MPG Squeezes Entire IBM i Server Lineup Into Mobile App
September 9, 2014 Alex Woodie
If you sell IBM Power Systems hardware or are doing any kind of capacity planning on them for customers, Midrange Performance Group‘s new Power Systems Navigator might just be the must-have mobile app of the year. The free app lets you browse the entire library of Power Systems hardware and see the dirty details on each one. For $20 more, you get to compare the servers to your current one.
The new app, dubbed Power Systems Navigator by MPG, runs on iOS and contains a database of information about 1,802 different Power server configurations–basically every AS/400, iSeries, System i, and Power System server since the Power3 processor came out. That means you can see the CPW or rPerf rating for any machine that ever came out of Rochester, Minnesota (or wherever your machine was made).
The app is geared toward IBM sales people and IBM business partners, and is a good place to start a capacity planning engagement. The process starts when the user chooses a particular server to be the baseline server. The user can do this by searching through the entire catalog (which might take a bit of time). A better way is to use the search function to find the exact model and feature number of the user’s server.
Once you’ve established a particular server model (with detailed feature number and number of active cores) as a baseline, you can compare the performance of that server against all the other servers in the database. This provides apples-to-apples comparisons to see how a new machine stacks up against your old machine in terms of performance on a per-core basis.
With this information, you get a general idea of how your IBM i application might fit onto a new machine. If you’re only utilizing 50 percent of your 5,000 CPW, single-core Power 7 machines, then how does that compare to a Power7+ or Power8 machine? MPG has done all the math and comparisons for you.
MPG has also included an LPAR Core Calculator function, which allows the user to calculate the desired processor core setting based on the “Room for Growth” setting that the user specifies. This lets you assign some headroom into the comparisons.
“With the app, a user can set their system (for example, a Power5) as the baseline system, specify how many active cores they have, set the size of an LPAR, and set how busy their system is,” explains MPG’s Kathryn Camilli. “With just the baseline system and active cores set, the app will tell you how powerful another system is compared to that Power5, and also can tell you how powerful the same number of cores is, or how many cores it would take on this new system to equal the performance of your current system.”
The new app doesn’t undertake the same detailed analysis of historical performance information and make detailed recommendations like the company’s flagship Performance Navigator product does for Power Systems servers (or that the Power Navigator does for AIX machines). But it can give a general idea of how different generations and configurations of servers compare.
“The app does not require that the user has Performance Navigator or Power Navigator,” Camilli says. “These are useful tools if you need to figure out your feature code for your system in order to more quickly find it within the 1802 cataloged servers, but you could also just browse through them. Another tie-in is that to use the LPAR calculator, a customer would want to know how busy their system is, which is a statistic that Performance Navigator or Power Navigator can tell you.”
The new app is available on the Apple iTunes market for the iPad, the iPhone, and the iPod touch. MPG is thinking about an Android version, but currently there are no solid plans to deliver one. Yearly subscriptions cost $19.95. For more info, see www.mpg-inc.com.