Searching for the right tool? Look to the professionals

By | 2 minute read | December 17, 2019

When I needed to buy a new riding lawn mower recently, I looked to what the professionals were using. Each time I passed a trailer for a lawn service on my daily commute, I noted whether the mowers were green, red or some other color. Professionals use their tools on a daily basis and need the best, most reliable tool to get the job done. It’s true in lawn care, and it’s true in the IT industry.

IT infrastructure is foundational to any business, and server performance can therefore be critical. Your servers run your business, and slow performance impacts clients and employees. Proactively analyzing the performance data collected by your servers can help keep them running smoothly, day in and day out.

There’s a tool that IBM i specialists use to help IBM Power Systems clients analyze their server performance and get the most from their server investments: IBM iDoctor for IBM i.

iDoctor for IBM i enables the analysis and understanding of many aspects of performance on IBM i partitions. IBM technical specialists use it to improve clients’ server performance on a daily basis — and you can do the same. In recent weeks, we’ve used it to identify the root cause of application-level CPU and response time increases at a company in the health industry in the US, to optimize memory usage at a European logistics company, and to improve I/O subsystem performance at a bank in Asia. While other tools may have been available to use, iDoctor is the tool we turn to day after day.

iDoctor is a tool that can be used to collect and analyze a wide variety of performance data on IBM Power Systems servers. While its primary usage is on IBM i, it has support for analyzing data from IBM AIX, Linux, Hardware Management Console (HMC) and Virtual Input/Output Server (VIOS) partitions. The data ranges from high-level performance metrics that are collected 24×7 to low-level trace details that are typically collected manually for short periods of time. The tool has six main components:

  • Job Watcher
  • Collection Services Investigator
  • Disk Watcher
  • Plan Cache Analyzer
  • PEX Analyzer
  • Power Connections

iDoctor is developed by IBM Support, and you can buy it through IBM Systems Lab Services for Power Systems. To help you get up and running using iDoctor, the IBM i Lab Services performance team provides onsite classroom-style or custom training. While iDoctor is easy to install and start using, there’s a lot of depth to each of the tool’s components. Training allows you to maximize the benefit of the tool to you and your Power Systems servers. If you don’t already have iDoctor, you can request a trial license or we can provide no-cost temporary license keys as part of any Lab Services IBM i performance engagement.

For more information about purchasing iDoctor, or about services related to iDoctor, please contact us.

And if you are curious what color my new lawn tractor is, it’s green.