There are a number of factors that contribute to performance aspects of Teradata Viewpoint and enough to warrant an article on this subject. So if you are looking for improved Viewpoint responsiveness and snappier portlet refreshes, consider the aspects covered in this article.
The first thing to consider is that Teradata Viewpoint has several different factors that contribute to performance. Each one of the following factors will be discussed in terms of how it plays into this. The browser, client and dashboard aspects are crucial to a successful self-service deployment because if performance is lacking, usage will follow. Here are the considerations put in order of the extent users can control them.
How one populates their Viewpoint dashboards will contribute to the user's Viewpoint experience. Viewpoint's customization capability is of great value in allowing users to set up their experience to exactly what they want and need. However this can work against users too.
All portlets have a similar load time when they are alone on a page. However when there are several portlets on a page, high-impact portlets slow the load time more than low-impact portlets. Browser selection plays into this as well. So the general recommendation is to consider another dashboard page versus over populating a single dashboard. If you are experiencing performance issues, try limiting your pages to 2-3 portlets, having more than four is of little value anyways as it requires scrolling to see them.
Regarding portlet impact, portlets in the medium-impact and high-impact classes run time-consuming queries to collect their data and therefore need to be considered when defining a dashboard. Isolating higher impact portlets to their own dashboard will improve the overall experience.
Low Impact Portlets: My Queries, Remote Console, SQL Scratchpad, System Health, and Todays Statistics. Query Monitor and Query Spotlight also fall into this category unless a very large number of queries are being displayed.
Medium Impact Portlets: Alert Viewer, Calendar, Canary Response Times, Lock Viewer, Metrics Analysis, Node Resources, Productivity, Space Usage, Viewpoint Monitoring, and Workload Health.
High Impact Portlets: Capacity Heatmap, Metrics Graph, Workload Designer, and Workload Monitor.
So keep those trend reporting and workload management dashboards separated from general usage and monitoring dashboards. Note that dashboard configuration will be an important consideration for shareable pages/dashboards planned with Viewpoint 13.12 release. This allows a default dashboard concept for each Viewpoint role. This will allow DBAs more control and influence over users' initial experience with Viewpoint.
Teradata Viewpoint currently supports the following browsers: Firefox 3.6 and Internet Explorer 6.x, 7.x, 8.x. Note that IE 8.x native support was released with Viewpoint 13.11 so earlier Viewpoint versions will require IE 8.x to be run in IE 7.x compatibility mode.
The best performance is going to be realized with the latest browser technologies as these newer versions are optimized for ever changing and maturing industry technologies. The vendors agree. If you go to Microsoft's home page for IE6, the opening information is "It's time to upgrade to the world's most widely-used browser" referring to IE8. Certainly this is part marketing but also an obvious technical recommendation.
In particular, you want a browser that is optimized for Java script applications. A fact that works against IE6 and its release date of August 2001. So if you are using IE6, you need to consider a newer browser even if that means having two browsers installed on your workstation in the event that IE6 is still a standard within your company. Even with all the extra performance code that Viewpoint engineering has implemented for IE6, it still doesn't perform like newer browsers.
This also contributed to the business decision to drop support for IE6 with the Viewpoint 13.12 release following the direction of the internet community. The good news is that at this same time, the plan is to add Firefox 4.x, Chrome, and Safari to the formally supported list.
With each Viewpoint release, there is new code fixing issues, improving performance, and of course providing valuable new features. So keep your Viewpoint version to the latest release. Teradata realizes that four Viewpoint releases in 2010 made that a challenge so going forward, the target will be two Viewpoint releases a year. This strategy is also recommended as a best practices support policy.
The client workstation considerations are covered in the Teradata Viewpoint Configuration Guide but can be missed by the general Viewpoint community for those not involved with actual Viewpoint configuration aspects. So hopefully this article will reach a greater portion of the Viewpoint community. Note that Teradata Viewpoint is a client/server architecture with dependencies on client workstation performance. If you have old PC or laptop technology, your performance will unfortunately suffer. The current client workstation recommendations are:
Customer's networking and security implementations need to be mentioned as there has been situations where this was a primary cause of performance degradation. So please ensure DNS (Domain Name Services) is properly configured, network performance to Viewpoint and Teradata systems is performing as expected, and that there are no network firewall limitations to http access. Don't forget the remote aspects, so ensure that VPN access to Viewpoint performs similarly to in-office/Intranet access so remote users get a positive experience too.
Schedule the automated Viewpoint DCS backup at a time when Viewpoint usage is expected to be low. The Viewpoint Admin screen shot below may not be optimal.
Obviously, the Viewpoint server itself is part of the performance considerations, and in particular when monitoring multiples of high activity Teradata systems. Suggest using the "Viewpoint Monitoring" portlet to check server resources like I/O and CPU to ensure the Viewpoint instance is not saturated.
If Viewpoint does appear saturated, then resolution considerations may be moving some Teradata Systems to another server, tuning data collection frequency, or potentially acquiring a higher performance Viewpoint server. This would warrant an incident submission to Teradata Global Support for analysis and recommendation.
Related to this is to also ensure the data collection repository (DCS) is not nearing full capacity. This can be verified in the Admin menus under "Teradata Systems" and "Disk usage" as shown below.
If the DCS is nearing capacity, then adjustments to data retention should be considered. By drilling into the blocks on this display, one can see each data collector and the amount of space each is consuming. Another drill down then allows easy adjust of that particular data collector's collection and/or retention rates.
Note there have been three generations of Viewpoint servers. The most recent two, models 415 and 617, should have plenty of horsepower. The initial Viewpoint server release had less processing power so something to consider.
So there are some recommendations for performance considerations of the Teradata Viewpoint implementation.
Hope this helps.