Does Windows 32 bit support more than 4GB RAM?
Is anyone using the Behaviour Managent Module for Facility/CMIS?
If you are, can you tell me:
Does it work successfully?
Are you using the recommended spec server (including 8GB RAM on a 32-bit system...)?
Does it slow your system down?
We appear to be having a difficulty tracking down a problem with the Behaviour Management Module, and it seems Serco won't help us out because we aren't using the recommended spec.
Cheers, Andy E.
Does Windows 32 bit support more than 4GB RAM?
Yes - this is direct from their spec sheet. We have raised it with them, and they are adamant that this is the requirement, even though it will leave 4.3GB RAM lying idle. Go figure...
Why don't you tell them if they won't help you, you'll dump them and go with a behaviour management company that are more reasonable...soon have someone available then I bet
Recommended spec or not. You're paying for their service, and their service should include support. How do they win over clients with that approach?
I understand this is a pain, but can we be careful guys. If you purchased a piece of software and expected to run it on hardware X but in fact that didnt meet min requirements, would you be on the phone to whoever appropriate, expecting the issue to be fixed?
@7andY - speak to your sales/account manager and make them aware of the issue, in my experience, they will endeavour to help where possible, ie apply some pressure to support.
We have bought into the Behaviour Module, but not yet gone live.
However, until the Summer we are running an Old Server 2003 box with 4GB of ram and were having some really serious performance issues, mostly in ePortal. This server ran everything (SQL + Facility + ePortal)
I went mad and had a Dual Processing 16GB server running Server 2008 Enterprise, and problems were solved!
In my experience, ePortal does suffer on a low Memory machine.
I also want to say that, as a long time Serco user, and somone who has had issues in the past, your support experience doesn't sound like the one I usually receive. Although from talking to others who use the BM Module, it does need a beefy system to run, I can understand that if you have an underspecified server that Serco are asking you to address that issue as well, I don't know how far under the spec your server is, how many BM entries a day you are making and number of users in the DB etc but they all contribute to the needs of the server spec so you could well need to add more ram etc to your hardware.
Last edited by john; 16th February 2011 at 10:04 PM. Reason: added the support bit in
@scholarpack, sister_annex, 7andY
8gb of RAM can be utilised by a 32bit machine using enterprise edition of windows 2003 or 2008. This is stated on the part of the spec relating to this amount of RAM that the support O/S edition is enterprise. There is also an option to run it on a 64bit machine, but a cavaet as a full testing cycle hasnt yet been completed on 64bit. There is one difference in the configuration of IIS which support are aware of.
You have to use PAE in the O/S and AWE in SQL, and you have to be a little careful in your execution because RAM used in AWE cannot be switched out to the paging file.
I wrote the majority of the hardware spec, any specific questions, please do feel free to PM me, or start a spec questionning thread, i'm happy to help
@banjo - Thanks for your input as always, it's always nice to see people contributing. cmisadmin.exe will never use any amount of RAM, unless you have it open on the server, as it's run on the clients. I'm not sure if you're a user of our software or you were just making the assumption it ran on the server as a 32bit exe, in which case you'd be spot on.
@richh - you make a good point. This isn't the usual service i've experienced myself from support when working in a school, and i'm sure many customers will (and do) testify this isn't usually the case.
@7andY - I'm sorry to hear you're having problems. If the issues are performance related i can understand support requesting this. It may be that they are performance related, but not in an obvious way, or maybe there's a communication breakdown somewhere. Please explain your issue, either here in the open where other users may be able to help, or PM me with the details, i'm happy to spend some of my own time talking to you about it. I can atleast add another perspective, and if it isn't performance related i will check it out with the support team. It also seems that the support team didn't explain fully why the 8gb of RAM was necessary and that it would be registered under the correct O/S, i'll make sure that i communicate this to the team to give a better understanding.
I hope that the people posting in this thread will see this as a proactive response and that this will reduce some of the frustration.
Also, (i realise this wasn't the original intention of the post, or 7andY) please be careful with comments which may be seen to defame a company or the advice provided by a company, in a public forum (regards any company). I understand everyone needs to vent, i do it myself as much as anyone else, but that is what 'behind the red door' is for, where only registered users are permitted.
Please try and keep the posts to constructive criticism or helpful advice. There is no room for this kind of conversation in this area of the public forum.
I believe this post has cleared up the issues listed (except the original post, which hopefully i will hear about soon) and so i'm happy for it to stay in this section of the forum and not be moved. I cannot and will not speak for my employers, however, who may request it moving or removing if it is seen.
My posts are my own and do not represent the views and opinions of my employer or any of my employers associates.
What are the workstation specs? If your workstations are running a shortcut to the server, then the client will run in memory on the workstation and this may be the true bottleneck and not the server.
The Admin client should never require anywhere near 4GB of ram, unless you're running an extremely complex report, but in any case, the Admin process wouldn't be running on the server unless the Admin application is running there. Admin only ever needs to run on the server during an upgrade in order to ensure that a user with full control access to the database runs the structure validation that updates the database. This still wouldn't have any effect on the Behaviour Management module, since that's an ePortal only module.
What could be causing the problem, however, is the tomcat6.exe process, which is the process that vends the ePortal java content. This can easily start to run away with available ram and cause problems and throwing extra ram would at least alleviate this (up until it hits its 4GB limit on 32 bit systems). The best advice I could give if you're having problems with tomcat is to run a script to stop and restart the ePortal services overnight - this is even recommended by Serco (iirc). The other potential bottleneck in ram terms on the server could be sqlservr, but MS SQL is actually pretty good at managing its ram usage these days, so I would firmly recommend that you leave all the memory management options on their default settings.
You might be best advised to monitor the actual memory usage figures that you're seeing as users start trying to use the BM module, if you are seeing massive spikes in ram consumption from some of these processes then that could indicate that a solution could be to increase the ram provision, but try running the overnight service restart first. If problems persist, then you could investigate splitting the services up onto separate servers, but I would only go down this route as a last resort as in my experience it causes more problems than it purports to solve.
michael2k6 (18th February 2011)
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