Just like the human body, to remain healthy and operate optimally, your ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution needs care and maintenance. To keep your
1. Schedule regular health checks
Whether it’s annually, quarterly, or more often, scheduling routine evaluation and maintenance of your Microsoft SQL Database and Application servers will identify issues before they become problems and help ensure that your system continues to function optimally.
What should your health check include?
- Check the Event and SQL logs for error messages. This will alert you to any signs of trouble or performance issues users may be experiencing.
- Evaluate your storage needs and capacity. Document your database storage use and anticipate increased requirements for the future. Be sure you can accommodate unexpected growth.
- Document your backup cadence and retention schedules.
- Reevaluate which employees have access and what type. Employees may change; be sure your logical access coincides with your current list of users.
- Run optimization tools to check for expensive queries and deadlocks. Patching, customizations, and data load can affect daily operations in ways that may not be readily apparent.
- Review your anti-virus configuration and exclusions list.
- Query end-users for any operating issues or performance concerns.
2. Test your backup system
Are you sure your backups are working? When was the last time you checked? Regularly testing your backups will let you know if there are problems so they can be addressed before your data is threatened by hardware failure, ransomware, or hacking. It’s demoralizing to think you have a flawless recovery plan for your data only to find that your backups are missing or corrupt.
3. Stay current
While troubleshooting in the past, you may have been told that you needed the latest patch to resolve an issue. Unexpected downtime spent testing and implementing patches can disrupt your business and undermine an end-user’s confidence in the system. By regularly scheduling patching windows, you can head off problems. But don’t overdo the patches. Install only patches that are critical for security or are specifically related to your environment. And, if at all possible, test them first in a development environment.
4. Invest in the test
If you don’t already have one, consider investing in a development or test environment. Running changes through a test environment will mitigate a lot of issues before they cause problems for your system.
Many companies opt for test databases, and that works well if you are testing changes to the database or data. But for environment patching and code changes, you will need a separate environment altogether.
5. Organize your software
If you’re faced with rebuilding a broken system, locating and downloading the exact version of your software and the license keys for your environment will be a huge chore. The more organized your records are, the better to get you up and running faster. Be sure your vendors leave their code with you and store it with the version number in the correct file. Maintain the source code for any customization, and document SQL recovery scripts and jobs to help in the reimplementation.
6. Document environment settings
Documentation: we all know we should have it, but we don’t always make it a priority. What’s more, as soon as you hit save, another change will be made, and you’ll have to update your work again to keep it current. Still, it’s worth the effort. Schedule time for documentation into every project. When it comes time to upgrade, move servers, or even test the mettle of the newest user, your documentation is invaluable.
7. Work with a knowledgeable partner
Applications can differ, each one having unique preferences and settings. Even applications from the same vendor may require specialized attention as well as configuration of the infrastructure. Consider handing over the maintenance tasks to your application vendor. Schedule them periodically to perform SQL health checks or maintenance events on your servers and read through the documentation.
As with any valuable investment, maintenance is key to performance. Our Microsoft Dynamics experts at Enavate can regularly perform health and maintenance checks to keep your systems running at peak performance.