Footprints  11.x- Performance Guide

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    FootPrints 11.x


    Is there a performance guide for version 11?
    How to troubleshoot performance problems in Footprints 11?
    Why does this action in Footprints 11 take so long?


    This is taken from Chapter 10 in the online  Help for Footprints Service Core 11.x

    Performance Guide


    The performance of FootPrints Service Core can be greatly enhanced by utilizing appropriate hardware and by carefully selecting the settings for FootPrints Service Core, the operating system, and the database.


    What to Expect


    FootPrints Service Core web pages, use an SQL-based database (such as SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, or Postgres) and should typically take a few seconds to display.  FootPrints Service Core pages using the built-in database. Performance should be equally efficient for small Workspaces, but once the number of issues increases above ten thousand in a single Workspace, the time to display some pages, such as the Homepage, increases, and could require as much as 20 seconds or more.  In these cases, we recommend changing over to a SQL-based environment.


    What Hardware to Use


    The BMC web site has a listing of recommended hardware to use for a FootPrints Service Core server.  Refer to the Technical Overview and System Requirements PDF on our Support Web site.


    FootPrints Service Core Settings


    The following suggestions can improve FootPrints Service Core performance through the web interface:

    1. Instant Talk—The current version of Instant Talk is implemented as a server-side only feature and polls the server periodically, determining whether or not people are talking.  This polling frequency is higher during actual Instant Talk conversations.

    The performance of the FootPrints Service Core server can be improved by taking into account the following:

    • If Instant Talk is not used at your site, turn it off.
    • If Instant Talk is used at your site, but not used extensively, set the polling to a lower frequency.

    Both of these options can be selected on the Administration | System | Instant Talk page.  Recommended settings for a lower frequency are:

    • Active Talk time— 9 seconds
    • Talk check time— 50 seconds
    1. Debugging - FootPrints Service Core can create debug logs to help the support team diagnose customer problems.  If the debug logs are still turned on after problems have been solved, large amounts of debug data is written whenever FootPrints Service Core accesses that particular feature.  This inevitably slows down the system.  Absent a specific problem, it is recommended that debugging be disabled for the sake of system performance.

    FootPrints Service Core alerts the System Administrator (upon login) when debugging is enabled.  Some examples of debugging are email and LDAP.


    Debugging is administered from the Debug Manager.  Access the Debug Manager by selecting Administration | System | Debug Manager from the FootPrints Service Core Toolbar.

    1. Temporary FilesFootPrints Service Core creates temporary files in it's own tmp directory and cleans this directory out on a regular basis.  However, older versions of FootPrints Service Core may have left files in this tmp directory that, if not removed, can degrade system performance.

    Delete the files found in the footprints/temp directory.  If you do not clear the temp directory on a regular basis (e.g., you have 20,000+ files on a small installation), you may be experiencing other problems.  If that is the case, email Support for additional assistance.

    1. Escalation RulesFootPrints Service Core can handle large numbers of Escalation rules very easily, and does so from a background process.  However, it is useful to 'clean up' unused rules in order to streamline that process.  Turn off unused Escalation rules from the Administration | Workspace | Escalation page.  Escalation rules can always be turned back on as needed.

    If you have deleted Workspaces, remove the Escalation files from those Workspaces' database directories.  These directories can be found by selecting Administration | System | Workspaces and clicking the option for List All Workspaces.  The resultant page displays all Workspaces, their location on the server, whether they are deleted, and which Address Book the Workspace is using.


    Find Workspaces that are listed with (*** Deleted ***) next to the name.  The location of a Workspace is displayed below the Workspace's name (for example, the location might be c:\FootprintsServiceCore\db\MASTER3).  Find this location on the server and go into the MR directory.  The MR directory contains files related to this specific Workspace.  Delete any files and folders with Escalation in their name (e.g., Escalation, EscalationEmails, etc.)  This prevents FootPrints Service Core from running these rules even though the Workspace has been deleted.

    1. Homepage—An Agent can select the number of Issues that are displayed on his or her Homepage.  Select My Preferences | Homepage List from the FootPrints Service Core Toolbar to set the number of Issues that are displayed.  Having a large number of issues (e.g., 50+) displayed on the Homepage slows down the display of the page.  If an Agent experiences slow performance, lowering the number of Issues displayed on the Homepage can help to improve the performance.

    System Settings


    The following list describes potential system problems, their causes, and their solutions.  Most of these issues concern Windows servers:

    1. Disk Fragmentation—As usage increases, hard disks in Windows-based systems can become very fragmented.  Once they do, access to these disks becomes much slower.  In order to remedy this, Windows is bundled with a disk defragmentation utility.  Running this utility has shown to increase performance of a FootPrints Service Core server by 2-4 times compared to the fragmented performance.  Disk defragmentation should be run on a regular basis.
    3. Viruses—Once a server is hit by a virus, particularly via Windows/IIS security holes, programs may either work incorrectly or run very slowly. Maintain virus checkers on all web servers running IIS and visit the Windows Update site ( to apply security patches.
    1. Anti-Virus Software—Although anti-virus software prevents performance-related issues from viruses, performance can be impacted due to an anti-virus program constantly checking files on each read and write.  Here is a test to see if that may be happening on your FootPrints Service Core machine:
    3. Open a command prompt on the FootPrints Service Core server.
    5. Change directory (cd) to c:\FootprintsServiceCore\cgi (or the path to your FootPrints Service Core directory).
    7. Enter c:\FootprintsServiceCore\bin\perl\bin\perl

    If the path to your Perl is different from the default, substitute that path for C:\ footprints\bin\perl\bin\perl


    This should produce output similar to the following:


    Please wait...


    Started at 14:39:00 and finished at 14:39:10.


    If the time from start to finish is greater than 20 seconds, you may need to fine-tune your current anti-virus program or get a less intensive program.


    If your anti-virus software is running and you get a time greater than 20 seconds, uninstall the anti-virus software, reboot, and rerun  If this decreases the time significantly, you should reinstall the anti-virus software with different parameters.  For instance, it might be useful to turn off constant file checking and have scans scheduled during off-peak hours.


    Let a BMC Support Engineer know your results if they are abnormal or do not improve with these tips. 

    1. Network Access—This is a performance issue that is usually diagnosed easily because it affects only some users.  There are no settings within FootPrints Service Core that would cause network performance to decrease for some users while not affecting others.  If certain users experience degraded performance while others do not, check the hubs, routers, and switches that connect them to the network.

    A more critical problem, discussed later, is database access over the network.

    1. IIS Processing—IIS is configured to process four simultaneous web requests per CPU.  However, if a fifth request arrives, it is queued and waits for the next available process thread.  A timeout on that request occurs if an available process thread is not allocated in an appropriate amount of time, which may appear as though FootPrints Service Core has failed.  Enabling IIS to run more than from simultaneous process threads can prevent this from occurring.

    Microsoft has posted information on how to increase the number of threads each processor can handle (see the MSDN article: Optimizing IIS Performance).  Making this change requires an administrator to edit the registry.  Editing the registry is a dangerous task since a wrong entry or deletion can render the system unusable.  If you have any questions regarding this change, do not change anything, but contact a BMC Support Engineer instead for assistance. 


    Open the registry editor by clicking on Start | Run in Windows and type in regedit.  Find the following location in the registry:




    At this location, you need to create a new DWORD Value called MaxPoolThreads by right-clicking on Parameters and selecting New|DWORD Value.


    Once you create that new value with the name of MaxPoolThreads, double-click the value to enter your desired decimal value (0-4,294,967,295).  However, you should not create more than twenty threads per processor.

    1. IIS Authentication—The IIS web server administrator can enable enhanced authentication. This can have the effect of slowing down all web server activities that run executables, like FootPrints Service Core CGI scripts.  If Anonymous Access is disabled and Integrated Windows Authentication is enabled, all scripts require NT login authentication and impact performance adversely.  You can check this setting by right clicking on the web site where the FootPrints Service Core virtual directories are set up, selecting Properties, and then selecting the Directory Security tab.
    3. Virtual Memory—This is most important on Windows machines with insufficient memory. You can find the amount of Virtual Memory allocated for swapping when no system memory is available on the Control Panel | System Properties | Virtual Memory tab.  This number should be two to three times the size of the real memory in the system.

    Database Settings

    1. SQL Server Debugging—If you turn on SQL server debugging, all SQL server performance will be adversely affected and therefore impacts the performance of FootPrints Service Core.

    Do not use SQL server debugging/logging unless it is absolutely necessary.  If it is currently enabled, turn it off as soon as possible.

    1. SQL Server Network Access—If you decide to use a SQL database with FootPrints Service Core on Windows and the database resides on a different server than FootPrints Service Core, you must be certain that the servers have a reliably fast network connection.

    By running Microsoft’s Enterprise Manager from the FootPrints Service Core server, you can easily compare data access and retrieval speeds.  Compare the time it takes to access the FootPrints Service Core database from the FootPrints Service Core server verses accessing the data in Enterprise Manager running on the SQL server.  If there is a significant difference in access time between the two servers, this would indicate a potential network or connectivity problem, or a permissions issue.  It is essential to fix the problem before FootPrints Service Core is put into production.


    These types of speed issues have been discovered on NT/200x servers and have typically been caused by an anti-virus program.  Verify whether an anti-virus program is running on your database server and how thorough the virus scanning heuristics are set.

    Note: Occasionally, it may become necessary to rebuild full text database indexes in order to resolves issues with searching, etc.


    FootPrints Service Core and mod_perl/PerlEx


    The mod_perl program builds the perl processor into your Apache Web server and executes FootPrints Service Core perl scripts much faster than the basic perl compiler. This greatly improves FootPrints Service Core performance, especially with a large number of Agents.


    BMC has tested mod_perl on both Linux and Sun Solaris systems extensively. Directions for building and testing mod_perl for Linux and Unix are included in the FootPrints Service Core install package in a file named README.mod_perl. Please contact BMC Support if you need help with this installation.


    BMC supports FootPrints Service Core 7.0+ on Windows releases using the PerlEx product from ActiveState Company. PerlEx is a mod_perl-equivalent for Windows servers and the IIS Web Server and greatly increases the performance of FootPrints Service Core on Windows servers.

    Using Perl Profiling tool to troubleshoot specific performance bottlenecks
    Please see this article:
    How to perform profiling in Perl based Footprints installations


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