Thursday, December 22, 2005

Implementing a Better File Search Strategy under Windows Server 2003 at Low Cost

Why do we need a better one?
Are you kidding...
  1. Hands up anyone who believes that you can successfully locate files using the Microsoft Search tool, every time without problems...
  2. Hands up anyone who believes that the amount of time it takes the Microsoft Search tool to locate a file is acceptable.

I'm sure nobody has their hands up.

Why are we all raving about Google Desktop?

If you haven't checked out Google Desktop - Enterprise Edition, you should make the effort and download it. It's free and it is very very good. This little tool indexes every file on your computer, your instant messages and your email. It even does Lotus Notes and Gmail. There are also lots of add-ons available for free, or at low cost. This tool will change the way you think about Microsoft Built-in Windows search tool.

Google desktop is so good that you can locate deleted and changed documents and look at their cached contents.

Google desktop can do some really cool network things, including indexing mapped drives. What it can't do is index servers or networks.

What we wanted was something that offered the power of Google Desktop, but which would operate at server level and give us the ability to search for files on our file server. We found that tool in dnka, a remote search add-on.

Google Desktop and DNKA were easy to install, but did require a server reboot. You can then configure DNKA to provide remove access to the index restricted by a password or by an IP range.

  • For our secure data server, which contains payroll etc, we restricted by both IP range and Password.
  • For our general data server, we restricted by IP range only.

I then built-in to our corporate intranet navigator, a link to the general data server - it goes something like...

http://data3:4664/

Note that you also need to open your firewall software to accept connections on port 4664. You can usually get the firewall to restrict connections on this port to a given IP range too.

I gave the links to the secure server only to our information management people. Unfortunately the google search is just a little too powerful. So you need to think carefully about need-to-know in this case.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Scheduling Cleanup Jobs for your Server

One of the things we learnt on the bootcamp was how to set up cleanup jobs on the Domino server. Yes... I know I should have known how to do this before, but for some reason I didn't - possibly not having done a full blown admin course since R4 has something to do with it.

Cleanup Jobs Explained

  • UPDALL :Updates the Full Text Indexes on your databases.
    This should run nightly.

  • UPDALL -R : Same as Updall, but rebuilds the indexes.
    This job should be run weekly or less.

  • COMPACT -B :This version of Compact (note the B is case sensitive) will actually recover space on your domino server. Leave the B off, and you don't recover any space.
    This should be run weekly or less freqently.

  • FIXUP : This repairs damaged databases.
    This should be run weekly.

How to make these Jobs Start Automatically at Specific Times

Since you want these jobs to run without interfering with eachother, and preferably away from the backup job, you should adjust your times accordingly.

  1. Open your Server's Address Book.
  2. In the left-hand panel Expand Configuration, then Servers.
  3. Click on Programs.
  4. Click the Action Button marked Add Program.
  5. Type the program name as UPDALL
  6. In the Command Line, type -R.
  7. Pick the Server in the Server to run on box.
  8. Set Enabled/Disabled to read Enabled.
  9. Choose the Run time and Repeat interval and the days of the week.
  10. Click the Action Button marked Save and Close.

Repeat these steps for the other programs and make sure that you space their times out.

You may have to do a restart to get the schedule to begin.

Enjoy.