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Notes Technical Checklist

Here's some technical advice for rolling out Lotus Notes, prepared with assistance from Ken Wachs of USConnect:

* Make sure you have the needed bandwidth, technology, and support resources. TCP/IP is probably the best protocol for running Notes, though Novell's IPX works well, too. On the WAN, an ISDN or a T-1 link will work.

* If you have more than three Notes users in one spot who are using it a lot, plan for a Notes server in that location. If you have a highly dispersed sales force, plan for a Notes server in each area, with a toll-free line for dial-in access.

* If all Notes users are in the same building but on independent LANs, you could try to get a single Notes server on a single wire with all the LANs. But if each group is vigilant in security, you need one Notes server per LAN.

* Take a hard look at standards on the desktop and LAN. Notes is designed for a cross-platform environment, but you'll save yourself trouble the more you standardize before rolling it out.

* Plan for a dedicated machine to be the Notes server. The minimal configuration is a 66 MHz 486 with a 1GB disk drive and 32MB of RAM. As Notes databases begin to fill, you'll need 2GB and 64MB of RAM. If you've got 20 or more concurrent users doing a lot of replication you'll need a faster processor, perhaps a RISC machine.

* Plan for client workstations to have at least a 33 MHz 486 and 8MB of RAM. Workstations on the network won't need extra disk space. But laptops that will use Notes remotely need bigger disk drives, because the laptop must store all the databases the user accesses. Light users could get by with 250MB, but sales people and other heavy users need 500MB.

* Notes runs on different operating platforms: Unix, NetWare, OS/2, and Windows NT. Which you should use depends on how much networking you have in your organization, how much support you have, which environment can handle your particular needs (and expected growth), and which environment your IS staff is experienced with.

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