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IBM Systems Director Navigator for i Work Management Integration with Performance Tasks

February 8, 2011

In last week's blog on the features of the green screen “Work with Active Jobs” interface, there was a comment regarding the nice features of the graphical tools (System i Navigator or IBM Systems Director Navigator). I had written a prior blog on some of the “Cool Things with the Work Management GUI” that covered some additional function within the work management GUI. In that blog I wrote briefly about the enhanced integration between the Active Jobs GUI and the Performance GUI. 

I'd like to expand upon that...

Active Jobs (or WRKACTJOB on the green screen) is often the first place you should look if you want to have some basic understanding of the system's performance characteristics and how the work is running. If you discover some job that appears to be using a lot of system resources, whether CPU or I/O, you may want to dig deeper to understand more about what’s going on. 

In the 7.1 release, there’s much greater integration between the Active Jobs tasks and the Performance tasks that allows you to go from working with active jobs directly to analyzing performance data.

For my examples, you’ll notice I’ve customized the columns in my Active Jobs view–I added the metric “Disk I/O Count,” sorted on the CPU % column, and reordered the columns so that “CPU %” and “Disk I/O Count” were easy to see and include in my screen captures. This type of flexibility with the GUI is great to customize what you need to see.

I can see from Active Jobs that the job QZRCSRVS with current user dmmay (Hey! That's me!) had been using CPU, but also that it had been doing disk I/O. We can use this job as my example job for showing how you can get from an active job to the performance data for it. By clicking on the little arrow to the right of the job name, you bring up a pop-up menu of the options to work with that job; the performance tasks are nested under the performance option, as my screen capture (below) shows.

ICan Fig1 2.8.11

The performance options to work with Collection Services data are only available when Collection Services is active, which it should be as that’s the default behavior beginning in 6.1. When you select these options to work with performance data from the Active Jobs interface, the most recent Collection Services collection will be used.

If you select the option to Investigate Job Wait Data, you’ll go from the Active Jobs interface to a new tab in your Navigator session to display the Collection Services job wait data for the job. You’ll see something similar to the chart below.

Ican Fig2 2.8.11

But, in my example, the timeframe is too large and I want to focus in on the data at the current time.  I can do that by zooming in on the chart to display the data more closely.  (At some point, I'll also write more on how to use the Performance Data Investigator).

By zooming in on the performance data on the very right-hand side of the graph, I can see the Collection Services data in much more detail, and I discover that my job has been page faulting, see figure below.

ICan Fig3 2.8.11


With Collection Services data, you can't get more detail about why the job was page faulting. 

However, going back to the Active Jobs interface makes it easy for you to get the detailed data you need to investigate the problem further.

If you have the IBM Performance Tools licensed program product, option 3 (Job Watcher) installed, you will have the ability to start Job Watcher from the Active Jobs interface, again, under the Performance options for that job.

This will launch the Job Watcher wizard to lead you through starting a Job Watcher collection. Once you have the more detailed performance data you can get with Job Watcher, you can use the performance tasks to further investigate the data. Note, however, that you’ll need to reproduce the performance problem while Job Watcher is active in order to have the desired detailed data for analysis.

The steps I just went through were how you can get to performance data for one job by starting from Active Jobs.

You can also look at system wide performance data by starting with Active Jobs.  To do this, you don’t select any particular job to work with, but rather use the action pull-down to select the option to Investigate Jobs Wait Data (you can also Investigate Jobs Statistics Data as well). See figure below.

ICan Fig4 2.8.11

Displaying the Jobs Wait Data will display the Collection Services job wait data for all jobs, as the following screen capture shows.

ICan Fig5 2.8.11

 The Job(s) Wait Data show the details of what the job had been waiting on. Refer back to the blog on “i Can Tell You Why You're Waiting” for more information on waits.

The option to Investigate Jobs Statistics Data will present Collection Services jobs statistical data in table form, where you can search and sort, customize columns, etc., to work with the performance data in table form. By default, all columns are displayed in the table, and you must scroll right or left to display them. Just like any other table view in IBM Systems Director Navigator, you can customize which columns you want to see, the order in which the columns are displayed, as well as the sort order you want to use. By looking at Jobs Statistics Data, you’ll discover all sorts of job metrics in Collection Services that may be interesting for analysis purposes.

Posted February 8, 2011| Permalink