iCan Blog Archive

Several weeks ago I wrote about the latest enhancements to the Performance Data Investigator in Performance Data Investigator – Better than Ever. That article had the following paragraph:

Performance Reports
You now have the ability to generate performance reports from PDI. In the past, you could get text-based reports from the PT1 product, but these were difficult to analyze. The performance reports provide graphical views of the performance data and can be customized to report on the metrics that are important to you.

Note that this reporting feature is part of the latest Navigator for i Enhancements and you need to install the PTFs documented in that blog.

Let’s assume your manager wants a weekly update on the some key performance metrics for your IBM i partition from your peak timeframe. In this contrived scenario, we’ll say that is every Friday – we’ll pretend Friday is the busiest day for your business and there are some critical jobs that run each Friday night. Every Monday morning, your manager wants to review CPU utilization, page fault information, and disk performance information from that timeframe (he’s particularly concerned about several disk performance metrics since there have been ongoing concerns about disk performance). With the new reporting feature, you can easily create a report definition that contains the desired metrics. You can then generate that report every Monday morning by running the report over the Collection Services data from the prior Friday.

Let’s walk through how you do this.

Reports are found by expanding PerformanceAll TasksPerformance Data Reports. The best place to start with with Report Definitions.

When you select the Reports Definitions task, you will find three predefined report definitions. You can use one of these, or you can create your own report definition to select exactly what charts you want in your report.

The report definition is separate from the report itself. The report definition specifies what perspectives (a perspective is simply a chart or table) you want to include in the report. You can then use that report definition with a Collection Services collection to create the desired report.

For our scenario, we will create our own custom report definition that includes the metrics we are interested in. From the report definitions page, you select ActionsNewAdd Performance Data Report Definition.

This will bring up the page where you define your report. You give it a name and description, then use the Add button to chose the performance charts (perspectives) that will be contained within your report. When you are adding a perspective you get the same navigation tree you see when you use the Investigate Data task. You simply select the charts or tables you want included in your report.

In my example, we are using Collection Services data and we want the following charts:

  1. CPU Utilization and Waits Overview
  2. Page Faults → Page Faults Overview
  3. Disk → Disk Response Time → Detailed → Disk I/O Rates Overview – Detailed

For the Collection specified on the definition, we will let this default to Any in Any library since we want to specify the collection when we create the report.

In the Cover Page field, you can add whatever text you want displayed on the first page of the PDF.

The report definition properties look like the following:

After you have created your report definition, you can then run that report over the desired performance collection, using the ActionsCreate Performance Data Report, and when you do this, you have the ability to specify the collection over which the report will be run. In our contrived example, we would create the performance data report each Monday morning, selecting the Collection Services collection from the prior Friday.

In my example, I chose to generate my report as a PDF, which I can then share with others.

This reporting feature is extremely easy to use and very flexible. And you have it – it’s all part of Navigator for i; there is nothing for you to do except to make sure you have installed the latest PTFs required for Navigator.

Note that you must create the report manually as there is no ability to schedule the reports. There is an RFE requesting IBM add support to schedule the creation of the reports. If this is something important to you, please vote for the RFE.

Start using it today!

This blog post was edited for currency on March 17, 2020.

This blog post was originally published on IBMSystemsMag.com and is reproduced here by permission of IBM Systems Media.