Monday, September 21, 2009

Microsoft Dynamics GP v10 and supported virtualization platforms

The Windows Server Catalog site may just be one of the best kept secrets on the web. According to the About This Site page, "[t]he Windows Server Catalog lists thousands of hardware and software items compatible with the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2003 operating systems. In addition, products may also be compatible with other versions of Microsoft Windows as shown in each product details page."

In response to my friend Steve Endow's inquiry on Microsoft's support of vitualization environments and Dynamics GP, I went in quest of finding the answer since it is not always apparent where to find this information. The first place of course, the Systems Requirements page of CustomerSource/PartnerSource. On this page, you can clearly read the software and hardware virtualization platforms supported, but as usual the fine print is rather more interesting.



It turns out this page points to the Windows Server Catalog page where furthermore you can inquiry on other tested solutions by clicking on the Server Virtualization Validation Program site link.


The site has a Support Policy Wizard link that will take you to a wizard-based tool where you can select the products you would like to obtain support information about.



Next, in the product drop-down, you can choose any of the Microsoft products listed, in this case, Dynamics GP. Version 10 is the only release listed, but I am sure this will change in a couple years from now with the advent of new releases.


After clicking Next, the wizard presented a drop-down list with the supported virtualization technologies. Among the ones listed:

  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Cisco WAAS Virtual Blades 4.1
  • Novel SUSE Linux Ent Server 10 SP2
  • VMWare ESX 3.5 Update 2, 3, 4
  • VMWare ESXi 3.5 Update 3, 4
  • VMWare vSphere 4
  • Citrix XenServer 5, 5.5
But there had to be more, right? Right! The wizard allows you to check on the guest operating system configurations and processors along with the environment to verify which configurations have been tested and are currently supported.


As indicated in the screenshot, I decided to try something not too common: I selected Cisco WAAS Virtual Blades 4.1 as the virtualization technology, Windows Server 2008 R2 as the guest OS, and x64 as the OS architecture. When I pressed Next ...



...I was pleasantly surprised to see that Cisco WAAS Virtual Blades with Windows Server 2008 R2 (x64) was a supported platform. The good news is, as long as a platform and a configuration is supported you are able to obtain technical support.

Until next post!

MG.-
Mariano Gomez, MVP
IntellPartners, LLC
http://www.intellpartners.com

4 comments:

Scott said...

I have access to customersource, but cannot access the Server Virtualization Validation Program. It wants me to sign up for something. I cannot do that at the moment. Can you give me a ballpark idea on something? We set up a sql cluster (2 node active-passive) on windows 2008 R2 enterprise & SQL 2008 R2 (x64). These are dual-core with 16 GB of ram each. With only 10 clients or some testing the system, the CPU is pegging. I know when we had physical hardware we used quad cores, but I read it is not recommended to do this in vmware. It doesn't seem correct that such light usage should cause this. All the standard indexes are present for GP 2010. Can you recommend anything? There was no blocking or deadlocks going on. Just this high CPU staying between 80 and 100%. I couldn't find anything on customer source or google about GP 2010 requirements in a vmware environment, yet I see plenty of people are running it in vmware.

Thanks,
Scott Emick DBA

Mariano Gomez said...

Scott,

You can access the Server Virtualization Validation Program site directly at:

http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/svvp.aspx

I did not get asked for any sign up of any kind.

Can you confirm a couple things:

1. Is the server pegging even with no clients accessing it? What if you launch GP directly from the server?

2. Which server is pegging? The SQL Server or the Windows Server? It would sound like the SQL Server according to what you describe, but I just need to confirm.

Finally, I have a number of clients running on VMware without any issues, so clearly there may be something environmental causing this problem.

Scott said...

The SQL server is pegging only when the clients are accessing it using GP 2010. I too have other clients using VMWare & SQL/GP 10 with no problems on similar platforms to this one.

When I go to the link you listed I cannot find "Dynamics GP", "Microsoft Dynamics GP" or a few other things I searched for. But I guess I don't need to use that, plenty of people are using vmware esx.

This new client I set up the SQL Server Cluster, but their VAR did the GP Install. I haven't had access since. I will probably check all the standard things like recovery model, backups, index rebuilds, update statistics, DMV's (of missing indexes etc), run the sql profiler, run the windows perfmon against memory, cpu, & disk. I guess I was just looking for some kind of special caveats you might have encountered with virtual install of GP 2010.
Thanks for your time and if you have any more suggestions, they are welcome.

Scott

Mariano Gomez said...

Scott:

There are couple things that come to mind:

1. Run esxtop to compile some stats on your server. You will want to check for two stats in particular: %wait and %idle. If they are too high, it means there's some I/O operation that the server is waiting on.

2. When your customer built this VM and loaded Windows on it, how many CPUs got assigned to the VM? You may have a problem with your HAL, in this case, you should be using an SMP HAL, which I can't tell if you are or aren't. Come back with an answer on that.

Go into Device Manager, and look under the computer branch, and see what kind of kernel you are running.