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Improve System Performance

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Article ID: KWin0080  
Added:  10/06/2008 SS
Updated:  04/04/13 MC

Resort Data Processing (RDP) has been in business over 25 years with well over 1,000 systems sold.  Many customers have been using the system  for 15 or more years!  The system is designed to hold all historical data forever unless the purge programs are used.  However, after a long period of time the database can become very large, which can lead to performance degradation.  Additionally, backups will become very large and system utilities can take a long time to complete.

RDP recommends all customers update RDP programs to the latest version and purge historical data every six months.

Performance Checklist

Each of the steps on this checklist is explained below.  Please print this page and check each step when complete.

  1. Create a Full System Backup
  2. Rebuild Critical Files
  3. Update All RDP Products
  4. Confirm Hardware Requirements are Met
  5. Do Not Compress RDP Folders
  6. Configure Pervasive Engine on Data Server
  7. Run RDPWin's Transfer to Historical Files
  8. Run Disk Defragmenter on Data Server
  9. Rebuild Indexes
  10. Rebuild BookKeys.dat using RDP-DOS's 910-02
  11. Confirm that any anti-virus software excludes the RDP root folder
  12. Confirm or reset any remote desktop connection settings

Create a Full System Backup and Keep It

The first step is to make a full backup of the RDP system and keep the backup to restore old data if it is ever needed.

A regular backup schedule for Customer's should include -backing up the entire RDPNT folder at least once per week and backing up the RDP01 directory every night. 

Update DOS, IRM and RDPWin

Update all RDP programs to the current version. All directions in this article assume you have the current release of RDP-DOS, RDPWin, and the IRM (Internet Reservation Module).  Updates to all products are available from the Customer Support Home Page.

Do Not Compress RDP Folders

From the data server, run windows explorer and make sure the names of the folder RDPNT and any sub-folders are not colored blue, which indicates that the folder has been configured to Compress files at the operating system level.

Note: Uncompressing the RDPNT folder could take a long time and consume a large amount of disk space.  Customers should always consult with their system administrator before uncompressing RDP folders.  To uncompress folders:

  1. Right-click on a compressed folder and select Properties.
  2. Click the Advanced button.
  3. Uncheck the "Compress contents to save disk space" box.
  4. Click the "All sub-folders" radio button.
  5. Click OK.

Configure Local Pervasive Engine

  1. Select "Control Center" from the Start / Programs / Pervasive / PSQL submenu.
  2. Click Configure Local Engine.

  3. Click Access and select "Never Wire Encryption".

  4. Click Communication Protocols and turn off all protocols except TCP/IP.

  5. Click Compatibility and select "File Version = 9.x".


  6. DO NOT check System Cache.

  7. Click Performance tuning and check "Index Balancing" and set "Max Microkernel Memory Usage" to 80% - 90%.
  8. Click the OK button and close the Control Center.

Transfer to Historical Files

The RDP system maintains an active reservation file and a non-active reservation history file.  Periodically use the Transfer to Historical Files utility to transfer reservations from the active reservation file to the non-active reservation file.  

The table below summarizes these two files:

File Name Purpose
HRESERVE.DAT

Future
In-House
Active History

The HRSERVE.DAT file holds all future, in-house and active history reservations. 
  • Reservations are put in active history when checked-out or cancelled.
  • Reservations remain in active history until Transfer to Historical Files is run from RDPWin to  transfer active history to non-active history.  
  • Transferring cancelled reservations (P9/ I9) is based on switch setting 109-11 Keep cancelled reservations until their departure date.  If set to Yes will move these to Non-active history on the reservation departure date; if set to No will transfer cancelled reservation to non-active history immediately.
  • A reservation in active history can still be changed by posting charges, taking payments, etc.  
  • When you enter a guest name or reservation number, the system only searches HRESERVE.DAT (future, in-house, and active history).  This makes it easier to find "active" guests by eliminating the old historical information from the display.
BOOKHIST.DAT

Non-Active History

The BOOHIST.DAT file holds all non-active history reservations.  
  • Reservations in non-active history do not appear when using the standard reservation and front desk options to find find guests by name or reservation number. 
  • To find a reservation in non-active history, select Find from the Reservations | Options submenu (shortcut = F3 key) and set the Reservation Status to Non-Active History. 
  • A reservation in non-active history cannot be changed
  • A reservation in non-active history can be transferred back to active history.
  • Reservations can be deleted from the non-active history from Menu 99, option 990, sub-option 4, "Non-Active History -  Delete reservations based on departure date".  This option completely deletes the reservation from the system.  See step 5, "Completely delete reservations from non-active history - RDP990-4"

All workstations can remain in the system during this process.  RDP recommends transferring reservations from the active reservation file to the non-active reservation file every day during the night audit process.  If you do not have an auditor, the process can be done once a week, or once a month, as follows:

  1. Ensure the transfer days default is set correctly. 

    The Transfer to Historical Files will transfer reservations based on the default - Keep reservations setting in Day end/Night Audit Configuration.

    To set the default number of days after departure date you wish for records to be transferred to Non-active History - steps are as follows.

    RDPWin -> Day End / Night Audit -> Configuration -> Transfer to Historical Files tab.

    Enter the number of days in the Keep reservations for XX days after departure date field as seen in the view below.  When executing the transfer process the transfer days can be changed to a number larger than the default setting but not lower.

     

  2. Click the "View Reservations that Don't Meet the Criteria to be Transferred" link to view the log prior to actually transferring. 

  1. Select "Transfer All' (to transfer all Reservations that meet the transfer criteria) or "Trans Res to Non Active" (to transfer a single reservation to Non-Active History) from the Transfer to Historical Files screen in RDPWin.

  1. If a reservation has been incorrectly transferred to Non-Active history and requires editing or changing.  Click the Trans Res from Non-Active button - find the reservation, click select - the reservation will not be transferred back to Active History for editing.  In the example below the reservation selected was part of a group - in which case the entire group will be transferred back to Active History for editing.

Run Disk Defragmenter on Data Server

Customers should run the Disk Defragmenter on the data server at regular intervals (usually monthly).

  1. Select Disk Defragmenter from the Start | Programs | Accessories | System Tools.

  2. Click the Defragment button.

  3. The "% Free Space" should be equal or greater than all of the RDP data files.  In the sample above, there is 26.46GB of free space.  Compare this number to the amount of space required for the datafiles in the RDP1202 folder:

Rebuild Indexes and Files

Indexes on files allows data access to be much faster than reading the entire file.  If upgrading RDPWin from a version prior to 2.78 to a version after 2.78, then use the Rebuild Files Utility and rebuild All Critical Files to make sure that all files have the indexes property built.  Consult with RDP Support about rebuilding files for your system.

Performance Suggestions

Upgrade to Pervasive Version 10 to use Pervasive's XTreme IO

Normally, 32 bit Operating systems, like Windows Server 2003 can only use 2 Gb of memory.  Pervasive Version 10 uses XTreme IO to allow the Pervasive engine to use an additional 2 Gb of memeory for caching.  Caching improves performance more effectively than any other part of the system.  So, it is important to upgrade to Pervasive 10 or higher and put 4 Gb of RAM in the data server.

If a large file is cached, it will push out the existing cache for common files, such as reservations and transactions.  In this case, if there is limited memory on the data server for Pervasive cache, specify files not to cache (StatFile, HExpHist, BookHist).  The file, xioExclude.lst is located on the data server in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Pervasive Software\PSQL.  Use Notepad to open the file.  There are instructions in the file for adding file names.  For example, to disable caching for BookHist.dat in resort 01, then add c:\rdpnt\rdp\rdp01\bookhist.dat.

64 Bit Servers can have up to a Terabyte of memory.  RDP suggest purchasing as much memory as possible when upgrading to a 64 Bit servers.  XTreme IO is not needed for 64 Bit Servers.

Delete Old or Disable Master

Delete unnecessary masters (Guests, Agents, Groups, and Owners) or use the 'Disable' field on masters. The fewer masters existing when a list is fetched, the faster the list is displayed.  When any master is no longer needed, delete it entirely from the system.  When the old master is needed for historical purposes but is no longer active, use the Disable field to keep it from the processing lists. When disabled, a master can still be viewed with the Find feature and edited, including the ability to return the Master to active status.

Verify Switch Settings

Below is a list of switches that affect performance.  If the feature isn't needed, then choose the Faster setting.

  • 319-15: Calculate Rates for N/R room types (Faster = No)
  • 421-08: Calculate Rates based on Room Type or Room Number (Faster = Room Type)
  • C1910 Transfer - Recommended: 10 Days (Faster = Lower).  If the Property has owner's who receive revenue from reservations this setting must be defaulted such that reservations are not transferred to Non-active History until after Owner Revenue has been processed.
  • RDPWin/Reservations/Configuration/New Res tab/Yield Mgmt. Screen Options:
    • Display only current rate plan initially (Faster = Checked)
    • Display column with rooms available for the entire stay (Faster = Unchecked)
  • RDPWin/Housekeeping/Configuration/Miscellaneous Tab/Features Section:
    • Summarize By Occupancy (Faster = No)
  • RDPWin/Night Audit/Configuration/Main tab/Miscellaneous Section:
    • Show House Status Totals with Night Audit Steps (Faster = Unchecked)

      Note:  This switch is only available from the Night Audit Menu when system is configured for Reset totals at check-in.

Confirm Remote Desktop Connection Settings

When workstations are running at different speeds, some fast and some slow, check the version of remote desktop connection settings. 

  1. Select Remote Desktop Connection from the Start | Programs | Accessories submenu.
  2. Click the Options button.
  3. Click the Experience tab.
  4. Only the "Reconnect if connection is dropped" checkbox should be checked.  Checking any other settings causes a reduced connection.


    Note:  Microsoft suggests checking Bitmap caching to improve system performance.  RDP Support has found this to be true in some cases; however, properties should test performance both with the box checked and unchecked to make sure the system is running at the highest speed.
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