Systems Health Check
A top domestic general building contractor’s implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution designed specifically for the construction industry was experiencing performance problems. The company asked Synaptitude to perform a Health Check on the environment that supports the ERP installation. The primary objectives of the Synaptitude Health Check were to:
- Identify environmental issues that are causing processes to take too long to execute
- Assess that the application and hardware environment’s settings and configuration are optimized for the activities and jobs performed by the software
- Assist the company in configuring the third-party monitoring tools for their ERP production environment
The Synaptitude Health Check is a diagnostic service that is designed to examine and analyze operational activities and performance. The output includes recommendations on how to remediate the impacting issues in order to meet performance baselines. The recommendations include software and configuration changes to the ERP environment as a less costly alternative, but also provide hardware and physical asset suggestions where deficiencies are found.
The Health Check was centered on the ERP Production infrastructure (physical and virtual servers), as well as the ERP Development infrastructure. The scope also included the related and impacting network elements: the Load Balancers, Firewalls, Network Adapters, and the SAN.
We used the tools and monitoring applications that the company already had invested in so that baselines could be established and performance targets set for Operations moving forward. This approach enabled the company’s Operations staff to gain experience in their tools and to become comfortable in the diagnosis and remediation of performance issues in the future.
Key activities completed during the Health Check:
- Reviewed system documentation and reports related to performance-impacting configurations and testing
- Reviewed and Analyzed system configurations across the environments
- Reviewed IT infrastructure, including network elements
- Presented concerns with the supporting IT Infrastructure and our recommended changes
A sampling of the specific tasks that were performed:
- Analysis of the Unix/Linux environment including:
- Server Memory
- Shared Memory
- Memory Usage
- I/O Statistics
- CPU Usage
- Review log files:
- Alert log
- Application Server logs
- Unix/Linux System logs
- Execution of ERP processes:
- Perform SQL Trace on long job processes
- Execute/Review AWR, ASH & ADDM Reports
- Review Table/Index Structures/Statistics/Data Distribution
- Check Database for existence of the following using Scripts/Monitoring Tools:
- Application blocking locks
- Resource contention
- Space shortages
- Other database bottlenecks
- Process SQL Trace File/Review output:
- Review/Analyze DB Workflow processing
- Analysis of Workflow queues
- Analysis of Workflow parameters
- Discussion/Analysis with DB Support
- Review Database Initialization Parameters:
Our Health Check Final Report included a number of detailed findings and recommendations, A condensed summary of some of the more significant areas is:
- ERP Database – We identified several instances in the current configuration and setup which were not optimized to best practices. We recommended changing some specific DB attributes which had had a negative impact on database performance.
- Application Servers – We identified several areas to be configured incorrectly (or not existing), in the Application Server environments that impact scenarios like failover, authentication, three tier architecture, and performance benchmark.
- Physical DB Server – A number of services that should be running were identified as being dormant. Additionally, we suggested several security and operational best practices be implemented.
- Virtualization – We delivered recommendations to ensure that there is balance across the cluster and consistent resources are available to VMs.
- We worked with the company’s staff to configure their monitoring tools for the ERP production environment.
The Health Check Final Report enabled the company to prioritize and plan a number of activities to implement the recommendations based on the greatest impact and estimated level of effort that would fit both their time and budget constraints.