We have carried out several test Milestone 7 upgrades over the last few months, with two customers that upgraded from Milestone 3 and Milestone 4 going Live on Milestone 7 prior to the update 1 release.
U4BW – Windows and SQL Server Versions
UNIT4 Business World (Agresso) is now supported on Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016 which can offer enhanced performance, security and high availability features such as SQL Server Availability Groups.
SQL Server High Availability Groups were first introduced in SQL Server 2012 as an Enterprise Feature. In SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition, Basic Availability Groups are now available.
Basic Availability Groups are a cut-down version of the Enterprise offering. They do however fit quite well with the U4BW setup and can be used to provide a very good High Availability / Disaster Recovery setup for a relatively low cost.
The setup can be:-
- Both servers on-premise
- Both servers cloud based
- Primary server on-premise and secondary server cloud based (Hybrid Cloud)
In each setup there are advantages and disadvantages. But each one offers a great solution compared to a single server.
The following table shows which versions of U4BW are supported on Windows Server 2016 and SQL Server 2016. (Please note, SQL Server 2016 doesn’t need Windows Server 2016 and will run on Windows Server 2012 R2.)
|U4BW Version||SQL Server 2016||Windows Server 2016|
|Milestone 5||Yes||Requires UPDATE05|
|Milestone 6||Yes||Requires UDPATE03|
An Agresso Business World customer had an issue with performance. Once a week several hundred users would all do their timesheet entry into Agresso on the same day. Users frequently complained that the system sometimes ran slow, was sluggish and hung while they were entering their timesheet details. However, this behaviour was intermittent and the issue wasn’t always evident.
So, several hundred users all doing timesheet entry into Agresso in a small time frame were experiencing performance issues.
- “Is it the Agresso Web Server that is under too much load and is struggling with the number of connections?”
- “Could additional indexes on the timesheet tables help?”
- “Is there database blocking going on which is forcing users to wait?”
It was actually none of the above.
The web server was under little load. The connections for the timesheet entry were doing very few reads and there was no sign of blocking.
The issue was traced to a large number of server side processes which were using all of the database servers resources and maxing out the disk and memory.
Server side processes definition in this instance: – scheduled jobs and services running on the Agresso Application server.
If users connected to Agresso to do their timesheets while one of these large server side processes was occurring, SQL Server had few resources available to service them. This meant that rather than taking milliseconds to process the timesheet entry, it was taking a few seconds.
An unexpected few seconds delay at the application side seems like a long time to the end users.
Basic and some more advanced techniques were used to sort out the long running server side queries. This alleviated the load on the disk I/O subsystem and memory on the database server and enabled it to deliver a fast service to timesheet entry users.
Further ongoing performance monitoring is in place to identify other badly running queries.
It’s been a busy month and here are just some of the Agresso services we have provide in April.
- A Live M4 Upgrade
- A Live Milestone 5 Upgrade
- Interface Consultancy
- An Agresso Technical Health Check
- A new M5 Installation at a green site
- A Test Milestone 5 upgrade
- And several Technical Training days
A lot of organisations running Agresso Business World are probably aware that Milestone 5 is available. And a certain number will be thinking about upgrading to M5 for either the benefit of new functionality or bug fixes.
It’s useful to be aware in the early stages of planning that Milestone 5 does not support Windows 2008 and 2008 R2 Server, nor does it support SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2.
For new installations this isn’t really an issue as by default most organisations are rolling out new systems are running Windows 2012 R2 Server and SQL Server 2012 / 2014. But for existing customers who may be planning to use their existing test and live environments that are 2008 based a bit more consideration will be required