Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Lotusphere 2012: Mobile, more Notes, and the shortest IBM product name ever


By Mick Moignard

Last week, we discussed some new features in the Notes client, and the exciting news of the Notes browser plugin. This week, we've got more mobile, more Notes, and -- hang onto your hats -- the shortest iBM product name we've ever seen!

So let's go mobile.

Firstly, there's a range of functionality and device enhancements

For Androids, there's to be support for monthly calendars and ToDos, and updates to the tablet UI. For iOS (at last!), support for ToDos. There's also to be support for Windows Mobile devices, now that Nokia and HTC seem to be starting to make progress with their new Windows phones. There are also some security enhancements in the area of data loss prevention, in copy/paste prevention, and app-level passwording on Android.

Next is the provision of a new Tivoli end-point manager for mobile that will integrate with Traveler, offering a more complete mobile management solution that should help if your mobile infrastructure is beyond mail and goes into applications as well. It should also help get a firmer grip on the BYOD problem, by further managing what is corporate and what is personal data.

But for many companies the announcement of High Availability for Traveler will be most welcome. I have to say, in my experience, Traveler ... just ... works, and so the pressure is more from the point of managing a large deployment than because Traveler is unreliable.

The clustering issue up to now with Traveler is that each server has its own rDBMS that it uses to store state information, and this doesn't cluster. So, where more users are required than a single server can handle, multiple servers are required, but up till now there's been no load balancing and no failover.

That's all to change. It's not by the use of Domino clustering per se, but that the rDBMS can now be shared across several Traveler servers. That in itself is likely to require another server (or servers, if a single point of failure is to be avoided).

The Traveler servers are themselves front-ended by some sort of round-robin IP sprayer or load balancing proxy, which will itself require some session affinity functionality. The set of Traveler servers can then all see and interact with the set of available Domino mail servers. Sounds good, no?

More Notes and Domino news

In the OGS, it took 90 minutes to get to mention Notes and Domino, but in the 15 minutes spent there it generated more buzz in the hall than anything else did. As I hope you can see, while this set of announcements didn't exactly set the house on fire, there's enough in there to show that there is more to come from Notes and Domino.

IBM are adding new features and functionality. Indeed Alastair Rennie, the General Manager for Collaboration Solutions, assured me that Notes and Domino are core and valued components of the IBM Collaboration Solutions portfolio and will continue to exist and be developed.