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Lotus Notes 8.5.2: Improvements in Start up performance and Preloading

 8 Juni 2010 17:38:42
Dies ist ein Gast-Post von Christian Henseler.
Christian hat ausführliche Performanceanalysen bzgl. der Startzeit des Clients unternommen und ist so freundlich uns an den Ergebnissen teilhaben zu lassen.
Soviel schon einmal vorab: Mit 8.5.2 tut sich hier noch einmal Einiges im Vergleich zu 8.5.1.
Christian hat unterschiedliche Varianten (Preloading, Superfetch, Win XP, Win 7, Einfluß Virenscanner) getestet und  Folgend beschrieben:

Legal Disclaimer

"8.5.2 is beta and there are no guarantees that the features described here will be in the final product that IBM ships."


With the lastet version of Lotus Notes 8.5.2 IBM was able to further improve the start up performance of Lotus Notes.
Our tests show up to 50 % faster starts than Lotus Notes 8.5.1 FP3 on the same machine!
Further more the start time of Lotus Notes 8.5.2 can be further improved using Lotus Notes Preloading, a feature available since 8.5.1, but officially indroduced with Lotus Notes 8.5.2.

Test environment:

The tests were done using a VMWare Virtual Maschine with 4 GB RAM, 100 GB HDD, 2 CPU on a host with 8 GB RAM, 250 GB SATA-II HDD,  Intel Quad Core (Q9400, 2,67 GHz), MS Windows Server 2008 R2.
Either Windows 7 64 Bit or Windows XP Professional 32 Bit was used as Operating System. Superfetch or Prefetch were configured as default.
Lotus Notes 8.5.1 FP3 or Lotus Notes 8.5.2 Code Drop 5 installed as Multi-User with a local mailfile was used. The latter to exclude external parameters like networking delays or server delays.
After installation and first time configuration, the partition was defragmented using the OS disk defragmenter (because it honors layout.ini).
An user id without a password was used, and the default homepage was assigned.
All tests were repeated 3 - 15 time, the numbers given are the appropriate averages.
Measurements were done using system logging, no stopwatch was used.


Start performance of Lotus Notes 8.5.2 CD5 (Windows 7 64 Bit)
Windows 7
Superfetch disabled, no preloading
Windows 7
Superfetch enabled, no preloading
Windows 7
Superfetch enabled, Preloading enabled
Cold start 10,98 secs 11,13 secs 9,0 secs
Warm start 4,43 secs 4,52 sec 4,48 secs

Start performance of Lotus Notes 8.5.1 FP3 (Windows 7 64 Bit)
Windows 7
Superfetch disabled, no preloading
Windows 7
Superfetch enabled, no preloading
Cold start 19,18 secs 17,88 secs
Warm start 11,16 secs 9,12 sec

Start performance of Lotus Notes 8.5.2 CD5 (Windows XP 32 Bit)
Prefetch enabled, Preloading disabled
Cold start 11,39 secs
Warm start 4,73 secs


Lotus Notes 8.5.2 vs. Lotus Notes 8.5.1
When started for the first time (cold start) Lotus Notes 8.5.2 is 43 % faster than Lotus Notes 8.5.1 FP3.
When a warm start (sequencial start after Lotus Notes was started for the first time in a session) is done, Lotus Notes 8.5.2 is 60 % faster than Lotus Notes 8.5.1 FP3.
Even on Windows XP 32 Bit, Lotus Notes 8.5.2 is as fast as on Windows 7, but one has to note that the test machine was used as Lotus Notes only test machine, so no other software was competing for system resoures.

If a reasonable amount of memory is available, Superfetch and even the older Prefetch improves start up performance.
Although the numbers given does not reflect the effect of Superfetch (because the number of test cylces was to small [3]), another test with more test cycle shows the effects of Superfetch
Cold start 19,05 secs 10,88 secs 12,64 secs 12,22 secs 9,67 secs 11,67 secs 9,7 secs

As the number of test cycles increases the start up performance of Lotus Notes is getting better.
By default Superfetch is reorganizing files after 10 reboots, in our tests, reorganization of files was forced manually after the 5th test cycle.

In a test cycle on Windows XP, the effects of Prefetch were even more clear:
Cold start 11,25 11,94 10,98 8,22 4,83 5,09 5,30 5,09 5,1

Although the author was very critical about preloading, the tests shows a positive effect (20 % improvement of start up performance) of Preloading, but one has to note that one need appropriate system resources that must accompany Preloading to have a positive effect and you have to further note that the machine is more active at logon due to the preloading.
In the long run, one might get the same result using Superfetch/Prefetch only, but with Preloading Lotus Notes, you will get the positive effects faster.

Other tests & results

In the tests mentioned about, the time Lotus Notes needs to present the home page to the user was measured.
Although there was no focus on it, the author has done some additional tests, but without the necessary tests deep.

Mail file start performance
As noted above, a local mail file was used for the tests. Furthermore, it has to be noted that it was an empty mailfile.
So, the test and results are a little bit theorectical.
Still using system logging, the time the mail icon in the default home page until presentation of the inbox folder was measured.
Whilte Lotus Notes 8.5.2 CD5 needs 4-5 secs for this process on Windows 7, Lotus Notes 8.5.1 FP3 needs 7-8 secs for the same process.
So again, Lotus Notes 8.5.2 is much faster than Lotus Notes 8.5.1

After some test cycles with Lotus Notes 8.5.1 FP3 on Windows 7, a AV software (Avira Antivir Personal Edition) was installed and no optimization of AV settings were done.
W/o AV With AV Delta
Cold start 17,43 19,02 - 9,1 %
Warm start 9,04 9,32 - 3,1

So, as we all know AV software has a negative effect on Lotus Notes start up performance.

Christian, thank you very much for sharing your results. Feedback and comments are welcome.
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