Managing existing performance along with capacity planning are critical to both the near and long term success of an IT system in any business. However obstacles or challenges often present themselves to doing this properly.
Think about the challenges in managing utilization and growth in today’s Power Systems’ high function environment: dynamic processor allocation, rapid LPAR provisioning, processor pools, capped vs. uncapped partitions, dedicated vs. shared processors, active memory sharing, active memory expansion, live partition mobility, COD processors, multiple OS types, etc. It is challenging to keep track of the performance impact of this high function capability.
As a backdrop, you are trying to drive system utilization up and keep costs down. Just when you think you have a handle on performance or an optimal configuration, something changes (like a workload change, or new software release, or new hardware technology). Not only can this be confusing but it often makes it difficult to plan and budget for future system requirements.
What can help you manage in this environment?
IBM Performance Management (PM) for Power Systems is a dynamic, easy to use, performance and capacity planning function that is specifically designed to help address these types of challenges.
PM for Power Systems automates many of the functions associated with capacity planning and performance analysis automatically for the IBM POWER processor based systems running AIX, IBM i or Linux. It's simple, there's nothing that you need to do other than activate the function and periodically check that data is being collected and transmitted to IBM. You will then be provided secure Internet access to performance and capacity trend graphs indicating the utilization and growth of your system at a system wide level, processor pool level or partition level. This information can also be used to size future requirements, new applications or consolidation opportunities.
(Note: Total system and processor pool reporting available only for AIX and IBM i systems at this time.)
What do you receive with PM for Power Systems?
With PM for Power Systems, you receive capacity planning and performance analysis reports and graphs. Both no additional charge (summary level) and fee (detail level) offerings are available to provide a crisp picture of your current system's operating efficiencies. This includes IT environments from the more simple straightforward system implementations to a dynamic, multi-partitioned, multi-operating system environment.
Based on your system’s current utilization and growth trends, these reports will let you know when you should consider rectifying an approaching capacity problem. Ultimately, PM for Power Systems helps put you in control...as opposed to your system being in control of you.
Sizing future requirements
Based on your summarized PM for Power Systems data, you can easily size your system options for the future. For no additional charge and through the Internet, you have an option to merge your summarized historical utilization and growth data from all your system(s) using PM for Power Systems over to the IBM Systems Workload Estimator to get a preliminary recommendation on the system(s) you may need in the future to meet your growth requirements. Or you can use the tools to size what upgrades are needed to run IBM middleware applications like WebSphere and Domino or the impact of a server consolidation, new processor technology or a Capacity on Demand processor in your environment.
PM for Power Systems is available in both ‘no additional charge’ and ‘nominal charge’ options depending on the level of detail you wish to see on a routine basis. Some functions are common to both versions of the offering.
First, functions included in both offerings:
Graphs available on demand - PM for Power Systems graphs are available electronically where and when you need them through Web-based browser access, securely and privately. Note: You will require Adobe Acrobat to view or print.
Server information page - Summary performance and actionable icon’s for each system or LPAR you have elected to monitor with PM for Power Systems are all displayed on one screen. This allows you to view all your system information quickly for spotting problem areas as well as allowing you to easily access your entitled graphs and select the respective systems or LPARs you want to include in any upgrade sizing.
PM for Power Systems integration with IBM Systems Workload Estimator - As mentioned above on sizing future system requirements, your PM for Power Systems data for your system can be integrated with the IBM Systems Workload Estimator to help understand future system requirements or opportunities.
If your IBM POWER processor based system is using IBM Electronic Service Agent or a management console with the call home function enabled, you will have the benefit of these functions at no extra charge: PM for Power Systems Management Summary Graph: This graph provides a quick snapshot of your system's current utilization and growth trends. Updated monthly, this graph gives critical management information for average and peak average utilization for those partitions being monitored. The summary graphs are available ‘interactively’ meaning the user has access to the graphs for viewing and printing. The user may also select the timeframe for up to the previous 24 months that they would like to see graphed. This allows for easy comparison of a previous operating environment versus today.
Information graphed includes for IBM i: total processor utilization, interactive processor utilization and disk capacity utilization. For AIX: total processor utilization, file system capacity and disk system capacity. In all cases, the current utilization is shown and a projection, based on growth trends, is made on how many months remain for growth per the configuration of the system or partition.
The nominal charge report option is designed to provide you reporting on many facets of your system, not just those summary items in the ‘no additional charge’ option. In addition to the many detailed reports, the ‘Interactive Graphing’ function is enabled for many of the graphs thereby allowing you to ‘drill down’ to a more specific time period of interest. To learn more about the costs of the detailed report option, click on the contacts and follow the instructions for the country of choice. Depending upon country, the offering is available as an IBM Global Services stand alone offering or as part of an IBM premium services offering.
The detailed monthly report set includes:
These reports and graphs, available through an IBM Global Services fee offering, provide the detailed information you need to help clearly visualize the growth of your system, and to help diagnose existing performance problems.
For additional detail explanation, visit:
The PM for Power Systems Interactive Graphing function allows you to interactively customize the graphing of your performance data within one business day of receipt of your data at IBM. This function also allows you to drill backwards in time for up to 24 months, providing data has been collected and transmitted to IBM as part of the PM for Power Systems process. If you are subscribed to the detailed fee report option, you can also drill down (e.g. from monthly to daily to hourly) on many of the graphs.
This on demand, graphing flexibility is designed to provide the information you need for the time frames you deem necessary for helping effectively manage your system.
PM for Power Systems is an optional function that collects non-proprietary utilization and growth information from the system or partitions you elect to monitor. This automatic collection occurs on an ongoing basis. When activating the IBM Electronic Service Agent (ESA), the Hardware Management Console (HMC), the Flexible Systems Manager (FSM) or the Service and Support Manager function within IBM Systems Director, the customer elects whether they want to have their performance data routinely and automatically transmitted to IBM as part of the ‘call home’ function. IBM maintains a rolling 25 month history of your system’s utilization and growth information for graphing.
Customers are sent via email a unique partition ‘registration’ key for each of the partitions once the respective partition first transmits data to IBM. ‘Registration’ of the partition subsequently enables report viewing.
It is imperative that valid ‘contact information’ (i.e. a valid email address) be included and maintained as part of the set up process. This ensures that important information reaches you initially (e.g. as part of the registration key process) and subsequently, if needed. Please see the information on ‘contact information / registration key process’ here.
The customer is provided access to the collected data / reports created and maintained at IBM’s data center via their secure IBM Internet ID and password.
The PM for Power Systems data collectors are integrated into IBM i and AIX. For Linux, the collection code is shipped as part of the IBM Installation Toolkit v5.3 and later.
Please see the Getting Started – Requirements and Activation Steps tabs for additional information on PM for Power Systems set up for the respective operating systems.
Security features - precaution is taken at every step of the process.