Visual Round Trip Analyzer (VRTA) is a tool that helps the SharePoint Administrator identify
what is being downloaded at a web page level.

One of the biggest complaints from users is the response time.

 

VRTA excels in showing the network round trip relationship between the client and the server.

This is also critical to the well-being of a farm. While an administrator can optimize the server
response, there are several other parties that can inadvertently be working against this:

  • Web developers: These folks create the HTML, CSS, and stylesheets.
  • End users: They load content such as images, which directly hampers performance.
  • Application developers: These folks load JavaScript, jQuery, and now have the client
    object model at their disposal.


All of these listed parties create solutions using SharePoint Designer, Notepad, and possibly
Visual Studio, and the administrator would have no knowledge of this. But in the end, the
administrator is the person who will get the support call.

Using VRTA, the administrator can identify the bottlenecks and involve the right parties.

 

You must have VRTA loaded on a PC (free download from the Microsoft Download Center).
Netmon 3.4, also a free download, needs to be loaded on the PC. These tools should not be
run on servers but on local machines. No special permissions are needed and it can be run
against a public site.

VRTA uses Microsoft Network Monitor 3.4 packet analyzer as its foundation. Visually, it shows
files and packets, along with the round trip information that occurs between a client
and server.

When evaluating page loads, several factors should be taken into account:

  • Distance: The round trip
  • Number of round trips
  • Images on a home page
  • Files that need to be downloaded (CSS, JavaScript, and so on)

 

image

Using the four tabs, Main Chart, Statistics, All Files, and Analysis, the data the page is
retrieving and loading can be seen in detail. In the preceding screenshot, every file that is
loaded shows how long to load, the port, the type of file, a status code, and size.


The administrator can observe the assets that are being used
and be able to offer recommendations such as creating a sprite instead of loading each
individual image, or combining JavaScript files. Hovering over each detail item will present
further detail on the individual asset.


VRTA also has an Analysis tab that acts as a best practice guide. It grades the files and page
on several basic factors such as an average file size rule, white spaces rule, and image
clustering rule. Using a color-coded scheme, it makes recommendations to help you
improve performance.


Finally, every time a recording is made, it is saved in a directory by default, whose path can be
seen in the title of the VRTA application.