Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Nintex Analytics causing massive load on SQL

Nintex Analytics is a 3rd party product running on SharePoint (installed as a solution) which is used by some of our customers that are still on SharePoint 2010.I won't go into details about the product, Joel Oleson already did a great review on it a while ago. Nintex are not developing this anymore and the support will be retired on 1st July, 2015, so I've decided to share one of my very few real-world experience cases with it. Meanwhile, there is an alternative product for SharePoint 2013 - HarePoint Analytics for the people that used and loved Nintex Analytics.

The environment:

  • SharePoint 2010 Standard - 1 APP, 1 WFE
  • Nintex Workflow running on both servers
  • Nintex Analytics running on the APP server

...All sharing the same SQL box... which was running fine for 3 years.

One wonderful day we started getting complaints from users that their Intranet is running slow, server graphs showed 100 % CPU on the SQL box since a couple of minutes. That trend has continued and the only process eating it was the one for the SQL Server itself.

I ran a report of the most CPU-expensive queries on the server and found the following:

 FROM dbo.DimSPObjectsSites o with (readuncommitted)
  INNER JOIN (SELECT DISTINCT ObjectId, ObjectTypeId, EventTypeId FROM dbo.FactAuditData with (readuncommitted) WHERE IntervalId >= @IntervalStart AND IntervalId < @IntervalEnd) f          
   ON  f.ObjectId = o.ObjectId
   AND f.ObjectTypeId = o.ObjectTypeId
   AND f.EventTypeId = 3
  INNER JOIN dbo.DimSPWebs w with (readuncommitted)
   ON w.ObjectId = o.SPWebId
   AND w.WebTemplate = @WebTemplate

That query is making use of the following 3 database indexes:


...which are all in the Nintex Analytics Content Databases... so I've started stopping the Nintex Analytics Services that are basically Windows services running on the SharePoint server one by one.. after stopping the Nintex Analytics Data Management Service... the CPU time dropped immediately to the recent levels we've been observing.

I've tried a few other bits and pieces like reconfiguring the reports in terms of data to retain, purging intervals and so on but every time I started the Data Management Service, in a minute the SQL Server was getting hammered (100 % CPU).

I've raised this with the Nintex Support and they've sent me the following SQL query to create a stored procedure:

CREATE PROCEDURE [dbo].[CfgIndexInformation]
DECLARE @indexCounter int,
@maxIndexes int,
@partitioncount bigint,
@schemaname sysname,
@objectname sysname,
@indexname sysname,
@objectid int,
@indexid int,
@partitionnum bigint,
@frag float,
@partitions bigint

indexNumber int identity(1,1),
objectId int,
indexId int,
partitionNum bigint,
fragmentation float

tableName sysname,
indexName sysname,
fragmentation float

INSERT @work (objectId, indexId, partitionNum, fragmentation)
SELECT s.object_id,
FROM sys.dm_db_index_physical_stats (DB_ID(), NULL, NULL , NULL, 'LIMITED') s
WHERE s.avg_fragmentation_in_percent > 10.0 AND s.index_id > 0

SET @maxIndexes = @@ROWCOUNT
SET @indexCounter = 1

WHILE @indexCounter <= @maxIndexes

SELECT @objectid = objectId, 
@indexid = indexId, 
@partitionnum = partitionNum, 
@frag = fragmentation
FROM @work
WHERE indexNumber = @indexCounter

SELECT @objectname =, 
@schemaname =
FROM sys.objects o
INNER JOIN sys.schemas s 
ON s.schema_id = o.schema_id
WHERE o.object_id = @objectid

SELECT @indexname = name 
FROM sys.indexes
WHERE object_id = @objectid 
AND index_id = @indexid

SELECT @partitioncount = count (*) 
FROM sys.partitions
WHERE object_id = @objectid 
AND index_id = @indexid

INSERT @tables
SELECT @schemaname + '.' + @objectname, @indexname, @frag

SET @indexCounter = @indexCounter + 1

SELECT * FROM @tables ORDER BY fragmentation DESC, tableName, indexName


Then I ran the newly created stored procedure (exec CfgIndexInformation) to get information on the Indexes fragmentation. The indexes used by the most expensive query I found earlier were gragmented at 95%, 91% and 66% respectively. I stopped and disabled all the Nintex Analytics services and ran exec dbo.CfgIndexRefresh against all the Nintex Analytics content databases as per the support team advice.

That has decreased the fragmentation a lot and we've managed to run the Nintex Analytics fine after that. The long-term solution is to schedule the index refresh on a monthly basis to avoid reoccurences of that.

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