8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2013 5:34 AM by TimAnderson

    Help diagnosing slow performance

    TimAnderson

      This is a very odd problem and appears to be down to the computer rather than server or network, but I am at a loss as to where to look.

       

      FileMaker Pro 12.0v4, OSX 10.6.8. FMS 12.0v4, OSX 10.7.?

       

      The scenario, an asset management solution for the marketting dept of a v large financial corporate. Assetts are added by selecting a folder, all contained assets are processed - thumbnails created and any EXIF data extracted. The primary searc is by selecting the parent folder.

       

      Performing a search returns a list view of the images with thumbnails, tags and usage data.

       

      This is very fast on some computers, but tediously slow on others. For example, on 1 MacBook Pro a search returning 58 images with be displayed almost instantaneously, but the same search on a PowerMac (on the same switch, same OS, more RAM, FM cache same) will take minutes. The delay appears to be rendering the thumbnails.

       

      I we swap the network cables the MacBook Pro performs as before, and the PowerMac works as fast as the MBP. After about 30 mins the MBP is still fast, but the performance of the PowerMac degrades drastically. Swap the cables back and the MBP is still fast, and the PowerMac is very slow.

       

      Watching the server statistics indicates that the server has completed the requests from the diierent computers in about the same time and is doing nothing further for the PowerMac.

       

      The server is caching the thumnails permanently.

       

      We appear to have eliminated FMS, network and RAM issues, the most likely cause seems to be some odd hidden network config files on the PowerMac, the MBP had a clean OS install, the PowerMac has been upgraded sionce 2009. This slow behaviour is shown on a number of other computers in the department, and some run perfectly fast.

       

      One issue is that I am not allowed to connect my laptop to their network, and wiping a Mac and starting with a clean install is nearly as difficult to get cleared.

       

      Can anyone suggest somewhere I can look for the issue?

       

      Thanks

       

      Tim

        • 1. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
          taylorsharpe

          I've seen ethernet wiring and switches slowly start to fail giving flaky responses and delays.  Is it possible to change a new switch and ethernet cables and see if it still happens.  Ethernet wires can get crimped or be effected by temperature and switches eventually fail when they get really old.  I would try that first since it is simple and inexpensive to try. 

          • 2. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
            TimAnderson

            Thanks Taylor,

             

            New switch was installed, and cables swapped for extended period with no change to the issue.

            With everything we have done I can only see the issue being something internal to the problem Macs-  that perform perfectly otherwise. Copying a 4Gb file across the same network points does not exhibit the same issue!

            • 3. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
              Malcolm

              Performing a search returns a list view of the images with thumbnails, tags and usage data.

               

               

              This is very fast on some computers, but tediously slow on others. For example, on 1 MacBook Pro a search returning 58 images with be displayed almost instantaneously, but the same search on a PowerMac (on the same switch, same OS, more RAM, FM cache same) will take minutes. The delay appears to be rendering the thumbnails.

               

              The thumbnail rendering is the problem. I suggest that you generate a low-res thumbnail which is displayed at 100% on the list view. v12 has new tools which will allow you to reduce an image size.

               

              malcolm

              • 4. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
                TimAnderson

                Malcolm,

                if this were so why would performance change over 30 mins, with the same search and results? And why only on some computers?

                 

                Thanks

                 

                Tim

                • 5. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
                  Malcolm

                  I'm presuming that different computers have different graphics cards. At a Filemaker meeting we were told that all the cpu effort is put into the image resizing. If you store an image and your container field has to resize it for display that is a relatively complex and cpu-intensive task. If you put that field onto a list view then you have to run the task for every record. Displaying the image does not need as much cpu time. So, displaying images at 100% is faster.

                   

                  malcolm

                  • 6. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
                    TimAnderson

                    That's good to know Malcolm, will check that out, but given that the results can be instantaneous under some circumstances and very slow at others - from about a second to about 3 minutes - on the same computer with caching eliminated as a possible factorthen I suspect it will not be the cause, but I will check

                     

                     

                    Thanks very much

                    • 7. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
                      wimdecorte

                      Also check out the available disk space on machines.  A machine running low on disk space will generate more FM-to-FMS traffic and will be significantly slower.

                      Also look into the free memory.  You mentioned the slow machine has more RAM but OSX has to page-out a lot then that is going to be slow things down too.

                      • 8. Re: Help diagnosing slow performance
                        TimAnderson

                        Thanks Wim,

                         

                        only 503Gb free on the disk!

                        At least 8Gb RAM, FileMaker the only application running at time of testing so free memory not an isue - confirmed with Activity Monitor