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MIS Systems Thread, Sims Server Performance Benchmarks in Technical; Originally Posted by localzuk They do complain to be fair. As it means adding new features, outside the tender, which ...
  1. #31

    vikpaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    They do complain to be fair. As it means adding new features, outside the tender, which due to the dominant market position could be claimed to be anti-competitive, as they would be 'forcing' their way into a new market. Kinda like Microsoft bundling Media Player and Internet Explorer into Windows etc...
    Absolutely, and they are always at the edge of being accused of abusing their dominant position. And, usually not allowed to discuss a lot of these issues in public.

    I don't think this would apply to fixing existing issues, or improving older products. Modernising a product e.g. Nova, which will still essentially do the same task, isn't abuse of position, just making your customers happy. Giving away improvements should be mandatory!
    @matt40k - if Capita gave away intouch for free every messaging / texting company out there would complain, and rightly so, it's something that was never sold as part of core SIMS. I'm not sure what they'd gain by giving it away, apart from lock-in, and maybe some good press for a change

    The smaller companies have it easy in a way, as they can copy what SIMS does, or wants to do, and give it away with their core offering and get away with it, plus it's probably easier to program, make it look good and work well with existing systems.

    I doubt very much if being King of the Castle is an easy position to be in.

  2. #32

    matt40k's Avatar
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    You're being silly now @vikpaw. InTouch is new business, upgrading Nova isn't. It's common sense. They don't do it because if they jumped from v6 to v7 for everything everyone would need to re-tender as it's a new product. It's why a lot of companies that sell to government release a new product but still support the old version because they know if they didn't support the old version they wouldn't win the tender again.

    If it was really was the fear of other MIS suppliers complaining if they upgraded, say Nova, or the reporting engine, isn't Capita large enough to take it on the hip? Let it go to court, then it'll be public knowledge that a certain MIS supplier(s) is basically say hey, we're not happy that Capita is trying to save Schools money and improve the overall education of our children. Technically speaking, Microsoft sue them because schools aren't buying Lync because Capita included a messaging and alerts service within SIMS. Even if this was 100% true, Microsoft would never do it just because of the bad PR. For me the law stops them from setting the rules rather then improving the market. They can't for example define a CTF for staff which would not work for the community of MIS providers at large, or enforce licensing costs.

  3. #33

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    I'm serious. I don't get it. You shouldn't have to re-tender just because the version increased, even if it was the entire underlying architecture or do you .....?
    I don't think anyone would complain if they upgraded Nova or reports, but they defo do if they release new products / 'features'.

    I'm not sure these cases reach the public domain, i don't think the complainers dare hold their hands up, sometimes it's probably anonymous complaints.

    I think they have it wrong and they should be fixing the old issues rather than investing in new areas, but the impact of this re-tendering could be the reason if what you say is true.

    We should probably split this chat off into a different thread, we've really veered off the benchmarking process now.

  4. #34

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    I don't get it either mate, but we had it here when the HR system went ASP.net from ASP. That's why we're still using the ASP version (well till it gets replace next year). I get why you have the tender process but it's like other processes, it works 95%+ of the time, but the other 5% it shots you in the foot.

    Not sure it is anonymous, if it is, it shouldn't be.

    PS: Yes, just a bit. Still not seen any terrible benchmarks yet, 32 seconds to load SIMS isn't too bad. Still takes me 10mins to login to Windows in the morning!

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    zag
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    We have just spent 3k+ on this software and hardware getting it all updated and I am still get regular complaints about it being "slow" from users.

    - I've purchased brand new hardware
    - Paid Capita to come in and do the install (they did a great job)
    - Did all the recommended things like putting SQL data on a 2nd drive, using SSD, 10GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores ect ect
    - Set it up as Capita advises

    And its still horribly horribly slow to the point where my users are blaming me (so I need someone else to blame haha)
    Last edited by zag; 11th November 2013 at 03:52 PM.

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    Explain how you are limited to slowest part and you have tracked down the bottleneck to the users - 11 secs - you're typing too slow!

    To be honest, 11 secs startup in the morning to cache pretty much everything, leave it open all day, then shutdown at the end of the day. Not sure how you could really explain any futher costs trying to improve that. Lets say you get it down to 5 secs, that's 6 secs saved per day say 50 staff, that's a saving of 5 mins a day, that's what 4 a day efficiency saving? Pretty sure getting a tea lady to bring all the staff tea and coffee would make more sense. Are you sure it's not that all your users are connecting via 1 wireless access point or something silly like that?

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    It's not the login time it's the report time that is a killer. I know where @zag is coming from. When a teacher or any staff want a list of kids waiting 15 secs is just too long, and perception will be bad.

  8. Thanks to vikpaw from:

    zag (12th November 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post

    To be honest, 11 secs startup in the morning to cache pretty much everything, leave it open all day, then shutdown at the end of the day. Not sure how you could really explain any futher costs trying to improve that. Lets say you get it down to 5 secs, that's 6 secs saved per day say 50 staff, that's a saving of 5 mins a day, that's what 4 a day efficiency saving? Pretty sure getting a tea lady to bring all the staff tea and coffee would make more sense. Are you sure it's not that all your users are connecting via 1 wireless access point or something silly like that?

    11 seconds adds up.
    10million kids in the UK. Capita have an 80% monopoly with 8Million kids.
    5 days per week, 38 weeks per year. 8000000*5*38*11 = 193,000 days !!

    Assuming the teacher doesn't move rooms so doesn't need to log in every period to do a lesson then Capita are responsible for a hell of a lot of lost learning time every year in the UK.

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    That would be right if every kid wanted to login to SIMS once a day and wanted instantaneous response.

    Plus Capita have way more than 80%!

    I'd concede 3000 days if your 10M start value is right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    That would be right if every kid wanted to login to SIMS once a day and wanted instantaneous response.

    Plus Capita have way more than 80%!

    I'd concede 3000 days if your 10M start value is right.
    I got it from Wolfram Alpha.

    It probably makes more sense to work it for the 620,000 teachers then. Say 80% make that: 0.8*620000*5*38 = 26,000 hours.
    Anyone care on working out how much this is costing the DfE based on an average 35k wage?

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    Do the specs of client machines make any difference to load times ?

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    CAM
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    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd View Post
    I got it from Wolfram Alpha.

    It probably makes more sense to work it for the 620,000 teachers then. Say 80% make that: 0.8*620000*5*38 = 26,000 hours.
    Anyone care on working out how much this is costing the DfE based on an average 35k wage?
    But 11 seconds is still insignificant. That's a politician/manager statement to justify a snap decision.

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by caffrey View Post
    Do the specs of client machines make any difference to load times ?
    Absolutely no difference at all

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    zag
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikpaw View Post
    It's not the login time it's the report time that is a killer. I know where @zag is coming from. When a teacher or any staff want a list of kids waiting 15 secs is just too long, and perception will be bad.
    Yes exactly. I'm not really complaining about report speed here, I can understand that takes time. Its the overall usage of the software, in particular searching for students is tediously slow. Loading the app takes a lot of time also which creates a bad impression right away.

    These should... in theory be easy things to fix.

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    I'm trying to get around performance problems, and on my travels I discovered this; it won't help but I enjoyed the article. (I know education discounts are large)
    Are Commercial Databases Worth It? | Coding the Wheel

    Nowadays I like to think of SQL Server and Oracle as the Death Stars of the relational database universe. Extremely powerful. Monolithic. Brilliant. Complex almost beyond the ability of a single human mind to understand. And a monumental waste of money except in those rare situations when you actually need to destroy a planet.

    Which brings me on to my next question, which I shall phrase rhetorically. Most (or many) of us are running enterprise-grade OSes, enterprise-grade SQL servers on enterprise-grade kit. This stuff is supposed to be able to cope with millions and millions of transactions. So why does pupil data for schools cause problems?
    Last edited by jinnantonnixx; 12th November 2013 at 10:19 AM.

  17. 2 Thanks to jinnantonnixx:

    AButters (12th November 2013), zag (12th November 2013)

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