TeamQuest Brings Capacity Planning Tool to OS/400 Server
November 9, 2004 Alex Woodie
TeamQuest announced last week that it is supporting OS/400 and z/OS servers with the latest release of its capacity planning tool and supporting software suite, Performance Software 9.2. With the announcement, TeamQuest becomes the only vendor to provide capacity planning and performance analysis capabilities across IBM‘s entire eServer line, and it supports other major platforms as well.
Since it was spun off from mainframe maker Unisys, in 1991, TeamQuest has always focused on providing performance analysis and capacity planning software. The company, based in Clear Lake, Iowa, brings in about $20 million a year and counts about 400 businesses as clients, including such big names as AT&T, Lockheed Martin, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as several large OS/400 shops.
TeamQuest has packaged its software into a four-piece suite called Performance Software. Included in the suite are the TeamQuest Model, TeamQuest View, TeamQuest On the Web, and TeamQuest Alert products, which can be used separately or deployed in unison. A fifth product, TeamQuest Manager, functions as a data collection agent and ships with the View and Web products (TeamQuest Model uses its own data collection methods).
If you’re looking for hardware capacity planning, performance prediction, and what-if analysis, check out the TeamQuest Model. This component gathers information related to CPU use, I/O use, and workloads, and lets users see how their applications would run on different hardware configurations. Results are output in Excel, where several graphs have been pre-configured. The software itself runs on Windows, Linux, or Solaris workstations, and it provides capacity planning for the complete range of iSeries and i5 hardware configurations, from the smallest iSeries Model 810 to the largest i5 Model 595, company officials say. With Performance Software 9.2, TeamQuest Model now supports OS/400 (i5/OS) and z/OS (OS/390) servers from IBM, in addition to previous support for Wintel servers, AIX, Solaris (on SPARC and X86), HP-UX, Tru64, IRIX, DYNIX/ptx, and Red Hat and SuSE Linux on either X86 or zSeries hardware.
To help users find performance bottlenecks and other problems in their application systems, there is the TeamQuest View product, which is what 99 percent of TeamQuest customers buy. This product makes use of some of the same hardware performance data analyzed in the TeamQuest Model, in addition to disk and memory use rates; it watches the system message log, too. TeamQuest View presents problem information in real-time and historical views, in addition to drill-down capabilities to help users correlate the cause and effect of performance problems. It lets users set thresholds and alarms to notify them of problems on monitored servers. TeamQuest View runs on Windows, Linux, and Unix workstations.
For remote performance management, there is TeamQuest On the Web. This product gathers hardware and application performance information and distributes it using a Web browser. TeamQuest On the Web can only monitor OS/400, z/OS, AIX, HP-UX, Tru64, and Windows systems; it doesn’t currently monitor Linux or Solaris systems.
TeamQuest Alert, which doesn’t support OS/400, lets users monitor hundreds of different servers from a single console and uses color and text indicators and alarms to show administrators how the systems are performing.
TeamQuest has developed a nice little collection of data collection agents that gather performance data for its four products, giving the suite applicability in a lot of different environments. In addition to the platform-specific agents mentioned above, specific agents have been developed for SAP R/3, Microsoft Exchange, HTTP servers, IBM’s WebSphere application server, the popular database management systems, and EMC Symmetrix storage arrays. With Performance Software Version 9.2, TeamQuest adds support for BEA WebLogic and virtual machines running under a VMWare ESX Server. Users can define their own agents.
Support for the iSeries is offered with the TeamQuest Model, View, and On the Web products; TeamQuest Alert is not supported with OS/400, and there are no current plans to do so. TeamQuest is offering iSeries shops two bundles, one that contains TeamQuest View and On the Web, and starts at $7,800, and another that adds TeamQuest Model to this mix, and starts at $12,000. Pricing is based on software tiers.
TeamQuest decided to support iSeries and zSeries when several of their “top 10” customers requested them to do so, says product manager Andy Crabb. Another factor influencing TeamQuest’s decision to get into the iSeries capacity planning business was that IBM and BMC no longer have an agreement whereby IBM distributes BMC’s capacity planning tools for iSeries with every new system it ships. “Since that agreement ended, it made sense for us to get into the market, now that IBM’s not bundling it with the new systems,” Crabb says.
The market for capacity planning tools is also growing among smaller businesses, Crabb says. While consolidation of servers due to mergers or acquisitions has been a major driver for TeamQuest products, small and midsized businesses that over- or under-buy on hardware are driving a need for more careful hardware planning, he says.
For more information on TeamQuest’s iSeries offerings, go to www.teamquest.com.