X-Link Medical Software Interfacing Blog

Messages Per Minute Visualization Advanced Help

Posted by Gary Gorsline, CEO on Mar 26, 2018 4:00:48 PM

We've recently made several changes to X-Link to improve message delivery times and reduce CPU usage.  Some changes are to all editions while some are only to the Enterprise Edition.  To help customers understand more about X-Link, we've added a set of performance visualizations to all editions to provide insight into X-Link operations.  The intent is to show when additional hardware and/or an upgrade to the Service or Enterprise Edition could improve Message Delivery Times and/or CPU Usage.

The Messages Per Minute Visualization Advanced Help

To access the Messages Per Minute Visualization, just press the Counts by Minute button in the Visualizations box on the lower left of the X-Link Dashboard as shown below:

Dashboard Service.png

A detail box will display and may say Please wait while graph is rendering.  A graph, like the one below, should then appear.    

Messages per Minute.png

The graph represents all messages in all linkages for the date and time selected.  The graph can only be rendered for dates prior to today.  This is due to the method X-Link uses during it's midnight clean up cycle.  The clean up calculates the message counts per minute for the entire prior day.  

At this point, you can choose another date and/or choose a specific hour of a particular day.  We choose 7 pm hour as it looks like there was a lot of activity at around 7:30 pm followed by light traffic.  It is important to note that this graph represents all messages transferred by all linkages.  Thus a batch transfer on one linkage may account for the peak at 7 pm while the level light traffic after the peak may be from another linkage's real time transfers with normal user updating.

Messages per Minute hour.png

Pointing the cursor at the data in the graph will provide a pop up tip showing the underlying data represented in the graph.

Messages per Minute Hour with ToolTip.png

Let's look at the 8 pm hour as it will give us a close up of that light traffic.

Messages per Minute Hour with ToolTip 2.png

Looking at the 8 pm hour, it appears that a message was sent about every 1 to 2 minutes on a regular basis.  This hour is more representative of what a production system's graph may look like; however, it is simulated data transfers.  Normal production traffic is more sporadic.  Note the daily average is high, as during the 7 pm hour there was a significant number of messages sent.

Enterprise Edition

When running the X-Link Enterprise Edition, the graph does not display the message counts for all linkages, but rather the message counts for the linkage selected in the main dashboard window.   This allows the administrator of an Enterprise Edition to manage each linkage individually.

So what does this graph mean?

The sample graphs above came from my development system and normal usage graphs would look a lot different.  In a normal production system, we would expect to see a rather evenly distributed number of messages delivered per minute.  And we would also expect to see hourly changes in volume based on the hours and/or service levels of the facility.  What we don't want to see is spikes or a consistent number of messages that seems excessive.  E.G., we're looking for outliers or simply crazy high counts.  

What is important is to use the data from multiple graphs to get an overall picture of what is happening.  This view may help you isolate where to look for issues.  For instance, the graph only provides data for the last 30 days, while the Daily Counts graph can provide multiple years of data.  So if you see a consistently high count of messages per minute, you can look back at the daily counts and see if there is a trend or a sudden spike in volume.  Hopefully information like a date the symptom started can be helpful to averting the issue.

Thank you.  We hope this entry has helped you with the use of the Daily Message Counts Visualization.

Topics: Insider, X-Link Updates, Development, Help Guides

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