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Article: System Startup - Part 4 of 5
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SYSTEM READINESS

Handling Volume

Much statistical information from current systems plus ex­tensive testing of the new application architecture made it evident to us that there was a potential for serious perfor­mance issues if users were allowed to run ad hoc queries and reports against global databases. Therefore, a database in­stance was developed that duplicated the online transaction-processing (OLTP) instance for reporting purposes. From this duplicated table structure, ad hoc queries and standard re­ports of any configuration could be run without affecting the performance of daily business transaction processing.

Maintaining a 7x24x365 Application

 

With worldwide access to the application 28 locations, the system was being used virtually all the time. There was no quiet period. Therefore, careful planning had to be done to minimize the impact of system down time for maintenance activities on any one location.

Testing, Testing, and More Testing...Are We There Yet?

Developing and executing application and interface test cases was probably one of the most time-consuming por­tions of our implementation from an SA/BA perspec­tive. However, it was also one of the most crucial from a

system readiness perspective. Our SA/BA resources de­veloped these cases and executed them with additional help from ETMs. These test cases provided a wealth of information necessary to troubleshoot problems as well as give us a good feel for the functionality was perform­ing the way we thought it would perform. By running several rounds of testing, we were effectively able to at­tack and resolve most issues with system functionality and performance.

Performance Under Simulated Business Conditions...A Day in the Life

A technique we found most useful in the final months before cutover was the " day in the life" test. This in­volved having all BAs, ETMs, and numerous others from the business trained in the new system sign on and perform all the normal transactions that they would be required to do during a routine workday. This provided us an excellent view of how the system would react under load and where we could expect to see peaks and valleys in the daily processing cycle. We included several rounds of testing, performance tun­ing the system after each round to increase system efficiency.

Go or No Go?

 

Once all rehearsals and "day in the life" tests were com­plete and issues resolved, a last round of go/no go meet­ings were held with key stakeholders worldwide to address any issues of concern. One key item here was that our champion and team management staff all had to be in total agreement before the "all systems go" sign-off was given. All team members were then notified and schedules set.

Part 1  Part 2    Part 3   Part 4  


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