Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Adventures in TDW land

Tivoli Data Warehouse (TDW) is a very useful and powerful feature of the OMEGAMON suite and of Tivoli monitoring in general.  Each Tivoli monitoring solution from Linux, UNIX, Windows to z/OS connects to the Tivoli infrastructure and may optionally send information to the Tivoli Data Warehouse.

When you enable TDW history collection you specify many options, including what tables of information to collect, how often to collect, what agent types and managed systems to collect from, and if summarization/pruning is required.  While seemingly straightforward, each of these options has important considerations that may impact the usefulness of the resultant data being collected.

With many users there can be quite a few questions.  Where to begin?  What data should be collected?  How should the data be retained and for how long?  Where should the data be stored?  How is the data to be used and by what audiences?

Planning and analysis is important to a successful implementation of the TDW.  One approach that should be avoided is the 'turn it all on' strategy.  The turn it all on approach will inevitably result in the user collecting more data than is needed and this has multiple shortcomings.  First, unnecessary data collection wastes space and resources.  Second, unnecessary data collection makes it slower and more time consuming to retrieve information that is useful. 

As a general methodology, it is usually better to employ a start small, then work your way up approach to enabling TDW history collection.  You can always dynamically enable more collection options, but weeding out large quantities of useless data may be a time consuming exercise.

I will be doing a series of posts on TDW with the goal of documenting a best practices approach to enabling this portion of the tool. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Interested in IMS 12?

In June IBM will be performing a series of detailed technical webcasts with IMS 12 as the theme. The line-up is as follows:

June 26 - IMS 12
It still offers the lowest-cost-per-transaction and fastest DBMS, with significant enhancements to help modernize applications, enable interoperation and integration, streamline installation and management, and enable growth. These enhancements to IMS 12 can also positively impact your bottom line.

June 27 - IMS Enterprise Suite (including IMS Explorer)
These integration solutions and tooling, part of the IMS SOA Integration Suite, support open integration technologies that enable new application development and extend access to IMS transactions and data. New features further simplify IMS application development tasks, and enable them to interoperate outside the IMS environment.

June 28 - IMS Tools Solutions Packs
With all the tools needed to support IMS databases now together in one package, many new features are available. You can reorganize IMS databases only when needed, improve IMS application performance and resource utilization — with faster end-to-end analysis of IMS transactions.
There will be a question-and-answer session at the end of each days program. The teleconference series

There will be a question-and-answer session at the end of each days program.

These will will be detailed all day technical sessions.  If you are interested in attending, here's a link:

Friday, May 18, 2012

An interesting DB2 z/OS webcast

On June 12th there is an interesting webcast on what's new in DB2 z/OS and how it relates to using DB2 for operational analytics.  "New DB2 for z/OS capabilities elevate operational analytics on IBM System z" covers the latest innovations with DB2 for z/OS that will help deliver on the operational analytic requirements of  business. IBM experts will discuss new DB2 for z/OS capabilities that will help elevate analytic strategy on System z while reducing overhead.

It's a free webcast.  The event is June 12, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.  If you are interested,  here is a link:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Enabling the IMS Health Workspace in OMEGAMON IMS

OMEGAMON IMS V4.20 added quite a few new workspaces.  You may have noticed a new one called the IMS Health workspace.  This workspace tracks a lot of useful rate/workload counters on a single display, such as enqueue/dequeue rates, CPU rates,  I/O rates, and transaction queue depth.  It's a handy screen to track several useful counters from a single display. 

But what if when you go to the workspace you don't get any information?  There is probably a step you need to take to enable the workspace.  Ironically, in the RKLVLOG for the OMEGAMON IMS TEMA task you may see the following eyecatcher:


If you see this eyecatcher, just follow the instructions.  Add the member with the parm as shown in the eyecatcher, recycle the TEMA and you are in business.  Here's an example:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Using SOAP to retrieve history

I've done some prior posts on using the SOAP interface.  SOAP requests are usually used to retrieve real time data from the monitoring infrastructure.   SOAP can be used by a variety of Tivoli tools, and even technologies like System Automation may interface to Tivoli monitoring using SOAP.  What you may not know is that SOAP can also be used to retrieve historical data.

To retrieve history data via SOAP you would use the SOAP CT_GET request, and you need to use the tag (it must be set to “Y”).  There are some subtleties to this process, but it is interesting to be aware that you have the capability.

For an example and more detail here is a link:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A couple recent questions

I've had a couple questions come up recently on the blog recently. 

One question was about TACMD.    For those of you who are not familiar with TACMD,  it is a very powerful utility that you use to manage and configure your ITM monitoring infrastructure.  You have commands that allow you to change settings, import or export information (like workspace panels), customize situations and much more.  You can use TACMD to do things like create situations that you cannot create using the Tivoli Portal GUI interface alone.  So TACMD is very powerful, but you need to know what you are doing when you use it.

The questions was if there are any issues I'm aware of with TACMD on Windows Server 2008?  All I can say is I have not run into any issues with TACMD on Win 2008, but I'm just speaking from my own experience on that.

Another question was related to NetView support in the Tivoli Portal.  For those of you who do not know, NetView can connect to the Tivoli Portal and provides you with quite a bit of network information in the Portal. 

The question was is there a charge for the NetView interface?  The answer is no.  It is provided as part of the tool.   You just need to configure it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Take the new OMEGAMON for a test drive!

If you haven't had a chance to get your hands on the new OMEGAMON enhanced 3270 user interface, now may be your chance.  We will be doing a series of OMEGAMON V5.1 test drive events in the midwest this month.  It will be a chance for you to get hands on usage of the tool in a live z/OS environment.

 Here's the agenda for the events:

09:00 Registration & Breakfast
09:15 What’s New in OMEGAMON with Enhanced 3270 User Interface
10:00 Exploring OMEGAMON with hands-on Exercises on Live System z
Five Lab Test Drives at your choice:
e-3270 Intro, OM zOS v510, OM CICS v510, TEP, TEP-Advanced
11:45 Q&A, Feedback Summary
12:00 Lunch & Learn – Next Generation Performance Automation
13:00 Closing

The OMEGAMON test drives will happen in the following cities (with more likely to follow):

Chicago (at the IBM TEC center downtown)  -  May 8th
St Louis (at the IBM TEC center Hazelwood) - May 15th
Minneapolis (at the IBM office downtown)    -   May 23rd

Whether you are a current OMEGAMON customer or just want to learn more about OMEGAMON, feel free to attend.  The event is free and we will be providing lunch.  To attend, email my colleague Clifford Koch, or call (314)-409-2859.

Missing data from the WAREHOUSELOG table

The WAREHOUSELOG table is part of the Tivoli Data Warehouse (TDW) infrastructure.  It's function is to provide an ongoing log of activity into the TDW.  If data is being sent into the TDW, this log is supposed to maintain a history of what data, how much, and if there were any errors as part of the process.  It can be a useful source of information when trying to debug issues with data not making it into the TDW.

Well, with ITM 6.23 there is apparently a change in how this table may be created or used. As of ITM 6.23, there is a new variable KHD_WHLOG_ENABLE which enables/disables the creation of the warehouse log tables to save resources.  The variable default is set to No  (KHD_WHLOG_ENABLE = N ). 

So now the default as of ITM 6.23 is to not log warehouse activity.  This is a change from how the tool used to work (by the way, I'm not a big fan of changes to defaults that alter how a tool has worked for years).  So if you use TDW, and may on occasion need to look at the WAREHOUSELOG, you may want to double check this setting.

Here's a link to a technote on how this is set: