In the fast-paced world of business, organizations rely on efficient Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems like Dynamics AX (now known as Dynamics 365 Finance and Supply Chain Management) to streamline operations, enhance productivity, and gain a competitive edge. However, as your business grows and evolves, it’s crucial to ensure that your Dynamics AX system continues to perform optimally. Conducting a performance assessment is a proactive approach to identify bottlenecks, optimize processes, and maintain peak performance. In this blog, we will outline the essential steps to perform a Dynamics AX performance assessment and keep your ERP running smoothly.
Before diving into the assessment process, we want to establish clear objectives for the evaluation. Determine the key performance metrics you want to analyze, such as response times, data processing speeds, system stability, and resource utilization. Also, clearly defining the scope of the assessment, focusing on specific modules and critical business processes.
The technical assessment can be broken down into four primary parts: Hardware & Infrastructure; SQL Performance & Query Tuning; Application Settings, and Application / Code Review.
Hardware & Infrastructure
- Gather detailed information about the hardware components of your servers. This includes specifications of each server, such as CPU, RAM, Storage, and network capabilities.
- Analyze server utilization, assess how resources are being utilized. Check CPU usage, memory consumption, disk I/O and network utilization for potential bottlenecks.
- If environment is virtualized, review physical hosts and virtualization platform to ensure optimal configuration.
- Review network configuration to ensure there are no latency or network constraints.
- Review storage (direct and indirect) for optimal configuration for OLTP workloads.
- Review application delivery. Dynamics AX rich client, or application publishing method such as Terminal Services, Remote App, Citrix, etc.
SQL Performance & Query Tuning
- Evaluate frequent and long running queries using SQL Profiler or Extended Events.
- Review indexing and statistics strategy in place, compared to Microsoft best practices.
- Review TempDB configuration to ensure optimal performance by having appropriate file sizes, enabling trace flags, matching number of TempDBs to CPUs, and segregating TempDB from user databases.
- Review batch server configuration to ensure they are appropriately sized as well as allocated with sufficient resources to handle scheduled jobs efficiently.
- Review batch job settings to avoid overlapping resource intensive tasks.
- Review user session settings such as session timeouts.
- Review Database Logging settings.
Application / Code Review
- Security Models
Data Archiving & Clean Up Strategies (Optional)
Depending on the version of Dynamics AX you are currently utilizing, Microsoft has standard functionality to purge, truncate, or clean up old data. Within Dynamics AX there are various tools and functionalities that allow you to clean up sate records or inventory transactions to ensure optimal performance. Some of these tools are:
- DMF – Can be used for data imports but mass deletions of stale records in various modules, including inventory.
- Inventory Cleanup – The inventory cleanup functionality is designed explicitly for cleaning up inventory-related data, such as obsolete products, expired inventory transactions, or aged stock. It helps to identify and remove unwanted inventory data based on various criteria.
- Batch Job Management – Utilizing batch jobs, you can automate the data cleanup tasks, such as removing inventory transactions older than a specific date or deleting records that meet certain conditions or criteria.
- Intelligent Data Management Framework (IDMF) – This tool allows you to analyze your Dynamics AX Database and maintain an optimal database size. Depending on strategy, the IDMF allows companies to purge or archive data based on entities, tables, or certain criteria.
We’ve been implementing and supporting Dynamics products since the beginning and want to see you succeed. Contact our Dynamics experts to learn more about the technical assessment and what it can do for you.