10 Replies Latest reply on Mar 15, 2009 4:17 AM by it2000

    Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?

      I'd like to gather information about speed/slowness from other Clearspace users who are hosted by Jive. We are 6 months into our implementation of 2.5.x and we love Clearspace -- except for how slowly it responds for so many of our users. It's tough to sell people on using a tool that makes them wait, and unfortunately that's what many of our users experience.

       

      Note to Jive: This is not intended as bashing and my objective is to collect data so that we can help you improve this software that we want very much to make be a core part of our way of doing business. I hope this discussion won't be perceived as threatening or negative.

       

      Our Slowness Issues

      The biggest issues we have with slow performance are in offices outside of North America. Jive is hosting us on the West Coast, and users in Asia have the worst problems, followed by users in Europe.

       

      However, it's not all distance. We have offices in the US where people find Clearspace to be practically unusable, too. They tend to be using Internet Explorer 6, which is the most prevalent browser in the world, so it's tough to convince our IT folks that we want people to use Firefox or Chrome, both of which seem to run Clearspace faster.

       

      I'm sure there are other factors, as well. I just don't know what they all are and so don't have an effective way to remedy the complaints about slowness. We've got an effort underway now to have our IT teams do systematic testing and analysis, so I hope that will help.

       

      How Fast Is Clearspace for You?

      I can't believe that we're the only ones with these problems. If you're hosted by Jive, what is your speed experience? What have you found that helps?

        • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?
          it2000

          Hi Ted,

           

          most times I access the public server www.igniterealtime.org which is usually not slow but loading a page completely is not fast and may take 15 seconds. I'm quite sure that not the same hardware is used, so one can not really compare it to your server.

           

          If you use a proxy make sure to use HTTP1.1 for proxy connections in IE6. So Clearspace should compress the content before transferring it to the client. Newer or other browsers may run JavaScript much faster, so using them could help.

          Firefox seems to load one CSS and JavaScript file after the other, and Clearspace loads a lot of files and not one big one. So clicking on "Insert Link" takes ages for me.

           

          If you have a proxy you may want to modify the cache settings for your domains and various pathes. A lot of proxies do not cache URL's which include a "?" - so the avatars and some other things are not cached.

           

          If you have Firefox then look for Firebug and install it. It allows Network and JavaScript debugging and is usually very helpful.

           

          LG

           

          Updated:

          http://blogs.msdn.com/kristoffer/archive/2006/12/22/loading-javascript-files-in-parallel.aspx may be interesting for the developers, anyhow it seems that parallel loading of .js files may cause problems for the editor.

          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?

            Hey guys,

             

            While a browser's ability to process JavaScript is only one very small component in a very complex interplay of factors which dictate the performance of a Clearspace instance, it is still worth considering. The most comprehensive test suite I have found for measuring browser performance is Dromaeo. Some of the tests are meant to really run your browser through the ringer, so they're not necessarily an accurate simulation of what you'll encounter in a Clearspace session. Nonetheless, it is quite enlightening to run the tests on a few of your favorite browsers and compare the results.

             

            Another JS benchmark test is SunSpider. I haven't played with this one as much but found that it yields similar results.

             

            And this is pretty close to being totally off-topic, but I also came across this great report on browser security while catching up on the latest articles on browser performance.

             

            There is plenty of action on the frontlines of the browser war these days, thanks to the huge leaps in speed and functionality offered by Chrome 1.0, Safari 4 beta, Firefox 3, and IE 8. It's interesting to see that some of the big players in the web application/cloud computing space are moving away from supporting IE 6 in spite of its lingering popularity. Can't wait to see where things go, and what the future of web browsing technologies will mean to Jive!

             

            -Karl

              • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?
                it2000

                Hi Karl,

                 

                I do not have a client CPU problem with the execution of JS but a loading problem as the browser fetches one JS file after the other. One big JS file which can be cached at client side would help a lot to reduce the 8,5 seconds to 0,6 seconds to load the page. If my browser needs then some more seconds to render it then I have also CPU problem, but currently that's not a problem for me.

                 

                LG

                  • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?

                    Yep, LG nailed it. This is a software design problem that Jive *needs* to fix. Multiple (and I mean MANY) JS calls are killing performance for our overseas users, where the latency introduced by distance gets magnified by needing so many calls.

                     

                    We pointed this out to Jive support months ago, but I have not heard anything further about whether making the change is in the pipeline. IMO, this is not a desire, but a requirement.

                      • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?

                        Agreed.  It would be good if Jive could respond to this thread with a

                        roadmap or something like that.

                        • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?

                          We continue to make inroads in our product to improve performance.  If you look historically you will see huge leaps in 2.5 compared to 1.10.  We have features in 3.0 that will further help improve performance.

                           

                          That being said, there is nothing we can do within the product to work around internet slowness.  For example, you will never see similar performance results in Asia, compared to the US, when hosted in the US.  This is why for global deployments we recommend leveraging a Content Delivery Network (CDN). 



                            • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?

                              Hi, Kevin,

                               

                              No argument from me on the improvements you are making in the tool! We are delighted with the features and are eager to deploy 3.0. We do look at the slowness as Clearspace's Achilles Heel, however, and urge you to aggressively address the issue.

                               

                              Surely you agree that one of the selling points of your application is the ability to connect global offices into one tool that all can share regardless of geography. Why, then, not take the speed issues for distant users more seriously and (a) design your software to be as lightning fast as possible (e.g., one JS call not many) so as to minimize latency effects, and (b) offer your hosted customers a *complete* solution that includes CDN as an option.

                               

                              I'm not suggesting you become a CDN provider, just that you contract with a CDN provider and make that a simple option for customers to select, and be completely honest up front about the need for a CDN if deploying to overseas locations. The CDN option should be part of your pricing package options.

                               

                              In our case, we had no visibility into this need until we were well into the contracting process with Jive. We had already submitted our budget for approval based on the pricing that had been disclosed to us. Although we had discussions with Akamai later, there was simply no money available to pay for an additional, separate contract with them.

                               

                              Clearspace should be used by global companies. It's providing tremendous value to us in just six months. But the more people like and value something, the more frustrated they get when it sucks to use it. And, yes, that's what I am told using Clearspace is like in Hong Kong, China, London, France, the Netherlands, etc. Love the software, hate the waiting and waiting for it to respond.

                               

                              Final note on what I mean by taking the speed issues seriously: Jive should be ahead of its customers on these issues. You should be testing how your tool works in distant locations when you are hosting it (I'll give you a large pool of testers if you need them ). Every time you make a significant change to the software, the effect on speed should be evaluated. I'm not convinced that speed is currently important enough to Jive. If we have to figure out how to make your pages load faster (again, reference the JS calls issue), when you're the experts on your software, that indicates speed is not the priority it should be for you. I know you have brilliant people who can address speed issues. I must therefore conclude that Jive has not tasked them with increasing speed as a high enough priority.

                               

                              All of this is from a loyal customer who intends to keep using Clearspace for many, many years and build it into a truly mission-critical part of our business. It's in both Jive and your customers' best interests to make Clearspace faster.

                                • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?
                                  it2000

                                  Hi Ted,

                                   

                                  seems that CS3.0-beta at igniterealtime.org was configured not properly. You may want to ask your provider to review these settings:

                                  "Short-term Query Cache", "jive.pageCache.enabled" and "jive.maxAgeFilter.enabled" and "Page compression".

                                   

                                  This does not solve the problem that a lot of files are tranfered and that my browser cache is either too small or the files are invalidated quite soon. So I did create a file which will load about 2 MB of more or less static files - this improves performance a lot. Maybe http://www.igniterealtime.org/community/thread/37640 is interesting for you.

                                   

                                  LG

                                   

                                  PS: If you use Squid as your standard HTTP proxy you could create a redirector which redirects the request to static JS and CSS files to a local web server. Of course this would add complexity to your infrastructure but it could make your users happy.

                                • Re: Hosted Clearspace Response Time: Slow for You?
                                  it2000

                                  Hi Kevin,

                                   

                                  I know that "there is nothing "you" can do within the product to work around internet slowness.". My available bandwidth is only 1,2 Mbits (156 KB/s) when I download somthing from www.igniterealtime.org.

                                  I did try 'insert link' again today: 432 KB (80 KB from cache) in 10.98 seconds.

                                  So the real download time could be below 3 seconds.

                                   

                                  If Clearspace would compress the JS and CSS files one would save a lot of bandwidth (~80%) making the transfer time much smaller.

                                  If Clearspace would deliver one big CSS file and one big JS file which proxy servers and the browser do cache then I would need to download only the web page (8kB in 550ms).

                                   

                                  From my point of view you can work on both things. I'm not a paying customer, anyway it would be great if you'd create two (or three) simple issues/cases:

                                  1. Compression for JS and CSS files should be easy to enable, even within the current version.
                                  2. One big CSS file for the whole page should also be quite simple to create.
                                  3. Merging 20 JS files may be the hard task, especially as the HTML page does load and inline JS.

                                   

                                   

                                  @"If you look historically you will see huge leaps in 2.5 compared to 1.10.  We have features in 3.0 that will further help improve performance."

                                  CS 1.1 had a very basic HTML Wiki-style editor and did thus load much faster. Anyhow I like the 3.0 editor.

                                   

                                  LG

                                  1 person found this helpful