Dawn May is a leading authority on IBM i performance management, work management, systems management, and general system diagnostics. She has in-depth knowledge of the IBM i operating system developed through her distinguished career with IBM. A former IBMer, Dawn is now an independent consultant, assisting companies with system performance reviews and recommendations. She also teaches clients on the latest IBM i tools to enable them to get the most out of their IBM i systems. Dawn is the author of the "i Can" blog published by IBM Systems Magazine and a frequent speaker at local user group meetings and IBM i conferences around the world. You may contact Dawn by email at DawnMayiCan@outlook.com, find her on Twitter at @DawnMayiCan, connect with her on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dawnmay, or visit her website at dawnmayi.com.
January 17, 2022 Dawn May
Every complex system has limits, and computer systems are no different. During my work with clients over the years I’ve seen many shops push their systems as far as they can go until performance breaks down. The limits I encounter are generally numbers of things: How many objects can exist in a library? How many rows can be inserted into a table? How large can a file in the IFS be?
Typically, these limits are large and you may think you do not need to worry about them, especially after an upgrade. But as the workload on your system …Read more
November 15, 2021 Dawn May
Almost all IBM i shops use logical partitioning and have several partitions on a single Powerbox. There may be several IBM i partitions, VIOS partitions, and possibly AIX or Linux on Power partitions. Regardless of what type of operating system is running in the partition, the hypervisor collects performance metrics for all partitions. These performance metrics are always being collected, and you can allow a partition access to these performance metrics. In the case of IBM i, this physical system performance data can be gathered by Collection Services. IBM documents this feature in Collecting and displaying CPU utilization for all …Read more
September 13, 2021 Dawn May
Workload Groups appear to be a hidden gem of IBM i work management. In all my work with clients, I have only encountered one shop actively using workload groups. Introduced in 2010, they provide an additional control on CPU and can also be used to license software products to a fewer number of cores than are active on the partition.
Workload groups are very simple entities; you add a workload group with the Add Workload Group (ADDWLCGRP) command. You just need to give it a name and how many processor cores, called the processor limit, can be used …Read more
June 28, 2021 Dawn May
This is the second in a two-part series on how you can use the Performance Data Investigator (PDI) to investigate performance of Db2 for i. While the SQL Performance Center in Access Client Solutions is more commonly known than PDI, using both tools is a good way to analyze database performance.
In Part 1, I reviewed the Database content package, focusing on the charts for I/O reads and writes, SQL CPU utilization, and database locks. In this tech tip, I continue by reviewing the charts related to SQL Cursor and Native DB Opens as well as the SQL Performance …Read more
June 21, 2021 Dawn May
This is a two-part series on how to use the Performance Data Investigator (PDI) for investigating performance of Db2 for i. While the SQL Performance Center in Access Client Solutions is the tool of choice for Db2 performance analysis, there is valuable information that you can get from using PDI. PDI is often a useful starting point to help guide you in the correct direction when trying to identify performance issues. In my experience, PDI is under-utilized for Db2 investigation. For those not familiar with PDI, you may want to read the article, Getting Started with the Performance Data Investigator …Read more
May 17, 2021 Dawn May
In past articles about the Administration Runtime Expert, I mentioned that you install the ARE licensed program product on your central system, but I never documented steps on how you acquire the 5733-ARE program product. I apologize for this oversight since, as it turns out, obtaining ARE is not immediately obvious.
To get the 5733-ARE product, you must log into the IBM Support website and go to your Entitled Systems Support page. Under My Entitled Software, select Software Downloads. You need to select your system that is entitled to IBM software, the category of IBM i, and then …Read more
November 9, 2020 Dawn May
This fourth article in my series on using the Administration Runtime Expert (ARE) reviews how ARE is used to manage PTFs. This article assumes you have already learned the basics of how to use ARE from the prior articles.
PTF management with ARE features these key functions:
- Check your installed group PTF levels compared to the latest levels available from IBM
- Verify consistent PTF levels installed across multiple partitions
- Distribute PTF images to endpoint systems
- Optionally load and apply PTFs
The ARE Template Editor provides the interface to define your templates for PTF management.
Start by determining what type of …Read more
August 10, 2020 Dawn May
This third article in my series on using the Administration Runtime Expert (ARE) reviews how ARE can validate the attributes of your applications. This article assumes you have already learned the basics of how to use ARE from articles one and two.
There are an unlimited number of ways you can use ARE to validate application attributes. A few examples are:
- Verify application attributes on a single partition
- Verify application attributes are consistent across multiple partitions
- Verify application attributes in the test environment are the same as production
- Verify application authorities
When you are creating a template to validate …Read more
June 22, 2020 Dawn May
Using the Administration Runtime Expert (ARE) to validate system configuration settings is an easy way to confirm configuration values are set the way you want them to be. You can use ARE to ensure these system configuration settings are consistent across multiple IBM i partitions or to verify settings have not changed on an individual partition. In this second in a series of articles on ARE, we’ll walk through the steps to set up a basic template to validate system configuration settings.
The first step is to identify what system configuration attributes you want to make sure are consistent or …Read more
June 1, 2020 Dawn May
Business-critical applications must be up and running reliably without failure. When something unexpected occurs, you must identify the cause and correct it quickly. Whether you’re a developer launching a new application, enhancing an existing application, or maintaining a legacy application, or an administrator managing the infrastructure, we all want to find ways to make our jobs easier, and unexpected surprises are not fun. I expect the relentless push to do more with less is only going to intensify while the tolerance for failure keeps dropping. Yet identifying points of failure can be tricky as complexities scale.
IBM i offers a …Read more