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

February 3, 2015

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


How to digitally sign a PDF using Acrobat reader and some Tools

November 8, 2014

Did you know you can digitally sign any PDF document using Adobe Reader and a self signed certificate.

First of all you need to get the tools to create a certificate :

  • signcode.exe
  • makecert.exe
  • cert2spc.exe
  • pvk2pfx.exe

These files are part of the MS SDK KIT and or not allowed to be distributed !

But you can find a download here :

http://www.kastaban.de/cert4me/MAKE_MY_CERT_FILE.zip

Next run the MAKE_MY_CERT_FILE.CMD file

@echo off
setlocal
if “%~1″==”” goto INFO
if “%~2″==”” goto INFO
set WORKINGDIR=%~dp0
IF %WORKINGDIR:~-1%==\ SET WORKINGDIR=%WORKINGDIR:~0,-1%
set KEYDIR=%WORKINGDIR%\keys
if not exist %KEYDIR% md %KEYDIR%
set CERTIFICATE_PASSWORD=%2

%WORKINGDIR%\makecert -r -n “CN=%1” -b 01/01/2013 -e 01/01/2099 -eku 1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.3 -sv %KEYDIR%\%1_cert.pvk %KEYDIR%\%1_cert.cer
%WORKINGDIR%\cert2spc %KEYDIR%\%1_cert.cer %KEYDIR%\%1_cert.spc
%WORKINGDIR%\pvk2pfx.exe -pvk %KEYDIR%\%1_cert.pvk -pi %CERTIFICATE_PASSWORD% -spc %KEYDIR%\%1_cert.spc -pfx %KEYDIR%\%1_cert.pfx -po %CERTIFICATE_PASSWORD%

goto END
:INFO
echo.
echo.
echo Please start me with:
echo %~nx0 ARG1 ARG2
echo.
echo ARG1=FileName of Certificate
echo ARG2=Password of key (always use the sam ein the run!)
echo.
goto END

:END
endlocal

And run it with 2 arguments

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Example certificate name Audministrator and Test as password

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You will have to re-enter the password again.

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After this these are the certificate files that will be created.

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OK so now you have the certificate you are ready to sign PDF documents Smile

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When selecting Sign with Certificate

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Drag a rectangle in your PDF document.

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Select the certificate you created, and don’t forget to Lock the document after signing

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Select the certificate you created before.

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It will ask you to save the PDF, best use a new name.

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After that the signature is in the PDF and you can check the properties by clicking on it.

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Here’s is the how to movie on how to do a bit more

http://tv.adobe.com/watch/acrobat-x/how-to-digitally-sign-a-document-with-adobe-reader/

Enjoy !


Gmail Application Sync Issues on Andriod

August 14, 2014

Ever encountered an E-mail Sync issue on your Android.

First thing that sounded logical was to remove the account and re-create it again. But that is not possible since all you Android account settings are linked to it.

You would have to reset your device to the factory settings which implies you loose everything Sad smile

Solution :

Go to Settings->Applications->Manage applications
Open Gmail Storage and “Clear data”
Then open Gmail and “Clear cache”

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And don’t forget to restart you phone after this.

If this does not work the first time repeat again.

This will put it back in sync Smile