Tag Archives: OS Tools

Using Managed Services in SMB Operations

Where is the need

Managers of small and medium-size businesses face many of the same challenges as in large enterprises, but don’t have the same resources to deploy when exercising control, especially when facing unexpected obstacles. The IT department of an SMB is almost always small, consisting of a handful of professionals tasked with huge responsibility and large workload. The challenge of building an effective IT environment for a small business is that it is both expensive and complex. Corporate managers need to wear an extra hat – ‘information specialist’ – in order to make the right decisions. This creates a Catch-22. You need to improve revenue in order to be able to afford specialist staff, but you can’t afford them before the investment yields the necessary efficiencies and savings.

Many mid-sized companies can’t justify the expense of a full-time SQL database administrator – that’s why Ryltech can now offer you Managed Services to act as a virtual solution to complement your internal IT team’s need for SQL expertise to help improve processing and implement best practices for your information management.

What Managed Services offers

Most mid-market IT departments are staffed with at least one person who has some basic SQL knowledge, but not the expertise to program, configure and keep up with the latest best practices and recommendations.

For SMB management, Managed Services is a clear solution to the problem of lack of highly skilled database administrators. Whether on a temporary or permanent basis, a managed services agreement grants you access to top-tier trained professionals to monitor your resources and advise on best practices. In this way, in running your SMB, you can deploy a sophisticated SaaS solution, reap all the benefits, pay for it using immediate savings rather than capital, and then concentrate on what you need do best – manage the whole enterprise.

Ryltech’s advantages

From the beginning, Ryltech offers Microsoft SQL Server assessments to ensure your environment is optimally performing. Our actions follow best practice recommendations, resolve all SQL Server performance issues, improve reliability, cut costs and consolidate applications. The advantage Ryltech can offer over competing managed service offerings is that our functionality is built on the most technically advanced SQL Server monitoring application that is available today – AimBetter.

As part of our service, we evaluate all aspects of your SQL Server environment as well as the whole Windows server structure. We monitor SQL performance at the same time as we inspect and assess infrastructure health. AimBetter works by measuring more than 400 individual metrics across the whole spectrum of application and environment. Its fundamental advantage is that it raises attention to all issues without the need for us to wade through vast quantities of irrelevant data. On one dashboard, we can see and pursue every issue that alerts us to conditions requiring attention.

Actions and reactions

Ryltech employs a team of dedicated database administration specialists, so we add strength exactly where your own internal support team needs it, providing IT leadership to assist with strategic planning and helping to create a road-map for future growth, hardware consolidation and upgrades. We can identify and document risks and present remediation plans in accordance with best practices. Finally we make recommendations for maintenance plans and schedules, consolidation and disaster recovery.

In addition to an initial SQL Server assessment covering your existing structure, Ryltech also offers our regular Virtual DBA Services. Since information is essential to your company’s productivity, efficiency and growth and sometimes it’s hard to keep up with all of the changes and emerging technologies, our serves act in a tactical IT services role, which includes the daily, weekly and monthly maintenance activities for a fixed monthly fee. The service includes a daily SQL Server review using AimBetter, with notification of all exceptions, alerts and performance issues. In cooperation with your IT support personnel, we will recommend what actions are required to head-off all issues.

As well, we issue weekly reviews focusing on performance improvement as well as a comprehensive monthly SQL health report on all actions taken over the past month, together with further suggestions for changes needed to create improvements in performance and stability.

Special services available

Ryltech also offers the following Virtual DBA services billed hourly or through a prepaid retainer:

  • Triage of critical errors or warnings
  • As needed when agreed by you, installation of software upgrades
  • Performing database code review.
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OS Tools – Disk Analysis

Monitoring your disks regularly is important for knowing whether any of your disks are expected to run out of free space and how to allocate disk space for programs demanding it or expected to demand it and planning which programs use which disks in order to optimize disk usage to the organization’s systems.

Usually users and managers perform disk analysis only when they encounter problems that are suspected to be related to the disks or known to be related to the disks such as quick disk space consumption, long loading time for programs, not being able to save files, halted transactions, etc.

AimBetter enables you to easily analyze your disks’ performance, usage and activities and lets you know any information related to your disks any time and helps you plan which programs should be using which disks and when.

As can be seen in the following case study – http://ryltech.wpengine.com/articles/case-study-system-timeouts/ regularly monitoring the disks could prevent a serious timeouts problem that was bothering one of our clients for a few days before he contacted us and asked for our help. Luckily, that customer had AimBetter installed on his main server so we could discover the cause of the problem in 5 minutes. Reading the linked case study is highly recommended.

In AimBetter, the Disk section of OS Tools is divided to 3 subsections: Hot Files, Disk Breakdown and Physical Disk.

The Disk section of the OS Tools is a complementary of the Disk section of the performance screen as it gives you detailed information about your disk usage, files causing most disk IOs, processes on each disk and disk metrics.
The hot files subsection presents the following information about each one of the top 20 IO consuming files in your disks: Disk number, File path and name, reads/second, KB/read, writes/second, KB/write.

top 20 IO consuming files in your disks

The disk breakdown subsections presents information about each running process on the disk

The disk breakdown subsections presents the following information about each running process on the disk: process or executable file name, process ID, authority (user), reads/second, KB/read, writes/second, KB/write.

The physical disk subsection presents the following information: physical disk counters metrics, physical disk idle time percentage and physical disk performance counters (Average Disk seconds/Read, Average Disk seconds/Transfer, Average Disk seconds/Write).



As shown above, the following counters are monitored: % disk read time, % disk time, % disk write time, average disk bytes/read, average disk bytes/transfer, average disk bytes/write, average disk read queue length, average disk write queue length, current disk queue length, disk bytes/second, disk read bytes/second, disk reads/second, disk transfers/second, disk write bytes/second, disk writes/second and split IO/second. For each counter you receive the following information: counter name, counter instance (shows meaning), mean value, minimum value and maximum values. All values refer to the most recent round minute.

AimBetter provides thorough information about all the disk metrics and displays every detail that has a meaning regarding your machines’ performance. It immediately tells you about bottlenecks that need to be taken care of and lets you know whatever you need to know about your disks’ performance in any time, whether it’s real time or history, as AimBetter saves its logs for as long as you set it to so you don’t need to reproduce a problem you encounter in order to investigate its cause, for more information please read the case study linked above.