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  1. #1

    Lotus Domino Hosting

    Hi,

    I was thinking about offering this as a service. It's a niche market, but I am wondering if "too niche" for a start-up to penetrate.

    Is there even a markt for a newcomer?

    Thanks in advance,

    Ian.

  2. #2
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    hey, i currently use notes in work (as i work for the developers) and i know that it is most likely too niche, unless of course you are able to offer it far cheaper than exhcange hosting, so you are looking at less than $9.99 a mailbox.

    After using the domino/notes system for past 11 months i know its stable and does what it does, also be wary that notes/domino version 8 is currently in testing and due out in next few months
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  3. #3
    Hi,

    thanks for the feedback. It is quite stable, as long as people don't try to do stupid things with it (like having databases will 2.5+ million documents). Version 8.0.1 is out now, infact. I must admit, I wasn't thinking of trying to charge on a per mailbox basis, as I see Domino more as an application platform, then as an email system. Having said that, I'm not sure what basis to charge it on.

    Having looked at Prominic, there appears to be a bewildering array of combinations of pricing.

    It looks like there is a good margin to be had, if you include clustering, etc.

    Thanks again,

    Ian.

  4. #4
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    One of my major clients runs Domino also, in a company of about 40 full time employees. Is a stable environment for sure. I haven't found many Domino hosts out there, so it may be an area to explore. I do know our Domino consultant/developer has found that he is not getting a lot of new Domino/Notes business these days and has branched out into a lot more RoR dev. So, I know that the market is not full, but the question really is about demand.

    I have talked to CoreFusion (corefusion.com) about offsite Domino replication, but unfortunately the size of my particular client's needs are a lot bigger than a hosting provider can reasonably provide without a massive upgrade in connectivity to that office.

    Also: Notes 8 is neat, I like it a lot, but it isn't playing nicely with our Office 2007 setup.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Mystikk View Post
    One of my major clients runs Domino also, in a company of about 40 full time employees. Is a stable environment for sure. I haven't found many Domino hosts out there, so it may be an area to explore. I do know our Domino consultant/developer has found that he is not getting a lot of new Domino/Notes business these days and has branched out into a lot more RoR dev. So, I know that the market is not full, but the question really is about demand.

    I have talked to CoreFusion (corefusion.com) about offsite Domino replication, but unfortunately the size of my particular client's needs are a lot bigger than a hosting provider can reasonably provide without a massive upgrade in connectivity to that office.

    Also: Notes 8 is neat, I like it a lot, but it isn't playing nicely with our Office 2007 setup.
    You could always ditch Office for Lotus Symphony.

    As a Domino consultant myself, it is obvious that there is a downturn in the usage. IBM reckons it's neck and neck with Exchange, but it doesn't seem to bear out in the real world.

    I'm a bit surprised at what you said about the off-site replication. Just out of interest, what kind of size are you talking about? There are ways and means of improving all these things, so it's not just about big pipes... more to do with the number of changes in the database and how frequently replicate.

    I regularly deal with the replication of hundreds of replicas of between 20-40gb each on a corporate network (although the pipes are quite big ).

  6. #6
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    MrMur:
    This particular site has an installation of about 70 GB total, but the size of attachments and so forth (custom CMS built on Notes) is pretty darned big. In their line of business, just about everything is graphics/CAD/photos, i.e. large!

    The problem is not so much the size of the pipe to replicate (though we have had problems from time to time replicating some data to an offsite office for that reason), but adding that to the load on the current connection and the cost of having a server that big offsite.

    I would love to have an offsite backup setup somewhere for the Notes databases and the other 20 GB or so that are started/changed daily, but we don't have the pipes there, or for that matter the infrastructure to put the pipes in in a cost effective manner :/ It's an old neighbourhood and the options are somewhat limited.

    And re: Office 2007 not playing well with Notes 8? Let's just say that Notes 8 will roll out long before Office 2007 does LOL. We have the licensing to do both, and we know which "upgrade" is more important.

  7. #7
    Mystikk:

    So are you saying that a 1/3 of the data changes on a daily basis? Ouch!

    My rough estimates make it a 2mbit throughput, not including TCP + Domino overheads. With relatively few documents (I assume), at least the overhead of Domino itself shouldn't be too bad.

    The cost of a server offsite shouldn't be that bad, IMHO. The disk subsystem need not be superfast, as it's only dealing with replication, which is a linear process at the task level (and throttled by the bandwidth).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMur View Post
    Mystikk:

    So are you saying that a 1/3 of the data changes on a daily basis? Ouch!

    My rough estimates make it a 2mbit throughput, not including TCP + Domino overheads. With relatively few documents (I assume), at least the overhead of Domino itself shouldn't be too bad.

    The cost of a server offsite shouldn't be that bad, IMHO. The disk subsystem need not be superfast, as it's only dealing with replication, which is a linear process at the task level (and throttled by the bandwidth).
    No, I meant 10-20 GB of data daily outside Notes/Domino, i.e. reports, designs etc etc. And it doesn't compress well either, due to nature of the files. Current projects (files, reports, CAD, photos, GIS etc) and the Notes databases currently take up about 750 - 800 GB of space. We are using other means to take our backups offsite .. automated offsite would be nice, but not really all that doable at present. Not exactly a Notes issue but a complicater, certainly.

    This is rather offtopic, but I think I would like to move the initial mail processing and website offsite, to clean off spam and the like, and also to provide a frontline MX server, with the current onsite being the secondary MX. This would remove some load on the network connection and on the server itself.

    By the way, this is not a knock on Notes/Domino or anything like that .. more a description of a business that is small, but makes a lot of uncompressible data daily!! Notes/Domino works very well for them, but basically the nature of their business makes life a bit difficult.

  9. #9
    Well, it's not that off-topic, as I am trying to judge what kind of requirements I might have presented to me Indeed, if there is a market...

    So far the kinds of things I am hearing are:-

    Off-site replication for resiliency;
    Off-site 'frontline' server to clean spam before it uses bandwidth back to customers premisis.

  10. #10
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    i would love to see notes offered like this, maybe on a diskspace usage limit, i run a small hosting company and want to move away from runnign our mail on a linux server to a hosted solution, and seeing as i use notes 10 hrs a day in work id love to be able to use it at home, keep us updated as to what you decided, you can even pm me with pricing if u want
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by OutHOST View Post
    i would love to see notes offered like this, maybe on a diskspace usage limit, i run a small hosting company and want to move away from runnign our mail on a linux server to a hosted solution, and seeing as i use notes 10 hrs a day in work id love to be able to use it at home, keep us updated as to what you decided, you can even pm me with pricing if u want
    I've had a look at the licensing and have contacted IBM to clarify a few things. What's really confusing me is that a lot of the licensing talks about internal and external access, in terms of your organisation. For example, it is totally not clear whether I could buy seat licences and then bundle them up with added services, such as backups, etc. The express offering looks interesting for email-only because you don't need a extra licence for the server, so you could easily run a secondary server on a tight replication schedule to give you some resiliency and the ability to backup without paying for expensive openfile solutions.

    You talking about moving away from mail on Linux, but I was thinking of Domino on Linux, again to keep the server licensing cost down.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrMur View Post
    You talking about moving away from mail on Linux, but I was thinking of Domino on Linux, again to keep the server licensing cost down.
    Im talking about moving away from our internal mail on exim, i would prefer to have our mail hosted on either exchange or notes, im aware that notes server runs on linux and tbh its better for it, seeing as windows hosted mail sucks
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  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by OutHOST View Post
    Im talking about moving away from our internal mail on exim, i would prefer to have our mail hosted on either exchange or notes, im aware that notes server runs on linux and tbh its better for it, seeing as windows hosted mail sucks
    Yeah, I did guess that it was the email solution you disliked, not the O/S .

    Can't see MS porting Exchange to Linux any time soon.

    I'll see what IBM have to say... unfortunately, the viability depends on the small print of their licencing.

  14. #14
    Thanks for everyone's useful feedback, by the way.

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