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Enabling and Speeding up QuickFinder Indexing

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Tay Kratzer

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Posted: 4 Sep 2003
 

Audience: GroupWise 5.x, and 6.x Administrators

Purpose: Enabling QuickFinder Indexing and Speeding up QuickFinder Indexing

I have had occasion to go to a customer site to resolve performance issues on a GroupWise post office. We uncovered the fact that QuickFinder Indexing was not running. In this particular customer's situation, QuickFinder Indexing was enabled, but QuickFinder Indexing was never completing. The effect was that over time, the post office would run slower and slower, and particularly at peak times, the POA would respond very poorly.

This document covers the following subjects:

  1. Understanding why QuickFinder Indexing should be enabled.
  2. Performing a simple QuickFinder Indexing "health check"
  3. Speeding up the QuickFinder Indexing process
Why QuickFinder Indexing Should Be Enabled

The GroupWise message store should be indexed every day. It's a common misunderstanding that QuickFinder Indexing is only needed if GroupWise Document Management is involved. Because of this misunderstanding, some customers have disabled QuickFinder Indexing. QuickFinder Indexing should be re-enabled. The programmatic reason for this is explained below:

The indexes created by QuickFinder Indexing are used by GroupWise whenever users use the "Find" feature either in the GroupWise client, or a Find Results Folder (those are folders with an icon that shows a magnifying glass). If a user uses the Find feature, on their mailbox, but the QuickFinder Indexing maintenance job is not regularly running, then the POA must perform a real-time search and indexing process - right at the time that the user is using the Find feature. The indexing process can potentially take a lot of CPU overhead which can degrade the performance of the POA. It gets worse! When the POA indexes a user's database on demand, the efforts of the POA to index the user's database are not saved. They are discarded, which means when the user uses the Find feature again, the POA must perform the real-time search and indexing process.

Performing a Simple QuickFinder Indexing "Health Check"
  1. Confirm that QuickFinder Indexing is enabled.

    Edit the POA and make sure that QuickFinder indexing is enabled. The menu options for doing this are different based upon the version of GroupWise Administration you are using, so I won't tell you the exact menu options for how to do this. Later on, I will explain how to confirm in the POA log that QuickFinder indexing is enabled.


  2. Confirm that QuickFinder Indexing is running during off-peak hours.

    Because the QuickFinder Indexing process can take a lot of CPU overhead, for most customers it is best to configure QuickFinder Indexing to run during off-peak hours. For example, you may configure your QuickFinder Indexing to run every 24 hours at 7:00 P.M. (19 hours after midnight).


  3. Confirm that the POA acknowledges that QuickFinder Indexing is enabled, and when it should run QuickFinder Indexing.

    Look at the POA log, look in the "General Settings" section for the lines specific to QuickFinder. For example, here is a POA log's mention to QuickFinder Indexing:

    00:00:01 167 QuickFinder Indexing: Enabled
    00:00:01 167 QuickFinder Indexing Base Offset (hours from Midnight): 19 Hours 0 Mins
    00:00:01 167 QuickFinder Indexing Interval: 24 Hours 0 Mins (Default)


  4. Confirm that the POA is actually starting the QuickFinder Indexing process, and completing it.

    Look at the POA log, and search for a line similar to this:

    "19:00:02 446 Starting QuickFinder index update"

When QuickFinder Indexing runs, it may run for quite a while. You may have to cross over several logs to find when QuickFinder Indexing completed. You should look for a line similar to this:

"19:50:25 446 QuickFinder indexing thread finished"

As you move through the log, see if there are any errors on databases, and try and determine the nature of the error, and if perhaps it means that a database is not getting QuickFinder indexed.

This section explained how to determine if QuickFinder Indexing is actually working. You should perform the healthcheck steps explained in this section on every post office in you GroupWise system. The next section explains how you might speed up QuickFinder Indexing.

Speeding up the QuickFinder Indexing Process

The QuickFinder Indexing process is somewhat slow. Part of the reason for this is that the QuickFinder Indexing thread is a low-priority thread. If you have configured your QuickFinder Indexing to execute during off-peak hours, then you should consider using the "/qflevel=3" switch. This switch tells the QuickFinder Indexing process that it may run as a high-priority thread. I have implemented this switch at my customer's accounts with no ill effects. There is more information about the "QFLEVEL" switches in the following Technical Information Document: http://support.novell.com/cgi-bin/search/searchtid.cgi?/10063970.htm.

Tay Kratzer
http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/gwmag/trenches/kratzer.html
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