MS Network & MS Monitor Visual Round Trip Analyzer (VRTA)

At some point in time we had performance issues with our SharePoint Farm. Where users experienced at some site collection very slow response times.

Especially when this users connected from all over the world and from different continents.

We all know that internet traffic suffers a lot from latency.

How do you start analyzing the problem, whether this is a Server of client side performance issue. Or if this has to do with connectivity and speed from certain locations.

Well the VRTA will help a lot pinpointing the where the bottleneck is.

In order to get going you need to download :

MS NetMon and MS Visual Round Trip Analyzer (VRTA). Install both on your client machine.

Before starting to measure and gathering data, first some connectivity statistics from your remote location internet line speed using speedtest.net.

IMPORTANT : You need to measure between the location of your client AND the location of the SharePoint Farm.

This you can do for example by opening a Remote Desktop to the remote client or server. Open the Speedtest.net page, and before starting drag the green rectangle to the location of where the SP farm is located (or most nearby).

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Once you have done this and started measuring, you know approximately the up and download speed of your connection.

If this is weak in upload speed, of course users start complaining when uploading large documents to you SharePoint farm.

If the latency is too high also download speed will suffer as well.

Now let’s get started using the tools.

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Open VRTA and a Browser.

Start VRTA (see picture) then open SharePoint homepage.

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And immediately after that open you SharePoint page that you want to measure.

When the page finished loading, stop the recording.

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The main chart will give you an interactive chart display of the loading time of each of the components of the page. And any other communication on that network connection !

So make sure to have all other internet services and connections inactive while capturing the traffic. Otherwise the results are polluted.

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The statistics give you already a good idea of the reaction time of your site or site collection, and which items on the page are slowing it down.

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Next go to the All Files tab select all and copy it to an excel sheet.

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Save the test.

Repeat it for document uploads and downloads.

Download Test file of 1Mb

So upload a 1 Mb Test file from the client to the SharePoint site, start capturing the traffic.

And reverse the exercise by downloading the same file to the client, and capture the traffic while downloading.

Gather all statistics in an Excel file from different locations, and from different sections of your SP Site.

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You easily see if for example picture how long they take to download on the client. Which can slow down the performance to your pages loading.

Combine these test results with the Line Speed statistics and Ping / Latency results.

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And you are ready to go to make a global overview of how good or bad your SharePoint is doing, or where the connectivity needs improvements.

PS : Our outcome was that the SharePoint Farm was doing OK, but we needed to increase bandwidth at certain remote locations.

These kind of tests take away all kinds of speculations of end users trying to shoot at your infrastructure guys. Blaming the SharePoint server is no good Winking smile

It is also good to show the management who will have to approve the extra CAPEX Smile

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