Documentum’s enterprise content management system has two features that result in many of the performance issues we see with the platform. First, it’s highly customizable. Second, it operates a very complex, multi-tiered architecture.
You followed the advice from The EMC Community Network and other experts and have tuned the performance of your Documentum installation. You’ve separated out the database, the Content Server and the Application Server. You’ve monitored and optimized your database queries, and have honed your reporting. Nevertheless, problems are bound to happen.
Now how do you watch for them, and how do you troubleshoot them once they happen? DMCL trace files, for example, only go so far in helping you isolate the problem. You need to be able to track and meter all requests throughout the entire application stack without impacting overhead. Ideally, you need to be able to isolate problems before your end users experience them.
Before we talk about monitoring and troubleshooting, though, we need to talk about the three most common sources of Documentum performance issues.
Software: Customizations and Query Loads
The first places to look when it comes to performance are the amount of customization you’ve done on your Documentum system, and the nature, complexity and scope of the database queries you’re running. Customizations — and particularly web-ware and code-level customizations — can create no end of trouble if they’re not properly tuned. Do you have to run 500 queries, or will one or two suffice?
Hardware: Infrastructure and Storage
While the poor Documentum Client Library (DMCL) is often the first to take the blame for performance issues, the real culprit is often something much more fundamental: your infrastructure — and more frequently, your hardware. Can your network support the traffic running through your Documentum system? Is your storage system fast enough to not be the bottleneck? If you aren’t 100% comfortable with the answer to these questions, start there.
Integration: Is Somebody Else’s Failure Your Problem?
The third most common source of performance issues in Documentum lies with third-party applications that have been integrated with, or that are sitting on top of, your Documentum system. Customizations are often performed in-house or by third-party integrators, and often they may not understand the performance implications of all the customized code they’ve inserted. This bad code creates performance issues and bottlenecks that can often be very difficult to troubleshoot.
Now that we have our top three list of offenders, how do you deal with the kinds of performance issues they create? A typical example is the challenge faced when a support request comes in through your organization’s support desk. Much of the initial troubleshooting of this problem happens in Tier One support. These support reps — remember, this function is often outsourced — must be trained to ask the right questions, and reminded that the customer often doesn’t think like they do. For example, there’s a huge difference between “was the system slow at start-up, querying or loading?” and asking “when you entered the information on page three and hit submit, did you get a blank screen?”
A typical business user can answer that latter question, but not the former. Knowing how to ask the right question has very specific implications inside Documentum, and requires a lot of training and understanding. This issue is compounded in larger organizations where the people who buy are different from the people who install who are different from the people who customize and integrate, etc.
Overcoming this barrier may sound difficult, but in fact it’s not that hard — having access to the right information can have a huge impact on getting the right answers. Using our software, for instance, gives the support tech the ability to drill down to that particular user’s computer to determine whether the performance issue lies in the front end or the back end or the middleware. Which component is causing the real trouble? If we make a change to fix the problem, how do we ensure that the results aren’t spurious? Good troubleshooting and analysis tools — including ours — will allow you to run time period comparisons to isolate potential contributing factors.
You can find out more about Sharepath for Documentum at http://www.correlsense.com/solutions/sharepath-for...
And, if you want an even deeper dive, sign up for our “New Strategies for Successful Documentum Integrations, Migrations and Performance Management” webinar on Wednesday, June 27 to learn:
-Best practices for successful Documentum integrations and ongoing management
-Gathering the right data for effectively managing migration projects
-New tools that provide complete visibility across the entire Documentum environment
Sign up at https://www1.gotowebinar.com/register/956882001