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Guideline

TM1 Deployment Options and Bandwidth Considerations


Product(s): TM1 Area of Interest: Performance

TM1 Deployment Options and Bandwidth Considerations

Copyright Copyright 2008 Cognos ULC (formerly Cognos Incorporated). Cognos ULC is an IBM Company. While every attempt has been made to ensure that the information in this document is accurate and complete, some typographical errors or technical inaccuracies may exist. Cognos does not accept responsibility for any kind of loss resulting from the use of information contained in this document. This document shows the publication date. The information contained in this document is subject to change without notice. Any improvements or changes to the information contained in this document will be documented in subsequent editions. This document contains proprietary information of Cognos. All rights are reserved. No part of this document may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, or translated into another language without the prior written consent of Cognos. Cognos and the Cognos logo are trademarks of Cognos ULC (formerly Cognos Incorporated) in the United States and/or other countries. IBM and the IBM logo are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, or other countries, or both. All other names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Information about Cognos products can be found at www.cognos.com This document is maintained by the Best Practices, Product and Technology team. You can send comments, suggestions, and additions to cscogpp@ca.ibm.com .

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Contents
1 1.1 1.2 1.3 2 2.1 3 3.1 3.1.1 3.1.2 3.1.3 3.1.4 3.2 3.2.1 3.2.2 3.3 3.3.1 3.3.2 3.3.3 3.4 3.5 3.5.1 3.5.2 3.5.3 3.5.4 3.6 3.6.1 3.6.2 3.6.3 3.6.4 4 4.1 4.2 4.2.1 4.2.2 INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................ 4 PURPOSE ............................................................................................................4 APPLICABILITY .....................................................................................................4 EXCLUSIONS AND EXCEPTIONS ..................................................................................4 TM1 DEPLOYMENT OPTION COMPARISON................................................... 4 PRODUCT CATEGORIES AND USER AUDIENCES................................................................5 DEPLOYMENT OPTION DETAILS ................................................................... 5

STANDARD TM1 ADD-IN FOR MICROSOFT EXCEL ............................................................6


Advantages.......................................................................................................6 Disadvantages...................................................................................................6 Requirements....................................................................................................6 Scalability .........................................................................................................6 TM1 ARCHITECT...................................................................................................6 Advantages (over TM1 Add-in for Excel)...............................................................6 Disadvantages (over TM1 Add-in for Excel)...........................................................6 TM1 ADD-IN FOR MICROSOFT EXCEL - DEPLOYED OVER HTTP/HTTPS ................................7 Advantages (compared to standard TM1 Add-in over TCP/IP) .................................7 Disadvantages (compared to standard TM1 Add-in over TCP/IP) .............................7 Requirements (compared to standard TM1 Add-in over TCP/IP)..............................7 TM1 ADD-IN FOR MICROSOFT EXCEL - DEPLOYED OVER SCREEN REMOTING TECHNOLOGY ...........7 WHEN TO CONSIDER THE SCREEN REMOTING DEPLOYMENT MODEL ........................................7 Advantages.......................................................................................................8 Disadvantages...................................................................................................8 Requirements....................................................................................................8 Scalability .........................................................................................................8 TM1 WEB ..........................................................................................................8 Advantages.......................................................................................................8 Disadvantages...................................................................................................8 Requirements....................................................................................................9 Scalability .........................................................................................................9 NETWORK/BANDWIDTH CONSIDERATIONS................................................ 9 ASSUMPTIONS ......................................................................................................9 RECOMMENDED DEPLOYMENT METHODS AND AVAILABLE BANDWIDTHS .................................9 Recommended Deployment Methods ...................................................................9 Recommended Minimum Bandwidths ................................................................. 10

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1 Introduction
1.1 Purpose The scope of this article is to discuss and compare Applixs deployment options for TM1 and to recommend LAN and WAN configurations necessary for achieving minimum acceptable network performance for the user. There are many other factors that can affect end-user performance, such as application design, Excel sheet design, and server locking. All these factors should be taken into consideration when assessing the performance of a server. Due to the many possible network configurations and the different types of TM1 applications that can be deployed, there will always be a degree of uncertainty when calculating network demands. The recommendations given here should be taken as a guideline minimum. It should also be noted that one size does not fit all especially in the case of presentation tools, there is a high degree of preference from one group of users to another, or even from one user to the other, based on their job requirements and technical expertise. 1.2 Applicability TM1 8.2 through 9.1 Exclusions and Exceptions No exclusions have been identified.

1.3

2 TM1 Deployment Option Comparison


The following table outlines the various TM1 deployment options. Deployment Option Standard TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel Description Out-of-the-box presentation tool for TM1. Includes cube browsing, reporting, and data entry. Enables all Excel features and functions (statistics, charting, macros) to operate on TM1 data. TM1 Architect can function as a stand-alone application for development without using Excel.

Deployed over TCP/IP

TM1 Architect

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TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel

Deployed over HTTP/HTTPS

Functionally identical Standard TM1 Add-In above, but connection established over HTTP/HTTPS instead of basic TCP/IP. Functionally identical to Standard TM1 Add-In above. Enables application administrators to centralize presentation workbooks on a server, which can improve performance for users with low desktop power and/or lowbandwidth connections. Allows Excel presentation workbooks to be published to a web application (Microsoft .Net), thereby enabling access via Internet Explorer. Allows live cube view browsing and charting, Planning Manager, subset editor, exporting to Excel, PDF, etc.

TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel

Deployed over screen remoting technology (i.e. Citrix, Microsoft RDC)

TM1 Web

2.1

Product Categories and User Audiences

Excel is a general-purpose information management tool. It can be used to develop and deliver any BPM functionality, such as data input screens, reports, charts, dashboards, scorecards, or even complete applications using Visual Basic for Applications and related user interface widgets (menus, buttons, etc.). Therefore Excel is very flexible, and usually the lowest-cost alternative in terms of software and training expense (assuming Microsoft Office is already deployed and intermediate-to-advanced Excel skills exist within the organization). In scenarios where there is a need to deploy the TM1 application to a wide audience and/or the desire to reduce the client footprint, Applix offers deployment options that can be accessed with Internet Explorer. 3 Deployment Option Details

Click a deployment option below to view complete details , including advantages, disadvantages, and requirements.

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TM1 Deployment Options and Bandwidth Considerations 3.1

Standard TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel

The TM1 Add-in for Microsoft Excel provides the most comprehensive and direct access to the TM1 Server. It is the presentation tool that comes in the box with a TM1 purchase. As a result, a large percentage of the TM1 user community never looks beyond this presentation tool, as it serves 100% of their presentation needs. Assuming you are a typical TM1 user (finance-oriented, comprehensive Excel skills, reasonably tech-savvy), there is essentially nothing you cannot accomplish using the TM1 Add-in for Microsoft Excel (also known as the thick client). 3.1.1

Advantages 100% re-use of existing Excel skills Native access to TM1 Server for creation of cubes, dimensions and processes Extremely flexible and extensible, supports every type of BPM-like functionality Leverages Excel features and functions (statistics, charting, VBA) Disadvantages Requires intermediate/strong Excel skills to develop advanced functionality (e.g. dashboards) Some Excel features are not best-in-class (e.g. charting) Requires some configuration management (e.g. ensuring users have the correct versions of workbooks) May not perform adequately in low-bandwidth settings (e.g. dial-up, WANs) Requirements Excel and the TM1 Add-In for Excel must be installed on the client workstation Adequate network connectivity Scalability

3.1.2

3.1.3

3.1.4

Highly scalable, as all of the presentation rendering is performed on the client workstation. 3.2

TM1 Architect

Identical to TM1 Add-in for Excel except that it runs as a stand-alone application without Excel. Architect is likely to be used by developers and/or power users who need the raw TM1 tools without the ability to create Excel reports. Architect users are likely to have higher bandwidth needs than other users. 3.2.1 Advantages (over TM1 Add-in for Excel)

Does not require Excel installation 3.2.2 Disadvantages (over TM1 Add-in for Excel)

Cannot be used to slice into Excel to create reports

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TM1 Deployment Options and Bandwidth Considerations 3.3

TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel - Deployed over HTTP/HTTPS

Identical to the standard TM1 Add-in for Excel except that the database server connection is established over the Hypertext Transport Protocol (HTTP) or its secure version (HTTPS), rather than TCP/IP. 3.3.1 Advantages (compared to standard TM1 Add-in over TCP/IP)

Ubiquitous access; TM1 Client can access TM1 Server wherever the client workstation can access the Web. 3.3.2 Disadvantages (compared to standard TM1 Add-in over TCP/IP)

May be more susceptible to network traffic conditions. 3.3.3 Requirements (compared to standard TM1 Add-in over TCP/IP)

Requires a servlet to be installed and configured on a web server to act as a gateway to the TM1 Server. 3.4

TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel - Deployed over screen remoting technology

To address some of the issues of running Excel and the TM1 Excel Add-in on distributed workstations, many companies have opted to deploy Excel workbooks using screen remoting technology. The two most prevalent screen remoting technologies are Citrix Metaframe and Windows Remote Desktop Connection. Citrix Metaframe is a 3rd-party product. Windows Remote Desktop Connection is preinstalled in Windows XP Professional and Windows Server, and is typically bundled with Microsoft site licenses. They both perform exactly the same function maintaining a virtual desktop on a central server which client machines can access. The user experience of accessing a graphical application through screen remoting is, for the most part, indistinguishable to having the application running locally. The remote application responds to mouse clicks and keyboard commands as expected, and the remote session can be displayed in a full-screen window to enhance the illusion that the application is running locally. Depending on network traffic and server load, small delays can exist between a user event (e.g. a mouse click) and the corresponding event occurring in the remote application. This is known as latency, and in rare cases can be severe enough to cause user disorientation or frustration. To minimize latency, network bandwidth and server resources must be scaled to the user population. 3.5 When to consider the screen remoting deployment model

From a business administrator's perspective, a centralized server means that the Excel workbooks available to application users can be maintained and controlled in one location. This capability can be an important consideration for large user populations. From an IT infrastructure perspective, screen remoting allows low-powered client machines to leverage the shared resource of a high-powered server machine.

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There is also an advantage from a networking perspective. All client-server applications have a unique network usage profile, depending on how chatty the client is with the server and which network protocols are being used. By centralizing the virtual clients, network bandwidth requirements to the physical clients can often be reduced, or at least made more predictable. 3.5.1

Advantages Excel workbooks can be maintained in one location More predictable user response times Can extend the useful life of older client workstations Disadvantages Requires 3rd party product knowledge Possible user latency issues Requirements Citrix Metaframe or Microsoft Terminal Services running on a host server machine Citrix Metaframe or Microsoft Terminal Services client software installed on the workstation (these can be deployed to the client via a web browser session) Scalability

3.5.2

3.5.3

3.5.4

Potentially less scalable than distributed thick client, because a single server must host multiple Excel sessions 3.6

TM1 Web

TM1 Web is Applixs implementation of a powerful, browser-based deployment model for TM1 applications, intended for use by business users who want a non-Excel model for wide deployment across the enterprise. TM1 Web allows the building of web Applications which can mix Excel published Websheets, live TM1 cube views, TurboIntegrator processes, Planning Manager tasks, and report production in a thin client .Net environment. 3.6.1

Advantages Full-function Excel workbooks published to the web at a click of the button Highly integrated with TM1s Application Organizer Live cube browsing and chart production Access to Subset Editor and TurboIntegrator processes Supports user communities in excess of 500 Disadvantages

3.6.2

Does not support 100% of Excel functionality when publishing Websheets (e.g. Dynamic Slices)

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TM1 Deployment Options and Bandwidth Considerations 3.6.3 Requirements

Configuration of an Application, Web and Excel server (all three logical servers may be hosted on a single physical machine depending on the number of concurrent users) 3.6.4 Scalability

Up to 500 users/Application Server and Web Server 4 Network/Bandwidth Considerations

Much like any other networked application TM1 is affected by network capacity and latency. WANs in many companies employ technology that can give bandwidth priority to certain applications (such as SAP or email) while leaving non-prioritised applications to take whatever is left over. In general, deployment of Excel based clients over a WAN is not recommended for performance reasons TM1 Web will perform better in almost all WAN scenarios. 4.1 Assumptions

The following recommended deployment methods assume that:


There is no other LAN/WAN traffic - all figures are recommendations for TM1. All other LAN/WAN usage will affect the performance of TM1 Internet/WAN latency is <100ms from client to server and back. All Recommended Practices to do with Excel performance have been followed (see "Optimizing Network Performance" ). If running the TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel over a WAN (not recommended), there is some bandwidth prioritization where TM1 has priority over other traffic to guarantee bandwidth availability Recommended Deployment Methods and Available Bandwidths

4.2

All TM1 clients will work over a LAN or WAN, or even a modem, but best performance will be achieved by following the deployment guidelines below. 4.2.1 Recommended Deployment Methods LAN Yes WAN No

TM1 Client Standard TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel (TCP/IP) TM1 Architect TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel (HTTP/HTTPS) TM1 Add-In for Microsoft Excel, TM1 Architect

Yes Yes

No No

Yes

Yes

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TM1 Deployment Options and Bandwidth Considerations (Screen Remoting) TM1 Web Yes Yes

10

4.2.2

Recommended Minimum Bandwidths Minimum Bandwidth 100 baseT Ethernet (100Mbps) to clients and server 2Mbit Synchronous internet connection 256Kbit Synchronous internet connection (i.e. 2Mbit ADSL) <100ms latency

LAN or WAN LAN

WAN (server side)

WAN (client side TM1 Web or Screen Remoting)

WAN (client side Excel)

56Kbit available bandwidth per Excel client and bandwidth prioritisation to ensure TM1 bandwidth availability <100ms latency

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