Correlate an Activity with the Device's Resources (Activity Resource Analysis)

The Activity Resource Analysis dashboard exposes the effects of an activity directly on a device's hardware and system resources running Windows. For example, you can watch the effects of opening a mail on the device's CPU usage. This level of detail helps you establish better theories on the possible causes of a problem, to perform a deeper root cause analysis (RCA) of the issue.

Locate the cause for a long response time for any activity

See all activities, all applications, device resources, and process resources on one timeline (all measurements of a device recorded at the time of an activity), as well as health events, boot time, MOS, and latency for that device. The timeline allows seeing trends: you can easily see what happened before or after a certain event. When you hover over a dot on the timeline, the tooltip provides all the data for a specific application or activity.

In the scatter chart on the right side, check correlations between any two measurements. These two selected measures appear also on the timeline below the chart allowing you to zoom in the exact measurements for deeper analysis.

Filter by Application and/or Activity/Event to limit your analysis to those apps and activities you are interested in.

The graphical timeline allows to see when an unusual behavior occurred (a health event or an extremely long response time). Also, you can chronologically see what preceded the unusual behavior, for example the response time of the Open Mail activity was extremely long because of application crash that had happened before the activity.
Correlate between an activity and device health events
The Activity Resource Analysis dashboard

You can isolate a single activity reported from this (non mobile) device at a specific time, and view all the device-related events which occurred while the activity took place.

For example, if the CPU usage of a device spikes above 80% during three occurrences of an activity, you can investigate this correlation, to determine the reason why the activity might be causing such behavior.

Step-by-step in Activity Resource Analysis to view the device measurements which occurred during an activity

Procedure

  1. Step 1 Open a browser and sign in to Aternity.
  2. Step 2 Go to the Main Menu > Monitor User Experience or Troubleshoot Device or Device Details dashboards.
  3. Step 3 Access the Activity Resource Analysis dashboard by moving between the following tabs:
    Access to relevant information about the selected user or device by easily moving between dashboards
    You can also access this dashboard by drilling down on a dashboard displaying a list of devices:
    Open the Activity Resource Analysis dashboard
    Timeline Field Description
    Boot

    Displays the total boot time of the device.

    Device Health Event

    Displays any occurrence of a device health event during the dashboard's timeframe.

    Activity Response

    (For managed applications only) Displays the response time of the activity. The response times of activities are split into client time ( light blue), and the combination or union of the backend time ( dark blue) and the network time ( blue).

    Activity response time splits into network, server and client time

    Use the actual response times (not scores) to check the performance of chronic (long term) problems. You cannot rely on measurements based on the recent baselines, as those responses would be chronically slow for some time, thereby skewing baselines to make those times look normal.

    Backend Time

    Backend time is the time required by all the servers to process data on the backend, which is part of the overall response time of an activity. It starts when the client sends a request to the target server, when the last message of that request arrives at the target server side. It ends when the server sends out the first message of its response.

    Network Time

    Network time is the total time (union) taken for all messages to cross the network in either direction, between the client and the target server, while performing an activity. This does NOT include the time used for processing the request on the server (backend time).

    Client Time

    Client time is the time used by the device itself as part of an activity to process data before sending its first message request to the server and after the last message response arrives back from the server.

    Process CPU

    View the percentage CPU utilization of this Windows process while it performs an activity, measured as a percentage of the total power of all CPU cores available.

    Compare this with the Device CPU readings to understand whether this application is the cause of any spike in CPU readings.

    Process Physical Memory

    View the amount of working set memory for this Windows process while it performs an activity.

    If the activity always coincides with a spike in memory consumption, this is probably the cause of slow performance.

    Process Virtual Memory

    View the amount of reserved memory (commit size) for this Windows process, while it performs an activity.

    If the activity always coincides with a spike in memory consumption, this is probably the cause of slow performance.

    Max CPU Core Utilization

    Displays the individual CPU core processor with the highest percentage usage at a given time. Look for 100% for a length of time (flat line), indicating a process is stuck and hogging that CPU's resources. For example, if the device has four CPU cores, where one is at 100% usage and the others are idle, it will display a value of 100%.

    Device CPU

    Displays the percentage CPU utilization of the core with the greatest usage at a given time. For example, if the device has four CPU cores, where one is at 80%, one is at 60% and the others are idle, it will display a value of 80%.

    Device Physical Memory

    (Windows, Macs, mobile) Displays the percentage usage of the device's physical RAM memory at a given time during the activity.

    Device Virtual Memory

    (Windows only) Displays the current usage of a device's virtual memory as a percentage of the device's total virtual memory (physical RAM plus hard disk allocation for memory page faults) at a given time during the activity.

    High usage of virtual memory slows performance significantly, because using the hard disk instead of RAM is 1000 times slower than physical memory. To resolve, increase the capacity of RAM on the device.

    Disk IO Read

    Displays the rate at which the device reads from the hard disk in MB per second at any given time during the activity.

    For example, if a virus scanner slows performance by issuing many disk read requests, reschedule to off-peak times. Alternatively, if the read rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    Disk IO Write

    DIsplays the rate at which the device writes to the hard disk in MB per second at any given time during the activity.

    For example, a movie editor can perform large disk writes, slowing down the device's performance. Alternatively, if the write rate falls to almost zero, the hard disk may be failing, or its connection to the computer may be unreliable.

    Disk Queue Length

    Displays the number of waiting I/O requests to read or write to the hard disk or a logical disk at a given time during the activity.

    A consistent queue for the disk indicates a bottleneck in hard disk access, which significantly impacts on system performance, either due to excess system demands on the disk, or it can be a hardware disk problem. To check if the problem is hardware, view if the speed (rate of reads and writes to the disk) is low.

    Network IO Read

    Displays the data downloads of this device in KB per second at any given time (the units change dynamically according to the size of information, so that you may see the data in MBps also). during the activity.

    For example, if its throughput or usage of bandwidth is low, and the user complains of slow network connections, consider checking the NIC hardware.

    Network IO Write

    Displays the data uploads from this device in KB per second at any given time (the units change dynamically according to the size of information, so that you may see the data in MBps also). during the activity.

    For example, if its throughput or usage of bandwidth is low, and the user complains of slow network connections, consider checking the NIC hardware.

    Network Speed - WiFi

    (Macs and in Windows from Agent 9.2) Displays the potential speed (bandwidth) of the WiFi connection at that moment, in megabits per second (Mbps). Lower WiFi bandwidth can be due to poor signal strength or overlapping channels, which slows the network time. In Windows, see the potential speed in the Control Panel > Network and Sharing > Adapter Settings > Status of the WiFi connection. In Macs, view it in About This Mac > System Report > Network > Wi-Fi.

    WiFi network speed on Windows and Macs
    Signal Strength - WiFi

    (Windows Agent 9.2 or later, Macs and mobile devices) Displays the percent strength of the WiFi signal which the device receives, which can impact communication speed. For more details, hover your mouse over the graph in the dashboard to see the name of the WiFi network connection (SSID), the wireless network card MAC address (BSSID), and the WiFi channel.

    View the details of the wireless network connection in Aternity
    Latency

    (Virtual sessions only) Displays the remote display latency.

    Combined MOS

    The combined MOS score (and status) for a device is the LOWER value of the inbound MOS and outbound MOS scores in a call.

    When you first open the dashboard, it displays the Timeline and Scatter Chart sections. Limit your investigation to a certain application to view its activities and processes, then select an activity name to view each activity status on the timeline during the dashboard timeframe. Finally, select a single activity to view the exact device measurements which occurred at the time of the activity.

    Field Description
    Timeline

    For each monitored application, view every instance of every activity performed from this device during the dashboard's timeframe. It displays each occurrence as a circle with its status. See explanation of statuses in the below table.

    Tip

    This could display too many circles, as it displays all the activities in a single row. Try viewing each activity separately, by selecting the activity name.

    Scatter chart

    Displays the correlation between activities or events and the resources of a device during the dashboard's timeframe. For example, the CPU usage or the amount of data sent to the network.

    Field Description

    Green activity

    A green activity has a normal status, when its response time is as expected, which is less than the minor baseline for this activity.

    Yellow activity

    A yellow activity has a minor status when its response time is slower than expected, since it passed the minor baseline for this activity.

    Orange activity

    A orange activity has a major status when its response time is significantly slower than expected, since it passed the major baseline for this activity.

    Red activity

    A red activity has a critical status, when the activity failed to respond.

    In this dashboard, there are also events with no statuses:

    Blue / purple activity

    If an event or activity does not have any baseline, like a read event of the hard disk, it cannot have a status, and therefore it displays a shade of purple or blue.

  4. Step 4 Select an application name from the Applications drop-down list.
  5. Step 5 Select to highlight a single occurrence of an activity and view the highlighted device measurements which occurred during that activity's performance.
    Correlate an activity with measurements for the whole device in the Device Details section
  6. Step 6 To view more details of one of the measurements, hover your mouse pointer over the circle for an activity.

    For an occurrence of a standard activity or device measurement, you can view the following details.

    View the details of a single occurrence of an activity
    You can drill down to troubleshoot further on this activity by accessing:
    Note

    For an occurrence of a Skype activity you can view the Combined MOS details in addition to all other data detailed above.

  7. Step 7 You can limit the display of the dashboard using the menus at the top of the window.
    Select the data to display in the dashboard
    Field Description
    Time Zone Selection

    Select the time zone to view the times associated with the data in this dashboard:

    • Default displays the time zone set in most Aternity dashboards.

    • Yours displays the time zone of your computer where you are viewing the dashboard.

    • Device displays the time zone of the monitored device which is the focus of this dashboard's content.

      Tip

      The default is the time zone of the Aternity Management Server. It is possible to change the timezone to a local timezone of your account. Administrator of Aternity can set it in the My Account screen.

    Timeframe

    You can change the start time of the data displayed in the dashboard in the Timeframe menu in the top right corner of the screen. This menu impacts all tabs available in this view.

    You can access data in this dashboard (retention) going back up to seven days.

    This dashboard displays raw data in real time, refreshing every time you access it or whenever you manually refresh the browser page.

    Usernames / Hostname

    Displays the information for a user who performs a certain activity on one or multiple devices (except for mobile devices), or displays the information for a device which has one or multiple users perform a specific activity during the period of time selected in the Timeframe. For example, if you have a user who reads his Outlook mail on his laptop and on his desktop, you can see the data for both devices, or you can limit the display to one device. If you have a device (hostname) which has several users running the same application, you can choose to display the data regarding all the users (usernames), or for one user only.

  8. Step 8 (Optional) Export the dashboard data to Excel, Image or PDF file.
    1. a Select Download.
      For simple dashboards, at the bottom right of the screen. For advanced dashboards, on the top tool bar.
      Download a dashboard
      Note

      In Analyze dashboards, make sure you scroll down the dashboard until the end of the data. Otherwise, you might not see the Download button.

    2. b Select the required option depending on where you exporting the dashboard.
      • To download as Excel file, select Crosstab

      • To download as an image file, select Image

      • To download as PDF file, select PDF

      • To download as PowerPoint file, select PowerPoint

        Note

        Make sure you have data on a sheet. If the sheet is empty, the Crosstab menu is unavailable.

    3. c For PDF and PowerPoint only, define additional settings.
    4. d Select Download to start the process or Cancel to cancel.

      Open the file from your Downloads folder or from any other predefined destination for file downloads.

Example

To troubleshoot a user complaining of slow performance reading emails:

  1. Use the Device Inventory dashboard to view the details of the user's device.

  2. Drill-down to the Activity Resource Analysis dashboard to check if the slowdown is due to Microsoft Outlook or other applications.

  3. Use the default timeframe initially (120 minutes) to view all the applications which have run on the device during that time. Check the Timeline for yellow or orange activities. For example, you may find that Microsoft Outlook turned to major (orange) and then to minor (yellow), and around the same time, another application, BranchPortal, also became major.

  4. Use the custom option of the Timeframe drop-down menu to focus on the problematic times. The shortest interval you can choose is one hour.

  5. Select Microsoft Outlook in the Applications drop-down menu on the right side of the dashboard to display its activities' response time, the device's resources and processes on the timeline.

  6. Look for any orange or yellow activities. If the status of Open Mail has a major activity, select Open Mail in the Activities Y Axis drop-down menu on the right side of the window to view it on the chart

  7. Select Device CPU in the X Axis drop-down menu on the right side of the window to view the graph on the right side of the dashboard. Verify the high CPU at that time, and consider theories which may cause this slowdown (like Outlook accessing large emails while a virus scanner checks each email).

  8. Hover over the status circle on the timeline or on the chart to see the detailed information of that particular occurrence of the activity, including the client time, network time and others. Also, see the correlation with device details or processes on the chart.

  9. Look at the device details to see if there was high traffic on the network, or a high usage of memory at the same time as the poor performance.

  10. Perform the same steps on any other application showing a slowdown at the same time. Check other factors like high network traffic or heavy usage of the device memory caused by other applications which could influence Outlook's performance.