Saturday, August 23, 2014

DB2 Health Checks - Part 3

In parts one and two of this series on DB2 health checks, we discussed the importance of regularly checking the health of your DB2 subsystems and applications. We also looked at some of the issues involved in a health check including figuring out the scope of what is to be involved and some of the considerations to ponder as you approach assessing the health of your DB2 environment.

Of course, it is not really feasible to cover all of the components that you might need to address in your health checks in a series of posts in a blog. My true intent here is to get you to understand the importance of regularly checking DB2's health, instead of just plodding along and only making changes when someone complains!

But even though DB2 health checks are important and crucial to the on-going stability of your systems, they can be costly, time-consuming, and valid only for the point in time(s) that you review. But maybe there is something else you can do to attack this problem?

DB2 Offline Analysis
Instead of relying on outside experts to conduct your DB2 health checks you can instead rely on expert system software to provide a reliable, impartial analysis of your DB2 databases and applications. Such as solution is offered by Data Kinetics’ InnovizeIT Offline Analyzer for DB2 for z/OS.

How does InnovizeIT work? Well, similar to a  DB2 health check, the product deploys a two-step process to check the health of your DB2 databases and applications:
  1. Collect data about your DB2 environment and ship it to your personal computer
  2. Analyze the data and identify issues and potential problems
InnovizeIT is a planning and analysis tool that identifies mainframe DB2 bottleneck and performance degradation problems. DB2 performance and availability metadata is collected on the mainframe and downloaded to a Windows workstation. All of the analysis is performed offline, on the workstation, so there is no use of mainframe resources and no effect on mainframe performance.

Runing the analysis on a PC workstation instead of the mainframe is an important feature in today’s world of cost-cutting and resource management. Most organizations are looking for ways to reduce their mainframe MSU consumption and would not really look too kindly on a big analysis job consuming a lot of mainframe CPU to analyze your DB2 environment. PC resources are frequently idle during off hours, so it makes a lot of sense to run the analysis on those under-utilized resources.

The offline analysis process uses weighted analysis results with targeted and prioritized recommendations for fixing performance problems. The guided assistance InnovizeIT provides enables you to plan corrective actions and protect your budget regardless of static or dynamic SQL use, or variable workload processing.

The results of the analysis are categorized and reported using an easy-to-navigate GUI. You can scan and review the problems identified by the analysis all on your PC workstation. There is no need to go back and forth between the mainframe and the PC because all of the relevant information is captured to allow the DBA to review the results of the analysis. 

The information displayed is context-sensitive depending upon the issue you are investigating and the report you are viewing. You can combine performance metrics from your DB2 performance monitor to add more detail to the analysis and reports. And you can send all of the reports to a spreadsheet for posterity and distribution to all of the DB2 DBAs, developers and, indeed,  anyone interested.

DB2 health checking should be a standard component of your DB2 database management procedures. Regularly examining your DB2 environment for problematic issues makes good business sense because it can improve performance and reduce costs. And InnovizeIT for DB2 for z/OS is a useful and cost-effective mechanism for conducting regular health checks.

Consider taking a look at it today at

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