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IDMS Performance and Tuning
 

Review System Performance Objectives

 

If you are a user of CA-IDMS, do you know the current state of your system or systems? You already know that CA-IDMS systems must be inspected and interrogated to yield this information and that this process should be performed on a regular basis. However, once you have the information, it then requires someone to interpret its meaning and evaluate the true business impact.

This requires expert analysis and the consumption of your valuable staff resources in order for them to glean and collect the required information from the system. Many times, this process becomes a low priority because of the effort involved. Then, when you experience processing slowdowns or excessive resource consumption with these systems, you wish you had checked on its health more often.

The CA-IDMS processing environment requires periodic maintenance to attain a proper level of system performance. Questions a site should ask might include:

 

  • Are we meeting our service level goals?
    • Do we have realistic objectives?
    • Are our monitoring procedures effective?

 

  • Do our backend systems have adequate resources to effectively processing today’s transaction workload? What about tomorrows?
    • Do we have adequate resources, are they short or are they available?
    • Are selected resources "scarce", by design or due to application demand?
  • Do end-users comment about throughput or response time?
    • What can be done to improve throughput.
    • How does response time affecting performance?

 

  • Is my workload balanced between online and batch.
    • How can online transaction time be improved?
    • How can batch performance be improved?

 

  • Am I managing my company’s transactions / database volume growth.
    • What portions of my legacy databases are increasing in growth and why.
    • Does increased transaction rate relate to business growth or design function?

 

  • Does my company create cyclic processing?
    • My system is more critical at certain periods of the month / year.
    • Do online transactions "smother" my database in a non-timely arrival fashion?

Engagement Overview

Tiburon Technologies would enlist a senior staff consultant to conduct the review. This individual would have extensive experience in both CA-IDMS and application system performance tuning within the MVS-VSE-CMS operating system environment. He or she would, through interviews, system monitoring, and considerable analysis, determine those areas, which are the most likely candidates for improvement. A detailed written report for management would document each area with techniques for implementation and the expected payback. Areas researched include:

  • TECHNICAL ISSUES
    • Database design and condition
    • Application design efficiencies
    • CA-IDMS use and intensity
    • Operating system constraints
  • MANAGEMENT ISSUES
    • Staffing and organizational requirements
    • Level of existing education vs. required
  • OPERATIONAL ISSUES
    • User interaction and processing flow
CA-IDMS-DC/UCF systems can be interrogated via DCMT commands, along with numerous standard utility programs and reports, to most effectively understand what they are telling the user, one must first know what to look for. That is where the extended Tiburon staff can assist you. We provide diverse services for the CA-IDMS customer. Quality education courses for the programming staff in application development techniques to advanced database administration courses for the skilled DBA or new database administrator in training. These courses are offered onsite, at specified locations and via the Internet. They are all instructor led.

Performance Monitor Application reports contain valuable program execution detail, these are excellent in determining specific problem program issues. Performance Monitor Interval reports contain system execution detail information, these will be used to both rate and rank the DC/UCF systems overall throughput while also identifying any processing constraints of the operating system. If available we use them or equally valuable third party products and tools also.

Throughout this process, the assigned Tiburon Account Manager will participate in order to better position their self with the implementation of all recommendations.

Our Approach

There are two fundamental goals which hope to be achieved through the execution of the review:

1. To reduce operating costs by optimizing system performance,

and,

2. to establish an environment where this optimization can be sustained

There are a number of factors, which can influence total system performance and ultimately, affect the operating costs of the application. Generally, for a CA-IDMS shop, these factors fall into one of the following four categories:

  • Environmental architecture (hardware/software resources and configuration)
  • CA-IDMS-DC/UCF tuning
  • Physical database design and condition
  • Application design
The software environment and the IDMS Central is the foundation for delivering adequate application system performance now and in the future. The scope of a CA-IDMS Performance and Tuning review does include a detailed look at this aspect of the total system.
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APPLICATION

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DATABASE DESIGN

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CA-IDMS CENTRAL VERSION

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HARDWARE/SOFTWARE ENVIRONMENT

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The CA-IDMS central version, which manages access to the various databases, is equally important is the proper design and general condition of the physical database. A poorly designed database, or one that is in need of reorganization, can dramatically affect performance despite a stable environment.

In addition, future development plans, workload forecasts and business trends must be considered in order to project the demands that will be placed on the existing computing, database and application environment. These factors may be considered within the scope of our CA-IDMS Performance and Tuning Review. Typically, a static look is taken and the information analyzed to optimize the existing environment. The continued participation with a support agreement from Tiburon would insure our consultants see and evaluate future trends as they occur.

Our Deliverables

In order to take best advantage of the consulting resources time and availability the review will be executed in three distinct phases:

  • Data Collection
  • Analysis and Reporting
  • Implementation

Data Collection -- the site prior to the arrival of the Tiburon consultant will conduct this phase. Report output will be collected along with DC/UCF statistical output for the systems to be reviewed. If operating system or CA-IDMS monitoring tools are available that output as well will be requested for collection. This data is then sent to Tiburon for pre-evaluation to create a working plan for the next phase that of phase two. This is performed onsite with the sites staff participating in the review. Items reviewed in the Data Collection Phase are:

  • Resource usage evaluation and sizing of the following
    • Program pools
    • Storage pools
    • Buffer definitions and database mapping
    • Internal control blocks
    • Lock management
    • Teleprocessing definitions
    • Application database performance option
    • XA storage components
    • Physical database placement
    • MVS–VSE-CMS and CA-IDMS
    • CICS and CA-IDMS
If available, the CA-IDMS Performance Monitor will be used to gather information at peak periods and on any transactions, which are suspect. Numerous statistics will be collected by application relative to I/O, CPU utilization, wait times, and other metrics.

PRINT SPACE and IDMSDBAN utilities will also be used to collect and report database statistics on record activity, record fragmentation and overflow among others. The result of this phase will be a set of reports, which will be used as input to the next phase, analysis.

Analysis and Reporting -- during this phase the Tiburon senior staff consultant works closely with skilled Tiburon staff to further analyze all information and insure completeness prior to preparing a written report of their findings and technical recommendations.

In addition, he or she will interview IS management and staff to determine expectations and to evaluate CA-IDMS management and technical skills. From this exercise recommendations may be made for staffing or providing the appropriate education to enable local staff to effectively monitor and sustain the newly optimized environment. The report to be delivered will contain four major sections as follows:

1. CA-IDMS-DC/UCF Recommendations

2. Database Design Recommendations

3. Application Design or Interaction Recommendations

4. Organizational or Education Recommendations

This report is delivered to the sites management

Implementation -- The onsite phase performed by the Tiburon specialist will detail each technical recommendation to be included in the follow-up report. If needed a plan will be devised to implement them in a manner that will facilitate measuring the degree of improvement for each recommendation. It is likely that several changes can be implemented on the first day. These may require that the system be cycled to incorporate them. After the onsite phase is completed, future additional support is available via phone calls, the Tiburon User Website or with a Tiburon support agreement. Benefits of performing this work onsite with participation are:

 
  • Dedicated access to the vast experience of a CA-IDMS performance-tuning specialist.
  • An informal learning experience for the sites technical and database personnel
  • An implementation planning session with the Tiburon consultant to ensure the proper approach and installation of all recommendations
  • Management issue observations and their recommendations are discussed and documented in the follow-up report. This allows the site to review the various proposed and most cost effective alternatives.
  • A detailed report of recommendations with anticipated improvement to be implemented by the sites personnel.

    Contact: Martin Tarr
    Address: Tiburon Technologies
    Phone: (440) 808-8730
    Web: http://www.tiburontech.com/
    Email: tarr@tiburontech.com

 

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