Up to 1,000 partitions, capped vs. uncapped, processor pools, dynamic processor allocation, Capacity on Demand, Live Partition Mobility, multiple OSes, etc., etc. All of these are extremely valuable capabilities built into Power Systems and IBM i that help you get the most out of your investment. But does tracking their impact on your performance and utilization make it challenging to “stay on top” of what you should be planning for next? And then what do you do when a new processor technology is announced and you try to anticipate how it would impact your environment?
Performance Management (PM) for Power Systems is designed to help you with this. PM is an integrated data collector within IBM i that automatically and continuously collects utilization and performance data and subsequently makes it available for your use. The collected data is securely sent to IBM as part of the “call home” function built into your system as part of Electronic Service Agent or other “call home” facilities (e.g., the Service and Support Manager in IBM Systems Director with an HMC or FSM installed). The data is securely stored and graphed by IBM on a rolling 25-month basis.
The value? IBM constantly trends the data to identify growth patterns across many facets of the system. That growth is compared to available capacity at the partition, processor pool and total system level. In most cases, potential problems are flagged in advance...so that you have time to plan for what is needed before a crisis occurs. You can merge your collected data, with a few mouse clicks, with the IBM Systems Workload Estimator to “size” what additional resources to plan for next (e.g., a capacity on demand processor? POWER7+ ?).
The following figure is an example of how PM can show you a total system view, including available CoD processors.
Many of these functions (including the sizing function) are available for no additional charge as part of IBM i. (Support is also provided for AIX and Linux.) The more detailed graphs are available as part of an IBM Global Services offering. You can learn more about PM and how the detailed reports are packaged in your country at the IBM PM for Power Systems website.
I’d like to thank Van Sammons for writing this blog article. Van is part of the Performance Management for Power Systems team in IBM Global Technology Services. Thanks, Van!