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.
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
March 23, 2020 Dawn May
The QMAXJOB system value specifies the maximum number of jobs that can exist on your IBM i partition. The default value is 163,520, with the valid range being 32,000 through 970,000. If you reach the maximum number of jobs as defined by this system value, very bad things can happen to your system. You can always sign on to the console as the system reserves one job table entry for the console, but if you hit the limit on the maximum number of jobs, you will not be able to start any new jobs. In the worst case, it will …Read more
October 14, 2019 Dawn May
Sending objects from one IBM i partition to another is a common task. Access Client Solutions’ IFS task makes it simple to copy or send objects. The IFS task was introduced in ACS in July 2016, so this is not a new development, but it may not be widely known.
Perhaps you need to send a save file to another IBM i partition. There are several ways to do this. FTP and Secure FTP are often used, but using FTP to transfer IBM i objects involves all sorts of complications. The IBM i Knowledge Center dedicates an entire section on …Read more
May 20, 2019 Dawn May
The IBM i operating system is extensively instrumented for diagnostic purposes to help IBM resolve issues should they arise. Instrumenting your application for diagnostics is also possible in a manner very similar to what IBM has done in the operating system.
STRTRC and the QTRC APIs
The operating system includes a trace facility called QTRC. This trace facility is a set of APIs (QTRC APIs) that allow you to instrument your application to collect trace data. This trace data can be whatever you may find helpful for debugging applications in a production environment, where using a debugger is …Read more
February 25, 2019 Dawn May
IBM i does a great job of logging information using messages. Messages are sent to message queues, the history log, as well as the job log. IBM i job logs can be very useful for identifying and resolving application issues. No other system has such a great logging facility for reviewing what happened in a job.
What if you need to debug an intermittent application problem? What if the symptom is a message logged to the job log? And what if there are hundreds of jobs where this message could be sent? There are a variety of ways you can …Read more
February 4, 2019 Dawn May
Here’s a good question: Why should you want to join a local user group?
You can communicate with colleagues via email or instant messages. A wide array of social networks, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others, provide a way to share information. Internet searches allow you to find documentation and articles. While the interconnected world provides access to large amounts of information, you also have to determine if the information you find is accurate. Of course, you can trust information from IBM web sites, but what about posts on social media? Are they always right? I’m sure you’ve heard …Read more
January 28, 2019 Dawn May
In Configure Collection Services, I reviewed how you can improve the configuration of Collection Services. In this tip, I’m going to demonstrate how to easily review your Collection Services data and understand your partition’s performance characteristics using the Health Indicators.
Navigator for i has a rich set of performance tasks, one of which is Investigate Data, also referred to as the Performance Data Investigator (PDI). The base operating system allows you to manage and visualize Collection Services data. The Performance tasks (and PDI) also support other types of performance data, but those graphical features require installing the Performance Tools …Read more