After going through the obvious culprits such as update rollups, installed antivirus software, client and server specifications etc. it eventually turned out to be a server I/O problem which was causing longer than expected load times. I used HTTP Watch and WireShark to point me in that direction and then had some discussions with the IT team.
All that, however, wasn't the interesting part. Not even close.
During this examination I used CRM 2011's diagnostics page (http://<server>/<org>/tools/diagnostics/diag.aspx or http://<server>/tools/diagnostics/diag.aspx). This was part of CRM Online that came to the on-premise version in Update Rollup 4. More about that in Rhett Clinton's article. The reason I started picking apart the diagnostics page was because I was getting fairly good results despite CRM behaving worse than expected. Seeing that, I decided to check what exactly the diagnostic pages does and measures. Below is a sample of this page from one of my test systems.
|CRM 2011 Diagnostics Page|
The first thing I did was to understand what each of the tests stands for. These are as follows:
- Latency Test
Not exactly what I'd call a latency test but as close as you can get with HTTP. This calculates the average time taken over 20 downloads of a very small text file (only 12 bytes long).
The file downloaded is /_static/Tools/Diagnostics/smallfile.txt
- Bandwidth Test
Performs downloads of image files in increasing size. Slightly similar in concept to many Internet based speed test sites. These download speeds are then averaged out (weighted of course) to give one average download speed value.
- Browser Info
- IP Address
Reports the IP address of the client computer as known to the server. This is passed as a variable in the diag.aspx file. The IP address is server-side dynamic and represents the IP address which was used to contact the server with.
- Organization Info
Basic server info such as organization name, time on server and url.