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Thread: Web Client Performance

  1. #1
    palmczak is offline Active Member
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    Default Web Client Performance

    Hello,

    We are currently testing the NE edition. Server is a dual Xeon 2.4Ghz, 2Gb Ram, raid 10 Ubuntu 6.06 LTS. Web performance is very irratic. Especially in management interface. For example it is very easy to type a new user then waith 10+ seconds for the letters to appear. Also when working as a user switching between tabs can be painfull 10+ seconds to open documents then 10+ more to create a new one. There are 2 people testing this server and rarely are they even logged in at the same time. Could this be related to Ubuntu? I may reinstall and use Centos as another installation runs much better on Centos on more modest hardware.

    I have read the Wiki I have not had a chance to follow the performance tuning steps but should they even be necessary for 2 users?

    Any ideas are appreciated.

  2. #2
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    dwmtractor is offline Moderator
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    Ubuntu is definitely not your problem here. . .in fact, Ubuntu is a supported distro whereas CentOS is not.

    Nevertheless what you are describing is unusual behavior. You didn't mention what browser you are using, but I know from personal experience that Firefox works a whole lot faster/better than IE 6 when connecting to ANY Zimbra screen whether admin or mail client. I have heard, but not tried it myself, that IE7 is even worse.

    Your hardware should be more than sufficient. I wonder if you have anything else installed on your system--for example, did you install Ubuntu's LAMP or other features, or just the plain-vanilla server version? Other non-Zimbra services can cause real headaches, especially if they compete for either RAM or network resources. You might want to do a "top" command both with Zimbra services started and stopped, and see what's happening.

    You might also evaluate the network pathway between your clients and server. Are there any oddities in routing, filtering, proxies, that might be impeding the free flow of data?

    Take a look, too, at /var/log/zimbra.log and see what is going on there; you may find some indicator of what's grumpy on your box.

    Obviously these are all shots in the dark. But I'm afraid it'll take a bit more detail for us to help you, other than to say "yup, it shouldn't be behaving like that!"

    Cheers,

    Dan

  3. #3
    soxfan is offline Moderator
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    Nevertheless what you are describing is unusual behavior. You didn't mention what browser you are using, but I know from personal experience that Firefox works a whole lot faster/better than IE 6 when connecting to ANY Zimbra screen whether admin or mail client. I have heard, but not tried it myself, that IE7 is even worse.
    FWIW, we initially started our roll-out of the Zimbra Web Client with all our users having IE6. But due to performance and other issues we quickly found that this was not going to fly and upgraded everyone to IE7. In our case at least we have found IE7 much better than IE6. But I must say we still get complaints about slowness. Firefox is by far the best choice in my opinion. You get better performance, less issues, plus the built-in, on the fly spell-checker, which is nice.

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    soxfan is offline Moderator
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    ... almost forgot until I saw another recent post. You also get "The Coolest Thing Ever!" if you use Firefox.

  5. #5
    palmczak is offline Active Member
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    Thanks for the reply.

    FF does seem to be better, however it is still not good. Also converting all users to FF is not an option right now.

    I viewed the /var/log/zimbra.log but saw nothing out of the ordinary. Below is an excerpt fromt he log.

    The DNS setup in Ubuntu was a bit unusual. especially when integrating into our network. While it does work, I am not sure it is performing well, any ideas how to check the performance issues between split DNS and Zimbra? Also the Active directory that the workstations uses a different domain. with a .local as the top level domain. Not sure if reverse DNS lookups or some other DNS lookup is causing the slowness.

    Thanks for any ideas.



    Mar 19 03:34:07 zimb CRON[11968]: (pam_unix) session closed for user zimbra
    Mar 19 03:35:01 zimb CRON[12273]: (pam_unix) session opened for user zimbra by (uid=0)
    Mar 19 03:35:01 zimb CRON[12273]: (pam_unix) session closed for user zimbra
    Mar 19 03:36:01 zimb CRON[12404]: (pam_unix) session opened for user zimbra by (uid=0)
    Mar 19 03:36:04 zimb zmmailboxdmgr[12524]: status requested
    Mar 19 03:36:04 zimb zmmailboxdmgr[12524]: status OK
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: antispam: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: antivirus: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: ldap: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: logger: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: mailbox: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: mta: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: snmp: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: spell: Running
    Mar 19 03:36:05 zimb zimbramon[12405]: 12405:info: 2008-03-19 03:36:01, STATUS: zimb.XXXX.XXX: stats: Running

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    dwmtractor is offline Moderator
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    Active Directory isn't your problem either, I don't think. All my users are on a Windows 2003 Active Directory with a .local domain also, and we have zero issues connecting to our Zimbra server which is NOT a member of the AD domain.

    Your DNS should be working fine as long as
    1. doing a ping, dig, or other lookup from the command line of your Zimbra server shows the appropriate local IP address (not localhost, but whatever the IP of that box is)
    2. Your internal clients are able, by DNS lookup (ping is a good test) to resolve the proper IP address they are supposed to be using to connect to Zimbra
    3. The outside world can resolve the public IP address to send mail to you.
    But how is your network set up? Is your Zimbra box on a public IP address, a DMZ, or a LAN IP? If DMZ or LAN, how are you routing traffic from the public world to your box? Do you have more than one ethernet adapter active on your Zimbra box? What is your firewall and/or router doing with traffic from or to the Zimbra server? Are you running/trying to run any proxies?

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    dwmtractor's Avatar
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    Just to clarify--it is perfectly normal for there to be a slightly irritating lag time when logging onto the web client (at least it irritates me ). There is also a lag of a few seconds when you click a different mailbox folder or do another operation on the web client. That is the nature of web client software. It is NOT normal for you to be seeing difficulty even getting from one letter to the next while you are typing.

    And that brings me to the other potential problem I forgot to ask you about . . .what are your local clients? The AJAX web client requires a bit of horsepower on the part of the client computer too--old Pentium III hardware with inadequate RAM is going to cause heartburn even if your server is a so-called "god box."

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    soxfan is offline Moderator
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    FF does seem to be better, however it is still not good. Also converting all users to FF is not an option right now.
    I hear ya on this. My Firefox comments are based on my own experience. All our user base is still on IE7. Switching everyone over is not necessarily an easy thing to do.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that DNS is not your issue but I could be wrong. DNS issues tend to cause delivery failures, and things of that nature. What are the specs of your client workstations? Try looking at Task Manager on the client and 'top' on the server when you are experiencing these issues, and see if that points to anything. Also, check out /opt/zimbra/log/mailbox.log for more information on what is going on at the times when you are experiencing these problems. Oh, and almost forgot to ask? Didn't see it in your initial message, but I assume you are trying the latest and greatest version of Zimbra, right?

  9. #9
    palmczak is offline Active Member
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    The reason I ask about DNS is since I do not know what information Zimbra queries for. The Zimbra server would not be able to get reverse DNS information for any client PC on the LAN.

    The Zimbra server is on a DMZ the current test server has 1 active ethernet card and 1 IP. Our firewall directs traffic to the Private IP of the Zimbra server. Currently the few (3) users that are testing Zimbra simply have entries in the Hosts file to resolve the Zimbra server from inside the network. We have a correct DNS entry that resolves the public IP that the firewall forwards to the IP that is assigned to the Zimbra server. Since the name resolution is via hosts file entry the Zimbra server is not be able to get a REV DNS at all. The Zimbra server uses outside (ISP) DNS to resolve Internet domains (ie.yahoo.com) as well as any reverse queries but would not be able to resolve anything except itself internal. I bring this up because this latency resembles a problem I had a while back when connecting to another system that would attempt to Reverse the connecting IP, it would appear that it had stalled untill the Reverse DNS query timed out. Once the Reverse query timed out everything worked. This issue feels similar, when we click on a tab the server is attempting a reverse lookup it fails then moves along, we choose some other thing anther reverse lookup. Heck, I don't know, except that it reminds me of that other system.

    The lag we experience is not the annoying one you describe, it is a solid 10+ seconds. Then it acts OK, then randomly it pauses.

    Another bit of info, using any client, Outlook, thunderbird, etc. is very quick, no latency or slowness at all.

    Also Local clients are A mixed bag the average machine is P4 2.8Ghz/1GB, winXP pro/ IE6 or IE7. The guys in IT use FF, and a small handfull of others but the bulk 95% of the users use IE6 or 7.

  10. #10
    soxfan is offline Moderator
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    Hmmm... I guess reverse DNS could be part of the problem. Most of the DNS issues that have been posted on the forums are concerning not having DNS configured right at all, or questions about Split DNS; things like that. I don't recall any reverse DNS issues, but I wouldn't rule it out now that you've explained the situation further.

    Are the slowdowns completely random, or can you tie them to a particular action or event? Maybe auto-saving to drafts, or changing folders, or something like that? Take a look at the /opt/zimbra/log/mailbox.log file and see if that shows any more info about these issues.

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