Db2 Health Checks: How to Keep Your Mainframe in Good Condition
Checks are essential to keeping your mainframe in top-performing order
By Jacek Rafalak11/13/2019
Health checks are particularly vital for the maintenance of large and complex environments that rely on mainframe computers with a Db2 relational database. "For Db2, a health check involves an audit of the environment, which tends to be in constant stream because there is continual component migration and new apps are being installed. This means that the integrity and performance of the system may be compromised at some point and the environment may lose its recovery ability", explains Rafalak, who is an IBM Champion for Analytics.
Mainframe environments are designed to resist a prolonged period of maximum load without their work being affected, but for this to be possible, they must be healthy. There should be no bottlenecks or weak points.
Health checks are usually carried out on mainframe environment especially for Db2 databases, but they may also cover Db2 subsystems, hardware configuration and backup environment settings for disaster recovery.
Health checks bring tangible benefits, such as important savings and faster business processes. "Working with a branch of an international insurance company, we were able to extend its operating time by more than two hours per day, only because our analysis discovered that the disks needed to be replaced with faster models,” says Marcin Trzaskowski, Data Center Manager at Comarch. “This, in turn,made all processes that were dependent on data processing take much less time, which meant that the centers could be open longer."
Health Checks: How to Maintain Crucial Parameters
The performance of any computer environment, including one based on mainframe and Db2 subsystems, will deteriorate over time. At some point, its configuration will no longer be optimal. This may slow down the system, cause problems in untypical situations and cause the environment to fall short of the required application parameters laid down in the service level agreement. A health check involves monitoring the condition of the system, as well as its metrics, recovery ability, Db2 performance and database engine. The audit, however, isn’t limited to problem detection, but also offers relevant solutions, based on the best practices established by Comarch.
Health checks look into the system's memory, processor (CPU) and database configuration, and track long transactions, locks and many other parameters that give a good picture of system health. Based on such analysis, recommendations are drawn up on what is non-optimal and should be changed in the system.