Case studies / Cultech

Cultech Limited Solves ERP and SQL Troubles with Diskeeper 18 Server

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<blockquote>“It didn’t just solve some problems, it solved
all of our problems.”</blockquote>

Rob, IT Manager
Cultech Limited

Challenges

• ERP downtime
• Daily manual intervention to fix
corrupted records
• Sluggish ERP and SQL performance

Benefits

• 50% or greater application
performance improvement—with no
additional hardware
• Storage latency and throughput
dramatically improved
• True “set and forget” management
• Compatible with all SAN/NAS, cloudbased, and SSD systems
• “Time Saved” benefits dashboard

Enviornment

• Key applications – Sage ERP, MS-SQL,
file servers
• Servers – HPE DL380 Gen 9
• Operating System – Windows Server 2012R2
• Hypervisor – VMware vSphere 6.0
• Storage – HP
• Network – 10GbE

Features

IntelliWrite® automatically prevents
fragmentation from occurring when a
file is typically broken apart into pieces
before being written to storage, for
greater efficiency.

IntelliMemory® intelligent caching
technology caches active data for read
requests using only idle, available server
memory.

“Time Saved” Benefits Dashboard
shows ongoing benefit of the software
by revealing the amount of I/O offloaded
from storage and how much time that
saves.

Cultech Limited spent months troubleshooting issues related to their Sage ERP with a MS-SQL back end. Daily system hiccups meant Cultech’s IT Manager was calling into Sage support as often as 3-4 times a day to fix corrupted records that would bring operations to a halt. After considering Windows fragmentation as a potential culprit, Cultech turned to Condusiv’s Diskeeper 18 Server to solve issues related to Windows write inefficiencies.

THE CUSTOMER

Established in the UK in 1994, Cultech has become internationally recognized as both an innovator and premium quality manufacturer within the nutritional supplement industry.

THE CHALLENGE

Cultech Limited relied on their Sage ERP with MS-SQL back end to run their business handling tasks from orders to logistics and everything in between. However, when Rob, IT Manager, joined Cultech, the responsibility of “fixing the buggy system” fell to his domain, he found himself rebooting servers and calling Sage support daily to fix system “hiccups.”

By upgrading the network and ripping-and-replacing their ERP and SQL servers, Rob hoped their ERP issues would go away.

“We were running a very demanding ERP system on legacy servers and network. A hardware refresh was the first step in troubleshooting our issues. As much as we did see some improvement, it did not solve the daily breakdowns associated with our Sage ERP,” said Rob, IT Manager, Cultech Limited.

Rob poured through troubleshooting approaches and SQL optimizations over a period of months without finding any relief.

“I was on support calls with Sage literally day and night to solve issues that occurred daily. Files would not write properly to the database, and I would have to go through the tedious process of getting all users to logout of Sage then manually correct the problem – a 25-min exercise. That might not be a big deal every so often, but I found myself doing this 3-4 times a day at times,” said Rob.

While scouring the internet for solutions, Rob discovered Condusiv’s Diskeeper® Server that guarantees to solve Windows performance issues and other problems associated with file fragmentation. After reading customer testimonials on how Diskeeper solved similar problems he was facing, he was eager to give it a try.

THE SOLUTION

Condusiv’s Diskeeper 18 (Diskeeper Server for physical servers and Diskeeper Professional for PCs) is “set and forget” software that runs transparently in the background on Windows servers (and PCs) and automatically offloads I/O traffic from underlying SSD or HDD storage, then streamlines the remaining I/O traffic that remains. All of this is done with near-zero overhead to the CPU. First, Diskeeper eliminates excessively small, fractured writes and reads and displaces them with large, clean contiguous writes so a larger payload of data is carried with every I/O operation to maximize server and storage performance. Second, Diskeeper established an intelligent caching strategy by using idle, available RAM to serve hot reads. Nothing has to be allocated for cache since Diskeeper dynamically adjusts to only what is otherwise unused. With as little as 2GB of available memory, many customers serve as much as 50% of their read traffic, at the speed of RAM. As a result, most Diskeeper customers experience at least 50% faster application performance, with many workloads getting much more, depending on the extent of Windows write inefficiencies and how much memory is available.

THE RESULT

Rob installed Diskeeper Server and within 24-hours, all the Sage ERP hiccups and crashes disappeared.

“I installed Diskeeper and crossed my fingers, hoping it would solve at least some of our problems. It didn’t just solve some problems, it solved all of our problems. I was calling Sage support daily then suddenly I wasn’t calling them at all,” said Rob.

Rob continued, “Diskeeper proactively eliminates fragmentation from occurring in real-time, making it SAN-friendly, cloud-friendly and SSD friendly to solve a problem that otherwise takes manual intervention and after-hours maintenance to address. Now I’m at home in the evening with my wife instead of fixing systems outside production hours.”

Cultech Limited was able to recoup up to 4-hours a day that was otherwise lost to downtime and maintenance during business hours. Moreover, IT resources are now able to focus on innovation instead of firefighting and reactively providing break/fix solutions.

“Now that we have Diskeeper optimizing our Sage servers and SQL servers, we have it running on our other key systems to ensure peak performance and optimum reliability. Instead of considering Windows write inefficiencies as a culprit after trying all else, I would encourage administrators to think of it first,” said Rob.

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