Monday, November 11, 2013

Upgrading your Sametime DB2 databases for Sametime V9

Upgrading your Sametime DB2 databases for Sametime V9

In an "upgrade" from a Sametime V8.5 deployment to Sametime V9, probably the most important thing is to keep is the database information in the Sametime Console (just the policies), Sametime Meetings and Sametime Advanced  DB2 databases. Sametime V9 uses a newer version of DB2 (V9 moves to V10.1 because DB2 V9 went to “end of support” on April 30, 2012), so the databases will need to be upgraded and moved onto a DB2 V10.1 server. IBM’s technote covers this DB2 upgrade.
I haven't tried the upgrade procedure yet, so please feel free to post results on this blog post.

I did note on this technote that you can leave the older version of DB2 running and just update the actual databases, whereas if you upgrade to V10 DB2, you have to do that and then upgrade the actual DB2 databases...

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sametime V9 due out soon

Sametime V9 is due out pretty soon - September 20th is the date I have seen on the Sametime Blog.
The new version promises better features on the Video side and a new, sexier interface.... Once I download it, I will be writing a more thorough review. I will leave judgement until then :-)

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Control of Sametime user policy using Managed Settings in Domino Policy

For the past few years I have advised against using Managed Settings in Domino Policy because of bad experiences using this particular way to manage the Sametime clients. For one thing, you can't managed the stand-alone client this way which means that unless you are 100% sure that users will use the embedded Notes ST client, you should always use the Managed-settings.xml file approach.
Having said that, I have clients that have used the Managed Settings in Domino Policy because that the way they manage their users Notes clients and no-one in their environment uses the stand-alone client. When I have worked with these clients on Sametime deployments, I have moved them to the XML-based way of thinking but in some cases we have had residual effects left behind by the attempted usage of Managed Settings in Domino Policy. These residual effects were left due to a misunderstanding of the way Managed Settings in Domino Policy works.
When you set a Managed Settings in Domino Policy, you set it in the Desktop Policy settings under the "Managed Settings" tab which is under the "Custom Settings" main tab i.e.
The most important thing to mention here is:
If you already set this in the policy, then the setting is saved to the desktop policy. If you delete this line, it DOES NOT remove this setting from the policy. This is "working as designed" by IBM and it is understandable if you think about it.
So if you want to change this setting, you set it to "off" or "false" or whatever you need it to be set to, to turn it off.... just remember, you don't delete the line.
Using this approach, you can rectify issues that may have set desktop policy in the past and there is no reference in the GUI to the setting - you can only find these settings by looking at the Policy using "Document - properties" on the Policy document (or by using a cool tool like the Ytria scanEZ tool)

To validate what I just stated above about the policy not being deleted, I removed the two lines you see in the screen shot above and saved the policy - here is a a screenshot of the policy with the two lines removed but with the document properties window open to show the actual settings STILL in the policy:

So the bottom line here is not to use Managed Settings in Domino Policy if at all possible and use Managed-Settings.xml in a web accessible form for providing Sametime user's with policy. However, if someone has dabbled previously with Managed Settings in Domino Policy, bear this in mind as there may be hidden policy settings that you cannot see through the GUI affecting the Policy that is pushed to the client.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sametime 8.5.1 client - beware!!

Ok, so I consider it my duty to report that the ST client V8.5.1 has some issues.... Especially when you're implementing Audio/Video services and you want to limit those services to a small population of users....which is what we are trying to do currently.... So, the majority of users in our 100k environment have the 8.5.1 client. These users can actually only use AV services if they are on the VPN but regardless of that, they must register with the AV proxyRegistrar even if our policy dictates they don't even have AV services! This is because the 8.5.1 client tries to login to the proxyRegistrar server before it even looks at the policy.... Which means if you have 38k users logging in and only 40 of them have AV enabled through policy, then you have 38k proxy registrar logins (with the corresponding 38k LDAP hits)..... This situation is a big problem and is only really solved by upgrading the client to 8.5.2+, which is no trivial thing in a large environment. Recommendations to alleviate the problem: turn SIP security off so the PR registration doesn't have to do an additional authentication... It will still do a lookup on the user to make sure they exis but won't try and authenticate. There are some other recommendations to increase the LDAP cache which I can point you at if you contact me at

Monday, April 16, 2012

Important tip on Sametime installs - increase the JVM heap size for Installation Manger

I wanted to mention this tip as I have just finished my part of a 80+ Sametime server environment and this tip helps the installer work so much better (including helping it not to crash "out of memory" sometimes):

  • Increase the JVM heap size for the Installation Manager
  • Close Installation Manager
  • Go to the Installation Manager install directory (C:\Program Files\IBM\Installation Manager\eclipse)
  • Add the line "-Xmx1024m" to IBMIM.ini
  • Run the offering launchpad again to invoke the installation
Thanks to Tony Payne and Andy Yiu from IBM for this tip.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sametime View article

I forgot to mention that I recently published a general article on Sametime 8.5.x in the View and I am currently writing another article on upgrading your Sametime Community server to 8.5.2 IFR1.
You can see the View article here:
Sametime 8.5.2 — Unifying Communication and Collaboration in the Enterprise