One of the challenges that many customers face when designing a multi-server or high availability solution for the IBM Notes Traveler product is how to manage the URLs that are provided to their users. Each Traveler server pool in a high availability configuration must have its own unique URL, which, in organizations where multiple pools are used, leads to users being segmented and provided with different URLs (Traveler server pools can typically manage up to approximately 12,000 devices).
This creates a complex environment that can be costly to administer, leads to confused users and limits architecturally how the underlying Notes Traveler environment scales.
To address these issues, the IBM Mobile Connect product has a feature called “Single URL,” which as the name suggests allows a single consistent web URL to be provided to all users.
As can be seen from the diagram below, all users at “rennovations.com” are provided with a single URL of https://Traveler.rennovations.com. When they use this URL on their mobile device to access the Notes Traveler environment, their request is routed at the front of network to the IBM Mobile Connect server, which “maps” this URL to one of two high availability Traveler server pools. These pools have their own unique URLs: https://Pool1.Traveler.rennovations.com and https://Pool2.Traveler.rennovations.com.
The actual URLs assigned to each Notes Traveler server pool are hidden from the users, who will only ever use the single URL they have been provided with.
When this single URL feature is first used, IBM Mobile Connect can create affinity for each user (and all their devices) against one of the available server pools, which ensures that the synchronization history maintained by Notes Traveler for each device the user has for accessing their corporate email, calendar and contacts is correctly maintained (if the user accessed multiple server pools, synchronization history would potentially be different across devices). The affinity is achieved by way of an algorithm in the Mobile Connect product that selects the appropriate Notes Traveler server pool based on pool load or availability and then persists this affinity by storing a record within a database held on the Mobile Connect server.
It is possible to manually assign users to a specific pool using the administration client for the Mobile Connect product; however, this would be a long, laborious task that would also limit architecture options later.
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David J. Pearson is a Solution Architect and Technical Staff Member (TSM) working for IBM Collaboration Software's Centre Of Excellence based in the UK and and an IBM Redbooks thought leader. Follow David on Twitter at @DJPearson1.