Finally I get to the final chapter of my blog postings on Jazz Performance. I ended up doing parts 7, 6 & 5 in reverse order, because those seemed to be the most relevant at the time. So I guess that this makes this post the least relevant of all! It isn’t, but the area that this post covers tends to be a very focused one, and one that may not apply to many of our customers. This post focuses on the performance of the web client in your Jazz environment, and how you can tell where time is being spent in the responses to user requests through the web browser clients.
Using Web Browser Monitors
The best way to determine how time is being spent, is to use one of the web browser debugger and monitor tools that are commonly used. I will cover a tool called Http Watch. I start with Http Watch because it works for both Firefox and Internet Explorer. It runs on Windows, and is an add-on/plugin for both Internet Explorer and Firefox. Once you have it installed, go to the Tools menu of either browser to activate it.
Once you launch Http Watch, you will see a window at the bottom of your browser. This is where you will be able to see exactly what is going on in the browser. Now navigate out to Jazz.net, and check out one of the plans. Go out to Jazz.net and log in, using your user ID and password (because I know that you already have one). Now before you navigate to the plan, make sure to hit the record button in the Http Watch window, which tells Http Watch to begin recording and timing your browser interactions. Then navigate to the RTC Product Backlog Plan. It might be easier to navigate to the plan first, start recording with Http Watch, and then do a page refresh. Be careful though, because the browser cache may influence the actual load time in this case. Either way, you should see a graph begin populating in the lower window indicating what has happened during your display of this plan. Wait until the plan is fully displayed and rendered, then press the Stop button in the Http Watch window. Now you can go and look at the data.
Checking out The Data
What Does It Mean?
One of the things that I have used this for is to highlight the differences between the various browsers and browser versions that my customers have available to them. In many instances, customers are limited in what they can install on their machines, and they may be on earlier versions of some browsers. This allows them to compare browser performance in their environment. Not only are you able to compare the overall time needed to display page contents, you can also see how much time is being spent in processing and transferring the information, and contrast the differences between your browsers. It is something that I strongly suggest that you do, and let your users know what you have seen. End users want to know the differences in browser performance, and they also like to see benchmarks of what is considered “normal” performance in your environment. If they see that a particular plan takes 10 seconds to render for you, then they know to expect similar performance when they use the tools.
Setting expectations and getting performance baselines is important. Recording them somewhere visible to your users is even more important. If you begin getting complaints about slower performance three months from today, you will have a set of tools and measurements so you can objectively determine if things have deteriorated over time, or if the end users just have rising expectations. This objective data is critical when trying to address performance issues in your environment. It allows you to weed out the users complaining about normal performance, and allows you to quickly zero in on real problems. it will then allow you to measure the impact of any changes that you make to your configuration.
Other Articles in the Series
This series of articles is completed. Here is a list of the topics covered:
- Jazz Performance Part 1 – Is my Network Causing me Pain?
- Jazz Performance Part 2 – Using the Admin Console
- Jazz Performance Part 3 – What does nmon have to do with my Jazz Server?
- Jazz performance Part 4 – Why WAIT, see what your Jazz server is doing
- Jazz Performance Part 6 – Obeying the Laws of Physics
- Jazz Performance Part 7 – What is JazzMon and Why Should I Care?