Performance Tuning

Enkay Managed Services (EMS) includes development support, testing, monitoring and maintenance of application, infrastructure and database management systems related to your mission critical transactional systems. Using a combination of technical experts, automation, and tools (both in-house and off the shelf), we can proactively monitor and maintain your system so that we can detect and resolve issues before your customers see them. We also ensure system up time is maintained, and IT continues to meet service level agreements (SLA) with business. EMS is typically used by IT Technical Support or Network Operations Teams to augment their BizTalk Server administration teams with resources specialized in managing and maintaining the platform. Our EMS team members are well trained as BizTalk Administrators, and have experience in all aspects of application life cycle management. The team includes BizTalk Architects who have a deep understanding of what happens to BizTalk Server (and SQL Server hosting BizTalk databases) under different peak load, sustained throughput scenarios, and, based on their experience, can help collect and analyze data to provide the best recommendation for tuning BizTalk infrastructure or applications.

Some examples of EMS team capabilities are listed below.

  • Depending on the problem you’re trying to solve, there are several different integration patterns you can choose, which is why we find it beneficial to conduct an architectural assessment and design session onsite. This allows us to provide better guidance on solution approach, integration patterns to use, and technologies we can recommend. In some cases, depending on the size of the project, we develop proofs-of-concept, helping build confidence in the architecture and the tools we plan to use to implement the solution.
  • As organizations become more data driven, business users want visibility into the state of their investments in middleware applications, which become very important to their daily job functions. EMS has developed business intelligence dashboards using BizTalk Server BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) analytics that provide  both real time and historical reports and charts related to data BAM tracks associated with the business processes they care about. See a YouTube presentation of a demo we did recently that showcases our analytics solution for insurance claims processing.
  • We can assist with new BizTalk Server infrastructure planning, architecture (for scale and fault tolerance), installation, testing, and deployment to different environments (e.g. development, test, QA, staging, training, and production). We’ve developed PowerShell scripts to deploy solutions to different environments from Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server so that code is traceable in each environment for audit purposes.
  • We also run performance benchmarking exercises to ensure your platform has been setup with adequate resources to support current and future business transactions and also to have a baseline performance which you can use to compare environments. Over time, new or existing BizTalk Server environments need to be tuned to improve performance as the traffic load may have increased due to improving business conditions or new applications that are being brought online. Tuning occasionally requires monitoring and identifying improper configuration, resource wastage, or in some cases, adding new resources. We conduct performance benchmarking tests that help us collect data that guides us in making recommendations. For example, we may recommend improvements that can be made within BizTalk application hosts that could reduce or prevent throttling. Or we could provide insights into SQL Server performance (disk partitioning, RAID levels etc.) that can significantly improve database performance and reduce disk contention. We have, over the past several years, performed several tuning exercises and health checks for clients, significantly improving transactional throughput and system availability.
  • We also develop automated BizUnit test scripts that can be run on demand to certify a build or to verify new environments can handle transactional message volumes today and in the future.
  • We can proactively monitor and manage your BizTalk Server environments, including business processes, orchestrations, ports, business rules, activities etc., using software tools provided by Microsoft or our own tools that have been developed by our practice.

Please contact us for more details on EMS and how we can help support your mission critical processes and help improve platform resilience. This offering is particularly useful when you need management services 7×24 and 365 days a year.