web site hosting (HTML) & Lotus Domino hosting FAQs


Lotus Notes Mail & Application
Hosting Services

see also
Standard Lotus Notes Hosting Plan

Upgraded Lotus Notes Hosting Plan

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Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.s)

>>> What version of Domino are you running?
We run the current release. We may also run a FP, for example: 10.0.1 FP2 IF 1. We tend to upgrade to new releases between a couple days to 1-2 months of release.

>>> What about connectivity and encryption ?
For Notes clients, our current encryption is HCL (IBM/Lotus) Notes R7 or higher compatible. Encryption and compression are enabled at the Domino server. All NRPC (port 1352) traffic is encrypted. For compression to work, you must also enable it in your Notes client. Our servers have a standard 256-bit TLS 1.2 or higher for Internet ports. These ports are enabled and preferred for the obvious security reasons.

Common ports 1352 (Notes), 80, 443, and 995 are all open to the servers. LDAP is not.

SSL/TLS for your applications with a SSL key/cert for your domain name is available. However, that will cost us an external "real" IP. We pass on that cost as an add-on to your hosting contract.

>>> I have a registered domain name, "www.mydomain.com" , how easy will it be to set up to point to my application / web site?
1. You need to tell us you have it. We point that domain name to your application/web site on the Domino server via what's called an "Internet Site Document". It only takes a few minutes.
2. You then update your DNS and point to the Mindwatering hosting server.

>>> What will the cost be of setting up user e-mail accounts with my domain?, e.g. "admin@mydomain.com"
Nothing directly up to the shared hosting package limit. Our standard Lotus Notes/Domino shared hosting is a flat-rate type of hosting service that is basically a certain amount of support time for a certain amount of disk storage and assumes mixture of applications types (apps and e-mail).
For example, to register say 10 new users from a flat file/spreadsheet table takes about 5 minutes. With 90 minutes of time per 6 month hosting term, you would have 85 minutes left.

Also, we do have mail-only hosting where we bill about $3 per mail file per month. Each mail file would have a storage limit with that model.

HCL (Lotus) Passport licensing is purchased separately. We are happy to arrange that for you. Please use the Contact form. HCL also requires that your request (email) must also include a statement that you are authorizing us to sell Passport to you.

>>> If I register another domain in future for the same site, will I be able to have 2 domain names pointing to the same site?
Yes. You can point many to one, or many to multiple applications. The most domain names we have in production pointing to one application/site is currently about 5. We had one with 10 a few years back. I'm assuming the actual limit is the 32k field storage limit. Basically, it's similar to doing the first one. We just add additional domain names to the Internet Sites document and update DNS.

>>> What is the cost of creating user Notes IDs after initial set up?
Nothing, additional to your hosting support block; this time is pulled from the remaining time in your support block time. There would be not additional cost unless you have so many changes, per hosting block, that you use up more than your support block time purchased. We ask that you give us your people in bulk so that we do new registrations together if you have more than one "this month" or whenever. Really this is the same question for us as the cost of setting up e-mail accounts above.

>>> Will I have access to set the application ACLs?
Yes. We can give you manager access to your application to your "admin" ID. We can also create a group for more than one admin, put those names/IDs in the group, and then add the group to the applicable application ACLs.

>>> Will I have access to create ACL Groups in the Domino Directory?
No and yes. You are in a shared environment with this package so we have to be careful what group names are created and who has access. Therefore, we will create the group(s) requested and then fill in your "admin" ID's name in the group's administrators field. You then manage the groups yourself, and can change membership of who is in the group.

>>> How much effort is it to deploy or refresh the design of my Domino DB? or How can I deploy new templates and refresh the design?
Manually refreshing an application manually is very simple:
For a selected or open application, do:
File --> Application --> Refresh Design --> Chooser Server --> Click OK --> Answer Yes to are-you-sure dialog.
To refresh manually, repeat this process as often as you want.

Also, the Design refresh task runs nightly. It will refresh all applications to their templates in the normal behavior for the task.

As for deploying new applications and templates, typically we will deploy the application template for you and sign it with the appropriate ID. However, in a shared environment, templates will be visible to all users in the "New Application" dialog. Typically, we take new apps by FTP or upload on our web site. We can work with you on other arrangements as needed.

>>> Is there a limit to the number of databases?
No not directly. Your limits are the storage and the amount of support time you use for deploying new applications. Each client has a folder on the server with rights limited to your group.

>>> How are my agents limited in shared hosting?
Your application(s) agents you create should be have the "Restricted type" set in their agent properties.
Your agents will also run with restricted rights as in the security application settings in the server document. With restricted agents, your code won't be allowed to write to disk or run external code outside your applications, as that could detrimentally affect your "neighbors".
You are not allowed to access another clients folder (which will be blocked via ACL file/folder restrictions).

>>> If I initially start with the Lotus Standard Hosting plan with intentions of changing to the Advanced plan at a later stage, what costs are involved with changing plans?
None. You can pay for more storage or bulk support blocks a la carte, or by upgrading to the Advanced one.

If you grow or change your mind and decide you want your own "box", we call that "custom virtual hosting". We can setup Domino on a Linux VM and then the box is virtually "cloud" "co-located". Within reason, it's yours to customize how you wish. The share hosting limitations do not exist. Set up of these VMs would be the time we spend installing whatever software after the OS. (We have both Red Hat and Cent OS, VM templates as starting points. We also have Ubuntu, but it is NOT a supported Linux distro.) After setup we would replicate your applications to the new server.

>>> Is there a set contract for the plans?
Yes, you enter 6 month or 1 year terms by default (e.g. 90 minutes for 6 months or 180 minutes for 1 year). Your support block time remaining expires as the end of the term. We do have a few clients who do 2 or more year terms so that their support block time usage lasts longer.

>>> How can we pay a bill?
You can pay via check, cashier's check, bank transfer, or Visa/Mastercard, or Paypal. International clients typically pay via Paypal or bank transfer. Our Visa provider for our web site does not allow/honor credit card payments on-line from oversees (non-US) bank accounts, for this reason, we now do Visa/Mastercard with through Paypal.

Hosting renewal invoices are sent out 1 month before the renewal. We have policy pages on our web site for more information.

>>> What is procedure and costs or penalties involved for cancellation?
The setup fee is non refundable after we've started set up. You can cancel at any time with 30 day notice. For your included support time for the hosting, we would refund portion of support block or time remaining, whichever is less. We have the policy pages on our web site for more information.

>>> How long does setup take?
(register users, upload my applications, and set up the domain)

Here is what we would need for each of these requests:

- To set up your Organization Cert ID:
1. We need the O (cert.id) and password if it already exists, for migration to CA.
(Alternately, we can cross certify, but you'd have to send us each new person's person doc's and any public keys in cert documents. This is rather complicated w/o using Directory Assistance, which doesn't work well in a shared environment. Other customers trying to open your Domino Directory is bad form, if if they don't have access to it.)
2. We need the name of O otherwise, if not. (e.g. Mindwatering) and it's preferred password if any. We would create it for you. We let you download a copy or e-mail it to you when your "admin" account is set up.

- To set up ID's, we need:
1. First and Last Name (e.g. Jane Doe, or if a "generic", Sales Mindwatering)
2. E-mail address including domain name (e.g. jane.doe@mindwatering.com) and any aliases (e.g. sales@mindwatering.com).
3. Starting password (if not given, we will make them up)
4. Starting groups
5. Mail template if not current release

- To receive applications:
Please zip to reduce size and use the contact --> send files option from our web site.
Make sure local encryption is off and that LocalDomainServers and LocalDomainAdmins are in the ACL with Manager access.
If the applications or VMs are more than 100GB, then you will need to actually UPS/FedEx an external drive.

- To make domain name additions/changes, we need:
1. Name of domain name (e.g. support.mindwatering.com)
2. Any other domain names that are secondary aliases
( Please don't give us domain names that aren't registered/renewed, it hurts performance and you cannot use them anyway.)
3. Path to Application. (e.g. MW/mysite.nsf)
(Note: All your apps live in your customer folder.)

As far as time to live, that depends on when you hit us in our production queue and load. Typically 2 - 4 hours is nominal during the day or evening. 4-8 hours is nominal during our graveyard shift. Complicated requests could take a few days.

>>> What are your office and support hours?
Our normal business hours are 9:00 AM to 6:00PM M - F. Our emergency support hours are 24 hours all 7 days.
We tend to do maintenance tasks several times a day. Typically, the set up is 2 - 4 hours after receiving your content except holidays. Our holidays are typically Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. We have a tech on call monitoring on those days who will handle emergency needs. See our contact page off the main menu above.

>>> Shared hosting appears to be too restrictive for me. Do you have another "cloud" option?
Mindwatering can host a Domino server that is just yours. Basically, it's a virtualized server environment running your operating system desired and your Domino server. You control and buy any software licenses, it belongs to you, we are providing the cloud services to maintain the server. We can also do the O/S and Lotus Domino administration of the server as desired. Commonly our clients using this service also take advantage of the bundled Sametime (Entry) chat and Lotus Traveler mobile services. We scale the service individually for each client, so using the menu contact link to let us know what you need.