Why Performance testing and tuning of PerformancePoint planning server 2007?

PerformancePoint planning server 2007 is a multi-tier architecture consisting of technologies such as Microsoft SQL Server 2005, SQL Analysis services, web services and ASP.NET web applications hosted on IIS and Microsoft Office Excel plug-in. With all the different technologies involved, it is important to establish equilibrium between user load and system resources for the given PerformancePoint application.

Performance testing of PerformancePoint planning server not only helps in determining the capacity of the system but also helps in identifying performance bottlenecks under user load. During development and functional testing, then load on the servers is very less, hence the applications appears to run fast. During Performance testing, the servers are put under stress by applying heavy user load. This test will determine the capacity of the system i.e. answers questions such as but not limited to

1. How many concurrent users does the planning server support?

2. What is the average response time observed by the end user opening a connection from Excel plug-in during average load and peak load?

3. What is the average response time observed by the end user in saving/uploading a model/report through Excel plug-in?

4. What is the average response time to deploy a model using Planning Business Modeler?

5. Is there any need for additional system resources to meet the expected user load?

During this stress test, analysis is done on how the application makes use of system resources by monitoring each system resource. It has been often noticed that performance is affected not due to hardware but because of code issues, configuration settings, connection settings etc. In a nutshell, this test will determine the performance problems faced by the application i.e. answers questions such as but not limited to

1. How much network/bandwidth is being used by the PerformancePoint planning server? Are there any recommendations to reduce it?

2. Is there a potential performance problem in the code that is causing high CPU/memory/disk usage?

3. Is there any connection leak problem occurring during peak load?

4. What are the areas that need to be re-looked to improve the performance? Is there any best practice that is not being followed?

5. What is the system behavior at different user loads?

6. Which tier needs to be tuned to improve the performance?

My future posts will include different performance testing and tuning techniques for PerformancePoint Planning Server 2007.