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Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

  • 1.  Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 05, 2019 14:40
    Hi all,

    We are on RE NXT. Our internet speed is over 80mbs down and up. We are using the most up to date version of Citrix workspace (1907).

    We can only access database view using citrix (my understanding - correct me if wrong). We have severe performance issues / lag time when running any sort of functions. Example - it took 14 minutes to export 1,200 rows of data.

    Do others experience the same issues? Any thoughts on how to solve?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Josh



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    Joshua Grant
    Controller
    Pathways to Education Canada
    Thornhill, ON
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 05, 2019 15:25
    Depends where you are exporting to.

    So in the citrix environment, the main drives will be on Blackbaud's system. Exporting there should be fine.
    If you chose a local computer, then yes, you will have an insane amount of time on export (or any file operation through RE), because of the constant read/write through the internet connection, citrix controller, etc.

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    Kirk Schmidt
    Director, Foundation Analytics, Systems, and Operations
    STARS Air Ambulance
    Calgary, AB
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 3.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 05, 2019 15:31
    Thanks very much Kirk. I will consider exporting to the Blackbaud drive and then copying over.

    Performance issues are happening during normal usage also - committing batches, opening plug-ins etc... so its not only on export.

    Any thoughts on how to increase general performance would be appreciated. Unless this is a challenge for which there is no solution (after internet speed).

    Thanks again.

    Joshua

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    Joshua Grant
    Controller
    Pathways to Education Canada
    Thornhill, ON
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 4.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 05, 2019 15:42
    No. Anything on Blackbaud's servers are theirs (and to be honest, I've never had good performance out of the TO server, which I assume you're on).

    Think of it this way - everything that is native to RE, as long as you are doing things on their servers, is running on their computer. The only thing Citrix is really doing is allow you to view/control. So something like a batch commit is purely *their* environment, and no matter what you do with your internet connection, as long as you are not sending/receiving information (like an import/export from your own computer), the moment you press go, it's their system doing the work.

    Basically, as much as possible, do file transfers to their system and run imports/exports/etc to/from their drives. Otherwise, you kind of have to deal with it.

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    Kirk Schmidt
    Director, Foundation Analytics, Systems, and Operations
    STARS Air Ambulance
    Calgary, AB
    ------------------------------

    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 5.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 06, 2019 12:09

    Joshua,

    Is this a new issue or something that has been going on for a while? If new, I would contact them, but if it has been going on a while, it's a Blackbaud issue that most companies have. I have used Raiser's Edge for a long time and noticed that there is a speed issue once you are in a hosted environment. Whenever I had to do something large, I did it after hours or Friday late afternoon, during off peak hours. Blackbaud has been saying that they are improving it ever since they came out with NXT. 

    Marianna



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    Marianna Dostal
    Data Administrator
    Cleveland State University
    Cleveland, OH
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 06, 2019 11:05
    Josh,

    Latency is typically a much more important determinant factor vs. bandwidth when it comes to remote app performance. The size of your pipe is close to irrelevant in this case. What matters is how quickly data packets can make a round trip from your boxes to RE and back. If you have a business class router, you might be able to do some QoS tweaking to give data packets bound for RE priority. If you can, it should improve performance for your end users.

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    Paul Kerness, MSW, LSW, MCP
    Director of Deliverability
    Genii Research, LLC
    pkerness@cdesks.com
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 7.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 09, 2019 08:15
    Hi Josh,

    I'd suggest contacting Blackbaud support. I'm a Customer Success Manager with Blackbaud and have seen support work closely with customers to help troubleshoot latency issues.

    If support isn't helping you get the outcome you desire, reach out to your Account Exec and Customer Success team and they'll work with you as well.

    Best,
    Erik

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    Erik Leaver
    Customer Success Manager
    Blackbaud
    Charleston, SC
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 8.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 10, 2019 10:11
    Hi Josh

    I used to be hosted by Blackbaud for RE in another organization and when I first came to my current job in 2014, we were hosted.  The first thing I did was get us out of hosting and we have RE on our own server in house.  We never switched to NXT as it does not offer benefits for Event and Corporate and even Foundation fundraisers, and for us, the enhancements for major giving did not make it worth the investment to go to NXT and we are switching to SalesForce.

    Blackbaud does some things very well.  Hosting data servers has never been among them.  These experiences were common with just hosting the regular RE before NXT and with the enhanced feature set in NXT I expect these issues to only get worse.  My advice is to consider this when you evaluate if you should remain on this platform and to work with your Account Manager if you decide to stay and really hammer them on the performance issue.  You can even get refunds to your account for times when service is down - this is not the solution anyone wants, but eventually, they might get you moved to a faster server farm if you complain loud enough.

    Good Luck

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    Rob Dickar
    Director Developnment Systems
    Safe Horizon
    New York, NY
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 9.  RE: Raiser's Edge Citrix Performance Issues

    Posted Sep 10, 2019 11:09
    There are at least two companies that offer alternative hosting for Blackbaud, and the last time I looked at them they were more than competitively priced because that too arrange of Microsoft and Dell cloud platforms to support pay as you go and other cost benefits. It's 2019, nobody should be buying servers.

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    Peter Campbell
    CIO for Hire
    Raffa - Marcum's Nonprofit and Social Sector Group
    Washington DC
    https://raffatech.com/
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline