Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Killer Apps or Killer Fax?

With DNA, we have analyzed hundreds of millions of user activities in IBM Lotus Notes & Domino in many large organizations worldwide. Typically, our customers have somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 end users.

Often we notice how only a few user accounts (less than 5) consume the majority of all costly resources available in a Domino environment. I'm talking about network capacity, server capacity and disk IO.

The chart below shows the situation at a car manufacturing company in the USA. Of the 10,000+ user accounts, a single account is responsible for 44 - 78% of the total demand generated by those 10,000+ users.

This single 'heavy' account is a fax solution named RightFax, previously owned by a company named Captaris. In their support guide, a polling intervals of 60 seconds is being recommend. Over a 7 day period, this had led to a network consumption of  1,097,469,772,731 bytes ( > 1 terabyte), 27 million document reads, 14 million document writes and an amazing 130 million database transactions.

This fax solution consumes more resources than all 10,000 corporate users did together. We see similar behavior at other customers who have this fax solution implemented.

What can you do about this? First, I would recommend to immediately reduce its polling intervals to e.g. 60 minutes. Next, I would see how many faxes this solution has actually processed during that week. Fair chance the outcome is zero or very few. If not, check with your customer if they are willing to pay 50% of your total cost / TCO. Fair chance they won't.

Let me know if you have this solution in your environment. If so, do yourself a favor and check how much capacity your solution is consuming. Your comments are more than welcome!

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