/ ibm

Citrix and Notes 8.5.1 - research-notes

I have heard from a couple of customers that they are planning to implement Notes 8.5.1 (great) in the Basic edition (oh no!).
The reason why the customers are planning to go for the Basic edition is performance. The customers have done some research, and they believe that they need to invest heavily in more Citrix servers if they are to support running the Standard edition of the Notes client.

We want all users to be running the full-featured Standard edition of the client of course. This has led me to do a quick research on what the story is about performance and Notes 8.x.

This is what I have found.

First a collection of good resources on the subject

Fix-Script for Lotus Notes 8.x/ 8.5.x Installation on Citrix/Terminal Services Servers
http://blog.nashcom.de/nashcomblog.nsf/dx/fix-script-for-lotus-notes-8.x-installation-on-citrixterminal-services-servers.htm?opendocument

Citrix Performance Whitepaper Notes 8.0.2
http://blog.nashcom.de/nashcomblog.nsf/dx/citrix-performance-whitepaper-notes-8.0.2.htm?opendocument
This blog entry and the article that it links to is central. Good information here. Main conclusion for me: Notes 8.0.2 was a big release for Citrix installations.

Thread: Lotus Notes 8.5.1
http://forums.citrix.com/message.jspa?messageID=1414923

Knowledge Collection: Troubleshooting Lotus Notes on Citrix environments
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21273848

Making Notes ROCK on Citrix
http://www.dominoblog.com/dominoblog/dblog.nsf/dx/making-notes-rock-on-citrix

IBM Lotus Notes 8.5 on Citrix XenApp 4.5: A scalability analysis
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/documentation/notes/d-ls-notes85xenapp/
This looks like it is an updated version of the paper on 8.0.2 and Citrix. For Notes 8.5.

And what does my research show?
There was a major improvement in performance on Citrix when Notes 8.0.2 was released. This code change is also included in the 8.5.x Notes code-branch.
There is no major performance change between 8.0.2 and 8.5.
RAM in he Citrix server is what limits the number of clients you can run on a server on a server running 32-bit.
You can extend a 32-bit citrix server to 8 GB ram and host a lot more clients. Almost double of what you can host on 4 GB of ram.

And here is something that I find important:
I get the impression that configuring Notes 8.x on citrix is not for amateurs. It's not like putting the OpenOffice installer on the desktop, doubleclicking it and just clicking Next, Next, Next.
If I was in charge of a Citrix environment and had plans to tweak the Notes client installation on there (upgrading, re-installing or just tuning) I would make absolutely sure that the consultant I hired to do the tweaking had a good track record for just that kind of work.
I would not settle for someone who had experience with with Citrix but no experience with Notes on Citrix.
I get the feeling that getting the right person to to the job could move the number of concurrently running clients to perhaps double the number of what your average Citrix consultant would manage to make it run.

What I would like to see was a table comparing Citrix performance across Notes versions. Say Notes 7, 8 and 8.5. I haven't found anything like that.