iOS 5 – Showstopper for Traveler!

We have been approached by a customer a few days ago that there are serious performance issues with Lotus Traveler in combination with iOS5 devices. In the concrete case, only a few devices (4-5) led to 100% CPU utilization and no further sync requests could be processed.

The problem situation comes from the new Reminders functionality in iOS5, which are currently not supported by Lotus Traveler. When the Reminders functionality is activated in the ActiveSync profile for Lotus Traveler the device tries to sync them with the Traveler server. As it’s not supported by the server that may lead to recurring requests on the server side – and that will lead to massively degraded performance.

Unfortunately – there are additional problems. Although the “Mark message” functionality or creating a new folder on the device may lead to a similiar behavior on the Traveler server. It can happen that each sync of a marked message or a new folder will create up to 1,000 error log entries!

In a test we have reproduced the high CPU utilization with only 2 iOS5 devices.

The easiest way to see if this issue happens to your Traveler environment is looking into the SystemDump and NTSUsage logs. In the system dump we log folder adds from server to device – if this number is abnormally high then you are facing this issue. For example, this value was in SystemDump from a server with approx 1500 users.

DeviceSync.Documents.ToDevice.Folder.Add = 8296223

8+ million folder adds is abnormally high for 1500 users.

In the NTSUsage logs you will also see repeated requests from the device to sync all folders. Here is an example record:

******FolderSync_0 dm 200 5813 “Apple-iPhone3C3/901.334” **** 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 36 0 0 “S2D Fldr 36A”

The FolderSync_0 action is requesting all folders, which in this case is resulting in sync of 36 folders. This message will appear repeatedly in the NTSUsage log for the user who has created folders in the Reminder app.

The user is also likely to see drastic reduction in battery life on the device.

It is highly recommended to de-activate the Reminders functionality within the ActiveSync Traveler profile. The safest way will be not to upgrade to iOS5 (that’s hard, isn’t it?!).

IBM is preparing a technote for that topic. They are although creating a hotfix for Traveler 8.5.2.x and 8.5.3 (which is already prepared but not really finished).