Cognos Performance Troubleshooting

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1 Cognos Performance Troubleshooting

2 Presenters James Salmon Marketing Manager Andy Ellis Senior BI Consultant

3 Want to ask a question? We will answer as many as time permits or directly by

4 About Budgeting Solutions Established in 2005 IBM Business Analytics Premier Business Partner Worked with over 200 Blue-Chip Clients Area s we specialise in: Sales, Operations & Finance Extensive expertise working within Finance departments Issues we solve: Planning Budgeting Forecasting Consolidation Reporting Analysis Services we offer: Management Consulting Consulting Training Helpdesk Support

5 Our Customers

6 Agenda Overview A detective story whodunnit? Hardware Server configuration Cognos Settings Data Infrastructure Some tools to assist

7 Where to Start? Network, switches, bandwidth, other applications

8 Everyone is different There are so many potential areas that can be affected by performance Can only make general suggestions Some may not be applicable or even possible in every installation Every installation is different Can originate outside Cognos Network, Database server, host server architecture Fire Prevention v Fire Fighting

9 Recent Poll of Users Typical pain points in Cognos performance 1. Report Performance 2. Dashboard response 3. System stability 4. Concurrent User load 5. Cube build performance Poll by Senturus, June 2015

10 Server Hardware Server Specifications online kb articles, or see your business partner or IBM account manager RAM requirements 16GB for 2 concurrent users, the more memory the better Distributed Environments load balancing; fail over; scalable Physical v Virtual Server considerations Ensure that and Anti-virus software installed on the server has the Cognos url as a trusted site, otherwise everything will be scanned, inc report building

11 Server Hardware The more users, the longer the reports take to run More servers share the load and give better reporting performance For distributed environments, create rules to groups or users, report types or even packages to different application servers Interactive Reporting Batch Reporting

12 Physical v Virtual Most organisations running on virtual platforms Great way to achieve distributed environment, vastly improved over the years Performance benchmarks between physical and virtual very close - Easily manageable - Can allocate more resources as required But % overhead - Dedicated resources

13 Cognos Server Settings Cognos Server Settings and Cognos Service Settings Concurrent Users Distpatcher Tuning 93 categories Affinity Requests Quick Fixes Logging Levels

14 Concurrent Users IBM Sizing Documents Rule of thumb to calculate 100:10:1 For every 100 named users 10 Active Users (viewing reports) 1 Concurrent (heavy interactive user) For smaller installations there are likely to be more concurrent users

15 Other Server Settings Enable IIS/Apache caching All images, javascripts etc will only be retrieved after the content expiration period, otherwise retrieval every time. Scheduled Reports producing large s If 10MB or bigger SMTP service may reject and will sit there. Cognos will retry every hour as it creates a temp file every time it re-tries. Temporary Files Cognos will create large temporary files as part of the report process and cause the disk to fill. Monitor the temp directory and make sure there is enough space to write to

16 Managing the Working Day Peak Demand Most organisations have a peak period of demand, typically during normal business hours Determine the start and end time to control the number of concurrent jobs System Performance Tuning Request Wait Times You can specify how long a user s request will stay in the queue before timing out You can also limit the maximum execution the report service to prevent users from executing long report jobs

17 Affinity Requests High Affinity (high response time) Report Viewer (return, run again) HTML navigation (Top, Bottom, Up, Down) Delivery Options (Save, Print, ) Low Affinity (run slower and need more time) Report Querying Report Authoring (query validation, metadata retrieval) Administrative (test data source, jobs, schedules) Peak and Non-Peak Hours

18 Formula for Initial Tuning There are 2 report processes so the number of connections is 2 x 1 High affinity requests = 2 connections 8 x 2 Low affinity requests = 16 connections 18 connections in total

19 Websphere Liberty Profile For has replaced Tomcat. Defaults to 768MB, least amount of memory for fast start-up. Should be set to 1.5 (for balance between start-up and operating speed) or 2 (for maximum operating speed) times that value if you have lots of memory on the server

20 General 32 bit v 64 bit access more memory faster execution better system stability all future Cognos releases on 64 bit Dynamic Query Mode 64 bit technology In memory to automatically aggregate and optimise queries but - packages and models changed to use DQM, DMR from relational JDBC connections very large data sets Dynamic Cubes (future webinar) more features added since release performance maintenance similar to Transformer aggregate aware time categories as Transformer end of life? Saved Output Reports Run once overnight and always reference saved version

21 Data Issues Data Tuning Keys and indexes on tables Data Warehouse - Star Schema Less joins, therefore quicker Quick to understand Needed for Dynamic Cubes Summary Tables Condense large fact tables to several summary tables Jobs to refresh summaries and DBA assistance Power Cubes Still valid option for drilling, aggregation but latency, build time Framework Manager Whilst it can do many things, keep simple Views joins over different views can adversely affect performance For complex queries, views significantly improve report performance as all data processing is performed by the database. Used for performance optimisation strategy

22 ETL Issues Logging (eg SQL Full, Simple) Remove keys and index before adding data; rebuild afterwards Full load v incremental SQL, use NO LOCK on source data Use profiling tools in databases to suggest best index to build and other potential performance enhancements

23 Cognos Logging Settings High logging levels will have a negative impact on performance. Full logging never advised in production environment and if under instruction from IBM Support, they will always tell you turn off afterwards. Every service, logging level should be Basic or less will log errors with least impact.

24 Cognos Configuration Ad hoc sorting and querying would benefit for increased Sort Buffer Size Under the Environment section is the Sort buffer size in MB. The default value is 4 MB. Typically this can be safely increased 4 to 8 times. Change this value to 32.

25 Report Studio Settings Depending upon your database, check the following options on a report:- Processing Database Only Rollup Processing Database Execution Optimisation All Rows Use Local Cache No Disable Selection Based Interactivity Minimise number of hotspots in chart to 0, if not required Drill Behaviour-

26 Report Studio Settings Tools > Validation Options Report Studio validation levels can be changed. Switching to Information gives more detailed information and may give additional areas to look at for elements in the report that Cognos considers to be less than perfect

27 Content Store / Log Files Should aim to keep Content Store as lean as possible Saved output versions delete or archived to secondary storage Removed users Remove old reports Remove old package versions Log Files Tidy up Delete.dmp files (but try and resolve reasons why as indicator of serious issue), can be large c:\program Files\IBM\Cognos\C10_64\bin64 Delete anything core, javacore, snap 10-bi-servers/

28 Cognos Audit Cognos also includes a pre-built set of audit reports and the corresponding framework manager model to access an Audit database Can be added to and modified. Can provide history of what, who, where, when etc Also installed /bin/logviewv2.exe better way of looking at cogserver.log file Join us on 17 th September for a full explanation of this facility how to install, where you can find the reports and also how to modify or create your own to give a dashboard view.

29 Cognos Administration Monitoring You can define thresholds for various parts of the system (system, servers, dispatchers, services) which will provide red, amber, green indicators. Agents can be set up to monitor these metrics and could send your system administrator an when a threshold value has been exceeded. See Administration and Security Guide for more details

30 Infrastructure Performance depends on the characteristics of your infrastructure Ideally, the IBM Cognos server components should be connected by a network with 100 Mb of available capacity Network bandwidth between a Web browser and a Web server does not affect system scalability, but does affect user performance Use true server computers, rather than fast Workstations The complexity of your security infrastructure can increase response time Because Cognos notification service generates additional traffic, ensure that your mail server can scale to support the increased load

31 Quick Fixes ISAPI instead of CGI, best practice for multiple users. CGI for low users, test environments, proof of concepts. IIS Content Expiration, mentioned before. Cognos portal (over 600 images) being constantly loaded. Dynamic Query Mode if not using then switch off in Cognos Configuration, can save up to 1 GB of memory per server.

32 Summary Many places where your performance could be improved There are no hard and fast rules as every installation will be different and be affected by different environmental aspects Trial and Error on changes, don t make too many at once maybe a combination of data and Cognos settings Use tools already in the systems to assist in monitoring - Metrics thresholds and Audit reports - Third party tools for monitoring It is better to do Fire prevention that Fire fighting

33 Technical Webinar Series Future Webinars to include :- Auditing the Cognos Environment Cognos Planning Migration to Cognos TM1 External Data in Spreadsheets IBM Cloud or On-Premise? My Data Sets Spreadsheets & Performance Management New Release Highlights September 17 th October 7 th October 22 nd November 5 th November 19 th December 3 rd December 10 th

34 Training Academy Prices start from 995 per day for up to 6 people on site, or hosted at our Nottingham central office. To view more of our training courses visit the website: Call:

35 Q&A

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