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Waterfall metrics to diagnose slow page loads

This Technical Preview is made available to customers free of charge for their evaluation and feedback; on general availability the functionalities of the preview may be subject to additional cost and/or licensing.  As such, the Technical Preview, the documentation, and any updates are provided for limited evaluation only and on an ‘as-is’ and ‘as-available’ basis without warranty of any kind.

Background

In today's dynamic digital landscape, end-user computing teams face an increasingly complex challenge: delivering seamless web experiences to users while swiftly addressing performance issues. To meet these demands, a deeper understanding of web application slowness is essential. This understanding allows for more efficient troubleshooting and enables accurate escalation of genuine application problems to Application Teams or 3rd Party Vendors.

One key solution to this challenge lies in the utilization of waterfall analysis metrics. These metrics provide an unparalleled level of granularity, offering insights that can answer critical questions such as "why is client time taking so long?"

Customer benefits

Waterfall analysis metrics of web resources empower teams to 

  • pinpoint the precise sources of performance bottlenecks

  • identify error-prone elements

  • highlight resource-intensive components within web applications.

Armed with this knowledge, teams can embark on targeted optimization efforts, ultimately leading to substantial enhancements in a website's speed, reliability, and overall user satisfaction. 

Resource analysis tab of the Web Applications Troubleshooting library dashboard supports a guided troubleshooting journey using these metrics. 

List of new waterfall metrics for web resources

Note that these metrics are collected by the Nexthink Application Experience browser extension, which uses Performance Resource Timing API.

Name

NQL Syntax

Description

Longest resource during a navigation (name, type, size, and duration)

•longest_resource_url

•longest_resource_type

•longest_resource_load_time

•longest_resource_size

'Longest resource' refers to the resource that experienced the lengthiest loading time among all the necessary elements for rendering a web page. If a specific resource takes a significantly longer time to load compared to others, it may be affecting the overall loading speed of your web application. 

Largest resource during a navigation (name, type, size, and duration)

•largest_resource_url

•largest_resource_type

•largest_resource_load_time

•largest_resource_size

'Largest resource' refers to the resource that had the biggest file size to be fully loaded while loading a web page. When a user's browser needs to download and render large resources, it can lead to increased latency and slower page load times. Analysing large resources can help identify files that may be optimized or compressed to reduce their size.

Number of domains contacted

domains_contacted

‘Number of domains contacted’ indicates the number of unique domain names from which various resources (such as images, scripts, stylesheets, fonts, etc.) are being fetched.

These domains can include the application's own domain, as well as domains for third-party resources like analytics scripts, ads, content delivery networks (CDNs), and more.

Each unique domain contacted represents a separate server from which the browser needs to fetch resources, and this can impact overall page load times.

Number of resources

number_of_resources

‘Number of resources‘ indicates the total number of resources (such as images, scripts, stylesheets, or other files) loaded during a navigation event. The more resources a web page has, the longer it may take to load and render in the browser. By analyzing the number of resources, you can identify opportunities to optimize the performance of your web application. For example, you might consider minimizing or combining CSS and JavaScript files, compressing images, or using caching techniques to reduce the number of requests made to the server.

Number of large resources

number_of_large_resources

‘Number of large resources‘ indicates the number of resources (such as images, scripts, stylesheets, or other files) that are larger than 100KB, during a navigation event. When a user's browser needs to download and render large resources, it can lead to increased latency and slower page load times. Analysing large resources can help identify files that may be optimized or compressed to reduce their size.

Number of resource errors

number_of_resource_errors

‘Number of resource errors’ indicates the number of resources (such as images, scripts, stylesheets, or other files) that failed to load or encountered errors during a navigation event. Resource errors can indicate that certain files or assets are missing from the web application. This may result in broken links, missing images, or non-functional scripts.

Regions

This technical preview is available in all regions.

Customer commitment

Your active participation and feedback are pivotal in helping us refine our product to meet your evolving needs. We look forward to collaborating with you to create an even better user experience.

Limitations

While these metrics are exposed within the Nexthink data model, they have not yet been fully integrated into our native product dashboards and features. It's important to note that based on the feedback we receive, there may be adjustments in the computation or definition of these metrics. Additionally, please be aware that these metrics are not collected retroactively. They will be available only for events logged after the release of Nexthink 2023.8.

Enabling Technical Preview

Extended waterfall analysis metrics of web resources are accessible as part of a technical preview to all Nexthink users.

Access and utilize the metrics through the Investigations module of the Nexthink web interface or the Resource Analysis tab within the Web Applications Troubleshooting live dashboard which is part of the Web application advanced troubleshooting library pack.

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