Well, not too much has happened on my NAV2009 implementations. But
I thought I would blog on something that might be of interest, NAV2009 and
Seems that every time I open a serious computer related magazine
there is at least one or another article discussing virtualization.
Pre the release of RTC (NAV2009) we had already adopted a policy
of implementing the virtualization of our servers using the VMWare product.
This has not been without its issues for sure, but all in all this strategy has
been great in allowing scalability, growth, and efficiency. The development
team have been able to request and have delivered a fresh “Server” to work with
in short order and without an investment in new hardware and serious tech time.
As I am writing this I am in the middle of building a Dynamics Mobile server, without
virtualization this is all hardware based and has cost issues hanging over its neck.
I’m sure there is a way you can link this back to lowering your carbon
footprint by saying you are running substantially less machines, perhaps you
could even sell you carbon credits to China or India who are bellowing out
As for RTC and virtualization for the VAR they seem to complement
each other. We get a new customer and we simply deploy out a template VMWare
image that has Server 2003/2008, SQL2005/2008, NAV2009 Preinstalled on it.
Rename the machine to the customer name, add it to the domain, adjust the
correct NAV related config file and Bob’s your uncle. With very little effort
at all I have an up and running customer environment with which to work. No
messing around with multiple Nav Service Layer services, each machine has its
own service running and all the local employee machines can access the customer
database with both RTC and Classic. Substantially less man hours needed to get
up and running, and great reliability.
So far I am failing to find any downfalls with the use of Virtualization.
We have had no performance issues, but we are not in a production 35 user
setup, so not sure of the ramifications of Virtualization on a live client
site. Our technical team have advised me they see no issues with the database
performance, and we have implemented a turnkey solution to one customer which
included a complete Domain on virtualization. I trust my guys and their
knowledge, but then I always think back to how many times I have come across
very smart, intelligent, knowledgeable and experienced guys who setup the
Database in a RADI5 configuration and how you can’t convince them that RAD1+0
is the way ahead. I guess time will tell on the virtualization, I am not
worried as I think we have a talented enough team here to quickly respond to
issues should they ever occur.
The other type of virtualization that I have running is Virtual
Server 2005 R2 on a Windows Server 2008 box. With this I am using the MS virtualization
method of VPC. The images that MS give us to work with our great, however you
cannot add them to your domain, and thus, you cannot get more than one person
logged in at a time, they also have a lot of things installed on the machines.
Very Swiss Army Knife, but not so great when showing the product and its
running in slow motion.
The VPC server (We have affectionately named “The Hoff”) is again
a place where I maintain a template (base) Nav VPC build when a new requirement
to go to a site and “show” something occurs I copy the template, rename it, add
it to the domain and TS license it. This opens my whole team to log in and work
on this machine, and also they can work with it locally on their machines by running
RTC or Classic. Come time to go to the site to demo what we have done I
simply copy the VPC image to a External HDD (I recommend you plug the USB
directly into the Server and not use the network) and we can then run the image
on the Virtual PC. This makes the process truly mobile and exceptionally efficient.
Once completed we can then archive the Vmc and VHD files onto a DAT or burn it
to a DVD and store for later use. Freeing up space on the server.
The benefits here over the VPC’s the Microsoft gives you is that you
have a lot more control and can add and take away what you want from the
machine, freeing up precious resources. If you opt to run VPC on laptops I recommend
you do some research into config settings, and best practices. Get this wrong
and you will have a dog on your hands.