Lotus Alive: Lotus Administration for Everyone

February 5, 2013  10:32 PM

Blackberry 10 – The King is Dead…Long live the King!

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

Last week I was in Orlando at IBM Connect. I was able to see the new Blackberry10 get released . I was also able to play with it, touch it, and learn more about why it is the device that fits both of your worlds, fun and business. I can tell you it is a really neat device that is fast, and is a whole new way of thinking made very easy.

Full disclosure : I am a Mac Users. I have a 17″ Macbook, a few iPads, and iPod, and an iPhone5. I love my Apple products. They are simple and they work.

With that said the Blackberry10 is the device that will save the company. Yes, I said it, the BB10 is going to help turn around Blackberry and increase the sales globlaly.

There are a lot of people out there saying RIM or now Blackberry is done, over, finished, but they all fail to remember they still have a huge customer base. A customer base that is still growing and with two new devices about to come out plus the ability to manage all your devices in your Enterprise without buying anything new…can you say AWESOME!

The gadget heads out there only know gadgets are not able to measure the Blackberry. So if you look at it from a device level, then yes I can see that you would be explaining the soon to be demise of Blackberry. The gadget heads all forget about the companies, large companies that have invested in Blackberry, over the past 13+ years), because of it’s security and reliability. The gadget heads all forget about this part. They don’t understand business. All they understand is Angry Birds, texting and Facebook.

There are also the media tech types who have been waiting for Blackberry to fall, and while I find this to be nothing but FUD, it continues even after the BB10 launch. RIM started cleaning up house and reorganizing a year or so ago with the intentions of make the products and the company stronger. Any other company would have been applauded for this but Blackberry/RIM have suffer a year of people waiting outside the hospital room ready to rejoice when they pass away. In todays society I don’t know why we get excited when companies or people fail? We should want them to succeeded even if they stumble along the way. Blackberry will probably admit later that the Blackberry7 was not their best work and by no means helped, but it woke them up!

Blackberry has always been about making your data secure and connecting your back end systems to your front end mobile devices. They have made this very easy with the new devices and the new ways to connect.

Blackberry had a couple of missteps but they sat down and gave the world a good long think and came up with Blackberry10 and BES10. They are both going to change the way you do Mobile. The upside is for all you enterprise folks out there you don’t have to do all that much to get going. It’s the same reliable technology you have been using for over a decade. The new BES10 can also do MDM for iOS and Android devices. So no need to have that third party MDM laying around wasting more of your companies money. Throw it out! Use the BES10 (renamed from the Blackberry Fusion Server)

The Blackberry10 is hot, they are going to make you re-think mobile from the MDM level and the device level. Blackberry will not be able to win over the Apple and Android fan boys who don’t understand how secure mobile computing works, but they don’t have to. If you are a company and your IT shop is not looking at the new Blackberry10 for any reason you are clearly dealing with bias and prejudice and might want to rethink your mobile IT staff while you rethink your secure mobile device strategy.

There is a way to do easy reliable secure mobile computing and not sacrifice on the device side now and it’s call Blackberry10!

February 2, 2013  1:23 PM

IBM Connect 2013 (Lotusphere 2013)

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

IBM Connections just wrapped up in Orlando, Florida. For the past 20 years it’s been called Lotusphere and somehow I have been able to miss all of them (sarcasm) and was able to attend the inaugural event call IBM Connect.

Energy wise it is on the scale of a Mac World type event. The hype, celebrity and magic is on the same level. We have our own Steve Jobs, just not as bossy. The days are long but the week goes by so fast. The week really starts on Saturday when all the “community leaders” fly in and start enjoying everything Orlando and Disney have to offer. The bloggers and community people are very cool and very tight knit group. I was able to be on the fringes of this group of people. I think if I would have blogged more and been more involved I might have being in the inner circle. Maybe next year?  (I am kidding of course)

The opening session was everything I expected. Lots of great new ideas from IBM and people sharing the direction of IBM and the former Lotus product set.

The future is Social Media inside the company and outside the company. It’s funny how many people in companies are fighting social media. You can see them on Facebook and Twitter all day long using it and being social, but if you ask them to open up the companies multi million dollar deployment of IBM Connections they think you are crazy and have no idea why? Currently I work for a large Swedish company and we were featured in s a session, the adoption of the internal social site in North America has been lack luster, and I plan to change that starting next week.

The sessions were awesome. All but one was worth the time I spent seeing them. One of them was probably very useful for some people but the title and description were not what the speaker was actually covering so I left and found something else to listen to. No problems there. Down the one row of halls there were four or five other sessions that were up my alley.

I finally got the oprotunity to meet Mat Newman in person along with Bruce Elgort and his very relaxing wife Gayle who run Elguji Software. There were lots of others who I was meeting for the first time after talking to them online for years and even more people I never got the change to talk to. I guess that will happen next year?

The take away is this. Lotus might be a name that is behind of but there is one company on the face of the earth offering you a social solution that works. With a community of passionate people driving the innovation. There are faults with IBM and it’s products but they listen to the customers. They know they have to listen. This is why IBM Connect is so important.

I sure hope I get to attend 2014! Thanks for making my first IBM Connect an awesome one!

October 13, 2012  3:35 PM

No Politics Here

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

So it’s been a while since I have posted here and I think it’s time I post something. Sorry for the long delay. I have a post I am getting ready to explain why I have been gone and you will understand the complexity of what I have been working on.

It’s another political season and with that brings out the political comments. I am NOT going to get political but I am going to tell you why, from a technical perspective, no one gives a “rats rear end” about your political opinion.

Other technical people, new and old come to blogs like this to learn something by stay in tuned with the technology they support.

That is it!

If you think a Lotus Admin or Lotus Designer is remotely interested in your political opinions you could not be more wrong then you are right now.

Sadly I feel into this trap four years ago when I was using my own blog as a place to voice my political opinions. Others were doing it was well and frankly it got way out of hand so much so the Lotus Community was permanently fractured. The people who are still posting political opinions are the people who IMHO did the most harm and continue to. Harm is a funny word what it does is alienates Technical Professionals who might have engaged you to ignore you.

This bit of advise goes to people who own a small business, have a blog and talk politics. Frankly I don’ think it’s good for business and wonder how many potential customers you drive away with your politics. The number is not measurable since the people who will not do business with you are never going to call you and say “I would have used you but you our politics are very different.”, they are just not going to call you.

As the Lotus community continues to retract from the political post they are not slowing down. So if you are a Lotus Expert or Professional and you have a blog….or just an IT professional….keep the politics to yourself and stick to what you know. Most people know who they are going to vote for and don’t care what your opinion is, nor do they think you can sway them. Stick to what you know….technology….no one is going to argue with you there unless you are wrong and that can be proven one way or another where as politics is a matter of opinion.

April 22, 2012  7:32 PM

Lotus Administration eBooks?

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I was in the shower, that is where I do all of my good thinking, and I said to myself….the last great Domino Book I have is over 9 years old and a few versions back, I think version 6.

It might be high time to write a new book that  people can use. The problem is if you know the book I am talking about written one Brian Benz and Rocky Oliver called the Lotus Notes and Domino 6 Programming Bible and it’s well over 1032 pages of juicy Lotus goodness. I have one on my desk at work and one on my desk at home. Even though we are not on version 8.5.3 it’s still relevant to some extent.

I also know that Rocky and Brain slaved over this book for many many days getting to done. It was by no means easy. Still the normal book publishing community scoffs at books on or about Lotus Products. There are a few new books about this and that but nothing on the scale of THE BIBLE!

I was thinking about doing it in small easy to manage books one about each topic or section of the Administration and the server. I don’t know enough about Domino Designer to do much at all, but between the Lotus Domino Server, Lotus Notes, and the Administration Client I think there are about 20 – 30 books to be written. My feeling was to start with the easy stuff and build up but never write a book to deep so that you could pick up any of them and get something out of them. I think selling them for $1.99 or $2.99 each online would be a fair price, but I am going to need some help.

  1. Would you rather be one big book for one big price?
  2. or a bunch of small books for a small price?
  3. Do you think there is a market for this type of info?

April 7, 2012  11:15 AM

IBM OS/400 & Domino 8 Issues

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I have been fighting a problem at my current employers environment that has been hard to diagnose. The mail servers run on IBM’s Power Platform and iOS (OS/400) V5R4. The Domino version is 8.5.1 FP4. That said you would think that everything is going to be just fine. There is plenty of memory, plenty of CPU and about 1.5TB of extra disk space. Evertyhing should be perfect, but it’s not and you know this because I would not have started out by saying I was “fighting a problem”.

What was the problem?

There are two servers. One primary and one secondary. The majority of the users would run on the primary until it crashed then as expected would jump over to the secondary. Problem was when they started to move to the secondary the server would run up 300% CPU (Which is ok in a LPAR system if you have the CPU) and eventually just crash as well leaving NO mail server, which is a bad thing.

Ater begging for help from IBM Support I finally got some answers about the issue. Seems there is a problem with OS/400 V5R4 that does not make Domino 8.5.X very happy. Seems the issue lies in the way OS/400 does a look up on the files/DBs and OS/400 adds a 4K record to every record looked up. On a server with over 5000 users and a Domino Directory with 25,000 users and 65,000 Groups that is going to get messy. So when the fail over started the server would go nuts trying to index, compact, failover and do lookups to make sure everything was right and going into this spiral of doom eventually crashing. You add 4K to every record, every lookup and every little document while it is failing over and you get all kinds of issues.

So not only was my primary down, not my secondary was down as well.

So with both server down a few questions come up;

1 . Why and 2. When can we move to Exchange.


1. I am working on it and 2. Never!

I am still looking for the IBM Article that shows the problem. I will try to contact IBM Support again this weekend get it. I am sure some of you want to know more.

The fix is simple (I use the term loosley) upgrade the OS to V6R1 or V7R1 and it fixes the problem. But in a big IT environment it’s not that easy. So I have spent the past 6 months building new servers and moving them into place to replace the old one. Still in the process of doing this today and things are going well. The secondary server is doing good and the primary is due for a swap out in the next few weeks.
Now the question is WHY?

Why is this an issue?

Why did IBM fail to fix it years ago and lastly WHY is V5R4 still supported?

I know in the next few months V5R4 will fall out of support. I think it is later this year, but as some of you have pointed out this is unacceptable and the question needs to be asked. Why did IBM not want to invest the time to fix what I consider one of it’s most stable and most robust OS’es (short of OS/2 🙂 )

April 6, 2012  5:33 PM

I am still here….

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

So it’s been a long while since I have posted anything. I have been in the middle of a fire fight at work getting things fixed up and working. The smoke is starting to clear and frankly I have learned some new things about Lotus I need to share. There is a Twitter Account that goes along with this blog and I will be tweeting as best I can using it and the blog to try to make an impact on the businesses who user Lotus, don’t use Lotus and everyone else.

February 6, 2011  10:50 AM

I am not dead

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

Life has gotten in the way of blogging and to my 2 fans I am very sorry. I have been dealing with a few life changes and assure you I am alive and willing to start blogging again. Sorry again for the outage.

Hope everyone enjoyed Lotusphere 2011. Some day I actually plan on making it down there and enjoying it myself.

December 31, 2010  5:49 PM

Happy New Year Everyone

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

May 2011 be filled with Lotus Installations and Lotus deployments all over your company! To those running Exchange and getting tired of that one trick pony….call IBM and make this year full of Lotus!

December 26, 2010  11:01 AM

Merry Christmas Everyone

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I have been on a bit of a vacation. Sorry for not posting. I took 2 full weeks off and went on a 10-Day Panama Canal Cruise with Holland America. It was wonderful and I would recomend it to anyone. With Lotusphere only 30 days away it’s time to ramp up the Lotus posts.

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and may the NEW YEAR be the best ever!

November 30, 2010  8:24 PM

I want to get some . . . Lotus Training

David Vasta David Vasta Profile: David Vasta

I am looking for “other” Lotus training. I know about Integro in Denver, and they are super people that supported the local Lotus User Group, but I am trying to get more of a list of places that offer Lotus Training other than IBM/Lotus. I am also a big fan of TLCC as well.

Hit me with your favorite places to send people to train or where you go to learn more?

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