Inside BMC's database performance tools for DB2 for z/OS

BMC offers several tools to help DBAs manage and prevent critical performance issues in DB2 for z/OS, as well as monitoring options for other vital mainframe subsystems.

BMC Software offers a portfolio of database performance tools for DB2 for z/OS. These products span systems, database structures and SQL performance management.

BMC's MainView for DB2 Management suite includes the MainView performance monitor and the Pool Advisor buffer pool management tool. This database management suite can be used to monitor and manage critical performance characteristics of multiple DB2 systems as though they were a single platform.

A console that provides a summarized, single view of multiple systems enables users to analyze performance at specified intervals, making it possible to detect performance issues before problems occur. Users can set thresholds and review critical performance metrics such as lockout events, thread activity, DB2 and buffer pool statistics, and page set details. These database performance tools also let customers take advantage of dynamic, real-time recommendations for critical settings and parameters, including storage resource allocation, dynamic statement caching and memory usage in DB2's pools.

Since not every performance problem happens in real time, the MainView for DB2 Management suite offers in-depth historical reporting and analysis capabilities. This lets users review historical performance details, build analytical reports, and compare historical and current data.

The Pool Advisor for DB2 technology that's built into this suite of tools can proactively optimize DB2 pool performance, reacting to the changing memory needs of database applications as they run. Users can also collect and analyze data about buffer pool, environmental descriptor manager pool, dynamic statement caching, sort pool, relative identifier pool and group buffer pool usage. They can make decisions based on the data or allow the product to make recommendations for improving storage resource allocation, object configuration and DB2 parameter settings.

BMC also offers a full suite of infrastructure performance management tools, with MainView monitoring options for other significant mainframe subsystems including z/OS, WebSphere, CICS, Unix System Services and IMS. Customers can simplify performance management of their entire mainframe infrastructure using a console with a similar look and feel.

BMC's next-generation technology

BMC's Performance for DB2 Databases suite, which falls within the realm of database structural performance, consists of BMC DASD Manager and database utilities that use BMC's next-generation technology (NGT). This suite lets users monitor and remedy disorganized data structures and poorly allocated storage space. It can help database administrators to:

  • Efficiently gather and store database usage statistics to aid in understanding database defragmentation and storage usage.
  • Proactively control database maintenance by determining when a reorganization of tables or indexes is required.
  • Ensure that reorganizations are only performed where they will actually make a difference.
  • Perform reorganizations faster, with fewer resources and zero downtime.

One of the more advanced capabilities of the suite is the NGT Reorg for DB2 technology. This offering approaches the reorganization process differently than traditional reorg methods; it avoids unloading and sorting data and reduces overall CPU and elapsed runtime. NGT Reorg is designed for very large databases requiring 24/7 availability.

For SQL and application performance, BMC offers its Performance for DB2 SQL suite of tools. This suite consists of Apptune for monitoring SQL usage and performance and SQL Explorer for analyzing SQL access plans and recommending SQL coding changes. It also includes a web-based graphical user interface workbench for interacting with the SQL performance details and performance advisors that automatically suggest modification that can improve performance. The advisors included in this suite help to tune index usage and evaluate changes using multiple versions of a customer's workloads, instead of the typical single statement tuning.

BMC database performance tools' licensing, support

BMC's DB2 database performance management tools are sold as individual products or as suites. They are licensed based on the size of the machine or logical partition where those machines run. Pricing is based on IBM's measurement of Millions Service Units, or MSUs, where one MSU is roughly equivalent to six million mainframe instructions per second. BMC's 24/7 support is offered online and by phone.

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