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ThingWorx Performance Monitoring with Grafana authored by EDC team member Desheng Xu ( @xudesheng )   Monitoring ThingWorx performance is crucially important, both during the load testing of a newly completed application, and after the deployment of new code in an existing application. Monitoring performance ensures that everything works as expected at the Enterprise level.  This tutorial steps you through configuring and installing a tool  which runs on the same network as the ThingWorx instance. This tool collects data from the Platform and translates it into something visual and easy to understand via Grafana.    tsample is  small and customizable, and it plays a similar role to telegraf . Its focus is on gathering ThingWorx performance metrics. Historically, this tool also supported collecting OS level performance metrics, but this is no longer supported. It is highly recommended to collect OS level performance metrics by using telegraf , a tool designed specifically for that purpose (and not discussed here). This is not the only way to go about monitoring ThingWorx performance, but this tool uses a very good approach that has been proven effective both at customer sites and internally by PTC to monitor scale tests.   Find the most recent release here.   Recommended Deployment Architecture tsample can be deployed in the same box where ThingWorx Tomcat is running, but it's recommended to deploy it on a separated box to minimize any performance impact caused by the collector. tsample supports export to InfluxDB and/or local file. In this document, it is assumed that InfluxDB will be used for monitoring purpose. Please note that this is not the same instance of InfluxDB being used by ThingWorx (if configured). This article will not cover setting up InfluxDB or NGINX (if necessary), so please configure these before beginning this tutorial.   Supported Platform tsample has been tested on Windows 2016, MacOS 10.15, Ubuntu 16.04, and Redhat 7.x.  It's anticipated to work on a more general Ubuntu/Redhat/Mac/Windows release as well. Please leave a comment or contact the author, @xudesheng , if Raspberry Pi support is needed.    Configuration File Where to Store the Configuration File tsample will pick up the configuration file in the following sequence: from the command line...   ./tsample -c <path to configuration file>​     from the environment... Linux:   export TSAMPLE_CONFIG=<path to configuration file> ./tsample​   Windows:   set TSAMPLE_CONFIG=<path to configuration file> tsample.exe   from a default location... tsample will try to find a file with the name "c onfig.toml  " from the same folder in which it starts.   How to Craft a Configuration File You can use following command to generate a sample file:     ./tsample -c config.toml -e     or:     ./tsample -c config.toml --export       A file with the name "config.toml " will be generated with a sample configuration. You can then adjust its content in accordance with the following.   Configuration File Content Format Configuration file must be in toml format. title and owner sections Both sections are optional. The intention of these two sections is to support doc tool in future. TestMachine section This is section is required, and it defines where this tool will run.   thingworx_servers section This section is where you define targeted ThingWorx applications. Multiple ThingWorx servers can be defined with the same or different metrics to be collected.   thingworx_servers.metrics sections Underneath each thingworx_servers section, there are several metrics. In default example, following metrics have been included: ValueStreamProcessingSubsystem DataTableProcessingSubsystem EventProcessingSubsystem PlatformSubsystem StreamProcessingSubsystem WSCommunicationsSubsystem WSExecutionProcessingSubsystem TunnelSubsystem AlertProcessingSubsystem FederationSubsystem You can add your own customized metrics, as long as the result follows the same Data Shape. The default Data Shape has 3 columns: If the output Data Shape exceeds this limit, the tool will likely not work properly.   result_export_to_db section This section defines the target InfluxDB as a sink of collected performance metrics.   result_export_to_file section This section defines the target file storage for collected performance metrics.   Grafana Configuration Example Monitor Value Stream Step 1. Connect Grafana to InfluxDB   Step 2: Create a New Dashboard   Step 3. Create a New Query Depending on which metrics you defined to collect in the tsample configuration file, you will see a different choice of measurement in Grafana. Here, we will use ValueStreamProcessingSubsystem as an example.   Step 4. Choose the Right Platform and Storage Provider Some metrics depend on the database storage provider, like Value Stream and Stream.   Step 5. Choose the Metrics Figures   Select "remove" to get rid of the default 'mean' calculation. Select "non_negative_difference" from Transformations. Using this transformation, Grafana can show us the speed of writes.     Then, remove the default GROUP BY "time" clause. Assign a meaningful alias of this query.   Step 6. Add Another Query You can add another query as 'Value Stream Queued Speed' by following the same steps.   Step 7. Assign a Panel Title   Step 8. Review the Result Let's go back to the dashboard page and select "last 15 minutes" or "last 5 minutes" from the top right corner. It should show a result similar to the chart below.   Step 9. Save the Dashboard Don't forget to save your dashboard before we add more panels.   Step 10. Refine the Panel It's difficult to figure out the high-level write speed from the above panel, so let's enhance it. Add a new query with the following configuration: In the above query, there are two additional figures: 20s and 1m... How do you choose? 20s should be the same as sampling_cycle_inseconds in your tsample configuration file. If you choose a different value, then you could end up with misleading results. Larger values such as "1m" may give you a smoother result, but they could also hide system instability. Going larger than 1m is not recommended in most cases. With this new query, it's much easier to figure out what the average write speed in current testing is.   Tips: if your sampling_Cycle_inseconds is 30s, then you may not need this additional query. The following image is a sample at the 30s interval time. You would not need an additional average query to get a smooth write speed.   The next example is a sample at the 10s interval time. Without additional queries, you may not be able to get a meaningful understanding of the write speed. From the above three examples, it's recommended to configure the sampling interval time at 30s, or anything larger than 20s. You can then choose whether you need additional queries based on the visualization result.   Step 11. Further Refinement The above charts illustrate the queuing and writing speed. However, it is possible that the Value Stream may perform at a reasonable speed, but the Value Stream queue may be growing and could exceed its capacity. Let's add another query to monitor this: However, it is difficult to read this chart, since it has a different value range on the y-axis: Let's move this query to a second y-axis on the right: This will make the view much easier to see: The current queue size or remaining queue size will always move up and down; it is healthy as long as it does not continue to grow to a high level.   What Else Can Be Monitored? The following metrics would be monitored by most customers: Value Stream write and queue speed Value Stream queue size Stream write and queue speed Stream queue size Event performed speed (completedTaskCount) Event submitted speed (submittedTaskCount) Event queue size Websocket communication Websocket connection   ThingWorx Memory Usage Monitoring Create a new panel and add a new query: In a running system, memory usage will always move up and down - at times sharply or quickly - when the system is busy. The system is healthy as long as memory doesn't go up continuously or stay at a maximum for a long period of time.   Conclusion Setting up monitoring is absolutely crucial to managing the performance of an enterprise ThingWorx application. Using Grafana makes tracking and visualizing the performance much easier. Stay tuned to the EDC tag for more monitoring tips to come!
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The Property Set Approach This article details an approach developed by Prachi Rath and Roy Clarke, refined by the EDC team in the December 2019's Remote Monitoring of Assets Reference Benchmark , and used to handle multi-property business rules in an Enterprise ThingWorx application.   Introduction If there are logic rules which depend upon multiple properties, and each property receives its updates one at a time, then each property will need to have an identical subscription, because there is no way for any one subscription to know the most up-to-date values for the other properties. This inefficient approach would create redundancy and sizing constraints, reducing the capacity of the application to scale up to the Enterprise level. The Property Set Approach resolves this issue by sending in all property updates as one Info Table or JSON property (called the “property set”), which can then have a single subscription. The property set is assembled on the Edge when an update needs to be sent, and then the Platform dissects, processes, and stores the data within this property set as required by the business logic.   This approach also involves caching the last property value into a runtime variable so that it can be referenced within the business logic subscription without having to be retrieved from the database. This can significantly improve the runtime of the subscription, reducing the number of resources required to sustain the business logic and ensuring that any alerts or events resulting from the business logic occur as soon as possible. It also reduces the load on the database, ensuring that data ingestion can complete unhindered.   So, while there are many benefits to this approach, it is also more complicated. It tightly couples the development of the Edge and Platform code and increases the application complexity, making it slightly less easy to maintain the application in the long run. The property set also requires a little more bandwidth and a more stable internet connection between Edge devices and the Platform since there is more metadata in an Info Table property, and therefore every update is slightly larger than it would be otherwise. So this approach is only recommended when multi-property rules are a requirement of the application and a stable internet connection exists between the Edge and Platform.   Platform Implementation I. Create an Info Table (or JSON) Property This tutorial uses the out-of-the-box Data Shape called NamedVTQ for the Info Table property, which is defined on a Thing Template as a remote property. It is important that this is not marked as persistent or logged, as the purpose is to reduce the amount of database writes and reads required by the Platform. The Info Table property has the following property definition:     <PropertyDefinition aspect.dataChangeType="ALWAYS" aspect.dataShape="NamedVTQ" aspect.isPersistent="false" baseType="INFOTABLE" isLocalOnly="false" name="numberPropertySetAsInfotable"/>       II. Create a Data Change Event Subscription for the Info Table Property The subscription has three parts: Cache the last value for the property in a runtime variable Start off the business rules processing, sending in the whole Info Table Send the Info Table to be logged as individual local properties in the database     // First step caches the last Value, refer to the next step… // Second step sets off the business rules processing with the Info Table me.ScaleTestBusinessRuleForPropertySetAsInfotable({ PropertySetAsInfotable: eventData.newValue.value }); // Third step sends the Info Table as one property into a service which parses it into the // individual properties, updating both the runtime properties on the remote thing and the database me.UpdatePropertyValues({ values: eventData.newValue.value /* INFOTABLE */ });       III. Set-Up Caching Each property which needs to be cached should be created on the Thing Template level and named in a similar way, say by placing the word “Last” at the end, such as “Property1” => “Property1Last”, “Property2” => “Property2Last”, etc. This property should NOT be logged or persistent, as the point of this is to store the most recent value in memory, removing any superfluous dependency on database queries in the process. Note that while storing the property in runtime memory makes it much more accessible, it also means that the property needs to be rewritten manually upon Platform restart. Additional code (not provided here) must be written to populate these properties from the database upon application start-up.   The following code should be placed in the data change event subscription (option 1 in the case where only a few properties need caching, or option 2 if every property value needs to be cached):   Option 1: Some but Not All Properties Need Caching     // Names of properties for which you want to cache the last value var propertyNames = ['number1', 'number2']; // Loop through the properties and cache their time if they are found in the property set propertyNames.map(assignLast); // This function can be split into two functions for Age and Last separately if need be function assignLast(propertyName) { logger.debug("Looping for property -> "+ propertyName); var searchprop = new Object(); searchprop.name = propertyName; property = eventData.newValue.value.Find(searchprop); if(property){ logger.debug("Found Row. Name= " + property.name); var lastPropertyName = propertyName+"Last"; if(property.value) { // Set the cache property on me, this entity, to the current property value me[lastPropertyName] = me[propertyName]; } } else { logger.debug("Property Not Found in property set -> " + propertyName); } }       Option 2: All Properties Need Caching     var rowCount = eventData.newValue.value.getRowCount(); for(var i=0; i<rowCount; i++){ logger.warn("property name->" + eventData.newValue.value[i].name + "----- property new value->" + eventData.newValue.value[i].value.value); var propertyName = eventData.newValue.value[i].name; var lastPropertyName = propertyName+"Last"; me[lastPropertyName] = me[propertyName]; logger.warn("done last subscription, last property value for lastPropertyName" + me[lastPropertyName]); }         Useful Platform Code Snippets I. Age Calculation     var date1 = new Date(); var date2 = me.GetPropertyTime({ propertyName: propertyName /* STRING */ }); var result = millisToMinutesAndSeconds (dateDifference(date1, date2) ); // This function converts from an unintelligibly large number in milliseconds to something formatted in minutes and seconds function millisToMinutesAndSeconds(millis) { var minutes = Math.floor(millis / 60000); var seconds = ((millis % 60000) / 1000).toFixed(0); return (seconds == 60 ? (minutes+1) + ":00" : minutes + ":" + (seconds < 10 ? "0" : "") + seconds); }       II. Sort the Info Table by Time     var params = { sortColumn: "time" /* STRING */, t: me.propertySet/* INFOTABLE */, ascending: ascending /* BOOLEAN */ }; var result = Resources["InfoTableFunctions"].Sort(params);       III. Search the Info Table for a Property     var searchprop = new Object(); searchprop.name = propertyName; property = PropertySetAsInfotable.Find(searchprop); if(property === null){ logger.info("Property Not Found -> " + propertyNumber1); } else { logger.info("Found Row. Name= [" + property.name + "], value= " + property.value.value); }         Edge Implementation This example implementation uses the .NET Edge SDK to build a property set Info Table at the Edge.   I. Define the Data Shape A standard Data Shape is used (NamedVTQ), but because this Data Shape is not exposed in the Edge SDK code, it has to be created manually.     // Data Shape definition for NamedVTQ FieldDefinitionCollection namedVTQFields = new FieldDefinitionCollection(); namedVTQFields.addFieldDefinition(new FieldDefinition(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_NAME, BaseTypes.STRING)); namedVTQFields.addFieldDefinition(new FieldDefinition(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_VALUE, BaseTypes.VARIANT)); namedVTQFields.addFieldDefinition(new FieldDefinition(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_TIME, BaseTypes.DATETIME)); namedVTQFields.addFieldDefinition(new FieldDefinition(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_QUALITY, BaseTypes.STRING)); base.defineDataShapeDefinition("NamedVTQ", namedVTQFields);     II. Define the Info Table Property The property defined should NOT be logged or persistent, and it can be read-only, since data is always pushed from the Edge and read from the server cache when accessed on the Platform. Note that the push type of the info table property MUST be set to "ALWAYS" (if set to "VALUE", the data change event will only fire if the number of rows changes).   // Property Set Definitions [ThingworxPropertyDefinition( name = "DevicePropertySet", description = "Alternative representation of properties as an Info Table for rules processing", baseType = "INFOTABLE", category = "Status", aspects = new string[] { "isReadOnly:true", "isPersistent:false", "isLogged:false", "dataShape:NamedVTQ", "cacheTime:0", "pushType:ALWAYS" } ) ]     III. Define a Property to Store the GOOD Quality Status   private static String QUALITY_STATUS_GOOD = QualityStatus.GOOD.name();     IV. Define Functions to Populate the Value Collections  An Info Table is really just made up of many Value Collections, where each Value Collection is considered a row. These services take in the name and value of a property and return a Value Collection object which can be added to the property set Info Table.   public ValueCollection createNumberValueCollection(String name, double value) { ValueCollection vc = new ValueCollection(); // Add quality and time entries to the Value Collection vc.SetStringValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_QUALITY, QUALITY_STATUS_GOOD); vc.SetDateTimeValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_TIME, new DatetimePrimitive(DateTime.UtcNow)); vc.SetStringValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_NAME, name); vc.SetNumberValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_VALUE, value); return vc; } public ValueCollection createBooleanValueCollection(String name, Boolean value) { ValueCollection vc = new ValueCollection(); // Add quality and time entries to the Value Collection vc.SetStringValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_QUALITY, QUALITY_STATUS_GOOD); vc.SetDateTimeValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_TIME, new DatetimePrimitive(DateTime.UtcNow)); vc.SetStringValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_NAME, name); vc.SetBooleanValue(CommonPropertyNames.PROP_VALUE, value); return vc; }     V. Build the Property Set Call this code from the processScanRequest method to build the property set.   // Create an instance of a new Info Table using the standard "NamedVTQ" Data Shape InfoTable propertySet = new InfoTable(getDataShapeDefinition("NamedVTQ")); // Set name/value for Temperature using convenience function propertySet.addRow(createNumberValueCollection("Temperature", temperature)); // Set name/value for Pressure using convenience function propertySet.addRow(createNumberValueCollection("Pressure", pressure)); // Set name/value for TotalFlow using convenience function propertySet.addRow(createNumberValueCollection("TotalFlow", this._totalFlow)); // Set name/value for InletValve using convenience function propertySet.addRow(createBooleanValueCollection("InletValve", inletValveStatus)); // Set name/value for FaultStatus using convenience function propertySet.addRow(createBooleanValueCollection("FaultStatus", faultStatus)); // Set the property set Info Table property base.setProperty("DevicePropertySet", propertySet);     VI. Update the subscribed properties These two lines of code update the properties and events, actually sending the property set (containing all property updates) to the Platform.   base.updateSubscribedProperties(15000); base.updateSubscribedEvents(60000);     Conclusion Following these steps will enable the Edge to build a property set before sending any property updates to the Platform. The Platform can then rely on caching to process the business logic with no database dependency, which is faster and more efficient than any other approach. Finally the updates are still written to the database, so in the end, there is no functional difference between using a property set and binding each property individually. Please don't hesitate to comment here with any questions about this approach.
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ThingWorx 8.5 Sizing Guide Sizing is a very important part of the application design process, answering such questions as: how much hardware is required? What specifications does this hardware need to handle the expected load? And therefore, what is the overall cost of setting up and maintaining the ThingWorx environment? Properly sizing the environment before development begins ensures that there are no unexpected costs or limitations to application functionality later on down the road.   "Hardware sizing is driven by many factors - some more easily calculated than others", as stated in the new ThingWorx 8.5 Sizing Guide. "Measures like data streaming frequency (the data ingestion component) and HTTP request volume (the data visualization component) are easily calculated... However, sizing considerations for the data processing component of the application can depend largely on business use cases and application design." Enterprise-Ready applications have the capacity to handle all aspects of an IoT application, from data ingestion and processing to data visualization, as detailed in the friendly infographic above, which many will recognize from LiveWorx. Inside the ThingWorx 8.5 Sizing Guide,  there are formulas designed to help size the more analytical aspects of the application, as well as descriptions of other factors and how they (conceptually) play a role in sizing.    There are also two application design examples which step the reader through the calculations, the comparisons, and the selections of hardware for each use case. New in this version, these examples have been simulated in the real world to prove that the theory behind these calculations is sound, and to demonstrate the full process of designing, sizing, and testing an application.  One of the examples (shown here) sizes a Connected Product Solution, something which has many, many remote things in the field, each writing to the Platform at a slower rate, for consumption by a large number of general users, who don't access the same mashups many times nor refresh their view very often. The second example is much more complex, modeling an industrial use-case, where there are many different kinds of users each accessing the mashups many times, fewer things, and more variations in the types of properties each thing possesses. These examples are designed to help anyone with any use case step through the sizing of their application properly.   Please check out the new ThingWorx 8.5 Sizing Guide, especially because each version of ThingWorx is different and must be sized accordingly. Comments and questions about the guide are very welcome right here on this thread!
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Remote Monitoring of Assets Benchmark   As @ttielebein introduced previously, one of the missions of the IOT Enterprise Deployment Center (EDC) is to publish benchmarks that showcase the ThingWorx Platform deployed to solve real-world IOT business problems.    Our goal is that these benchmarks can be used as a reference or baseline for architects working on their own implementations... showing not only a successful at-scale implementation, but also what happens when that same implementation is pushed to ...or even past... it's limits.   Please find the first installment attached - a reference benchmark demonstrating ThingWorx deployed to monitor 15,000 assets with a high-volume of data properties per asset.  Over 250 hours of simulations were conducted as part of producing this benchmark.   The IOT EDC team will be monitoring this post (as well as our other posts in the IOT Tech Tips forum) to answer any questions we can about the approaches taken in designing, deploying and simulating this implementation.    As the team will publish more benchmarks like this will be published in the future, we also greatly value any feedback you have that can help us to improve the content for future documents.
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Load Testing through C SDK Remote Device Simulation in ThingWorx   As discussed in the EDC's previous article, load or stress testing a ThingWorx application is very important to the application development process and comes highly recommended by PTC best practices. This article will show how to do stress testing using the ThingWorx C SDK at the Edge side. Attached to this article is a download containing a generic C SDK application and accompanying simulator software written in python. This article will discuss how to unpack everything and move it to the right location on a Linux machine (Ubuntu 16.04 was used in this tutorial and sudo privileges will be necessary). To make this a true test of the Edge software, modify the C SDK code provided or substitute in any custom code used in the Edge devices which connect to the actual application.   It is assumed that ThingWorx is already installed and configured correctly. Anaconda will be downloaded and installed as a part of this tutorial. Note that the simulator only logs at the "error" level on the SDK side, and the data log has been disabled entirely to save resources. For any questions on this tutorial, reach out to the author Desheng Xu from the EDC team (@DeShengXu).   Background: Within ThingWorx, most things represent remote devices located at the Edge. These are pieces of physical equipment which are out in the field and which connect and transmit information to the ThingWorx Platform. Each remote device can have many properties, which can be bound to local properties. In the image below, the example property "Pressure" is bound to the local property "Pressure". The last column indicates whether the property value should be stored in a time series database when the value changes. Only "Pressure" and "TotalFlow" are stored in this way.  A good stress test will have many properties receiving updates simultaneously, so for this test, more properties will be added. An example shown here has 5 integers, 3 numbers, 2 strings, and 1 sin signal property.   Installation: Download Python 3 if it isn't already installed Download Anaconda version 5.2 Sometimes managing multiple Python environments is hard on Linux, especially in Ubuntu and when using an Azure VM. Anaconda is a very convenient way to manage it. Some commands which may help to download Anaconda are provided here, but this is not a comprehensive tutorial for Anaconda installation and configuration. Download Anaconda curl -O https://repo.anaconda.com/archive/Anaconda3-5.2.0-Linux-x86_64.sh  Install Anaconda (this may take 10+ minutes, depending on the hardware and network specifications) bash Anaconda3-5.2.0-Linux-x86_64.sh​ To activate the Anaconda installation, load the new PATH environment variable which was added by the Anaconda installer into the current shell session with the following command: source ~/.bashrc​ Create an environment for stress testing. Let's name this environment as "stress" conda create -n stress python=3.7​ Activate "stress" environment every time you need to use simulator.py source activate stress​  Install the required Python modules Certain modules are needed in the Python environment in order to run the simulator.py  file: psutil, requests. Use the following commands to install these (if using Anaconda as installed above): conda install -n stress -c anaconda psutil conda install -n stress -c anaconda requests​ Unpack the download attached here called csim.zip Unzip csim.zip  and move it into the /opt  folder (if another folder is used, remember to change the page in the simulator.json  file later) Assign your current user full access to this folder (this command assumes the current user is called ubuntu ) : sudo chown -R ubuntu:ubuntu /opt/csim   Move the C SDK source folder to the lib  folder Use the following command:  sudo mv /opt/csim/csdkbuild/libtwCSdk.so.2.2.4 /usr/lib​ You may have to also grant a+x permissions to all files in this folder Update the configuration file for the simulator Open /opt/csim/simulator.json  (or whatever path is used instead) Edit this file to meet your environment needs, based on the information below Familiarize yourself with the simulator.py file and its options Use the following command to get option information: python simulator.py --help​   Set-Up Test Scenario: Plan your test Each simulator instance will have 8 remote properties by default (as shown in the picture in the Background section). More properties can be added for stress test purposes in the simulator.json  file. For the simulator to run 1k writes per second to a time series database, use the following configuration information (note that for this test, a machine with 4 cores and 16G of memory was used. Greater hardware specifications may be required for a larger test): Forget about the default 8 properties, which have random update patterns and result in difficult results to check later. Instead, create "canary properties" for each thing (where canary refers to the nature of a thing to notify others of danger, in the same way canaries were used in mine shafts) Add 25 properties for each thing: 10 integer properties 5 number properties 5 string properties 5 sin properties (signals) Set the scan rate to 5000 ms, making it so that each of these 25 properties will update every 5 seconds. To get a writes per second rate of 1k, we therefore need 200 devices in total, which is specified by the start and end number lines of the configuration file The simulator.json  file should look like this: Canary_Int: 10 Canary_Num: 5 Canary_Str: 5 Canary_Sin: 5 Start_Number: 1 End_Number: 200​ Run the simulator Enter the /opt/csim  folder, and execute the following command: python simulator.py ./simulator.json -i​ You should be able to see a screen like this: Go to ThingWorx to check if there is a dummy thing (under Remote Things in the Monitoring section): This indicates that the simulator is running correctly and connected to ThingWorx Create a Value Stream and point it at the target database Create a new thing and call it "SimulatorDummyThing" Once this is created successfully and saved, a message should pop up to say that the device was successfully connected Bind the remote properties to the new thing Click the "Properties and Alerts" tab Click "Manage Bindings" Click "Add all properties" Click "Done" and then "Save" The properties should begin updating immediately (every 5 seconds), so click "Refresh" to check Create a Thing Template from this thing Click the "More" drop-down and select "Create ThingTemplate" Give the template a name (ensure it matches what is defined in the simulator.json  file) and save it Go back and delete the dummy thing created in Step 4, as now we no longer need it Clean up the simulator Use the following command: python simulator.py ./simulator.json -k​ Output will look like this: Create 200 things in ThingWorx for the stress test Verify the information in the simulator.json  file (especially the start and end numbers) is correct Use the following command to create all things: python simulator.py ./simulator.json -c​ The output will look like this: Verify the things have also been created in ThingWorx: Now you are ready for the stress test   Run Stress Test: Use the following command to start your test: python simulator.py ./simulator.json -l​ or python simulator.py ./simulator.json --launch The output in the simulator will look like this: Monitor the Value Stream writing status in the Monitoring section of ThingWorx:   Stop and Clean Up: Use the following command to stop running all instances: python simulator.py ./simulator -k​ If you want to clean up all created dummy things, then use this command: python simulator.py ./simulator -d​ To re-initiate the test at a later date, just repeat the steps in the "Run Stress Test" section above, or re-configure the test by reviewing the steps in the "Set-Up Test Scenario" section   That concludes the tutorial on how to use the C SDK in a stress or load test of a ThingWorx application. Be sure to modify the created Thing Template (created in step 6 of the "Set-Up Test Scenario" section) with any business logic required, for instance events and alerts, to ensure a proper test of the application. 
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Load Testing through Remote Device Simulation   Designing an enterprise-ready application requires extensive testing and quality assurance. This includes all sorts of tests, of course, from examining the user interface for flaws to verifying there is correct logic in all background services. However, no area of testing is more important than scalability. Load testing is how to test the application to ensure it still functions as desired when remote things are connected and streaming information to the Platform.   Load testing is considered a critical component of the change management process. It is mentioned numerous times throughout PTC best practice documentation. This tutorial will step you through designing a load test using Kepware as a simulator. Kepware is free to download and use in short demos, making it the perfect tool for this type of test.   Start by acquiring the latest version of Kepware from the download site. Click “Download Free Demo” if a license was not included in your PTC product package. The installation of Kepware is simple, and for details, see the Kepware Installation Guide. The tutorial shown here uses Kepware version 6.7 and ThingWorx version 8.4.4. Given that we are testing a ThingWorx application, this tutorial assumes ThingWorx is already installed and configured correctly.   Once Kepware is installed, follow these steps: (This tutorial was developed by Desheng Xu and edited by Victoria Tielebein. Exact specifications of the equipment used in both large scale and local tests are given in step VI, which discusses the size of the simulation)   Understand how to configure Kepware as a simulator Go to the Help menu within Kepware, and click on “Driver Help” Select “Simulator” in the pop-up window, and click “OK” Expand “Address Descriptions” and then “Simulation Functions” Select “Ramp Function” to review details about the function needed for this tutorial, as well as information about function syntax Close the window once this information has been reviewed Create a new project in Kepware Click “File” > “New” In case you are connected to runtime, Kepware will allow you to choose to edit this project offline Add a channel in Kepware Channels represent threads which Kepware will use to contact ThingWorx Under “Connectivity”, click “Click to add a channel.” From the drop-down list, select “Simulator” Use all the default settings, selecting “Next” all the way down to “Finish” Next, add one device to the channel Highlight the new channel and click “Click to add a device” (which will appear in the center of the screen) Once again, use the default settings, selecting “Next” all the way down to “Finish” Add a tag to this device Within Kepware, tags represent properties which bind to remote things on the Platform and update with new information over time. Each device will need several tags to simulate remote property updates. The easiest way to add many tags for testing is to create one, and then copy and paste it. Highlight the device created in the previous step and click “Click to add static tag”, which appears in the center of the screen For “name” type “tag1” For Address, enter the Ramp function: RAMP(1000,1,2000000,1) The first parameter is the update rate given in milliseconds The next two parameters are the range of values which can be sent The last parameter is the increment or step Together this means that every 1 second, this tag will send a new value that is 1 higher than the previous value to the Platform, starting at 1 and ending at 2 million Ensure the Data Type is given as “DWord” or any type which will be read as a “Number” (and NOT an “Integer”) on the Platform Change the Scan Rate to 250 Then click “OK” Add more devices to the test The most basic set-up is now done: if this project connected to the Platform, one remote thing with one remote property could be used to simulate property updates. That is not very useful for load testing, however. We need many more things than this, and many more properties. The number of tags on each device should match the expected number of remote properties in the application itself. The number of devices in each channel should be large enough that when more channels are created, the number of total devices is close to the target for the application. For example, to simulate 10,000 things, each with 25 remote properties, we need 25 tags per device, 200 devices per channel, and 50 channels. This would require a lot of memory to run and should not be attempted on a local machine. A full test of 40 channels each with 10 devices was performed as shown in the screenshots here. This simulates 10,000 writes per second to the Platform total, or about 400 remote device connections. This test used the following hardware specifications: Kepware machine running Windows 2016 64-bit, 2 cores, 8G ThingWorx Platform machine running Ubuntu 16.04, 4 cores, 16G PostgreSQL 9.6 machine running Ubuntu 16.04, 4 cores, 16G Influx 1.6.3 machine running Ubuntu 16.04, 4 cores, 16G A local test was also run on Windows 10 (64-bit), using the H2 database, with Kepware and ThingWorx running side by side on the machine, 4 cores, 16G. This test made use of only 2 channels, with 10 devices each. For local tests to see how the simulation works, this is fine, but a more robust set-up like the above will be needed in a true load test. If there is not enough memory on the machine hosting Kepware, errors like this will appear in the Kepware logs: One or more value change updates lost due to insufficient space in the connection buffer. Once you decide on the number of tags and devices needed, follow the steps below to add them.  To add more tags, copy and paste the existing tag (ctrl+c  and ctrl+v  work in Kepware for convenience) until there as many tags as desired To add more devices, highlight the device in Kepware and copy and paste it as well (click on the channel before pasting) Then, copy and paste the entire channel until the number of channels, devices, and tags totals the desired load (be sure to click on “Connectivity” before hitting paste this time)  Configure the ThingWorx connection Right click on Project in the left-hand navigation bar and in the pop-up window that appears, highlight ThingWorx Change the “Enable” field to “Yes” to activate the other fields Fill in the details for “Host”, “Port”, “Application Key”, and “Thing name” Note that the application key will need to be created in ThingWorx and then the value copied in here The certificate and encryption settings may also need to be adjusted to match your environment For local set-ups, it is likely that self-signed and all certificates will need to be accepted, so both of those fields will likely need to be set to “Yes” (Encryption may need to be disabled as well). In production systems, this should not be the case  Save the project It doesn’t matter too much if this project is saved as encrypted or not, so either enter a password to encrypt the save or select “No encryption” Connect to ThingWorx Click “Runtime” > “Connect…” A pop-up will appear asking if you want to load this project, click “Yes” The connection status should then appear in the bottom portion of the window where the logs are displayed Configure in ThingWorx Login to the ThingWorx Platform Under “Industrial Connections” a thing should appear which is named as indicated in the Kepware configuration step above Click to open this thing and save it Also create a new thing, a value stream for ingesting data from Kepware Create remote things in ThingWorx Import the provided entity into ThingWorx (should appear as a downloadable attachment to this post) Open the KepwareUtil thing and go to the services tab Run the AutoKepwareCreate service to generate remote things on the Platform Give the name of the stream created above so each thing has a place to store property information The IgnoreTemplate flag should be set to false. This allows for the service to create a thing template first, which is then passed to the remote devices. The only reason this would be set to true is if the devices need to be deleted and recreated, but the template does not (then set the flag to true). To delete the devices, use the AutoKepwareDelete service also provided on the KepwareUtil thing Note that the AutoKepwareCreate service is asynchronous, so once it is executed, close the window and check the script logs to see when it completes. The logs will look like: KepwareUtil AutoKepwareCreate task finished!!! Check status of remote things Once the things are created, they should automatically connect to the Platform Run the TotalDeviceByTemplateWithTemplate service to see if the things are connected The template given here could be the one created by the AutoKepwareCreate service, or just give it RemoteThings if this is a small local set-up without many remote things on it The number of devices will equal the number of devices per channel times the total number of channels, which in the test shown here, is 400 isConnected will be checked if all of the devices are connected without issue If some of them are not connected, verify in the logs if there are any errors and resolve those before moving on View Ingestion Rate Once the devices are created, their tags should show as numbers (NOT integers), and they should already be updating with new values every second To view the ingestion rate, run the KepwareUtil service AutoKepwareRateSummary Give the thing template name that is created by the AutoKepwareCreate service, which will look like the name of the Kepware thing itself with a “T-“ in the front The start time should be close to the current time, and the periodInMinutes should be large enough to include some of the test (periodInMinutes is used to calculate the end time within the service) Note in the results here that the Average Write Per Second is only 9975 wps, which is close but not exactly what we would expect. This means that there are properties not updating correctly, which requires us to look at the logs and restart some things. If nothing shows up here, despite the Total Connected Things showing correctly, then look at the type of the tags on one of the remote devices. The type must be NUMBER for the query within this service to work, and not INTEGER. If the type of the tags is incorrect, then the type of the tags within Kepware was probably given as something which is not interpreted as a number in ThingWorx. Ensure DWord is used for the tags in Kepware Within the script log, look for any devices which show errors as seen in the image below and restart them to get their properties updating correctly Once the ingestion rate equals what is expected (in the case of the test here, 10,000 wps), use the AutoKepwareIngestionStat service on the KepwareUtil thing to see details about each remote device The TimeGapAvg in this service represents the gap between two ingestions in milliseconds, showing any lag that may be present between Kepware and ThingWorx The TimeGapSTD shows the standard deviation of the time gap between two ingestions on any given thing, also indicating lag (the lower this number, the better) The StartTime and EndTime show the first and last timestamp observed in the ThingWorx database during the given duration The totalCount shows the total number of ingested records during the sampling cycle The StartValue and EndValue fields show the first and last value ingested into the tag during the given duration If the ingestion rate is working as expected, and the ramp function is actually sending an update on time (in this case, once each second), then the difference between the EndValue and StartValue should always be equal to the totalCount plus 1. If this doesn’t match up, then there may be data loss or something else wrong with the property updates, which will show as a checked box in the valueException column. It is not enough to ensure that the ingestion rate is correct, as sometimes the rate may fluctuate only by 1 or 2 wps and appear perfect, even while some data is lost. That is why it is important to ensure that there are no valueException boxes showing as checked in the test of the application. If none of these are marked as having failed, then the test was successful and this ingestion rate is acceptable for the application   This tutorial is a very basic way to simulate many remote devices ingesting data into the Platform. For this to be a true test of the application, the remote things created in this test will need to be given business logic tasks as well. The AutoKepwareCreate service can be modified to give any template (and not just RemoteThing) to the thing template which is created and subsequently passed into the demo devices. Likewise, the template itself can be created, and then manually modified to look like the actual remote device template in the application, before the rest of the things are created (using the IgnoreTemplate flag in the creation and deletion services, as discussed above).   Ensure that events are triggered as expected and that subscriptions to property updates are in place on the thing template before creating the demo things. Make use of the subsystem monitor to ensure that the event, value stream, and stream queues do not grow so large that the Platform cannot keep up with the requests (for details about tuning the stream and value stream processing subsystems, see PTC’s best practice documentation). Also be sure to load some of the mashups to see how they perform while the ingestion test is happening. This will test whether or not the ingestion rate and business logic of the application can function side by side without errors, data loss, or performance issues.
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Smoothing Large Data Sets Purpose In this post, learn how to smooth large data sources down into what can be rendered and processed more easily on Mashups. Note that the Time Series Chart  widget is limited to load 8,000 points (hard-coded). This is because rendering more points than this is almost never necessary or beneficial, given that the human eye can only discern so many points and the average monitor can only render so many pixels. Reducing large data sources through smoothing is a recommended best practice for ThingWorx, and for data analysis in general.   To show how this is done, there are sample entities provided which can be downloaded and imported into ThingWorx. These demonstrate the capacity of ThingWorx to reduce tens of thousands of data points based on a "smooth factor" live on Mashups, without much added load time required. The tutorial below steps through setting these entities up, including the code used to generate the dummy data.   Smoothing the Data on Mashups Create a Value Stream for storing the historical data. Create a Data Shape for use in the queries. The fields should be: TestProperty - NUMBER timestamp - DATETIME Create a Thing (TestChartCapacityThing) for simulating property updates and therefore Value Stream updates. There is one property: TestProperty - NUMBER - not persistent - logged The custom query service on this Thing (QueryNamedPropertyHistory) will have the logic for smoothing the data. Essentially, many points are averaged into one point, reducing the overall size, before the data is returned to the mashup. Unfortunately, there is no service built-in to do this (nothing OOTB service). The code is here (input parameters are to - DATETIME; from - DATETIME; SmoothFactor - INTEGER): // This is just for passing the property name into the query var infotable = Resources["InfoTableFunctions"].CreateInfoTable({infotableName: "NamedProperties"}); infotable.AddField({name: "name", baseType: "STRING"}); infotable.AddRow({name: "TestProperty"}); var queryResults = me.QueryNamedPropertyHistory({ maxItems: 9999999, endDate: to, propertyNames: infotable, startDate: from }); // This will be filled in below, based on the smoothing calculation var result = Resources["InfoTableFunctions"].CreateInfoTable({infotableName: "SmoothedQueryResults"}); result.AddField({name: "TestProperty", baseType: "NUMBER"}); result.AddField({name: "timestamp", baseType: "DATETIME"}); // If there is no smooth factor, then just return everything if(SmoothFactor === 0 || SmoothFactor === undefined || SmoothFactor === "") result = queryResults; else { // Increment by smooth factor for(var i = 0; i < queryResults.rows.length; i += SmoothFactor) { var sum = 0; var count = 0; // Increment by one to average all points in this interval for(var j = i; j < (i+SmoothFactor); j++) { if(j < queryResults.rows.length) if(j === i) { // First time set sum equal to first property value sum = queryResults.getRow(j).TestProperty; count++; } else { // All other times, add property values to first value sum += queryResults.getRow(j).TestProperty; count++; } } var average = sum / count; // Use count because the last interval may not equal smooth factor result.AddRow({TestProperty: average, timestamp: queryResults.getRow(i).timestamp}); } } Create a Timer for updating the property values on the Thing. The Timer should subscribe to itself, containing this code (ensure it is enabled as well): var now = new Date(); if(now.getMilliseconds() % 3 === 0) // Randomly reset the number to simulate outliers Things["TestChartCapacityThing"].TestProperty = Math.random()*100; else if(Things["TestChartCapacityThing"].TestProperty > 100) Things["TestChartCapacityThing"].TestProperty -= Math.random()*10; else Things["TestChartCapacityThing"].TestProperty += Math.random()*10; Don't forget to set the runAsUser in the Timer configuration. To generate many properties, set the updateRate to a small value, like 10 milliseconds. Disable the Timer after many thousands of properties are logged in the Value Stream. Create a Mashup for displaying the property data and capacity of the query to smooth the data. The Mashup should run the service created in step 4 on load. The service input comes from widgets on the mashup: Bindings: Place a Time Series Chart widget in the bottom of the Mashup layout. Bind the data from the query to the chart. View the Mashup. Note the difference in the data... All points in one minute: And a smooth factor of 10 in one minute: Note that the outliers still appear, and the peaks are much easier to see. With fewer points, trends become easier to spot and data is easier to understand. For monitoring the specific nature of the outliers, utilize alerts and other types of displays. Alternative forms of data reduction could involve using the mean of each interval (given by the smoothing factor) or the min or max, as needed for the specific use case. Display multiple types of these options for an even more detailed view. Remember, though, the more data needs to be processed, the slower the Mashup will load. As usual, ensure all mashups are load tested and that the number of end users per Mashup is considered during application design.
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Developing Great IoT Solutions Brought to you once again by your EDC team, find attached here a brand-new, comprehensive overview of ThingWorx best practices! This guide was crafted by combining all available feedback, from support cases to PTC Community threads, and tapping all internal resources. Let this guide serve to bridge the knowledge gaps ThingWorx developers most commonly see.    The Developing Great IoT Solutions (DGIS) Guide is a great way to inform both business and technically minded folks about the capabilities of the ThingWorx Platform. Learn how to design good solutions from a high-level, an overview designed specifically with the business audience in mind. Or, learn how to implement good IoT designs through a series of technical examples. Start from very little knowledge of the Platform and end up understanding data structures and aggregation, how to use the collection widget, and how to build a fully functional rules engine for sending and acknowledging alerts in ThingWorx.   For the more advanced among us, check out the Appendix. Find here a handy list of do's and don'ts surrounding ThingWorx best practice in development, with links to KCS, Help Center, and Community content.   Reinforce your understanding of the capabilities of the ThingWorx Platform with this guide, today!   A big thanks to all who were involved on this project! Happy developing!
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Setting Up the Azure Load Balancer with a ThingWorx High Availability Deployment Purpose In this post, one of PTC’s most experienced ThingWorx deployment architects, Desheng Xu, explains the steps to configure Azure Load Balancer with ThingWorx when deployed in a High Availability architectural model.   This approach has been used successfully on customer implementations for several ThingWorx 7.x and 8.x versions. However, with some of the improvements planned for ThingWorx High Availability architecture in the next major release, this best practice will likely change (so keep an eye out for updates to come).   Azure Load Balancer The overview article What is Azure Load Balancer? from Microsoft will give you a high-level understanding of load balancers in general, as well as the capabilities and limitations of Azure Load Balancer itself. For our purposes, we will leverage Azure Load Balancer's capability to manage incoming internet traffic to ThingWorx Platform virtual machine (VM) instances. This configuration is known as a Public Load Balancer.   Important Note: Different load balancers operate at different “layers” of the OSI Model. Azure Load Balancer operates at Layer 4 (Transport Layer) – it is indifferent to the specific TCP Payload. As a result, you must either configure both the front-end and back-end to work on SSL, or configure both of them to work on non-SSL communications. “SSL Termination” or “TLS Offload” is not supported by Azure Load Balancer.   Azure offers multiple different load balancing solutions. If you need some guidance on choosing the right one for you, I highly recommending reviewing the Microsoft DevBlog post Azure Load Balancing Solutions: A guide to help you choose the correct option.   High-Level Diagram: ThingWorx High Availability with Azure Load Balancer To keep this article focused, we will not go into the setup of ThingWorx in a High Availability architecture. It will be assumed that ThingWorx is working correctly and the ZooKeeper cluster is managing failover for the Platform instances as expected. For more details on setting up this configuration, the best place to start would be the High Availability Administrator’s Guide.   Planning In this installation, let's assume we have following plan (you will likely need to change these values for your own implementation): Azure Load Balancer will have a public facing domain name: edc.ptc.io Azure Load Balancer will have a public IP: 41.35.22.33 ThingWorx Platform VM instance 1 has a local computer name, like: vm1 ThingWorx Platform VM instance 2 has a local computer name, like: vm2   ThingWorx Preparation By default, the ThingWorx Platform provides a healthcheck end point at /Thingworx/Admin/HA/LeaderCheck , which can only be accessed with a credential configured in platform-settings.json : "HASettings": { "LoadBalancerBase64EncodedCredentials":"QWRtaW5pc3RyYXRvcjphZG1pbg==" } However, Azure Load Balancer does not permit this Health Check with a credential with current versions of ThingWorx. As a workaround, you can create a pings.jsp (using the attached JSP example code) in the Tomcat folder $CATALINA_HOME/webapps/docs . This workaround will no longer be needed in ThingWorx 8.5 and newer releases.   There are two lines that likely need to be modified to meet your situation: The hostname in final String probeURL (line 10) must match your end point domain name. It's edc.ptc.io in our example, don’t forget to replace this with your real hostname! You also need to add a line in your local hosts file and point this domain name to 127.0.0.1 . For example: 127.0.0.1 edc.ptc.io The credential in final String base64EncodedCredential (line 14) must match the credential configured in platform-settings.json. Additionally: Don't forget to make the JSP file accessible and executable by the user who starts Tomcat service for ThingWorx. These changes must be applied to both ThingWorx Platform VM instances. Tomcat needs to be configured to support SSL on a specific port. In this example, SSL will be enabled on port 8443. Please make sure similar configuration is included in $CATALINA_HOME/conf/server.xml <Connector protocol="org.apache.coyote.http11.Http11NioProtocol" port="8443" maxThreads="200" scheme="https" secure="true" SSLEnabled="true" keystoreFile="/opt/yourcertificate.pfx" keystorePass="dontguess" clientAuth="false" sslProtocol="TLS" keystoreType="PKCS12"/> The values in keystoreFile and keyStorePass will need to be changed for your implementation. While pkcs12 format is used in above example, you can use a different certificate formats, as long as it is supported by Tomcat (example: jks format). All other parameters, like maxThreads , are just examples - you should adjust them to meet your requirements.   How to Verify Before configuring the load balancer, verify that health check workaround is working as expected on both ThingWorx Platform instances. You can use following command to verify: curl -I https://edc.ptc.io:8443/docs/pings.jsp The expected result from active node should look like: HTTP/1.1 200 There will be three or more lines in output, depending on your instance configuration but you should be able to see the keyword: HTTP/1.1 200.   Expected result from passive node should look like: HTTP/1.1 503   Load Balancer Configuration Step 1: Select SKU Search for “load balancer” in the Azure market and select Load Balancer from Microsoft Verify the correct vendor before you create a Load Balancer. Step 2: Create load balancer To create a proper load balancer, make sure to read Microsoft’s What is Azure Load Balancer? overview to understand the differences between “basic” and “standard” SKU offerings. If your IT policy only requires SSL communication to the outside but doesn't require a SSL communication in a health probe, then the “basic” SKU should be adequate (not considering zone redundancy). You have to decide following parameters: Region Type (public or Internal) SKU (basic or standard) IP address Public IP address name Availability zone PTC cannot provide specific recommendations for these parameters – you will need to choose them based on your specific business needs, or consult Microsoft for available offerings in your region.   Step 3: Start to configure Once a load balancer is successfully created by Azure, You should be able to see:   Step 4: Confirm frontend IP Click frontend IP configuration at left side and you should be able to see public IP address configuration. Please make sure to register this IP with your domain name ( edc.ptc.io in our example) in your Domain Name Server (DNS). If you unfamiliar with DNS configuration, you should consult with the administrator of your DNS server. If you are using Azure DNS, this Quickstart article on creating Azure DNS Zones and records may help.   Step 5: Configure Backend pools Click Backend pools and click “Add” to add a backend pool definition. Select a name for your Backend pool (using ThingworxBackend in our example). Next step is to choose Virtual network.   Once you select Virtual network, then you can choose which VM (or VMs) you want to put behind this load balancer. The VM should be the ThingWorx VM instance.   In a high availability architecture, you will typically need to choose two instances to put behind this load balancer.   Please Note: The “Virtual machine status” column in this table only shows VM status, but not ThingWorx status. ThingWorx running status will be determined by the health probe configured in the next step.     Step 6: Configure Health Probe Health Probe will be used to determine the ThingWorx Platform’s running status. When a ThingWorx Platform instance is running as the leader, then it will give HTTP status code 200 during a health probe. The Azure Load Balancer will rely on this status code to determine if the platform is running properly.   When a ThingWorx platform VM is not responding, offline, or not the leader in a High Availability setup, then this health probe will provide response with a different HTTP status code other than 200.   For the health probe, select HTTPS for the protocol. In our example port 8443 is used, though another port can be selected if necessary. Then, provide the “/docs/pings.jsp” we created earlier as the probe’s path. You may need to change this path value if you put this file in a different location.   Step 7: Configure Load balancing rules. Select “Load balancing rules” from left side and click “Add”   Select TCP as protocol, in our example we are using 443 as front-end port and 8443 as back-end port. You can choose other port numbers if necessary.   Reminder: Azure Load Balancer is a layer 4 (Transport Layer) router – it cannot differentiate between HTTP or HTTPS requests. It will simply forward requests from front-end to back-end, based on port-forwarding rules defined.   Session persistence is not critical for current versions of ThingWorx as only one active node is currently permitted in a High Availability architecture. In the future, selecting Client IP may be required to support active-active architectures.   Step 8: Verify health probe Once you complete this configuration, you can go to the $CATALINA_HOME/logs folder and monitor latest local_access log. You should see similar entries as pictured below - HTTP 200 responses should be observed from the ThingWorx leader node, and HTTP 503 responses should be observed from the ThingWorx passive node. In the example below, 168.63.129.16 is the internal IP Address of the load balancer in the current region.   Step 9: Network Security Group rules to access Azure Load Balancer On its own, Azure Load Balancer does not have a network access policy – it simply forwards all requests to the back-end pool. Therefore, the appropriate Network Security Group associated with the backend resources within the resource group should have a policy to allow access to the destination port of the backend ThingWorx Foundation server (shown as 8443 here, for example). The following image displays an inbound security rule that will accept traffic from any source, and direct it to port 443 of the IP Address for the Azure Load Balancer.   Enjoy!! With the above settings, you should be able to access ThingWorx via: https://edc.ptc.io/Thingworx (replacing edc.ptc.io with the hostname you have selected).   Q&A Can I configure the health probe running on a port other than the traffic port (8443) in this case? Yes – if desired you can use a different port for the health probe configuration.   Can I use different protocol other than HTTPS for health probe? Yes – you can use different protocol in the health probe configuration, but you will need to develop your own functional equivalent to the pings.jsp example in this article for the protocol you choose.   Can I configure ZooKeeper to support the health probe? No – the purpose of the health probe is to inform the Load Balancer which node is providing service (the leader), not to select a leader. In a High Availability architecture, ZooKeeper determines which VM is the leader and talking with the database. This approach will change in future releases where multiple ThingWorx instances are actively processing requests.   How well does Azure Load Balancer scale? This question is best answered by Microsoft – as a starting point, we recommend reading the DevBlog post: Azure Load Balancing Solutions: A guide to help you choose the correct option.   How do I access logs for Azure Load Balancer? This question is best answered by Microsoft – as a starting point, we recommend reviewing the Microsoft article Azure Monitor logs for public Basic Load Balancer.   Do I need to configure specifically for Websocket and/or AlwaysOn communication? No – Azure Load Balancer is a Layer 4 (Transport Protocol) router - it only handles TCP traffic forwarding.   Can I leverage this load balancer to access all VMs behind it via ssh? Yes – you could configure Inbound NAT rules for this. If you require specific help in configuring this, the question is best answered by Microsoft. As a starting point, we recommend reviewing the Microsoft tutorial Configure port forwarding in Azure Load Balancer using the portal.   Can I view current health probe status on a portal? No – Unfortunately there is no current approach to do this with Azure Load Balancer.
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  The IoT Enterprise Deployment Center’s goal is to create and share knowledge around the best practices for architecting, designing, and deploying successful, enterprise-scale Thingworx IoT Solutions.    To accomplish this goal, the EDC team takes a “real world” approach, using simulated IoT assets and users to benchmark the capabilities of different Thingworx deployment configurations. First, each implementation is pushed to its limit in an effort to establish real-world baselines, metrics which can be used to help customers determine which architecture choices will work for their custom needs. Then, each implementation is pushed beyond its limits, providing useful insight into where and why things fail, and illuminating potential implementation changes which could push the boundaries further.   Through the simulations testing to come, the EDC will be publishing the resulting benchmarks for all to see! These benchmarks will include details on implementation goals and performance metrics for different stages of deployment. Additionally, best-practice articles which illustrate how to deploy the different architectural components (those referenced within the benchmarks) will also be posted, highlighting the optimal approach to integrating everything into the Thingworx platform.   Stay tuned to see more about just how versatile the ThingWorx Platform can be! We look forward to discussing these findings as they are published right here on the PTC Community. 
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