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** Troubleshooting ** Performance problems in Controller when using Cognos (non-Native) Security

Technote (troubleshooting)


Customer is experiencing slow performance in many areas of Controller. However, when they change their Controller security method from using "Cognos" (Cognos security) to "Native" (the default option) the performance is improved greatly.


Slow performance in Controller when security set to "Cognos".

  • When security set to "Native" then performance is much faster.

Real Life example:

In one real-life example:

  • Users in the headquarters (HQ - where the application servers were located) had good performance
  • Remote users (those who are physically located geographically far away) had slow performance
    • However, *crucially* the overriding factor was not that they were physically far away, but that their Windows user accounts were located inside the Active Directory forest in a 'far away' location from the location of the servers
    • In other words, their Windows user IDs were located inside Windows Domains that were trusted by the Controller server's domain... ...but these remote domains were located inside a part of the AD forest that was far away from the Controller server's domain.

In their case, the performance (of the remote users - located outside of HQ) increase after changing (from Cognos) to Native security was as follows:

  • Logon to Controller: improved 85%
  • Data Entry: improved 25%
  • Excel link report speed: improved on average by 40%.


There are several different potential causes for slow performance *only* when using Cognos security (i.e. the system is fast when using Native security):

  • Scenario #1 - Defect in some early versions of Controller
    • For more information, see separate IBM Technote #1362063.
  • Scenario #2 - Cognos Security namespace is configured to use an inefficient method (inefficient connector) of connecting to target security system
    • For example, customer may be using NTLM connector to connect to an Active Directory domain controller
    • In general, the "Active Directory" connector is a more efficient method to connect to an Active Directory domain controller
  • Scenario #3 - Cognos Security connector is configured incorrectly
    • For example, the choice of connector (e.g. Active Directory) is correct, but it is incorrectly configured
    • For example, it may be configured inefficiently, for example it may 'point to' the 'wrong' domain controller (e.g. be configured to connect to a server in a different country to receive all of its information). This would slow it down considerably.

Resolving the problem


In many cases, a workaround can be to give the 'remote' users new Windows accounts (inside the Active Directory) inside a location (i.e. Windows domain / OU) that is 'closer' to the location of the servers.

  • In other words, they authenticate to the Cognos BI security subsystem using user accounts that are located in the same location (inside the AD forest) as the fast HQ users.


Scenario #1

Ensure that you are using the latest version of Controller.

  • For more information, see separate IBM Technote #1362063.

Scenario #2

Ensure that you are using the best 'connector' for your Cognos namespace.

  • For example, although there are valid reasons for sometimes using the NTLM connector (when connecting to Microsoft AD) in general performance is better when using the 'Active Directory' specialised connector.
  • For more information, see separate IBM Technotes #1412828 & 1412954.

Scenario #3

Ensure that your connector is configured as efficiently as possible.

  • For example, ensure that it is 'pointing to' the closest/fastest domain controller
  • For more information, see separate IBM Technotes #1412828 & 1412954

Related information

1362063 - Slow performance when using User Rights menu
1412828 - Long time (5 minutes or even longer) taken to
1412954 - Error 'There are no CAM Users available in th

Document information

More support for: Cognos Controller

Software version: 8.3, 8.4, 8.5, 8.5.1, 10.1, 10.1.1

Operating system(s): Windows

Reference #: 1606662

Modified date: 02 August 2012