You want to upgrade your IBM Domino server to version 10 and you want to make sure it goes smoothly. Notes and Domino has an amazing community of experts who share their time and expertise, including the Penumbra Group, of which we are proud members.


Here are a few simple things to consider when planning your upgrade:

1. Understand your existing environment


The first step is to understand what you have and how it works.  This may be easy if you only have a server or two, but you need to understand your server topology, which servers are clustered, where your databases live, and how they are used and accessed.


Understanding comes through performing an internal audit. Some of this is done manually simply by surveying the server landscape, and some of this can be performed using built-in or 3rd party tools.  Until at least April of 2019, everyone with current licensing status (IBM Software Subscription & Support) is entitled to use Panagenda’s Application Insights at no charge.


Once you have a good general picture of your Domino server environment, it’s time to look at your Domino applications. You’ll need to learn exactly which apps are still being used, where in your environment they list, and whether or not they have a replica or cluster on a second server.  


Remember, even if your servers are clustered, until you’re on Domino 10 a database on clustermate A isn’t automatically replicated and clustered over to clustermate B.  It’s incredibly common to find an orphaned database only on one member of a cluster. It’s also likely you’ll find some applications that have been abandoned and are just sitting around doing nothing.  Consider whether or not you can remove these databases entirely prior to your upgrade.


2. Create a written upgrade plan


In order to make sure you are prepared, you’ll need to build a plan. One of the most important things you’ll need for that is the audit we discussed above.  This will help you set priorities and understand dependencies.


It’s also important to have a good understanding of the system requirements for Domino V10. You need to check if you can upgrade using the hardware and OS that you are currently using.


You will want to avoid the situation where your existing hardware does not support Domino 10; so make sure you check the exact requirements and limitations. OS-wise, there are some operating systems that are already no longer supported, or they will be soon enough:


  • Windows 2003 is no longer supported
  • Windows 2008 support ends in January 2020
  • RHEL 6 and RHEL 7.3 both end support this year


Always choose an OS that is easy to maintain and support for your company. Otherwise you may be exposed to major security vulnerabilities through poorly maintained or unpatched server OS.


There are also some new features in the Domino 10 that you will need to take into account when planning your transition.


First, there is the removal of the 64GB database limit in Domino 10, and a new 256GB limit. You’ll need to see if this allows you to increase your data storage and if your OS and disk can effectively handle this change.


Next, there is also the publication of your stats to the new relic service. Keep in mind that the data will leave the server and be queried from another location.


Third, there is the matter of the expected Node.js integration into Domino 10: should Node become your alternate or even default HTTP interface?


Finally, you need to determine what are the functionalities and features that you want deployed with Domino 10.


3. Beta testing


If you can, make sure you have a look at the Beta IBM offers. It will help you grab a hold of things, how they are structured and also, a better understanding of the new features, so you can explain them to your team later on.


4. Priorities and Dependencies


An absolutely crucial part of preparing your environment for a V10 upgrade is determining which of the steps in the process are of the most importance for your company, as well as which of them will carry the higher risk.


For instance, deploying existing functionality, testing existing applications and testing the client upgrade plan are of the most critical importance for your operations.


Something to keep in mind: ODS53


The arrival of ODS53 meant first and foremost a great improvement size-wise, from 64 Gb to 254 Gb.  The large folders can now be 50 times bigger and the summary data has doubled. You also get more field names and ID Tables which will make your work with databases easier.


Some aspects you’ll have to pay attention when upgrading to ODS53.


If you are running with mixed release levels:


  • Notes 10.x client can work with ODS53 and earlier
  • Notes 9.x and earlier client can open ODS53 database IF:
    • 64 GB or less
    • Folder limit within R9 limits
  • Notes 9 client can work with documents IF:
    • Summary data within 32k limit
    • Field names within 23k limit


Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the process of upgrading to Domino 10. For a complete technical step-by-step, check out a recently held IBM Domino Tech School webinar on the subject, wonderfully explained by Kim Greene and Chris Adler.

If you need help with upgrading your environment to Domino 10 in our cloud, simply reach out to us to get the assistance you need, while our current customers can simply contact the support team for a full or partial assist with the migration.