AOS - VPN Experience?

Hi all, I am new to this forum because I was rather disappointed of Navision’s Technet. Are there any guys who are experienced in setting up a 3-tier environment using a VPN? We are a company currently implementing AXAPTA 3.0 in all of our subsidiaries in various European countries. The HQ and our Hardware is located in Austria. We installed a pilot system in Sweden. Due to lack of know-how in improving performance when using AOS we are currently not using our VPN connection (256k, latency ~120ms) to let the users connect to our AOS in the HQ. I am looking for people who want to share their knowledge with me. Thanks, Toni

Hello Tony, sorry we also do not use VPN. but… Axapat 3 tier is crucial with bad latency and 120ms is very bad, (former) Navision recomandation was max. 50ms !! You should think of using either Windows terminal server , or much better Citrix Metafame (there even a dial in over Analog modem makes fun). Pirmin

Hello Toni, How many clients do you want to connect to the remote AOS using your VPN connection? A common mistake is to use fat clients on a remote site away from the AOS. Make sure that all clients on the pilot site in Sweden are configured as thin clients. Regards, Wilbert

Hello all! Pirmin: I have also read the recommendations from Navision concerning the latency time being less than 50ms. In our tests we found out that AXAPTA is working very slow when you start it and open forms for the first time. When you open the forms in the same session a second time, performance is ok due to the AOS cache function. Anyway, when you close AXAPTA and re-open it, it seems that the cache is dropped and performance lacks again. I tried to find documentation on the AOS but could not find good material anywhere. We have also thought about using Terminal Server. What infrastructure is necessary to guarantee fluent workflow for up to 6 concurrent users? Wilbert: In the case of our Scandinavian office it will be up to 6 concurrent users connected to our AOS in Austria. By “thin clients” you mean 3-tier connections, or did I miss anything here? I was also wondering about the influence of the AOS hardware on the performance. Right now, we have Application, Database and AOS on the same server. Greetings from Austria, Toni

Hey Toni, A 3-tier thin client divides the application into a server centric and client centric application. All database access on is server centric and thus runs on the AOS. A 3-tier fat client runs basicly as a 2-tier client, but it gets application object from the AOS. Access to the database is done directly from the client. Therefore, a fat client will require a higher bandwith than a thin client. Wether your client is a thin or fat client, is configured in the Axapta Configuration Utility. On the tab ‘client’ there is a section ‘client mode’ where you can set the appropriate value. I have no way of checking the load for 6 concurrent users on a 256K line; This is something you will have to check yourself. Also, splitting your hardware into a database server and a different AOS server will probably improve performance. We have a SQL Server and a different server where the application and the AOS runs. Regards, Wilbert

Hello Toni, well Axapta stores information about called AOS obj in cache files on the 3 tier client (search for *.aoc) they shouldn’t be deleted when closing the Axapta session. Remember the latency get more problematic when you do huge data procesing. (only fetching an address won’t be crucial… but running some bookings, warehouse stuff … that might turn out bad). The terminalserver depends much on what the users do. But i guess if you only have 6 Axapta users somthing actual would be enough. (P4- 2.x Ghz, 1 GB mem, 20 (or what ever u like ) HDD). We uses for our testing system (1-3 users) a “normal” old desktop (as db-server, aos server and terminal server) and it works fine. So a good PC / server would be enough for ONLY terminalserver for 6 users. The best results would be if you get Citrix metaframe (has some additional featuers). You can get a 100 day trial version from Citrix. Guess a licenc will be ~ 500 to 700 Euro per user. Citrix is using very veiw bandwith compared to Metaframe. Running Axapta via Metaframe, even on a analog telefon line, you don’t remark it. Pirmin Grüezi aus der Schweiz

Hello all! Wilbert: I have checked the settings on our configuration. It was already set to “thin”, so it seems to be only the high latency that causes the bad performance. Probably we will consider a Terminal Server solution in the future, or - though more expensive - Citrix Metarframe for our subsidiaries with high latency times. Pirmin: I found these files and they are not deleted, but everytime I start a new session, AXAPTA is slow again and does not seem to use the cache file of the previous session. Also, I have heard about these “master cache files” that can be deployed on every client, any experience on that? We will try to test more user working at the same time on on terminal server and see how it performs. We will also have a look at Citrix Metaframe, what hardware do you use for this solution? Servus aus Österreich Toni

Hello Toni, well for the Citrix we use nothing realy special a dual Xenon II machine 2 Gig Ram (not running axapta via Citrix, another "heavier application) Pirmin

Thanks Pirmin, do you also know why axapta seems to not use the *.aoc files of the previous session when you start a new one? (see my last posting). Toni

Toni, sorry don’t realy know. But i guess the *aoc are to cache application (froms, reports…) not data. The data is only cached in memory. Guess that why it is faster when the session is open. (data cached in memory, after Axapta shutdown the data-cache is cleaned) Pirmin

Hi Toni,


Probably we will consider a Terminal Server solution in the future, or - though more expensive - Citrix Metarframe for our subsidiaries with high latency times.

We host a solution like this (also an international company with a number of subsidiaries). A simple Windows 2000 or 2003 Terminal Server should be enough for You - there is no benefit in using Citrix for this size in my opinion. We also use VPN for our clients, there are some tricky bits but normally you should not see these issues. Normally, VPN should be transparent for applications. What you should also note (when talking about data security) is that if using TS client, you can set encryption in that as well, so data is already encrypted. Also, in this case only screen content, keyboard entries and raw printing data goes through the net, not data content like in the case of client-server, so you might even decide not to use VPN when using TS+encryption. That said, extra security can never hurt [:)] If interested in a hosting solution, please E-Mail directly.