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i Can… Find All my Performance Collections in One Place

June 5, 2012

This week's blog was written by Lora Powell. Lora works on the IBM i Performance Tools team and is the lead for the Performance Tasks GUI in IBM Systems Director Navigator. Thanks, Lora.

If you are new to 6.1 or 7.1, you may not be aware that you can go to one place to see and work with all your performance collections.

When working with Performance Collections on 6.1 and beyond, some changes were made from previous releases. Along with the change in Performance Collection Tools to collect Job Watcher, Disk Watcher, Collection Services, and Performance Explorer data by the base operating system, an internal collection table was added to keep track of these collections on the system.

The Collections task gives you access into this table. To view and work with all the collections on a system, start with IBM Systems Director Navigator for i (hint: to start this, simply type in your Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox browser the following URL: http://systemName:2001 where “systemName” is replaced with the name of your system). Select Performance on the left-hand navigation pane. Then select the Collections task.



This brings up the Collection Manager list of all the collections found on your system, from all performance collectors, including both the management collection objects (*MGTCOL) as well as generated database files.


Here you can work with your collections using the GUI interfaces to the Copy, Delete, Save and Restore commands. Selecting Properties will display general and detail information about the collection. You can select action Create Data on a management collection object to create the collection services file based collection. You can also Convert performance data from a previous release to the format needed for processing by the current release. Selecting Investigate Data on a collection services file based collection, disk watcher, job watcher or PEX collection will bring up a default perspective displaying the data from the collection with one or more charts and tables.

The collection table (located in QUSRSYS/QAPMCCCNTB) is updated whenever new collections are generated, restored or deleted from the system using the performance collection tools commands: CRTPFRCOL, RSTPFRCOL, or DLTPFRCOL (xxxPFRCOL), or the GUI equivalents as discussed above. If however, a collection was restored from another system using the RSTOBJ or RSTLIB commands, or if the collector job was ended abnormally either due to system or subsystem ending immediately, the table will not be updated accordingly.

Likewise, if you use DLTLIB to remove a collection, the collection table will not be updated. The table information for collections will then be inconsistent with the actual collections that exist on the system.

If any of the above situations occur, you may notice this inconsistency when using Performance Data Investigator (Investigate Data task under Performance). The list in the collection name dropdown is populated by the collections found in the collection table, so it will only show the collections from the table.

The collection table can be rebuilt at any time to update it with the libraries and collections that exist on the system. To rebuild the table, from the Collections panel, use Select Action>Rebuild Collection Table.


This may take a few minutes. When complete, click on the Refresh button on the Collections panel. The Collection Manager list will now include any previously missing libraries and collections, and any collections that were deleted will no longer be shown.

To then use Performance Data Investigator with the updated collection table, close any previously opened Investigate Data tabs, and go back in to Investigate Data. The Collection Library dropdown will now be populated with all the collections that currently exist on the system.


Note that with the latest PTFs installed, you will see that the Collection Name dropdown list also shows the date and time that the collection was started. The default name of the collections generated by Collection Services is ‘Q’ plus the Julian data and time. Since this is difficult for most to translate into a “real” date, adding the human-readable format of the date and time stamp makes it easier to find the collection you are looking for.

For the latest PTF information affecting the Collection Manager and Performance Data Investigator, check out the developerWorks Technology Updates page recently launched under the Performance Tools category:



Posted June 5, 2012| Permalink