Lotus Connections Requirements and Architecture – Part 2 Websphere Application Server

In Part 1 I covered an overview of the components required to implement Lotus Connections.  This post will focus on Websphere Application Server (WAS) and considerations for deploying WAS for Lotus Connections.   Remember WAS is available for many different platforms, in fact more platforms then Lotus Connections is supported on, so make sure you check the Lotus Connections Software requirements when selecting a platform for WAS Start with some basic WAS terminology Node – a Node is basically on installation of WAS which can contain many profiles, and many applications Cell – a Cell is a group of nodes Cluster – logical grouping of applications for redundancy and load balancing, a Cell can contain more then one cluster. Profile – not to be confused with the Lotus Connections Profiles service, this is a Websphere term, with one instance of WAS you can create multiple profiles, each profile becomes it’s own application serving environment.  For Lotus Connections while you can install multiple services per node, it is recommended that they each be in their own profile.   To put that in English, when you  install Lotus Connections you install each service individually so if you are installing Blogs, and Dogear you will run the Lotus Connections install twice, and it is recommended that you create a separate profile for each service.   Deployment Manager (DM) – the deployment manager is used to manage the cluster, and can manage more then one cluster.  Once your cluster is up and running the DM is only used when making configuration changes.  It is not a critical component to the working of the application, and users can access the application even if the DM is not up and running. WAS requires 930 MB of space to install, this is for the actual installation, you will need additional space for the creation of Profiles, and the Lotus Connections install.  The Connections install is listed at 110 MB for all 5 services, and a newly created profile is 40 MB, so size your disk appropriately, and leave yourself some room to spare.   Remember once it is all up and running log files will get written to this file system as well, WAS does a good job of letting you cap log size and overwrite them, but leave your self some space in case you need to debug a problem. The default directories for the WAS Install are AIX – /usr/IBM/WebSphere/ Linux –  /opt/IBM/WebSphere/ Windows – C:Program FilesIBMWebSphere (when working on windows my preference is to always drop the “program files” portion of the path, makes things much easier) Now on to considerations for sizing, and how many services to run per WAS Node.  There is no question you can run all five Connections services on one node, but you have to look at your anticipated number of users and the concurrency rate you expect, in addition your decision to implement or not to implement caching proxies, will make a big difference on the load you WAS Server can expect.  You can also move some of the static content (css files, Javascript files, images, etc) from WAS to the HTTP server as detailed in this article, further reducing the load on WAS.  I am currently running  all 5 services on a 4 CPU 4GB Memory VM Ware partition running windows 2003, while the load is currently light, the hardware clearly has room to handle quite a bit more.  I will be implementing caching proxies, and the running some load tests to determine the extent they reduce load on WAS, and how far I can scale. The other consideration of course is redundancy, which of course will require more hardware, but that is no different then any other application, if high availability is important to you, the cost is worth it.   You will need a duplicate of whatever you sized for your environment as well as hardware for a Deployment Manager, the DM does not require too much horsepower, and is used to create the clusters, and manage them.  The DM does not need to be up for users to access Connections, so you can decide to back it up, and not have a redundant DM. There are other considerations for clustering, in addition to the data stored in the database, the Connections services need some file systems available to maintain some data (more on this coming in Part 3) in a clustered environment this data needs to be available and shared between both nodes of the cluster. Steps for installing WAS, and preparing for the Lotus Connections install 1. Install WAS or WAS ND 2. Install the WAS Update Installer 3. Install the required WAS Fixes for Connections 4. Create profiles for each service you plan on installing.  If you run the graphical Profile Management Tool, if you select Advanced  Profile Creation  you can name the profile otherwise it will be the default AppSrvr format, I have been naming my profiles to match the service which will be installed on it (i.e blogs, dogear, etc..) to make it easier to keep track of them. A picture named M2 If you customize the profile name, make sure you change the directory name as well, or the profile name and directory name will not match, which will be confusing later on. A picture named M3  Once you specify a profile name you can accept the rest of the defaults.  When you get to this screen with the port assignments, I would make note of this, as each profile will assign unique port numbers which you will need later on when installing connections, and mapping features to the HTTP server A picture named M4 5. You need to configure Federated Repositories for each profile, before installing Lotus Connections At this point WAS is installed and ready for the Lotus Connections installation which will be covered more in depth in Part 3.

2 Responses to Lotus Connections Requirements and Architecture – Part 2 Websphere Application Server
  1. Chris Whisonant
    February 19, 2008 | 8:08 pm

    Mitch – again, great stuff you’re putting out here. As with most of your readers, I come from a Domino background. These explanations are very beneficial for us. For instance, who ever heard of having to install something just to then be able to install updates? It works great for the WAS environment, though. Thanks again!

  2. Stuart McIntyre
    February 20, 2008 | 1:17 am

    Excellent stuff Mitch, and much appreciated…