domain name. In Windows, a domain is a collection of servers that service a specific user base, usually based on geographic proximity or job function. A Domino domain is similar. A Domino domain is simply a collection of Domino servers that services a particular set of Domino users.
You can configure the Domino domain structure to match the Windows Domain structure, but you must understand that the Domino domain and the Windows domain function entirely separately, even if they share a common name. When choosing a name for your Domino domain, you can use the name of your Windows domain, you can use the name of the Domino organization, or you can come up with any other name that you like.
The next step in setting up a Domino Server is to configure the Administrator's account. This is a little different from Windows. In Windows, the Administrator's account is built in. In Domino, it's up to you to designate a user as the Administrator. Domino asks you for the first, middle, and last names of the designated administrator and then asks you to provide a password for the user. If you want several people to administer the Domino organization, you can simply specify the last name only. For example, you could set the last name to ADMIN and then distribute the assigned username and password to your administrative staff. Of course, I recommend using something more obscure than ADMIN for security reasons.
The next screen that you will encounter asks which Internet services you want to set up. By default, basic Notes and Domino services will be set up automatically. However, you also have the option of selecting Web Browsers, Internet Mail Clients, and Directory Services. If you are only planning to use the server for basic Notes and Domino services, then I recommend only selecting the Directory Services option and clicking Next.
The following screen is mostly informational in nature. It indicates which network port drivers have been detected on the machine. Normally, this list will include TCP/IP and NetBIOS Over TCP/IP. Set up will also designate a host name for the machine. The machine's host name follows the format of computer_name.domain_name.com. For example, my server name was Homer and my domain name was Test, therefore my host name was homer.test.com. If you need to modify your port drivers or your host name for any reason, you can do so by clicking the Customize button. Otherwise, just click Next to continue.
The next portion of Setup is intended to help you make Domino more secure. Set up explains that for the sake of security, anonymous access to all databases and templates should be prohibited. Likewise, the LocalDomainAdmins group should be given Manager access to all databases and templates. This screen contains two check boxes that are selected by default. These check boxes are used to implement the recommended security configurations. Normally, you would go with the defaults on this screen unless you had some compelling reason to change Domino's security.
Click Next and you will see a screen that summarizes the various configuration options that you have chosen. If you are satisfied with these options, click the Setup button and Setup will begin to apply the configuration. After a couple of minutes, you will see a screen indicating that Setup is now complete. Click the Finish button to close the Server Setup wizard.
Ready to go
After you've configured Lotus Domino on your network, you're ready to begin using it. Set up the mailboxes for your users and deploy the Lotus Notes client to workstations. Once that's taken care of, you're done!