January 30, 2017

Finding Performance Settings in DNN 9.x

With the recent release of DNN Platform version 9.0.0 & 9.0.1 I have been an increase in the requests for updates to my prior guides on locating the important performance settings since everything has moved to different locations. A major overhaul of my Performance Whitepaper is underway, however, I wanted to take a little bit of time to run through key settings for those new to 9.x. Consider this a high-level walkthrough of key concern areas.

January 24, 2017

Development Tools: NDepend & Quality

I often get asked which tools I use for development or reviewing of existing codebases. This question is often hard to answer directly, as every situation is a bit different. However, I thought it would be worth trying to revisit the tooling topics to help others possibly improve their environments by knowing the tools I find helpful. This post will be the first of a limited number of occasional posts on tooling. With the primary focus of my topics still being with ASP.NET, MVC, and performance. If you find these helpful, though, I'd love to get some feedback.

November 11, 2016

Applying A Methodical Approach to Website Performance Issues

Last week the folks at PostSharp where kind enough to host me for a webinar on website performance.  For those that have attended my various performance talks over the years I'm a firm believer in following a process every time to resolve issues.  In this webinar, I discuss the beginning portions of approaching website performance issues, tips that are helpful for those with existing applications, or even those that are starting fresh.  

April 05, 2016

When Memory Caching Doesn't Mean Memory

For a number of years I have been providing guidance on how to get the best performance from DNN. One of my key recommendations is to change the caching mode to "Memory" from the default setting of "File." The setting change itself is quick and harmless, simply change the value in Host Settings are you are done. Well, come to find out it isn't exactly that easy.
January 16, 2016

Preparing for Load Balancing Diagnostics a Retrospective

As web application become more complex, or as individuals demand better performance or reliability, the addition of more web nodes is very common.  For those with a technical background we can easily see the complexity that is introduced as we load balance our applications.  Simple tasks such as writing a file to the local file system have now become far more complicated tasks.  How are the servers getting their content?  Shared file system?  File Replication? (DFS, RoboCopy, etc.)  When things work beautifully, it is great, but when they don't it can be a nightmare.  In this post I want to share a few "lessons learned" as it relates to load balancing diagnostics.  The information contained in this post is specifically related to working within a DNN Installation, however, the same principals will apply regardless of the platform.

September 17, 2015

Don't Fear the Cache

Over the past three to four years I have spent extensive time working with customers to improve performance.  As part of this endeavor I have had the pleasure of working with numerous internal, external and third-party development teams for these companies and the experiences have provided a great deal of insight to how people look at performance with software development.  This experience transcends platforms as the specific concern with this post has been experienced with ASP.NET MVC Projects, DNN Projects, WPF projects, and even those on mobile devices.  Although each platform or process will have different rules and requirements for performance and methods to manage it, there are a few constants. This post is going to be the first of many posts around performance optimization and development. best practices. 

January 27, 2015

Adopting a Performance Focus With Software Development

Over the past few years I have given a number of talks and written multiple blog posts on the topic of performance optimization as it relates to software development.  These postings have been very technical in nature and focus greatly on the problem solving aspects of application performance.  However as I review my presentations one of the most critical aspects of application performance is actually business organization and dedication to application performance.  In this post I would like to review the common approaches that I see within development teams and easy ways for management to encourage positive change to focus more on development.

December 15, 2014

Vendor API Integrations: Developer Beware

Since I started IowaComputerGurus in early 2006 I have worked on more than 100 different vendor API integrations.  Now two integrations have been the same, even if they are both going to the same vendor API.  Each integration project is a unique beast, the business requirements however similar are exactly that, similar.  The small changes, the small tweaks that you might have from one client to another on the same platform can be catastrophic.  Having done so many of these, I thought I had seen it all, from poor API's, to poor support, and everything in-between I could go on for days with the things I've experienced over the years.  However, after two recent experiences, by far the most horrible I've ever experienced I thought I'd share a few lessons learned to help others out there learn from my experience over the last 4-6 months.
October 08, 2014

Performance Testing Success Story: An Active Third-Party Vendor

I often talk about the importance of having well performing applications.  The reasons for my focus on performance are vast and range from the user experience, ability to handle load, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and everything in between.  One of the most common issues that I will encounter with client sites when optimizing is that the root of their performance problem might reside with a third-party component that they have used.  Sometimes this was a component they selected, other times it was a component another consultant recommended, and even other times it was an item that was part of the framework that they were using and they did not have a choice.

This post is dedicated to a "happy story" with regards to performance optimization and experiences with third-party vendors.

September 12, 2014

Load Testing Your Application: Art or Science?

Earlier this year I blogged about this importing of understanding and knowing how your application will perform under load.  (See it here).  After receiving a lot of questions from individuals wanting to learn more about "how" they can load test their applications and the tools that I use when testing applications I thought it would be good to follow up with a post to shed a bit of light on the process.  
July 06, 2014

Module Performance; Set Yourself Apart

With a plethora of modules on the market today, it is often hard for users to select the "right one" for their solution. Help yourself, and help your customers by setting your modules apart in one of the most important ways, performance. Not all DNN sites are large, not all DNN sites are small, that's the beauty of the platform. However, many modules & vendors ignore this major difference. Lets look as some simple tips & tricks to help us set our modules apart.

May 30, 2014

Improving Web Application Performance - Part Three Client Side Considerations

In the first two parts of this blog series we introduced the importance of defining metrics prior to starting any performance optimization activities and the importance of identifying any user or role based issues.  In this part of the series we start to dive into the actual optimization part of the process.  I will start by introducing key concepts to look for, and then we will review the tools of the trade that can be used to help identify trouble points.  It is important to note that the information contained in this post is 100% applicable to ALL server side languages, regardless of .NET, PHP, Java, or anything else you might select to use.
May 29, 2014

Improving Web Application Performance - Part Two Users & Environment

Now that we have a set of metrics to use to validate the performance of our web application we can now start to dive deeply into resolving issues.  The first step in this journey is actually a step often overlooked by those that I encounter.  Professionally speaking 3 in 5 performance consultations that I am involved with are actually resolved by taking the points in this post into consideration.  So lets get started looking at users & environment.
May 26, 2014

DNN Performance: Understanding ModuleCache and PageOutputCache

Over the past 4-5 months my company IowaComputerGurus has help to optimize the performance of more than 50 different DNN based websites.  This is a major uptick in performance related inquiries as compare to past years which is to be expected as website owners become more-and-more concerned about the performance of their applications. In the current era it is important for websites to be fast not only for the user experience, but also for placement within the Search Engines.  The faster the internet connections we get the more impatient our users are when it comes to waiting for our sites to load.  Depending on who you talk to you will see metrics that show page load times of anything greater than 3 seconds can lead to lost customers & revenue for your website.  What exact e"metric you are looking to meet is up to you, but regardless a DNN based site can still easily render in sub-second times with proper configuration & maintenance.  In this post we will look into two of the most commonly overlooked configuration elements for performance the ModuleCache and PageOutputCache.
April 11, 2014

Avoiding Performance Issues with Multi-Portal DNN

In the first 3 months of 2014 I have encountered multiple multi-portal DNN installations that have been suffering from severe performance issues.  In most cases these users had already followed the whitepaper recommendations that I have had published since early 2007 and the sites were still slowing to a crawl at best.  Digging in, each time I found that a single fundamental issue was the root cause, with a few other secondary considerations.  Given the popularity of DNN continuing to grow and the relative ease of Multi-portal configurations I though it would be important to share.
January 19, 2012

Improve Performance with Static File Caching

This post will be the first of what will be many posts with regards to application performance. After giving a number of presentations over the last 1-2 years, including one this evening in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area I've decided that some of these tips/tricks that I have with regards to improving application performance should really get put out here so people can find them and make the improvements to their applications. Going forward all of these posts will be categorized with at least the "Performance" category and then others that identify what systems are benefited by the changes. The subject of this post is Static Content Caching.

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