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March 25, 2015

I’d like to thank Stacy Benfield for writing this blog. Stacy is a member of the Lab Services Performance team and was actively involved in the creation of the performance analysis workshop. Prior to joining the Lab Services performance team, Stacy was part of the IBM i development team, spending time on both the Work Management and Performance tools teams, most recently as the team leader of the Performance Data Investigator.

In the IBM i Performance Analysis Workshop, we reinforce the concept that many forces outside of system software or applications can influence the performance of your partition. These are typically configuration type details—anything from how you have the QPFRADJ (Performance Adjuster) system value set, to the amount of memory on your partition, to how you have your processors configured.

Now, because you are a savvy IBM i user, you know that bits of key performance related configuration details are scattered across several displays such as system values, hardware configuration, system status, various performance tools, etc.

But did you know………….While each of the above functions have their unique value, there is one interface, just a few clicks away, where you can get a quick “picture” of this relevant information (and more!). Collections Services takes a “snapshot” of key pieces of data at the beginning of every collection period and stores it in the QAPMCONF database file. Performance Data Investigator (PDI) then renders the file into an easy-to-read format. Let’s have a look.

Sign on to IBM Navigator for i, and use the following navigation path under IBM i Management:

Performance --> Investigate Data --> Collection Services --> Collection Services Database Files

Select QAPMCONF. Most likely you are interested in viewing the information from the partition you are currently running on, so you can leave the Collection Library with the default configured library (such as QPFRDATA) and Most Recent as the Collection Name. Click on the Display button. (Keep in mind, if you have Collection Services data stored on this partition from a different partition, if you select that particular library/collection, the panel shown will contain the information for the partition that the Collection Services data was collected on, and not the partition you are currently running on.)

I won’t take up real estate here to show you the entire window, so I will leave it up to you to check it out yourself!

Highlights include:

* System values settings such as QPFRADJ, QDYNTYSCD, QDYNPTYADJ, QPRCMLTTSK
* Physical environment characteristics such as Model, Type, Processor Feature Code, Serial Number, Version/Release
* Partition Memory and Hypervisor Memory
* System ASP Capacity, Permanent and Temporary Addresses Remaining
* Number of Installed Processors, On Demand, Virtual Processors, and Processor Units. Also, Shared Processor Pool characteristics
* Partition Count and Partition ID (ok, so maybe these are not direct influencers of performance, but a nice way to see them along with the other pertinent information)

Having this type of information, on a single user interface, provides a very efficient way to view the key characteristics of your environment, especially if you are someone who manages multiple partitions.
And, on a final thought, there is a lot of information presented when you click on the QAPMCONF database file. You may find that a subset of this information meets your needs. From any perspective in PDI Collection Services, you can toggle on/off “Show System Information” from the View menu:



The data shown here typically reflects the most interesting performance related details. Give it a try!
Happy Spring!

Posted March 25, 2015| Permalink

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