Thursday, 16 December 2010

Ektron: High Indexing Service Processor Usage (Potential) Fix

One of our larger client Ektron sites has had a history of poor performance that always seemed to be related to Indexing immediately after publishing content or syncing content to the live environment.  The site heavily uses indexed smart form fields and indexed metadata fields for ordering/sorting lists of content.

The symptoms were:

  • High CIDAEMON processor usage (95-100% of a processor core)
  • Total Documents to Index in Indexing Service Manager getting stuck
  • Indexing Service ‘Service Too Busy’ exceptions
  • Analysing Crash Dumps of the CIDAEMON process shows the ‘hot’ thread stuck in the QLXFilter.dll module

After performing the basic performance optimisations (removing any unnecessary catalogs such as System and Web) there was no real performance improvements and as more content was added (at quite a high rate) the performance issues quickly became outages.

Fortunately, with support from Ektron, we managed to identify (and fix) the potential cause… a misconfiguration in one of the 3rd Party components the indexing service uses to parse the asset xml files.  This file can be found in:

  • C:\Windows\System32\QLFiltXml.xml
  • C:\Windows\SysWOW64\QLFiltXml.xml (64 bit machines only)

Opening these files in IE (and collapsing to just Top Level nodes) showed the default filters only:


There should be a filter for each configured smart form with indexed fields:


You can identify which smart form corresponds which filter by checking the ‘Title’ element.

It appears the during the upgrade from v7.6.6->v8.0.1 something went wrong which prevented the Ektron Windows Service from correctly maintaining the configuration file.

Repairing the QLXFilter configuration

The steps to repair the file are fairly straightforward (but make sure Ektron support is at hand for any unforeseen complications!).

  1. Delete all Catalogs from the Indexing Service (via Indexing Service Manager)
  2. Stop the Indexing Service
  3. Ensure that QLXFilter.dll is properly registered.  Open a command prompt and execute
    regsvr32 c:\Windows\System32\QLXFilter.dll
  4. Locate your ‘FriendlyNamesDefinition.txt (check the ‘DefaultColumnFile’ property value of the ‘[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\ContentIndexCommon]’ key) and remove any of the non-standard  columns (indexed smart form fields, etc).

    A list of standard column definitions is:
       1: [Names]
       2: DateCreated (VT_FILETIME) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktDateCreated
       3: DateModified (VT_FILETIME) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktDateModified
       4: GoLiveDate (VT_FILETIME) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktGoLiveDate
       5: ExpiryDate (VT_FILETIME) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktExpiryDate
       6: ExpiryType (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktExpiryType
       7: TaxCategory (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktTaxCategory
       8: ContentID (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktContentID
       9: ContentLanguage (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktContentLanguage
      10: ContentType (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktContentType 
      11: FolderId (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktFolderId
      12: QuickLink (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktQuickLink
      13: FolderName (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktFolderName 
      14: MapLongitude (DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktLongitude 
      15: MapLatitude (DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktLatitude 
      16: MapAddress (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktAddress 
      17: EDescription (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktEDescription 
      18: Keywords (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktKeywords 
      19: Title (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktTitle 
      20: MetaInfo (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktMetaInfo
      21: CMSPath (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktCMSPath
      22: CMSSize (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktCMSSize
      23: InPerm (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktInPerm
      24: Searchable (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktSearchable
      25: description  (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae  Ektdescription
      26: MapDate (VT_FILETIME) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktMapDate
      27: ContentID64 (DBTYPE_I8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktContentID64
      28: FolderId64 (DBTYPE_I8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktFolderId64
      29: EProductType (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktProductType
      30: ESkuNumber(DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktSkuNumber
      31: ESizeMeasure (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktSizeMeasure
      32: EHeight(DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktHeight
      33: EWidth(DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktWidth
      34: ELength(DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktLength
      35: EWeight(DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktWeight
      36: EWeightMeasure (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktWeightMeasure
      37: EUnitsInStock (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktUnitsInStock
      38: EUnitsOnOrder (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktUnitsOnOrder
      39: EReorderLevel (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktReorderLevel
      40: EPurchased (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktPurchased
      41: EImage(DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktImage 
      42: ECurrencyId (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktCurrencyId 
      43: EListPrice (DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktListPrice 
      44: ESalePrice (DBTYPE_R8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktSalePrice 
      45: EBuyable (DBTYPE_I4) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktBuyable 
      46: xmlconfigid (DBTYPE_I8) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae Ektxmlconfigid
      47: DisabledTaxCategory (DBTYPE_WSTR | DBTYPE_BYREF) = d5cdd505-2e9c-101b-9397-08002b2cf9ae EktDisabledTaxCategory
  5. Run the Ektron ‘SearchConfigUI’ utility to ‘Create New Catalogs’ (after checking all the settings are correct). 
  6. Once ‘SearchConfigUI’ has passed the ‘Updating XML Configuration for XML Content’ step then you can ensure that:
    1. The QLFiltXml.xml file to ensure the correct filters have been installed
    2. The FriendlyNamesDefinition.txt to ensure that your indexed properties have been restored
  7. Once ‘SearchConfigUI’ has completed then you should be able to monitor the Indexing Service scanning the files in a more reasonable and consistent manner

The performance issue should now be fixed/reduced, hope this helps.