Performance Numbers and the Redbook

(Originally posted 2008-05-23.)

So, I’m about to start writing. At last!

As a team we had a discussion yesterday about how to deal with performance numbers. One of the roles I’m playing on the team is “the guy who writes about performance numbers”. So we came to the following conclusions:

  • We really can’t talk about products made by other people – such as SAS/MXG or TMON for DB2. That’s right out – because of our basic provenance and sponsorship.
  • It’s not very helpful to customers to talk about eg Tivoli Performance Reporter (or whatever it’s called these days) much – as it’s not an assumed given. So it wouldn’t really help a SAS/MXG customer much if we talked about such stuff. Remember: This isn’t a Redbook about reporting tools. It is about how to manage Parallel Sysplex Performance. So we need to do that in a way that’s accessible to all customers.
  • It seems to us reasonable to have one or two examples of RMF Postprocessor reports: We do assume access to RMF or at least the SMF record types that RMF produces – and CMF does do a pretty good job of creating the same records (though there may be some differences). So we don’t think we’re disenfranchising anyone with that.
  • More than one or two RMF reports is unhelpful and makes the book unnecessarily turgid and besides it’s tough to format Postprocessor reports so they fit into a book page.
  • SMF record fields are canonical in that they’re high up the data flow chain. So we think it’s fine to mention them – so long as we do it in a way that makes them comprehensible.

Taking all that into account we propose the following approach:

  • Have a section that talks about performance numbers – including their sources and perhaps provenance. And in this section it’s OK to include a small number of RMF Postprocessor examples and maybe Omegamon XE for DB2 examples.
  • For each test run that we document to use the field name or some alias for it. We’re assuming at this point that you’ve read and understood the “performance numbers” chapter.

The aim at the end of the day is to have a Redbook that works for you. So I hope this structure works for you. If you have thoughts on it feel free to comment below. Or to email me or comment at me via Twitter. My handle there is “MartinPacker”. But you’ll probably have to follow me first and thus nudge me into following you. As I think I’ve said before, I’d like to use the new media – eg Twitter and this blog to make the creation of this Redbook a more interactive and responsive affair.

Published by Martin Packer

I'm a mainframe performance guy and have been for the past 35 years. But I play with lots of other technologies as well.

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