A while ago, I wrote a post: Why can't I run Microsoft Dynamics GP via ODBC over a WAN? which discussed the reasons why Microsoft Dynamics GP will not work well when trying to use an ODBC (Open Data Base Connectivity) connection over a WAN (Wide Area Network). The post mentioned that the only support method for running Microsoft Dynamics GP in a WAN environment was by using Terminal Server.
With Terminal Server and its clients, all the processing is performed on the Terminal Server. The only processing handled on the client is drawing the screen and communicating with the Terminal Server. The communication between the Terminal Server and the client is just the screen data to be displayed and the keyboard and mouse inputs back to the server. If the Terminal Server is slow, processing will be slow and screen refreshing might be affected. If the connection between the Terminal Server and the client is slow, processing will be fast and only the screen refreshing will be slow.
Note: Citrix sits on top of Terminal Server and provides additional functionality. So when Terminal Server is discussed it refers to both Terminal Server with and without Citrix.
Today, I want to discuss some generic troubleshooting steps for when there are performance issues on a Wide Area Network. These steps are not product specific and could be applied to any system using a similar configuration.
The diagram below represents a simple system with the following components:
When there are performance issues being seen by the WAN TS Client, there are some generic troubleshoot steps to narrow down where the bottleneck is and therefore where the effort needs to be focused.
Let's walk through the points to check:
If there is a problem with the WAN connection it could be related to latency (how fast data travels), bandwidth (how much data travels) or quality (how much data is corrupted or lost). Also with a WAN connection you need to have a look at how much bandwidth you have and what is using it.
If there are other processes using the WAN bandwidth there might not be enough left to service the WAN TS Clients (once divided by the number of clients). For example: copying large files across the WAN will use a lot of bandwidth. Use of the WAN for VOIP (Voice Over IP) communications will not only use a lot of bandwidth, but VOIP packets also have priority over data packets when transmitted.
Printing of large reports using a Terminal Server when the report is printed to printer on the other side of the WAN connection can use lots of bandwidth. Another activity that can cause heavy bandwidth usage is streaming of audio or video.... no more listening to Internet radio all day.
If the WAN performance issue occurs at specific times, then check if any automated backups or file copying is occurring at the same time.
Note: One other issue to look at for a WAN environment is the location of the User Profile and Home Drive for a user. If the User Profile and/or Home Drive for a user is stored on the other side of a WAN connection, slow performance accessing the User Profile and/or Home Drive is very likely.
An excellent reference for performance issues is the Microsoft Dynamics GP 2010 Performance Whitepaper:
This post is designed to help you diagnose where the bottleneck is. Once you known where to investigate, work with the appropriate professionals to get the issue resolved.
Posting from Mark Polino at DynamicAccounting.net
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