When it comes to performance, AS400 is second to none. But what’s buried under the confetti is its archival performance management strategies. Built in the 1980s, the IBM evolutionary stem has been through ripples of technological remodeling. With RPG programmers adding new features every year, the AS400, along with being a sturdy machinery is now also a repository to 30-year-old data debris. And do you think these accumulated debris have zero effect on the machine’s performance?
Of course not. But you, as a CIO, would never be able to tell because there’s no visibility into the machine and hence, no yardstick to compare the current performance metrics with.
What is Performance Management?
Performance Management is a comprehensive solution that automates the collection, archival, and analysis of the AS400 performance data and formulates reports to help you & your IT team manage system resources, monitor performance metrics and evaluate current processes. It provides you with visibility, control, and automation of your applications, ensuring optimal performance and efficient use of resources.
Metrics to track
While the list of metrics-to-track may vary according to the circumstances and demands across different verticals, below, we have listed down some of the common ones:
Response time - Response time measures the performance of individual transactions on the AS400. When the system and its users interact at a pace that ensures that neither has to wait on the other, productivity soars, the cost of the work done on the computer tumbles, employees get more satisfaction from their work, and its quality tends to improve.
Disk Space – Every process running on the AS400 machinery takes up some disk space but the in-house team has little to negligible knowledge of the figures. With performance management, you get an estimation of disk space corresponding to the tasks, which aids the team to make better, informed decisions as they have the measure to analyze whether the disc is over or under-utilized.
Processing speed – Processing speed is the factor that determines how fast a process can occur in the AS400 system. Today, businesses are in a closed, dynamic system that requires all its components to adjust & innovate frequently. It is survival of the fittest, and low processing speed leading to delay in transactions, higher resolution time, etc. not only slows down the pace but also strikes a blow to the overall performance of the business.
Disadvantages of not having a Performance Management System for IBM i
Camouflaged Costs: Additional disk spaces, overburdening the system, the need to upgrade, etc. Are some of the genuine requirements in the IT industry but have you ever wondered if your machine really needs that? Or all it needs is better, optimized process flows that do not elevate the threshold metrics.
Misdiagnosed issues: A lack of visibility into the machine’s capabilities leads to a trial of assumption-based decisions. Not only does this incur an additional blow to the allocated fund but also might dent the overall performance of your AS400/iSeries.
Squeezed Degree of Freedom: A lack of visibility into the system shrinks the room of possibilities for future endeavors which in turn can make the AS400 stagnant in the course of an incessant technical evolution.
Downhill User-Experience: The scalability & agility of the system depends upon how it uses and allocates its resources. With no Performance Management to hold the AS400 accountable, the user experience is bound to go downhill. Users, on the other hand, would have no idea of what to expect and wouldn’t be able to spot cases of discrepancies.
Why isn’t the default IBM i Performance Management enough?
AS400/iSeries is one of the pioneers in the IT industry and has been constantly upgraded to meet contemporary trends. With add-ons being loaded time and again, the default performance management that came along with it isn’t enough to measure the precise capabilities of this evolved system. The in-built tracking system hasn’t been through the same uphill evolution as the AS400 machinery and was withdrawn from service on September 30, 2020. The basic functionalities allowed users to view, interrogate and report via a web browser. These attributes may have been adequate to track the performance thirty years back but now, they need a major update to keep pace with the dynamics of the “evolved AS400”. Hence, it is high time authorities re-evaluate, assess and compare their machines’ workload thresholds to the actual numbers in order to leverage the machine’s true potential.
What will you gain with a granular IBM i Performance Management System?
Use system to its full potential – AS400 and its domain-spanning capabilities is a deep-end to dive into and enterprises are seldom able to extricate the machine’s full potential. But with Performance Management for IBM i, enterprises can use the system to its limits, quite literally.
Reduce maintenance cost in the long run – With a Performance Management solution in place, the IT team and the concerned authorities have a transparent view into the machine and hence, will be able to allot resources more judiciously.
Process Optimization – When there’s visibility into the ‘whats & hows’ of the processes running on the AS400, they can then be crafted better, a.k.a optimized to meet the end goals more efficiently
Predictive Maintenance – With RPA bots handling the reins of IBM i performance management, organizations can utilize the perks of predictive maintenance which assists the IT team pre-determine the health of the in-house AS400 machinery.
Improved Planning – One of the major consequences of deploying IBM i Performance Management is improved decision making. Earlier organizations relied on human brains and a probability of hitting the right cause. But with efficient system monitoring, the involved actors get the opportunity to make informed, data-driven and fact-based decisions.
A simple yet effective line of approach is what we aim for. Below we have chalked out a holistic blueprint of the plan of action.
Assessment - An AS400 architect conducts a thorough assessment of the system & its threshold parameters. This is the first step towards establishing an efficient performance monitoring system.
Data Collection – Based on the assessment, we collate information and draw the links between the processes, their metrics and the system health.
Report Formulation – A detailed report is then formulated consisting of the threshold values for the metrics to be tracked, the existing bottlenecks and an assemblage of possible solutions via performance management. This serves as the standard comparison/reference chart for workflow monitoring in the future.
Analysis & Deployment - The comparison chart is then analyzed with the in-house IT team and after getting the final sign-off, we deploy a team to implement the tracking solution that resonates the best.
Support & Maintenance - User training sessions followed by real-time assistance from our team to keep the system tracking up and running. In addition to this, the team also handles bug fixes and documentation, post-deployment.
Why count on us?
Nalashaa has been in the IBM i ecosystem for over a decade now, helping enterprises across different verticals streamline workflows and optimize their AS400 for better performance. Our team of experts understands the system inside out and the patches of strain it comes with. Performance management is a viable solution to a number of challenges faced by enterprises today and if you’re one of them, our IBM i wizards can help you tame the wave.
Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an understanding of how we help businesses streamline their IBM i journey.
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