Managing the data lifecycle
Today's entry is inspired by a recent Dilbert cartoon where the pointy-haired boss tells Dilbert that he needs to get better at anticipating problems. While we'd all like to see problems before they happen, we need a little help here, and inspiring words from the pointy-haired boss just doesn't cut it.
Today's DBAs have a lot of responsibility; arguably more than they have had in the past in terms of number of systems and the complexity of these systems. Most DBAs have implemented early detection mechanisms for production systems, but what about non-production or less-critical systems like development or test systems? These are often called "non-critical systems" until a severe issue occurs with them, and then they suddenly become critical because they are preventing new work from being implemented on schedule. Sometimes it may be difficult to justify the cost of robust monitoring software like DB2 Performance Expert, Tivoli OMEGAMON for DB2, or IBM Tivoli Monitoring for these labeled "less-critical" systems, so what's a pro-active DBA to do?
One solution is the Data Studio Administration Console (DSAC) . It is a no-charge offering with your data server license that supports DB2 for z/OS and DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows with an "at-a-glance" view to see the health and availability of these systems. It is not a full-blown performance monitor, but it does show several key indicators like whether the system is up/down, locking rates, resource utilization, etc.
In new news, although DSAC used to be the delivery vehicle for the Q Replication Dashboard, we have just made available a new and improved Q Replication Dashboard One of our Gold Consultants, Frank Fillmore, will be discussing this dashboard in a webcast (two sessions to accommodate different timezones) with IBM on September 15. Get the details from his blog.
With this change, you might be asking what other changes are in store for DSAC? You may have heard us talking about our next generation performance manager. It has a new architecture along with a web browser interface that will support DB2 and eventually other DBMSs. Once we roll out this performance manager (be sure to attend IOD to find out more), we plan to use this new architecture for the next release of DSAC. It will still provide the same high-level health and availability capabilities that DSAC 1.2 provides today, but the Web user interface will be refreshed and have consistency with our other Web UI offerings.
So, don't let the pointy-haired boss get you down the next time they ask you to anticipate problems better -- just smile, thank them for their leadership, and go take a look at DSAC to prevent those critical situations.
Thanks to those of you who responded to my previous blog asking for feedback on using Java on z/OS for your database tools. It was really helpful.
I need your help again.
We are having internal discussions about plans for the Data Studio administration console, a no-charge download that includes both a replication dashboard and high-level monitoring of database health and availability. It is the database health and availability monitor that I need your feedback on. I need to hear from both DB2 for LUW and DB2 for z/OS users, so don’t be shy!
If you aren’t familiar with the health and availability monitor, there's a good tutorial here. Just as a reminder, health and availability monitoring enables you to easily assess the high-level health of DB2 for LUW and DB2 for z/OS systems. It includes a health overview, which lets you look over a landscape of database servers, and a dashboard that lets you focus on a single server. In addition, there is a time slider that lets you view changes over time in both the dashboard and an alert history. Health and availability monitoring also includes quick analysis and suggests possible resolutions for many database server conditions and scenarios.
The intended purpose of the health and availability monitor is to serve as a first level, “at a glance” type monitor. It’s not intended to provide the deep diagnostics that a monitor like DB2 Performance Expert or Tivoli OMEGAMON XE Performance Expert for DB2 provides, but it can allow you to quickly glance over your systems and immediately spot whether one of your databases needs attention. Our thought that was customers would most likely want to use this in their test environments, as they may not want to invest heavily in monitoring non-production servers.
OK, so here are my questions (these aren’t formal survey-style questions, so feel free to improvise):
Please take a few minutes to dash off an email with as much information as you can. Don’t forget to tell us a bit about your environment and if and how that influences your answers. I really appreciate your help.
-- Bryan Smith