SAP Lumira is one of the best visualization tools available in the market for analytics and it is the tool of choice for analyzing data from SAP backend systems like SAP BW and SAP HANA. Building an optimized Lumira application demands a good amount of effort and if the infrastructure is not set up properly, even a properly designed application will not perform as expected. And in some cases, even a properly sized Lumira/Business Objects server might not deliver the results if the supporting infrastructure is not set up properly. This blog will talk about some of the infrastructure considerations to be made for the better performance of Lumira applications.
Some of the typical issues faced are:
Slow loading performance, slower refresh and user interaction times also become dragged leading to a less than optimal performance. Another thing to note is that these issues can also be due to bad application development and in this blog, we have also talked about how to identify if the issue is due to bad design or a suboptimal configuration.
Server sizing is one of the most important and fundamental factors for SAP Lumira performance. The Lumira service demands a good amount of resources for ideal performance and the server should be sized properly to handle Lumira requests. Each service within Business Objects should be provided sufficient amount of memory. Since Lumira is a live application, it hits the backend system for each refresh. So the backend system should also have enough resources to handle the load. If the server sizing is not sufficient in Business Objects (or) the backend systems, a properly designed application might not perform as expected.
Hardware plays a critical role in the performance of SAP Lumira applications. Business Objects servers hosting Lumira should have current or close to current generation hardware for better performance. Every aspect of hardware like CPU, RAM and Disk should have good enterprise level specifications for better performance. Even a properly sized server running in old generation hardware might not provide expected results. Reason being that the older generation hardware does not support all the new hardware acceleration options provided by current generation systems. This does not mean that you need the latest CPUs and the latest RAM to run your servers, it’s only that this is an often neglected fact that might derail your Business Objects rollout.
Business Objects hosting Lumira server should be installed on top of supported virtualization technology and it should be updated to the latest version for better performance. Using an old version of Virtualization software on the latest hardware (or) installing the latest version of a guest OS on an old version of Virtualization host might not yield expected results. This will make the BusinessObjects and Lumira installed on these guests underperformance-bottlenecks.
The network plays a huge role in the performance of SAP Lumira applications. More often, the network is the major factor where a properly designed Lumira application will still fall short. When observed, the in-built profiling option might show a different time as compared to the time observed with a stopwatch for a Lumira application. This happens when the Network performance is not good. This factor often impacts the first impression that a user gets from the application and hence, is critical because only during the first load of the JAVA Script files, are the CSS and images needed for the Lumira application are downloaded from the server. For consecutive loads, these files will be loaded from the browser cache where network performance becomes immaterial. So network performance is very important for Lumira performance. You can use options such as JAVA Script compression to allow for slower networks as explained in this blog.
Statistics from a Sample Application
Time reported in Browser
The time taken for the application processing is only 3.6 Seconds, however, it took 11.79 Seconds to render the application in a browser. The rendering time will be much more on a low performing network. So network performance and load, play a huge role in Lumira performance.
Location of Servers
Location of servers has become an important factor in recent years for SAP Lumira and Business Objects performance in general. With an increased move to the cloud and hosted environments, servers are located in diverse geographies and for an application like Lumira which hits the backend for every refresh and downloads multiple files to each clients system for rendering, this will be a critical factor. Communication between client and server which happened over the local network happens through the internet when servers are remote. So servers should be placed in nearest region possible and proper networking and routing protocols should be in place for better performance.
The same applies to Mobile and WiFi connections where we have had users experience issues due to poor network connectivity within their environment (office/shop floor etc )
In many cases, it is easy for a situation to become a stalemate with the developers and administrators pointing to each other for possible causes and we hope that these tools and pointers will lead to more transparency towards application performance.