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ServiceControl Hardware Considerations

Component: ServiceControl
Version: 5.x

This article provides recommendations and performance benchmarks to help select resources for a ServiceControl production environment.

General recommendations

  • A dedicated production server for installing ServiceControl instances (Error, Audit, and Monitoring).
  • A minimum of 16 GB of RAM (excluding RAM for OS and other services).
  • 2 GHz quad core CPU or better.
  • A dedicated disk for ServiceControl databases (not the disk where the operating system is installed).

Scaling ServiceControl

When possible, scaling up a single machine to handle system load is recommended. When scaling up is not an option, ServiceControl may be scaled out by partitioning audit processing between multiple instances. See Multiple ServiceControl Instances for more details.

Ongoing server performance monitoring

The requirements for a server hosting ServiceControl may change over time as the system evolves. It's important to continuously monitor the CPU, RAM, disk I/O, and network I/O for the server running ServiceControl to ensure adequate resources are available for overall system health.

Disk, CPU, RAM, and network performance may be monitored using the Windows Resource Monitor and/or Windows Performance counters.

Storage recommendations

  • Store ServiceControl data on a dedicated disk. This makes low-level resource monitoring easier and ensures applications are not competing for storage IOPS.
  • Store multiple ServiceControl databases on separate physical disks to prevent multiple instances competing for the same disk resources.
  • Disable disk write caching (read caching can remain enabled) to prevent data corruption if the (virtual) server or disk controller fails. This is a general best practice for databases.
  • Database paths should be located on disks suitable for low latency write operations (e.g. fiber, solid state drives, raid 10), with a recommended IOPS of at least 7500.
To measure disk performance, use a storage benchmark tool such as Windows System Assessment Tool (winsat disk -drive g), CrystalDiskMark, or DiskSpd.
Do not use an ephemeral AWS or Azure disk for ServiceControl data because these disks will be erased when the virtual machine reboots.

Hosting in the cloud

At this time, the only way to host ServiceControl in the cloud is to use a virtual machine.

Improving performance

Increase RAM

The embedded RavenDB will use additional RAM to improve indexing performance. During times of high load, ServiceControl can peak to 12GB or more.

Message size / MaxBodySizeToStore

In general, the smaller the messages, the faster ServiceControl will process audit records. For larger message payloads, consider using the data bus feature.

For audit messages, lower the ServiceControl.Audit/MaxBodySizeToStore setting to skip storage of larger audit messages. This setting will only reduce load if non-binary serialization is used.

When using ServiceInsight, the message body is not viewable for messages that exceed the ServiceControl/MaxBodySizeToStore limit.

Separate disks for database and index files

Besides using a dedicated disk for the ServiceControl database paths, it's possible to store the embedded database index files on a separate disk.

Use symbolic links (soft links) to map any RavenDB storage subfolder to other physical drives.

Azure disk limitations

Using multiple 7500 IOPS disks in striped mode in Azure may not improve performance due to increased latency; consider scaling out ServiceControl to multiple instances instead.

Turn off full-text search

Updating the full-text index requires a considerable amount of CPU and disk space. If the ability to search for specific messages based on their content is not required, consider turning off full-text search in the ServiceControl Management Utility or by modifying the ServiceControl.Audit/EnableFullTextSearchOnBodies setting in the configuration file.