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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) Selecting a Lotus Notes Platform

From Rebecca Henderson on Mon, 11 Oct 1999

I have Lotus Notes on my box and it is in a UNIX environment, A question of platforms has come up. As400 vs UNIX, Solaris. What do you feel would be easiest to support and maintain?

(!) I've never worked with an AS/400. I've heard that they are quite easy to administer though they have a somewhat limited range of utilities and applications. (Indeed it seems, from what I've heard, that the limited range of utilities and peripherals available for the 400 is what makes it possible for IBM to make a fully integrated menu-driven administration system that's usable by relatively unsophisticated operators).
It seems like a odd question to ask since you say that you already have Lotus Notes installed on an existing UNIX system. If your staff already has UNIX experience (and possibly a preference for it) or if you need the sort of flexibility and control that UNIX gives you (which leads to the "do-it-yourself" flavor of the administrative interfaces and tools) then UNIX would be the obvious choice.
UNIX is not the "easiest" in terms of learning curve. However it may be the "easiest" in terms of giving you the tools you need to suit your precise needs. In other words, if your needs exactly match the design of the OS/400 --- if they match the platform --- then it's likely to be the easiest. If you have needs for customized procedures or specialized hardware then UNIX is probably the easiest to adapt.
As with all questions that relate to selecting a platform (hardware or software) the answer always boils down to: "it depends on your requirements."
Unfortunately I see far too many cases where selections are made before requirements are understood, and where the selection process is constrained by organizational politics more than by requirements analysis.
The real job of a consultant is to assess and analyze your requirements and provide recommendations to match them. Too many people who use the term consultant are actually referring to "contractors" or "VARs"; contractors implement and VARs sell. Consultants provide consultation.


From Rebecca Henderson on Mon, 11 Oct 1999

Thanks for your input. We are on Sun Solaris now and the application is quite stable. I guess it is a "politics" issue. At least from my point of view. Requirements for 3rd party software are an issue with UNIX and the Lotus Notes application. Your input has helped.
Rebecca M Henderson
UNIX System Administrator.

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 48 December 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Technical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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