A hidden value for WLM tuners from OPM since August, 2012

I have run into a number of customer who have Optim Performance Manager (OPM) and who were unaware of a feature introduced in OPM 5.1.1.1 in August 2012 that provides an important value-add to people working with DB2 workload management.

Basically, in that release, a few important (to me :) enhancements were made:

  1. OPM began to capture more of the metrics from the DB2 statistics event monitor into the OPM repository, including several that are key for tuning/watching a WLM configuration
  2. OPM introduced a way to run native SQL against its repository using table functions
  3. OPM lifted the restriction against the existence of other, active DB2 statistic event monitors at the same time as OPM was collection statistics

With these changes, we can now leverage OPM to help us to do the work around the statistics event monitor mentioned in the WLM best practices by greatly simplifying the work for gathering and analyzing statistics for a workload management configuration.These statistics are very useful when understanding your workload, tuning your initial workload management configuration, and finally, setting up ongoing monitoring for your tuned configuration.

Now, instead of having to build infrastructure to manage the statistics event monitor yourself, OPM will handle all the details of event monitor management allowing you to simply set it and forget. OPM gathers, refines, and manages retention for the statistics collected in its repository. You then use the custom report facility in OPM to run SQL against the collected statistics in the repository.

Although it is not perfect by any means and a bit kludgy to interact with prior to the web interface introduced in OPM 5.3.1 (huzzah!), this feature lets you get straight to analyzing the statistics data without having to build infrastructrue or worry about managing the statistics event monitor on a daily basis.

The value of this simplicity is high enough that I actually got a couple of customers who had OPM but were not using it (for different reasons) to  enable and use just this one part (WLM statistics collection) of OPM on their production database in order to make the job of tuning and watching the WLM configuration over time much simpler. Made all our lives much easier and even helped "soften" some of the internal debates some were having on the value of OPM.

So... if you have OPM available and are thinking of introducing workload management into your database, then you seriously need to consider leveraging OPM even if just for this one capability.

(At a later time, I will see about posting some of the queries and analysis I typically do on WLM statistics and I will include OPM usage examples.)

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