Friday, 24 April 2009

NAV 2009 Performance Guide is here

The long awaited NAV 2009 Performance Guide is here. You can download it from the site.

You should download the document and read it to draw your own conclusions from the tests that were performed. I found the forty-page document quite heavy going with a lot of technical results (that I didn't fully understand) and some limited conclusions of the analysis. I did find the summaries useful, it's just that I could have used more summary and less data.

One interesting conclusion, for me, was that a single NAV Server appears to be able to comfortably handle 50 concurrent users. This was based upon the NAV Server application, being a 32-bit application that can work with 3GB of RAM or less, showing a 1.7GB memory consumption for 50 concurrent users. Obviously this is dependent on the type of hardware you are using and the scenarios your users are likely to be running. The document contains sufficient disclaimers on the findings so, as is often the nature of benchmarking results, this information is more of a guideline than a rule.

With respect to virtualisation, the team do not recommend using a Hyper-V virtualised environment for production use due to the reduced performance.

Personally I found that this document fell short of my expectations. It is clear that the team have put a lot of effort into their studies; however, I would like to see a guide to sizing hardware that is easy to use and understand. It would be nice if we could have some recommendations that answer the following questions:

  • What is the maximum number of users?
  • At what point should I separate the tiers on to three machines over two?
  • How many users should I be running per NAV Server?

I would also like to see the scenarios run in the Classic architecture to see what performance benefits we get from the three-tier architecture.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

My New Toy - Sony PRS-505

I’ve tried to read electronic books (ebooks) in the past but have always preferred paper books (pbooks). As my good friend Vjeko said, “I like reading lying down - and I most certainly don't like the feel of laptop lid hitting my forehead when I fall asleep :-)”

Having said all of that, I have bought a new toy that has changed my reading world and has convinced me that, whilst the pbook will probably never die out completely, the age of the ebook seems to almost upon us. The new generation of readers are become cheaper and more accessible and more and more publishers are getting their books out in ebook formats.

There are a lot of reading devices available, and if you’re interested in learning about them, I can recommend the forum I spent a while looking at the various devices on this site before a forum member offered to sell me a Sony PRS-505 second hand. I have now had the device for nearly two weeks and have finished reading “Simple Genius” by David Baldacci. David’s book is great and I really enjoyed it – he certainly is a very talented author, however I enjoyed reading the book even more because I was reading on my new reader.

If you’ve read ebooks on a phone or PDA or laptop, you’ll know that it can be a frustrating experience. The back-light on these devices can make your eyes tired. Laptops have a tendency to get hot and take a while to boot – not to mention the rate they chew through batteries. The Sony PRS-505 on the other hand does not use a traditional LCD display but instead using a technology called e-ink that has a similar effect to reading a glossy magazine it only uses power to change a page which means you will be able to read for hours and hours on a single charge. The internal storage and memory cards mean you can carry hundreds of books with you.

Incidentally, you can buy a PDF format e-book version of Implementing Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2009 from the PACKT web site. I’m looking forward to future devices that promise larger displays (good for reading A4 PDF documents) such as the Plastic Logic Reader, but for now, I’m really pleased with my new toy.