How much is one Notes seat per month

by Volker Weber

This seems to be pretty easy* question, doesn't it? I only need a rough estimate of what people are paying right now. It does not need to be as low as it can, or as precise as possible. I just need a rough estimate.

What should the price include? All software licensing, the server(s), mail storage, administration, second level support. Not user help desk, not the PCs, no install. 500 users, so I assume, we are fine with one server cluster.

*) You would not believe which global services company cannot come up with a number.


Let's do some math, then, shall we? This is in USD. Someone else feel free to correct me if I'm wrong - I'm just an admin/developer...

Since we're clustering, we'll need Domino Enterprise edition. This lists for $3,705 per CPU. For 500 users, let's say 2 procs per cluster server. This is $14,820.

Let's also assume that these users will do more than just messaging and go with the Notes Collaboration license at $140. This is $70,000.

You could get away with one dedicated admin lowballing at $50,000/year.

I'm an iSeries guy, but I won't go that route. Let's look at RedHat enterprise at about $400 per server with support. This is $800.

For the hardware, let's shoot for about $40,000 - this includes one tape drive and 2 xSeries boxes.

I'm not going to go into Windows CALs...

So, initial cost, what are we looking at now? $175,620. This is just list price as well and the servers may be a little overkill. ;)

Per user per month = $29.27. This would also be significantly reduced the second year into it when you're just renewing the licenses. If you leased the hardware that could also help out.

Chris Whisonant, 2006-06-28

For 500 users, you might be using Domino Express licensing, which avoids the per-CPU/per-server licensing altogher -- but that rules out clustering and renewal is (I believe) full price yearly. As a comparison point, let's go with it. I believe the non-upgrade price is US$133/user, so that's $66.5K/yr client and server license costs.

And $40K is way overkill for hardware expenditure for 500 users. Even $20K without clustering is overkill. $12.5K would cover a Compaq DL-380 G4's 2x3.4GHz w/3GB RAM and enough storage for 1GB per user, plus SuSE 9, warranty and a tape backup device. Let's call it 5K per year, which will cover a three year lease and leave some left over for miscellaneous things.

If I go with Chris' low-ball cost of $50K for an Admin, then I get a total annual cost of $121.5K; which is $20.25/month.


Richard Schwartz, 2006-06-28

Thanks for the hardware tip Rich. I knew I was probably WAY overkill with that... =) That's the iSeries in me!

Chris Whisonant, 2006-06-28

Thanks, Richard and Chris. So it looks like Notes can be had for 30 per user and month. That is a good guestimate.

Volker Weber, 2006-06-28

Hi Rich, renewal is not full price yearly. Here are some example prices in USD.
IBM Lotus Domino Collaboration Express User License + SW Maintenance 12 Months = $133.00
IBM Lotus Domino Collaboration Express User Annual SW Maintenance Renewal = $34.48
IBM Lotus Domino Collaboration Express User from Competitor Trade Up License + SW Maintenance 12 Months = $99.75

Alan Lepofsky, 2006-06-28

Oh, wow! Alan, I have no idea how I got that misimpression. No wonder I gave up on re-selling years ago.

So, re-doing the math, the license cost is $US 66.5K for the first year, but only $17.4K for each subsequent year. That averages out to $33.5K/yr. So the average yearly total of hardware, admin and software license is $88.5K, which is only $14.75/yr.

I still push that up a bit, though, because I think that Chris' $50K number is too low; and there are always going to be other costs to account for.

Richard Schwartz, 2006-06-28

Yeah, like I said the $50k is lowballing it! And I was actually just looking at that from the straight salary perspective - not counting the other costs that the employer would have to pay for benefits and taxes/FICA... stupid me!

Chris Whisonant, 2006-06-28

One thing to throw in about the hardware specs: Intel based dual core CPUs are licenced as one CPU. So, an actual server hardware fitted with one dual core Xeon or Opteron CPU should serve 500 users easily. Especially when running in a cluster where you can do load balancing.

So, I wouldn't go for the express licence without cluster support.

Another option with 500 uses is a CEO (Complete Enterprise Option) bundle. There are various packages including Notes/Domino, Sametime, Quickplace, Portal Servers, etc. And you can run as many servers on as many CPUs you like. But I've no idea about the pricing. Sorry.

Max Nierbauer, 2006-06-28

I did a quick review on some TCO studies in Europe. The average TCO (only direct costs) was EUR 27.50/user/month.

The proportional share for Hardware/Software/Staff= 10%/20%/70%.

Some remarks;
-organizations in scope had each >5,000 Notes users
-costs for other software like antivirus etc. included
-application developers included in Staff costs

Coen Aukema, 2006-06-28

Richard, I think that you are right with the Express offering suggestion, but Volker needs Cluster, and express solutions doesn't support clustering. A shame, even more, you have to buy Domino Enterprise server in order to have cluster support.

After that, you can use Lotus Notes w/Messaging or Domino Web Access.

Just my two cents.


Alex Hernandez, 2006-06-28

Passport Advantage licensing for Notes and Domino Enterprise + hardware depreciation (2 node Cluster Dell DL2850, Linux, 2 x 2CPUs, 2 x 4 GB, 2 x 500GB RAID - no Backup Device, no SAN ). No helpdesk support, no notes admin/developer cost, no consultancy cost.
--> EUR 400 / pa / seat. Just a rough calcualtion I use for budget / capex planning. Might be a little high.

helmut weiss, 2006-06-28

I dont think you need a full time Administrator for only 1 or 2 Server and 500 Users. It's a part time Job :-). You can hire an external Admin.

Werner Krause, 2006-06-29

Is it really true that "Intel based dual core CPUs are licenced as one CPU"?
I thought this would only apply to hyperthreading CPUs, real dual core is different, isn't it?
But: at least we learn something new every day ;-)

Frank Michel, 2006-06-29

Frank, have a look:

Max Nierbauer, 2006-06-29

Sorry! Missed that obviously. You are right.

Frank Michel, 2006-06-29

so, this is should not be an advetisment, but I am kinda speaking on behalf for my customer. They have a cost of average of 17,5 € per month per seat. This includes all licenses, all administration, all trafic, all server hardware, and mainanence of some value add applications.
Volker, feel free to delete this post if you think, this is to much advertisement. :-)

Gregory Engels, 2006-06-30

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