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Quickly identify performance problems using V5R2 Display Performance Data Graphics

The new graphics support displays graphs for such things as 5250 transaction count and total CPU utilization.

Starting with V5R2, the Performance Tools for iSeries provides graphical display of performance data contained in the performance database files (QAPMcccc) used by the various V5R2 5722-PT1 reports (such as the System and Component reports) and the 5250 workstation-based functions available with the Display Performance Data (DSPPFRDTA) command. This new graphical representation enables you to more quickly identify exceptionally high- or low-resource utilizations and compare several performance metrics during the same collection time period.

This graphics support displays line graphs for the following performance metrics:

  • (5250) Transaction Count
  • (5250) Transaction
  • Total CPU Utilization
  • Interactive CPU Utilization
  • Batch CPU Utilization
  • High Disk Utilization (identifies busiest disk arm and its utilization (per cent busy)
  • Machine Pool Faults per Second
  • User Pool Faults per Second
  • Total Exception CPU Utilization

You can also view the active jobs and microcode tasks during the collection period on one side of the window with the line graphs shown on the other side of the window. You can sequence the jobs and tasks being displayed according to specific columns of information.

From the graphics window you can also print the System, Component, Job, Pool, and Resources report and view the associated spool file.

If you're doing your own performance management and review of system resources, you should take advantage of this new tool as soon as your V5R2 system becomes operational.

There may be other non-IBM products that have similar functions to what we describe here under Display Performance Data Graphics, but the IBM tool is free in V5R2 if you've already purchased 5722-PT1 with a software subscription.

You still need the 5722-PT1 reports or the DSPPFRDTA 5250 workstation functions to review additional performance details, but this graphic support (which comes as an iSeries Navigator plug-in) speeds up much of your performance analysis.

We performed Display Performance Data Graphics successfully on performance database files created from the following:

  • V5R2 management collection object.
  • V5R1 management collection object restored on the V5R2 system using the Management Central Package function from a V5R1 system. No conversion to V5R2 format was required.

When we wrote this tip we had not yet been able to find V4R5 performance data to restore onto the V5R2 system. It should work, but at this time we cannot verify that Display Performance Data Graphics will work on V4R5 format performance data.

You can use this new graphical support in association with the iSeries Navigator Management Central system and job monitors (real-time graphical monitoring) and Graph History (longer term data collected over several Collection Services sets of performance data).

This tip provides overview information on the following:

  • Getting started with the plug-in
  • Selecting a set of collected performance data and using some of the possible functions (with an example window)
  • Summary of using the V5R2 Display Performance Data Graphics with other performance tools

Getting started with the Display Performance Data Graphics plug-in

Here's a summary of how to set up the plug-in with your iSeries Navigator session:

  • Install V5R2 Performance Tools for iSeries, licensed program 5722-PT. This product has been set up for V5R2 to be identified as a plug-in to V5R2 iSeries Navigator.
  • Install V5R2 iSeries Access for Windows, 5722-XE1 (and the latest service pack) on your PC workstation, selecting customized or full installation to include iSeries Navigator Configuration and Service component.
  • Start up V5R2 iSeries Navigator and connect to your V5R2 system that has the performance data you want to work with. When your iSeries Navigator session successfully signs on the first time (starting with V5R1 by default), you are presented with a list of products that have been configured to be optionally included as an iSeries Navigator plug-in. With V5R2, the Performance Tools are included in this list.
  • Follow the plug-in installation instructions. You may have to power down and power on your PC workstation to make the plug-in operational.

Note: The entire set of performance data files for a single performance data collection period of time is referenced by a "member name." This new interface not only enables you to graphically display a named set of performance data -- the member name -- but you can also use the interface to do the following:

  • List all performance data member names on the system and their associated collection object (if any) on the system.
  • Delete any of the performance data members that are listed.
  • Convert any of the listed performance data members to V5R2 format, if necessary.
  • Selecting a set of collected performance data

    As previously stated, the Display Performance Data Graphics support works on the set of QAPMccc performance database files. After signing on to a V5R2 system shown under My Connections there are two ways to display a list of performance database file member names on which you can select to perform the Display Performance Data Graphics functions on:

    1. Expand the Configuration and Services folder. Open (double click) the Collection Services folder. This brings up a list of all Management Central collection objects currently on the system. This includes all cycled status collection objects and, if Collection Services is active, the associated active status Management Central collection object. Right click any of these objects and select Performance Tools -> Performance Data. This will bring up the Performance Data window, showing a list of all performance database member names created from that collection object.
    2. Expand the Configuration and Services folder. Right click Collection Services and select Performance Tools -> Performance Data. This will bring up the Performance Data window that lists all performance database member names stored on the entire system. Figure 1 is an example showing all performance members on the system. You need to scroll to the right to see all the columns of information for each performance database member In this figure we show the right hand columns of information in the lower "sub window" as indicated by the arrow in the figure.

    Figure 1

    You can use the Refresh button to update the performance members shown. You can use this graphics support to display data for a currently active Collection Services collection object on your system, provided you specified "Create database files during collection" when starting the collection. If you select the associated member, you include the most recent collection interval (specified when starting Collection Services) as your end time.

    If you have been displaying graphs from this data for some time and want to update the graphs to include the latest collection interval, you must use the Refresh button as shown in Figure 1.

    Select the member name and click the Display button. This brings up the initial Performance Data Graphics window. In Figure 2 we show the first window, but we impose on top of the window both the Menu Bar Graphs drop down list showing all the supported graphs you can select from (all by default) and the View drop down list you can use to control the information shown in the right pane (defaults to all jobs and microcode tasks).

    Figure 2

    The initial time period shown in the graph is the start and end times of the performance data member. In the top area of this window you can change the start and end time values for the time period to be shown within the limits of the performance data member start and end times.

    You can also reorder the sorting of the job and tasks listed in the right pane by clicking your left mouse on a column heading. You can reorder the sequence of column information being displayed by selecting a column heading and dragging the column heading right or left.

    In Figure 3 we have changed the start and end time period to be shown and used the Update button to redisplay the graphic data. We also have already used the center scroll bar to show the total CPU utilization and Interactive (5250) job CPU utilization graphs on the same window.

    Figure 3

    You can see the contrast between total CPU utilization and the portion that is attributed to 5250 work. On a server with a low interactive CPW rating, the percent Interactive CPU utilization shown over a several minutes time span could be "normal" or an indicator of the system doing more interactive work than is supported by the Interactive Feature installed on the system.

    Our example does not indicate a problem, as the system used was from a non-LPAR 720-2064 with an interactive feature 1505 (interactive CPW of 1050).

    In the jobs/tasks right pane in our example, you can see that normal batch jobs, some ODBC database server jobs (Qzdasoinit), a single 5250 Telnet job (Qpadev00... .) were active along with various other system jobs and microcode tasks.

    Although we can't show all the optional ways you can control what you are viewing, here is a list of some of these controls:

    • Scroll up and down to view the various selected graphs in the left pane.
    • Change "From" and "To" time and date values (within the overall times and date stored in the performance data member name.
    • Deselect or Select the performance metric graphs included in the window (from the Graphics menu).
    • Select different views of information shown in the right pane, for example "All jobs," "Job Type, "Disk Unit" and more.
    • With the left mouse move a column heading (and associated data) to the right or left of another column of information.
    • Depending on the information shown in the right pane, re-order the sequence of information shown. For example, you can alternately display jobs in ascending or descending order of CPU utilization.
    • Each time you change the from and to time stamps and use the Update button to refresh the contents of the window, the summary information at the bottom of the window is also updated.

    Using the V5R2 Graphical Performance Data Display with other performance tools

    Users who will benefit from this tip are those who have their own "performance management staff" available to view and manage resource utilization on iSeries systems. If you do not plan to have staff available to do your own performance management functions, you should consider using IBM PM/400 to identify growth and peaks in computer resource utilization.

    Here are a few other performance tools you may want to consider when implementing your performance management methodology.

    Management Central Monitors
    Using the Management Central System monitor and Job monitor support, you can do the following:

    • Monitor real-time specific performance metrics and take automated action based upon a trigger threshold or reset occurrence.
    • View critical job details real time.
    • View up to the most recent 60 minutes of metric performance information.

    Using Management Central Graph History
    New in V5R1, Graph History support can be used on summary performance data generated either from running one or more system monitors consistently or running Collection Services:

    • Detect trends or peak periods of high resource utilization over a longer time period -- several months and years.
    • Not limited to one hour or single collection object set of performance data as system monitor performance data is.
    • Not normally used for real-time monitoring or automated action.
    • Not normally used for detailed job analysis, but could be used to determine when to use other tools.

    Using Graphical Display Performance Data
    New with V5R2, this support can be used to quickly identify performance critical time periods and associated job for a single collection of performance data:

    • Use before determining what other Performance Tools for iSeries, 5722-PT1, printed reports and time periods should be used for more detailed performance analysis. You can quickly see the times of high or low resource utilization, and the jobs active during those times -- without having to print several reports to identify corresponding information.
    • Graphical data can be "near-real time" (up to the previous collection interval) if used on an active Collection Services performance data collection. If you have been displaying graphs from this data for some time and want to update the graphs to include the latest collection interval, you must use the Refresh button as shown in Figure 1 and then select Display again.
    • Provides good job level summary information.
    • No real-time threshold monitoring or automated actions.

    Additional information
    The best place for additional information on Graphical Performance Data Display is the on-line help under iSeries Navigator.

    About the author: Jim Cook has worked at IBM Rochester for over 30 years in the areas of communications, performance and general OS/400 system interfaces. He has spent the last 10 years in the iSeries International Technical Support Center.

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