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Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

  • 1.  Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

    Posted Aug 28, 2017 03:55 PM
    Hello,
    I'm looking for guidance and assistance in planning for our GP 2016 upgrade that will happen in Q1 of 2018.  I'm looking for someone who has extensive VMWare and GP experience.  I really need some help in getting realistic hardware specifications to our IT team for the SQL server and terminal servers.  The GP 2016 web client might be an option for some of the users; but, most of team that access GP will require access to the client on a terminal server.   I've reviewed the requirements for GP 2016 that Microsoft provides and the minimum is well.....  the minimum, it's not going to cut it.

    Currently we are using GP 2013 R2.
    FRx is being replaced with BI-360 and not in the scope of this project.  It will be complete before.
    Managment Reporter will be replaced with BI-360 and not in the scope of this project.
    We have many third party products.
    Our production installation has 13 company databases.  The GP company and Dynamics databases total about 340 Gig.
    We use SSRS in native mode for some reporting.
    Our system is licensed for 93 GP users and we are running anywhere from 65 to 80 concurrent users
    Currently we have 7 terminal servers for production GP end user access

    We have a test system that can replicate production.

    I can provide more detail upon request.  Please message me if you are interested.

    Thanks

    Joe


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    Joe Guyton
    Accounting Systems Administrator
    Elior, North America
    Ridgeland MS
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 2.  RE: Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

    GPUG ALL STAR
    Posted Aug 29, 2017 09:00 AM
    Edited by Beat Bucher Aug 29, 2017 09:46 AM
    Hi Joe,
    I've been supporting Dynamics GP for the last 14 years... and virtualized GP servers for the past 10 years.. VMWare, Citrix & Windows Terminal server.. All configs that are supported by GP.
    13 GP companies is by no means a big deal, however, I'm wondering about the 340Gb of data accross your GP system.. Does that include only the GP DB's or also MR 2012 ?
    That's an average of 28Gb per company (as the DYNAMICS system DB doesn't ususally grow very large) ! Which module are you using in GP that makes up for so much data ? are you using Manufacturing and generating a lot of forecasting ? I've seen this in my past company where the GP company was around 27GB, but before implementing the MfG module & forecasting, it was around 10-12Gb.. the size was double the original after Mfg was implemented.
    Which 3-rd party modules / ISV products are you using ?
    Our current config hosts about 15 active GP companies (not talking about TEST & archive data) and our GP server has 12Gb of RAM, 2 dual-core CPU's, and about 200GB of hard-drives (3 in total) split up for system & SQL data. All is virtualized with VMWare. The largest company DB is about 14Gb and holds >10 yrs of data.
    We have multiple systems gravitating around GP, and most VM's are sized around that.
    Send me a DM if you want more details..
    Hope this helps to start your project.

    ------------------------------
    Beat Bucher
    Business Analyst, Dynamics GP MVP
    Ultra-Electronics Forensic Technology Inc.
    Montreal QC/Canada
    @GP_Beat http://dyngpbeat.wordpress.com/
    Montreal QC GPUG Chapter Leader
    GP2013R2 / MR2012 CU14
    ------------------------------

    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 3.  RE: Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

    Posted Jun 13, 2019 03:20 PM
    I know that this is an old thread but wanted some insight.  We have VMs running VMWare and are looking to utilize GP through RDS.  What, if any, are our support options if we need to contact Microsoft?  Will MS not touch us if we're in a VMWare environment?

    Thanks,


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    Jeff Neuenschwander
    Bonita Springs Utilities
    Bonita Springs FL
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 4.  RE: Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

    TOP CONTRIBUTOR
    Posted Aug 29, 2017 09:01 AM
    We maintain the SQL server as a physical box and the Term Servers as virtual. Seven virtual servers  on XenApp can handle 200 concurrents.  80 is not an issue.   We ran 80-100 concurrent users on three Citrix Servers for years from 1999 up thru GP V10 in 2010. The physical server for the virtual farm would be a 256GB RAM enterprise server. I would look at SSD but its not as important here as for the SAN.
    Now w GP2016R2 the challenge is more at the SQL server and the data storage
    Look at all SQL installs now with 50% SSD on external physical SAN arrays.
    Also  24 port fiber switches.
    The complexity is too much for here but I can pm you a couple VARS in North America who work with the 40-60 concurrent user installs and up to 100+.
    The recent trend you see in these installs are more in AX than GP but the deployment is the same.
    The GP WEB client is not ready of prime time in large installs.  We looked at it briefly in GP2015 and GP2016 for doing 1000 Timesheets/week thru the PTE and Workflow approval but  its not ready for those volumes.

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    Thaddeus Suter
    Retus, Inc
    TX
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 5.  RE: Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

    Posted Aug 29, 2017 09:21 AM
    Hi Joe,
    Without knowing more details about the entire design, since all parts can have an impact on performance. Every thing from network to server hardware spec etc can impact.

    I have been very active in Solver BI360 Reporting and Planning installations for the past 6 years and Dynamics GP for over 20 years.

    I my experience XenApp can handle 100+ Dynamics Sessions per recommended virtual environment, personally I have found that after 50 they start to have some degree of degradation.
    You also need to think about fall over and disaster recover. So I would create 2 Session servers at minimum just to handle the DR.

    SQL server - well I am in the non virtual server camp for this one. If you want Dynamics GP and all things from it to work at the peek of performance, then go with dedicated hardware for the SQL server. Get the most memory and best drives you can afford. If you have the money to get SSD's then make sure they are write-intensive drives - this makes a huge difference in performance.

    If you do FULL and/or transaction logging / backups, then you also want to have the log files on a different drive array because of DR issues also.

    Now BI360... This is a SQL resource hog! just like all reporting. Not only are you accessing SQL but it runs on top of Excel, thus a double performance hit from the VM side. Here I suggest a separate session sever to run the XenApp Excel from. Max suggestion is 40 - 60, after this I have found performance issues. (Excel is memory hungry)

    My last suggestion is the network design. You are moving a lot of data for reporting etc. If you can make dedicated 10g subnets between the SQL server and the session servers for non-user traffic, only SQL data access between these servers, this has a big performance help. (You need to create custom host files for this to work correctly)

    ------------------------------
    Kerry Hataley
    President & CEO
    Nanook Software, Inc
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 6.  RE: Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

    Posted Aug 29, 2017 09:27 AM
    Hi Joe,

    If you are looking to have a more in depth conversation about this, I would be happy to have a call and talk through it. You are absolutely correct, the system requirements are not enough to run the system optimally and it sounds like you have a lot of added complexities. There are a few things with BI360, as well, that can be done to get that system running faster with GP.

    I can be reached at 301-329-2804.


    Mary Charuhas

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    Mary Charuhas
    KTL Solutions, Inc
    Frederick MD
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


  • 7.  RE: Running Dynamics GP 2016 on VMware

    Posted Aug 30, 2017 11:23 AM
    I am running 100% on Vmware.  My current installation has a virtualized SQL server and 3 Terminal Servers for 30 users.  My SQL server has 8 cores and 32 GB of RAM.  My company database is 30GB with multiple test copies.
    I had the ability to over spec everything and have done so, the 8 cores of SQL server could be reduced and 3 terminal servers are more for redundancy than for performance.

    In my past company I was running GP 10 with a 100+GB company database and 4 Citrix servers for 130 GP users.  30+ users per Citrix host.  Again all virtual on Vmware.

    Key to SQL server performance is memory  I would suggest 32GB, to max out SQL standard.  For disks in a virtual environment, I don't get as picky as the the SQL experts may suggest as the storage most likely is not local to the host.  Your IT guys if experienced with VMware can figure that out.  I tend to keep data and logs on separate logical drives, just to keep them separated.   How they land on a disk is up the the hardware guys.

    For your terminal servers, I would again load them up with memory.  I you are doing remote app I think 7 is way over kill, but may be realistic if you are using remote desktop as they could be running a bunch of other apps on the server.

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    Carl Meyer
    Forge Resources Group
    Dekalb IL
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    Academy - Online Interactive Learning from Experts


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