As upgrading to Domino 8.5.1 went so fine, it is time to upgrade our only Sametime server. Yes. Only Sametime server. We are a company of 80 and there is really no need for something more. Specially as we use WebEx as a meeting and conferencing software.

Thanks to Lars Berntrop-Bos and the news of Domino 8.5.1 I went to download it from IBM partner site. During the download I remembered that the last time I did a Domino upgrade on Linux, our Sametime stopped working as upgrade overridden / deleted some Sametime files and folders. Hence, for the reasons specified in previous upgrade article, I decided to also download newest Sametime 8.5.

In the past, installing Sametime was almost a piece of cake. You installed Domino server, installed Sametime, did some configuration voodoo and you were done. Now, I am presented with 7 or 8 binaries to download. What on earth is System Console Server? Why do I need separate install for 7 other things that were mostly included in one binary in previous release? Why do I need WebSphere Application Server? And I am not even starting on DB2.

Thankfully, uncle Google led me to this blog, where all possible options are described in detail. Now, apparently, to run all new and shiny features, you need at least two servers. Most likely because mixing Domino and Websphere Application Server is not a good idea if not impossible. If you are willing to sacrifice all new and cool meeting and conferencing features, you can keep your one dedicated server and run Sametime 8.5 Classic.

My real question is, what was IBM thinking? I get that separating each and every major feature of Sametime may mean better performance, but I really cannot see smaller companies (up to 150 employees) sacrificing at least one additional server for the sake of running a simple messaging and meeting application. Specially not those (like the one I work at) that already use other meeting and conferencing software. How can I go to my boss and tell him that we need Sametime for meeting and collaboration, when it takes more resources than existing implementation of competitive software? Also, integrating WAS as a framework? Really?

Phew… now with that off my chest, I am off to prepare a plan of upgrading…