Many times, causes of poor performance can be simplified to specific components. To troubleshoot performance issues, users must identify these components, then make the appropriate modifications to the environment and/or to the MicroStrategy dashboard to reduce bottlenecking.
This technical note will discuss the workflow of a Document Execution Request, introduce the Performance Troubleshooting Cycle, and present links to other resources with detailed steps for troubleshooting specific components that may affect performance.
To begin, the architecture for dashboard execution is diagrammed here:
MicroStrategy Intelligence Server
When an end user makes a Document Execution Request
through any client (a web browser via MicroStrategy Web, the MicroStrategy Desktop/Developer client, the MicroStrategy Mobile app, or the MicroStrategy Office client), the request is sent to the MicroStrategy Intelligence Server, which processes the request and prepares the response.
The MicroStrategy Intelligence Server will execute all children datasets on the dashboard by either generating SQL and running this against the data warehouse, or by fetching data from a cache. The Intelligence Server will first analyze all the templates, then determine which datasets the metrics are from, extend these datasets with runtime relations if necessary, aggregate the metric to desired level, join these datasets on the common attributes, and generate the final view.
After final result for the grid has been assembled, the Intelligence Server will retrieve the design structure for the dashboard either by querying the metadata for the dashboard definition. Subsequently, the Intelligence Server will then generate the appropriate response type for rendering the dashboard. For Office documents, dashboards executed in DHTML view modes, and Flash dashboards, the Intelligence Server will generate XML, and for PDF documents, the Intelligence Server will generate PDF. For Mobile dashboards, the Intelligence Server will generate a binary in addition to XML.
When the response generation is complete, the Intelligence Server will send the response to different components depending on which client the original Document Execution Request was initiated from. For requests made from a web browser via MicroStrategy Web, the MicroStrategy Mobile app, or the MicroStrategy Office client, the Intelligence Server will send the response to the MicroStrategy Web Server, the MicroStrategy Mobile Server, or the MicroStrategy Web Services Server respectively for further processing. For requests made from the MicroStrategy Desktop/Developer client, the Intelligence Server will send the response to the Desktop/Developer client directly without going through an additional server.
MicroStrategy Web Server
End users may render dashboards executed through MicroStrategy Web in DHTML view modes, Flash mode, or PDF. When the MicroStrategy Web Server receives the response from the Intelligence Server for one of these requests, it will transform the Intelligence Server response to the appropriate HTTP response suitable for displaying in the end user browser.
For dashboards executed in DHTML view modes, the Web Server will transform the Intelligence Server XML response to HTML.
For Flash dashboards, the Web Server will first upload a Flash dashboard viewer component to the end user browser (called DashboardViewer.swf, by default located here on the Web Server machine: C:Program Files (x86)MicroStrategyWeb ASPxswfDashboardViewer.swf), then forward the Intelligence Server XML response to the DashboardViewer in order for the end user browser to render.
For PDF documents, the Web Server will forward the Intelligence Server PDF response to the end user browser directly.
MicroStrategy Mobile and Web Services Servers
Dashboards executed through the MicroStrategy Mobile app must go through the MicroStrategy Mobile Server, and dashboards executed through the MicroStrategy Office Client must go through the MicroStrategy Web Services server.
For dashboards executed through Mobile, when the MicroStrategy Mobile Server receives the XML and binary response from the Intelligence Server, it will forward this response to the end user mobile client for further processing.
The Performance Troubleshooting Cycle
The above chart illustrates the Performance Troubleshooting Cycle
. The goal of the cycle is to improve performance by identifying which components are acting as bottlenecks, then making the appropriate modifications to these components specifically, the environment as a whole, or the dashboard itself.
The first step of the cycle is to quantify the performance by measuring the time spent in each of the components that are part of a Document Execution Request, as described in the preceding sections. The table below summarizes a few key modules that commonly consume the most amount of time during a dashboard execution:
To measure the time spent in these components, refer to the following resources:
Intelligence Server and Client
- Query Execution – Reference MicroStrategy Product Documentation > System Administration Guide > Chapter 5 for a complete list on how to monitor Job Execution and system usage
- Data Preparation, XML Generation and Client rendering – TN30914: Overview of Profiling MicroStrategy Documents
After bottlenecks have been identified, certain component-level settings can be adjusted to optimize performance. However, since MicroStrategy deployments will typically rely on third-party components, several component-level settings may be outside the scope of MicroStrategy Technical Support but will nonetheless effect MicroStrategy performance. An example of this is an Intelligence Server may perform slowler on a machine with relatively fewer hardware resources (RAM, CPU speed, disk read/write speed, etc.) than a machine with more resources. As another example, an Intelligence Server may also perform slower on a machine with plentiful resources but many other processes running simultaneously in the background compared to a machine dedicated for just the Intelligence Server process. As a final example, an Intelligence Server and a Web Server may generate a document body quickly but a client browser may not be powerful enough to render this document in a short time period.
To adjust component-level settings specific to MicroStrategy, refer to the following resources:
TN297238: Dashboard performance troubleshooting MicroStrategy 10.x