MPG Launches Web Interface for IBM i Performance Metrics
Published: October 18, 2011
by Alex Woodie
The IBM i server performance experts at Midrange Performance Group have created a new product that displays key IBM i performance metrics such as CPU, disk, and memory consumption in a graphical user interface. Called EXPO (short for Executive Performance Overview), the new offering uses color-coded graphics to quickly show managers how their IBM i server is running, and allows them to drill down into more detailed performance data to get to the root of potential problems.
MPG has been showing IBM i performance data in a Web browser for a few years now. According to MPG's Randy Watson, the first iteration of a Web interface in Performance Navigator was a simple HTML wrapper. "This gave us the ability to not only produce graphs but display the significant numbers behind the graphs and display them on the Web," he writes via email. "The Management Monthly Summary report was the first implementation. Based on customer feedback, executives really liked the format but wanted to see more time ranges."
The result of that work is EXPO, which provides executives with views of performance from today (the last 15 minute interval), yesterday, last week, the last month, and the last 12 months. For each time period, EXPO displays a graph that shows how one or more IBM i servers are performing in term of CPU, disk, and memory faults.
Color-coding of the graphs help managers quickly assess the health of their systems. For example, if a data point is highlighted in green, it's running fine. If it's yellow, it means it's approaching a threshold level. If it's highlighted in red, it means the threshold has been reached and action should be taken immediately.
By clicking on the graph, users can see the data behind the graph. They can see peak CPU utilization throughout the day, and view the top jobs running on the system. This allows users to ascertain what jobs were running when the system maxed out. A top 10 jobs report that tells the reader which jobs consumed the most resources by CPU, synchronous I/O, asynchronous I/O, logical I/O, and job faults.
IBM i performance is color-coded for quick reference in MPG's new EXPO software.
EXPO also provides some capacity planning functions by viewing the report for the last 12 months. According to MPG, this lets the user see what times of year are the busiest on the server. Users can also extrapolate with a single mouse click to see how performance trends will play out over the next 12 months.
There's also a disk library analysis function that lets the user dive deep into disk-related performance metrics. When the user clicks on the disk library analysis button, he can see which libraries are consuming the most space for a given length of time, and how that compares to historical figures. This allows the user to spot libraries that have alarming growth, MPG says.
EXPO is included as a component of Performance Navigator version 15.1. Other new features include a redesigned client menu in the Power Analytics, and a redesign of the Power Analytics Output interface. MPG also announced that a version of EXPO for AIX and other Unix operating systems will be made available with a spring 2012 release of its Unix performance software, Power Navigator.
EXPO is available only with the All-LPAR (unlimited number of logical partitions) edition of Performance Navigator. Pricing starts at $7,554 for a license to the All-LPAR version of PerfNav running on one system and one year of maintenance. Pricing for the same product for three or fewer LPARs is $5,154. For more information, see the vendor's website at www.mpginc.com.
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