Getting Started ….
Determining the appropriate IT infrastructure required to support Microsoft Dynamics CRM is very dependent on your business’s particular scenario. By performing Architecture and Scoping Assessments on your current IT infrastructure prior to implementation can determine the architecture changes required for your project. Following the SQL Server requirements and recommendations for Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a good starting point. But anticipating and planning for the growth is equally important. There are three components to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the Client, the Application and the Data, each with different optimization considerations. A good CRM Infrastructure architect understands all the components and knows how to build and deploy using best practices.
Once the designed infrastructure is in place, initial performance testing should be performed. A good tool for this is the Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 Performance Toolkit created by the Microsoft CRM product team. The toolkit facilitates load testing the performance of CRM deployments and is available for download at www.codeplex.com/crmperftoolkit.
Maintaining the performance….
After initially deploying Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0, you will want to revisit your settings periodically to insure you’re still on track. Periodic monitoring can verify your system is optimized to accommodate the unique business and environmental factors inherent to your scenario. A good white paper called “Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 – Optimizing and Maintaining Performance” contains information on optimization techniques and performance improvements. Another good white paper is “Improving Microsoft Dynamics CRM Performance and Securing Data with Microsoft SQL Server 2008” which contains information on SQL 2008 features that, when implemented properly, can improve the performance of a Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 implementation and secure the data within that deployment.
Regularly downloading and installing the latest hot fixes and update roll-ups is a critical first step to enhancing and maintaining the performance of a CRM implementation. After changes are made, be sure to monitor performance to determine if the changes have positive performance gains. You can use the Windows Server System Monitor utility to collect and analyze performance data.
Another area that’s important is overall network performance. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM system relies on good network performance. Two key elements of network performance are bandwidth and latency. Networks with high bandwidth do not guarantee low latency. Excessive latency creates bottlenecks that prevent data from filling the network pipe, thus decreasing effective bandwidth. It’s important to measure and maintain consistent performance on a network by managing both bandwidth and latency in a coordinated fashion.
Having the right technology design, along with maintaining and optimization is just the start. Having a good Technology Solutions Roadmap that identifies what your requirements are today and tomorrow, and is flexible enough to change and adapt as needed is essential.