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Deltek GCS Premier and Deltek Time & Expense are two of the primary accounting and time tracking apps used by government contractors in the Washington DC IT services market. Through Qualatech’s numerous government contractor clients, we have supported, upgraded, migrated, installed, administered, backed-up and restored them countless hundreds of times. In fact, we recently completed a Deltek Time & Expense and GCS migration to VMware for a large government contractor in Fairfax, VA. Here’s a couple of tips for those of you undertaking the process:
The Treasury Department

Keep Deltek Apps on Separate VMs

“Wait!”, you say. “What about the cost and administrative burden?!!?” you scream. I hear your objections from my office in Bethesda 🙂 but the truth of the matter is that Deltek GCS and Time & Expense are upgrade-happy applications that frequently require downtime to upgrade. By spearating the server roles on separate virtual servers, you will be able to perform maintenance on them without affecting other network services. Oh, and by separate, I mean separate from other applications, file servers, domain controllers, etc. Ideally, you would only want the Deltek application running on a single virtual workload (server). This provides flexibility for snapshotting, upgrades and backup/restore. As a system administrator, felxibility when managing IT systems is the name of the game.

Use Snapshots Liberally

Snapshots are the witches brew of the virtualization world. On one hand, you have the capability to instantly create a point-in-time copy of a server to which you can easily revert back to in the event of a system problem or faulty install. On the other hand, if you create a snapshot and forget to delete it, the disk deltas can fill up your storage container and take your VMs offline. We utilize short-term snapshots heavily when making any changes to our Deltek Time & Expense or Deltek GCS Premier virtual servers.

Deltek Virtual Server System Requirements

Deltek GCS Premier

Deltek’s website identifies the server OS requirements; however, it does not mention specifications for virtual server hardware. In our experience, Deltek GCS Premier does not need much to run efficiently. For example, the recent deployement of GCS Premier in Fairfax, VA was for 30-GCS users. The OS was Windows 2008 R2 with 2GB RAM, 1 vCPU, 1 60GB HD for the OS and 1 250GB HD for the data. The backend storage is mapped to a RAID-10 array of 1TB 7.2K RPM drives.

Deltek Time & Expense

Similar to GCS, Deltek’s website is sparse about virtual server system requirements. In our experience, Deltek Time & Expense needs a little more horsepower but shouldn’t put too much stress on your VMware ESXi servers. Our recent Deltek Time & Expense deployment in Fairfax, VA was for about 300 employees. The OS was Windows 2008 R2 with 8GB RAM, 2 vSockets, 4vCores. 1 60GB HD for the OS, 1 100GB HD for the Database and 1 100GB HD for the SQL transaction log files. In our case, the SQL server was installed on the local server and only hosted the DELTEKTE database.

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Deltek GCS Premier and Deltek Time & Expense are mainstays in the IT departments for government contractors and are ideal candidates to be virtualized. If you’re interested in learning more about Qualatech’s managed IT services, please review our website for more information or request a quote.

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