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IBM i 7.3 System Monitor Enhancements

August 17, 2016

System Monitor support was added to Navigator with the 7.2 release.  Navigator system monitors are similar to Management Central system monitors—they allow you to monitor a set of metrics in real time with the option to set thresholds and define actions to take when those thresholds are hit.  However, system monitor support in 7.2 had limited ability to visualize metrics.

With the 7.3 release, several enhancements have been made to system monitors in Navigator.

The most significant change is the ability to visualize the monitor metrics.  There is a new option, Visualize Monitor Data (Investigate Monitor Data --> All Metrics will do the same thing), which opens a tab that displays a graph for each of the metrics defined by the monitor.

The screen capture below shows the options to visualize monitor data when you right-click on an active system monitor.




The following screen capture is an example of what the visualize monitor data page looks like.  In my example, I had a single system monitor that included several metrics.  I customized my view to display the metrics in four columns to easily see all the graphs.  These graphs are updated in real time at each collection interval.




At the top of this window are several controls that allow you to customize this view.  These controls are:
  • Layout (columns).  The default view displays 2 graphs per column, but you can select 1 to 4 graphs per column. You can also rearrange the order of the graphs; simply click and hold on the graph heading and drag it change its position.  You can also collapse a graph by clicking on the graph heading.
  • Coordinate Scrolling.  This setting controls whether the graph scroll controls are independent for each graph or whether all graphs on the page scroll together.
  • Automatic Refresh.  This setting controls whether the graphs are automatically refreshed.  This control applies to all monitor metrics.  If you turn off automatic refresh, a refresh button can be used to manually refresh the graphs.
  • Show Thresholds. This setting controls whether the user-defined threshold value lines are displayed on the graphs.
When you hover over points in any of the graphs, a small pop-up window will show the value of the metric at that point in time.

There are drill-down options available from the Actions drop-down.  For each metric in your system monitor, there is a set of drill-down options.  These drill-downs allow you to display additional system monitor metrics, view the traditional Collection Services graphs using the performance data investigator, or view historical data.  The screen capture below shows an example of the drill-downs available from the system monitor metric CPU Utilization (Average).




In addition to visualize monitor data support, 7.3 was also enhanced with additional monitor metrics.  There is now a set of HTTP Server metrics as well as disk response times (read and write).

One final change for system monitors is the default collection interval for monitor data.  On 7.2, this default was 15 seconds, which is far too small (and can result in very large monitor collections).  With 7.3, the default collection interval is 60 seconds.  This default is also changed on 7.2 with PTFs; I’ll write more about the 7.2 collection interval in the next blog.

For those of you on 7.2, IBM is planning to make these system monitor enhancements available on the 7.2 release later this year.

Posted August 17, 2016 | Permalink

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