Automic Workload Automation

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PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

  • 1.  PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 04-24-2018 07:56 AM

    Quick question:

    What's the difference between looking at a major workflow in AWI 12.1.1, and playing Counter Strike on a cheapish company laptop?

     

    Answer:

    There isn't any *). Some of our users reported sluggish behaviour of their (admittedly not that great) company laptops, and strange increases in CPU cooler fan usage when using AWI. Some testing later, we discovered that merely looking at a workflow with more than a few items drives CPU load and temperature up significantly, because (at least in the case of IE) the browser performs excessive garbage collection about every 2,5 seconds, utilizing a CPU core to near 100%. In any other tab of the AWI, the CPU load immediately goes down again.

     

    Image 1: A decidedly germanic CPU load diagram

     

    Automic is currently on the case.

     

     

    *) actually, that's not totally true. One is decidedly more fun than the other.



  • 2.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 06-13-2018 03:46 AM

    Carsten_Schmitz, have you heard anything from Support yet ?



  • 3.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 06-13-2018 04:14 AM

    Yes! As coincidence has it, I've gotten the first update yesterday.

     

    Automic Support has told me they are currently quizzing the developers about the minimum requirements for the clients, since these apparently have never been defined.

     

    I guess based on the outcome, one can then begin to treat this either as the problem that it is, or I can tell my company that it has to buy all of us shiny new PCs with many more cores, which we can then also use for LAN parties. Win-win



  • 4.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 06-13-2018 08:01 AM

    We ordered 2 new midrange Workstations for future AWI use:

     

    https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44439515 

     

    I must say the Automic Script Games ScissorStonePaper and Mastermind run very smooth on it.

     

    So whats your problem?



  • 5.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 06-13-2018 08:23 AM

    So whats your problem?

     

    No problem.

     

    We decided, for budget reasons, to stick with our current company laptops, but with the aid of the local Microsoft branch, we tacked them onto their latest project cheaply, and relocated them to an environment where they will perform best. This way, AWI works great because we can overclock the CPUs to incredible levels, and disgruntled commenters may point out that some things just belong (i.e. at the bottom of an average ocean).

     

    Our SAP people didn't like the deep diving suits much, so we allow them to access the notebooks via RDP. Since it's still notebooks with no lights-out-management, we have to take occasional deep sea dives to install some OS patches, but thats okay, the decompression days count as corporate overtime.



  • 6.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 06-13-2018 08:31 AM

    I started a related discussion some time ago: AE & AWI sizing. I had not however considered the specs of the web client computer. And from the looks of the documentation, neither had Automic engineers.



  • 7.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 06-13-2018 08:43 AM

    Well, in my experience, people rarely define client specs for web apps that don't do that much processing on the client, apart from specifying the required browser versions.

     

    If people can run the given browser day to day without tears, I think it's usually assumed that it runs the web app, and if the client is a bit weak, then the web app runs a bit slower, but it still works.

     

    Thinking about it, even native client apps oftentimes don't specify system specs these days unless they're exceptionally heavy on RAM usage I think, it usually merely says "requires Windows 10" or something.

     

    It's only when your chosen web framework goes through the roof on CPU usage for no good reason that this discussion truly starts. To be clear, I still consider this an addressable problem and not normal behaviour, seeing how much of a difference there is between CPU use in that screen, and any other screen, for which I am not seeing an obvious reason. In other words, should Automic come back and claim that our notebooks are too weak for AWI and 60 people need new, better hardware, I'd probably protest, because the company will surely not buy new hardware now.

     

    If I can still find the will to protest, that is. The last weeks of dealing with a CA product and processes were somewhat taxing on my willpower



  • 8.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 06-15-2018 11:21 AM

    As soon as you open a Workflow Monitor in AWI, the CPU usage goes through the roof, that's not good at all...

    This is definitely something for PM to look into...ainda02 ?



  • 9.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 07-02-2018 01:34 AM

    Hi,

    in my experience the client workflow heavily depends on the browser used (Chrome > IE > Firefox (pre-Quantum)).

    Seems like chrome has the most efficient script engine build in. Firefox is only usable with the newest version (Quantum). We didn't tried Microsoft Edge yet.

     

    However when editing / monitoring large workflows chrome also hits a limit.

    Working is nearly impossible - everything is laggy.

     

    Automic states that they further improved this in 12.1.2 / 12.2 - case 01017375.

    Did anyone had the chance yet to test 12.1.2 / 12.2?

     

    btw:

    we did not upgrade any client system - and we have AWI in production with tons of users.
    I am quite sure that Automic / CA won't release something like a client spec.

    The requirement was: Every client system that used to run the Java UI now can also use the AWI.



  • 10.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 07-02-2018 05:20 AM

    in my experience the client workflow heavily depends

    on the browser used (Chrome > IE > Firefox (pre-Quantum)).

     

    No doubt. Chrome is also usually fastest in my experience (but actually, I prefer Opera, for it is a Chrome engine withoout some of the Google data collection code, and with additional features and also additional performance improvements).

     

    Automic also primarily tests on Chrome, as far as I have been told by unofficial channels.

     

    However, my company doesn't allow Chrome (or Opera).

     

    For exactly this reason I tried to get Automic to make a recommendation for Chrome in the documentation about a year ago, so I can convince my company to allow Chrome. But Automic could not get itself to make a recommendation. Thus, I expect this to work in Microsoft browsers reasonably well.

     

    And we do NOT use Edge, but still IE11, that's a corporate policy, too. Automic also called Edge a "version" of Internet Explorer in at least one document, which is simply a false - Edge is a new product and NOT Internet Explorer. However, Automic claims IE11 is fully supported also.

     

    This all means IE should work, and the whole issue with workflows is in my view simply a bug. If 99% of a web interface perform reasonably well, but one part brings down a PC with a small number of objects for no good reason, that's a bug.

     

    I haven't tried 12.2 but hopefully will get a chance to do so soon. I will report if I get arround.

     

    Cheers,

    Carsten



  • 11.  Re: PSA: Why you (currently) want a big workstation for AWI

    Posted 07-02-2018 10:06 AM

    In the interest of fairness, I deleted my post from a few minutes ago, because the screenshots were made with 12.1 (yeeees, I have too much AWI, I get confused ...).

     

    Here is the actual screenshot for 12.2:

     

     

    At first it seemed it was a little better (no screenshot available), I had a sample where the GC only used 80% CPU. It apparently depends on the exact positioning of the viewport.

     

    But overall, as the screenshots show, there is still nearly the same GC going on, and CPU temperatures, load and power usage are still driven up, and notebook fans still engage with 12.2. In any other screen, there is minimal GC and no such erradication of polar bears.

     

    I do not, however, ever see a state where it's truly impossible to work. The notebook gets a bit sluggish and the fans power up, but I can still work with the AWI. MarcelFriedmann604907, can you try IE11, see what mileage you get from that browser? Maybe it has one redeeming feature after all ...

     

    Br,

    Carsten