Compression – not for me…

It has been a while since I did some blogging, but I been recharging some this last weekend and I will try to get back into a somewhat regular schedule.

Before I start, I would like to point out a function I would love to see in Lotus Connections, where this blog runs. I don’t think it is something only useful for, but for all Connections users. The function? To allow anonymous (or at least non-validated/logged in) users to comment.
Could be a setting on a per-blog basis. I don’t think it is unthinkable that a company get Lotus Connections and use it both for internal/closed blogging, and for some external blogs as well, where they want to allow feedback form the public.

OK, now on to other stuff. I been reading for a while about all the benefits of the compression in Domino 8.0.1 and 8.5, as well as DAOS. So of course, having several huge databases, I got very excited. The claim system I wrote is split over a couple of databases. The main one is currently 6,930 MB (including view indexes) with 1,4 million documents, and the biggest supporting one is 7,363 MB with almost 1,8 million documents (about 1400 new ones created each business day). The view indexes are fairly large, over a GB on the first database for example.

Our Domino administrator did some testing on a Domino 8.5 server he setup, but he did not see any space savings at all on the claim system. I believe that the database size even increased a few MB. He then turned on the new attachment compression, and got a 1.5% savings, or something to that effect.
He will soon try the same with his mailfile and see if he get a better result. When I get the final numbers, I will post them here.

So why are we not getting any 20-40% savings others report? Well, for one thing, the documents contain very little rich text data. Almost all fields are plain text fields, and the few rich text fields are used for comments and usually not populated with much data, if any. There are also not a large number of attachments. They are all stored outside Domino, using an FTP upload/download system I designed many years ago. In some of the main documents there is one attachment (usually a PDF of a loss report), but in many of them, the users also use the attachment functionality to put the attachment on the FTP server.

So if your database does not contain large rich text fields and attachments, it seems like the compression will not do much good. However, for mail files or other similar applications, the savings seems to be substantial.

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