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Intelligent and Automatic Resource Adjustments Based on Performance Goals

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Have you seen the commercials that show a system administrator relaxing by the ocean without a worry in the world? He is at ease because he knows that if his systems show signs of performance degradation, the systems will automatically correct themselves. Better yet, his systems will adapt to workload demands to alleviate performance problems before they arise. Could this actually happen in real life, or is this just a dream? Well, let me tell you that you can turn this dream into reality by implementing IBM's Enterprise Workload Manager (EWLM).

Each business has its own unique performance needs for the workloads that run in its IT environment. The degree to which workload performance is monitored can vary greatly from one IT environment to another. In some IT environments, it's sufficient to monitor the CPU-utilization threshold. In other IT environments, you might need to know if your online business transactions are completing within a two-second response time goal, regardless of the CPU-utilization threshold. You cannot guarantee that a specific performance goal is met simply based on the CPU-utilization level.

EWLM provides you with performance monitors and reports that identify the cause of performance problems. It allows you to define performance goals that are customized to your business needs. In addition, EWLM allows you to monitor specific workloads, according to different performance goals.

Based on the performance goals that you define for the workloads that run in your environment, EWLM will make automatic resource adjustments to ensure the goals are met. Table 1 outlines three main functions that EWLM offers to ensure that performance goals are met.

EWLM Capabilities
Function
Supported Operating Systems [See Note 1]
Description
Workload Performance Monitoring
AIX, HP-UX, i5/OS, Linux, Solaris, Windows, z/OS
EWLM monitors three specific types of workloads that you identify: application-level transaction, operating system processes, and partitions. EWLM compares the actual performance of the workload to the expected performance goal.
[See Note 1]
Partition Management
AIX, i5/OS, and Linux
EWLM controls the processing power allocated to partitions. It automatically adjusts the processing power among partitions in a partition workload group if a partition needs additional processing power.
Load Balancing
AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, and Windows
EWLM controls the distribution of incoming work to endpoint systems by sending workload weight distribution values to an external load balancer, such as the CISCO Content Switch Module. The load balancer uses EWLM's weight recommendations to distribute incoming work to endpoint systems in a manner that alleviates performance problems.
Note 1: To learn more about EWLM system requirements and specific EWLM functions supported on each operating system indicated, see Specified operating environments in the IBM Systems Software Information Center.


EWLM makes performance adjustments by using advanced algorithms to calculate precisely what adjustment needs to occur to either correct or avoid a performance problem. EWLM does not make automatic performance adjustments solely based on a general CPU-utilization threshold. But rather, EWLM's calculations measure the performance of specific workloads against unique and granular performance goals, such as an average response time goal of one second. For example, one workload may define a performance goal for IBM HTTP Server Web transactions that may differ from a workload that defines the performance goal for the IBM Universal Database DB2 transactions.

Based on the goals that you define for the workloads that run in your IT environment, EWLM will make performance adjustments to ensure the performance goals are met. These adjustments can be done by using EWLM partition management, EWLM load balancing, or both.

EWLM Partition Management

EWLM has the ability to move processing power from one partition to another. It enforces partition management capabilities only when it determines that a resource adjustment will benefit the workload's performance. Prior to making an adjustment, EWLM ensures that the adjustment will not hinder the performance of other workloads in the EWLM domain. To make processing power adjustments for a partition, the following conditions must be met:

  • Partitions are set up and configured as EWLM managed servers.
  • Partitions are members of the same partition workload group. See Figure 1.
  • EWLM partition management is enabled.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050600.png

Figure 1: This screen shot of the Hardware Management Console indicates how to define a partition in a partition workload group when you create a logical partition.

The Partition workload group field defines a group of partitions that have access to the same shared processor pool. Use the Hardware Management Console (HMC) to define a partition in a partition workload group. Partitions within a partition workload group must reside on the same physical system.

If EWLM determines that an adjustment is required because a partition needs additional processing power, EWLM will adhere to the following:

  • EWLM distributes processing power only between partitions in the same partition workload group.
  • EWLM will not exceed the partition's minimum or maximum processing unit values.
  • EWLM will use the partition weight if there is contention among partitions for processing power.

Figure 2 shows three partitions that belong to the same partition workload group. EWLM can move processing power from the shared processing pool to a partition in need. In this example, Partition C is experiencing performance problems, so EWLM will move one processing unit from the shared processing pool to Partition C to alleviate Partition C's performance problems.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050601.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: This figure is an example partition workload group that illustrates EWLM moving processing power to a partition in need of help.

Viewing EWLM Partition Management Details

If EWLM partition management is enabled, you can view the details of each partition in a partition workload group in the EWLM Control Center Web interface. See Figure 3.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050602.png

Figure 3: This screen shot shows the Partition Workload Group Details report.

The details report includes the number of processing units that each partition in the partition workload group can use. If EWLM makes a resource adjustment to a partition, EWLM will update the Processing units field in the Statistics section to reflect the change. This change is also reflected in the partition's properties when you view them in the HMC.

Also, within the Statistics section of the details report, you can view the weight value. EWLM calculates the weight value to determine an optimal number of processing units to assign to a partition based on the partition's workloads and the performance goal defined for the workloads. The weight value indicates which partitions are the most in need of additional processing power in order to meet workload performance goals. Weight values range from 1 to 255, where 255 indicates that the partition is the most in need of additional processing power. If the shared processing pool contains unused processing power, EWLM, via the partition's hypervisor, distributes the processing power to partitions in need, if necessary. EWLM distributes the available resources in the shared processing pool proportionally to the partition's weight if there is contention for resources.

The Statistics section contains CPU (processor) utilization information and transaction counts for each partition in the partition workload group. The Processor utilization value indicates the percentage of the partition's processor allocation (from the shared processor pool) that the partition is using. For example, partition1_AIX is using 6.08% of the nine (one virtual processor + eight physical processors) processors available for it to use. EWLM has adjusted the partition to .65 processing units but is not using all of the .65 units.

The Processor utilization distribution chart indicates what percentage of processing power consumed by the partition workload group is consumed by each specific partition. This chart allows you to see how the used processing power is distributed among the partitions. This is the reason that the processor utilization values in the Statistics section and the Processor utilization distribution chart may be different.

EWLM Load Balancing

A load balancer is an external device that distributes incoming work to endpoint systems to process. It contains a set of group members to which it routes the work. A load balancer group member can be for a particular application or for an entire system. EWLM load balancing is an optional function that allows EWLM to recommend optimal workload distributions for load balancers to use when they distribute the incoming work.

EWLM monitors and collects performance data for all of the members of the load balancer group that are also defined as EWLM managed servers. EWLM uses the managed server's performance history to forecast performance results. Then, EWLM aggregates the data and sends workload distribution recommendations to the load balancer in the form of weight values. EWLM gives each member a weight value that indicates the amount of work the member should receive.

If the member is an application-level member, EWLM determines if the application uses the Application Response Measurement (ARM) 4.0 standard APIs. Application group members that use ARM provide EWLM with the most detailed data to calculate workload weight recommendations, providing the most effective load-balancing calculations. If the application group member does not use these APIs, EWLM uses system-level performance data to calculate its weight recommendations.

Figure 4 shows an EWLM load-balancing environment. The environment includes the EWLM Control Center, which is hosted on the same system that is the EWLM domain manager. The EWLM domain manager communicates with the load balancer. The load balancer routes incoming work to endpoint systems (a.k.a. load balancer group members). These group members run on systems that are also configured to be EWLM managed servers. The load balancer routes the work to load balancer group members based on EWLM weight-distribution calculations.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050603.png

Figure 4: This figure shows an EWLM environment that uses an external load balancer to route incoming work to endpoint systems.

Viewing Load Balancing Details

To view the workload distribution recommendations that EWLM makes, you can view the load balancing details report. See Figure 5.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050604.png

Figure 5: This screen shot shows the Load balancer details report.

This report, which is available in the EWLM Control Center, includes each endpoint system that is a member of the load balancing group. View the weight value, in particular, to identify which members EWLM recommends routing more or less work to. A single weight value is relative to the weight values of other members in the same group. The higher the weight value, the more work EWLM is recommending to send to that member. The maximum EWLM weight value is 100.

Example Use of EWLM Partition Management

To gain a better understanding of how EWLM partition management capabilities can be utilized in an IT environment, let's examine an example environment. This environment contains a System i5 with two partitions. Partition A uses i5/OS, and Partition B uses AIX. Each partition contains separate workloads that have differing performance goals.

The following table provides details of this example environment:

Example EWLM Partition Management Environment
IBM System i5
Partition Name
Operating System
Processing Units
Capped
Workload
Peak Usage
Minimum
Entitled
Maximum
Partition A
i5/OS
.5
.75
1
No
System-level processes: i5/OS jobs
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Partition B
AIX
.5
.5
1
No
Application-level transactions: Online Web transactions
4 – 9 p.m.


Based on this environment, the following table describes specific components of an EWLM domain policy that incorporates the workloads described in the example environment. For EWLM to monitor system-level processes, the EWLM domain policy must contain a process class. For EWLM to monitor application-level transactions, the EWLM domain policy must contain transaction classes. These classes of the domain policy identify specific workloads for EWLM to monitor as well as what performance goal the workload is to be measured against.

Example Classes and Performance Goals for Specific Workloads

Performance Goal
Rules
Description
Transaction Classes



Online Web Transactions
95% average response time of 1 second
QueryString = =
WRorder="orderID%"
Transaction class for all online orders
Default Class
80% average response time of 2 seconds
(*) = = "(*)"
Transaction class for all other transactions processed by the Web application
Process Classes



i5/OS jobs
Velocity: Fastest
EWLM:Hostname = = "example.i5os2.com"

AND

User goup == "Admin"

AND

Accounting code ==
"Admin"
Process class for all i5/OS system-level jobs that run on a specific host name and subsystem that use the Admin job name


In this example environment, EWLM has two key workloads to monitor. The first workload includes online Web transactions that occur when a customer makes a purchasing order. The second workload contains i5/OS jobs. Both workloads are critical because you want to ensure a quick response time for online business transactions. In addition, i5/OS jobs must process in a timely manner to avoid development delays.

The rules in the domain policy indicate how EWLM is to identify these two types of workloads. In addition, each workload is given a separate performance goal. Note that the Web transactions also have a default transaction class and performance goal.

Within this environment, EWLM can ensure that these specific performance goals are met by adjusting the processing power among the partitions when necessary. EWLM may need to adjust the processing power between Partition A and Partition B during peak workloads or at any given time throughout the day to ensure that each workload's performance goals are met.

Existing tools can adjust system resources based on CPU-utilization thresholds, but what if the CPU usage is at an acceptable level but your specific performance goals are not met? This is when EWLM is extremely useful because it makes adjustments that can align with your business goals rather than general CPU-utilization thresholds.

Net Solution Is IBM's Enterprise Workload Manager

IBM's EWLM provides robust performance management capabilities. First, EWLM can monitor workloads according to specific performance goals that you define. Then, EWLM reports to you the degree to which the performance goal is or is not met. Second, EWLM can adjust processing power among partitions to ensure that the partitions' workloads meet their performance goals. Third, EWLM communicates with external load balancers to ensure that the load balancer routes incoming work to endpoint systems appropriately. These EWLM functions use advanced algorithms to calculate precisely what processing power or workload distribution adjustments to make without hindering the performance of other work in the domain—all of which enables you to relax with ease, knowing that EWLM is managing your systems' performance.

For more information on EWLM and the functions described in this article, see the following Web sites:

EWLM topic collection in the IBM Systems Software Information Center
IBM Systems Software Information Center

Connie Cradick, a Staff Software Engineer at IBM, is the information development lead for Enterprise Workload Manager (EWLM) and is an IBM patent owner. She works with development and conducts usability tests to ensure that the user interfaces and documentation are user-friendly, clear, and concise. She has robust experience designing and documenting the IBM Virtualization Engine's EWLM. Prior to EWLM, she obtained extensive experience with i5/OS system values, i5/OS work management, and various job schedulers.

Connie joined IBM in 2000 and received her Bachelor of Science degree with summa cum laude honors from the University of Minnesota. You can contact Connie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Have you seen the commercials that show a system administrator relaxing by the ocean without a worry in the world? He is at ease because he knows that if his systems show signs of performance degradation, the systems will automatically correct themselves. Better yet, his systems will adapt to workload demands to alleviate performance problems before they arise. Could this actually happen in real life, or is this just a dream? Well, let me tell you that you can turn this dream into reality by implementing IBM's Enterprise Workload Manager (EWLM).

Each business has its own unique performance needs for the workloads that run in its IT environment. The degree to which workload performance is monitored can vary greatly from one IT environment to another. In some IT environments, it's sufficient to monitor the CPU-utilization threshold. In other IT environments, you might need to know if your online business transactions are completing within a two-second response time goal, regardless of the CPU-utilization threshold. You cannot guarantee that a specific performance goal is met simply based on the CPU-utilization level.

EWLM provides you with performance monitors and reports that identify the cause of performance problems. It allows you to define performance goals that are customized to your business needs. In addition, EWLM allows you to monitor specific workloads, according to different performance goals.

Based on the performance goals that you define for the workloads that run in your environment, EWLM will make automatic resource adjustments to ensure the goals are met. Table 1 outlines three main functions that EWLM offers to ensure that performance goals are met.

EWLM Capabilities
Function
Supported Operating Systems [See Note 1]
Description
Workload Performance Monitoring
AIX, HP-UX, i5/OS, Linux, Solaris, Windows, z/OS
EWLM monitors three specific types of workloads that you identify: application-level transaction, operating system processes, and partitions. EWLM compares the actual performance of the workload to the expected performance goal.
[See Note 1]
Partition Management
AIX, i5/OS, and Linux
EWLM controls the processing power allocated to partitions. It automatically adjusts the processing power among partitions in a partition workload group if a partition needs additional processing power.
Load Balancing
AIX, HP-UX, Linux, Solaris, and Windows
EWLM controls the distribution of incoming work to endpoint systems by sending workload weight distribution values to an external load balancer, such as the CISCO Content Switch Module. The load balancer uses EWLM's weight recommendations to distribute incoming work to endpoint systems in a manner that alleviates performance problems.
Note 1: To learn more about EWLM system requirements and specific EWLM functions supported on each operating system indicated, see Specified operating environments in the IBM Systems Software Information Center.


EWLM makes performance adjustments by using advanced algorithms to calculate precisely what adjustment needs to occur to either correct or avoid a performance problem. EWLM does not make automatic performance adjustments solely based on a general CPU-utilization threshold. But rather, EWLM's calculations measure the performance of specific workloads against unique and granular performance goals, such as an average response time goal of one second. For example, one workload may define a performance goal for IBM HTTP Server Web transactions that may differ from a workload that defines the performance goal for the IBM Universal Database DB2 transactions.

Based on the goals that you define for the workloads that run in your IT environment, EWLM will make performance adjustments to ensure the performance goals are met. These adjustments can be done by using EWLM partition management, EWLM load balancing, or both.

EWLM Partition Management

EWLM has the ability to move processing power from one partition to another. It enforces partition management capabilities only when it determines that a resource adjustment will benefit the workload's performance. Prior to making an adjustment, EWLM ensures that the adjustment will not hinder the performance of other workloads in the EWLM domain. To make processing power adjustments for a partition, the following conditions must be met:

  • Partitions are set up and configured as EWLM managed servers.
  • Partitions are members of the same partition workload group. See Figure 1.
  • EWLM partition management is enabled.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050600.png

Figure 1: This screen shot of the Hardware Management Console indicates how to define a partition in a partition workload group when you create a logical partition.

The Partition workload group field defines a group of partitions that have access to the same shared processor pool. Use the Hardware Management Console (HMC) to define a partition in a partition workload group. Partitions within a partition workload group must reside on the same physical system.

If EWLM determines that an adjustment is required because a partition needs additional processing power, EWLM will adhere to the following:

  • EWLM distributes processing power only between partitions in the same partition workload group.
  • EWLM will not exceed the partition's minimum or maximum processing unit values.
  • EWLM will use the partition weight if there is contention among partitions for processing power.

Figure 2 shows three partitions that belong to the same partition workload group. EWLM can move processing power from the shared processing pool to a partition in need. In this example, Partition C is experiencing performance problems, so EWLM will move one processing unit from the shared processing pool to Partition C to alleviate Partition C's performance problems.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050601.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2: This figure is an example partition workload group that illustrates EWLM moving processing power to a partition in need of help.

Viewing EWLM Partition Management Details

If EWLM partition management is enabled, you can view the details of each partition in a partition workload group in the EWLM Control Center Web interface. See Figure 3.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050602.png

Figure 3: This screen shot shows the Partition Workload Group Details report.

The details report includes the number of processing units that each partition in the partition workload group can use. If EWLM makes a resource adjustment to a partition, EWLM will update the Processing units field in the Statistics section to reflect the change. This change is also reflected in the partition's properties when you view them in the HMC.

Also, within the Statistics section of the details report, you can view the weight value. EWLM calculates the weight value to determine an optimal number of processing units to assign to a partition based on the partition's workloads and the performance goal defined for the workloads. The weight value indicates which partitions are the most in need of additional processing power in order to meet workload performance goals. Weight values range from 1 to 255, where 255 indicates that the partition is the most in need of additional processing power. If the shared processing pool contains unused processing power, EWLM, via the partition's hypervisor, distributes the processing power to partitions in need, if necessary. EWLM distributes the available resources in the shared processing pool proportionally to the partition's weight if there is contention for resources.

The Statistics section contains CPU (processor) utilization information and transaction counts for each partition in the partition workload group. The Processor utilization value indicates the percentage of the partition's processor allocation (from the shared processor pool) that the partition is using. For example, partition1_AIX is using 6.08% of the nine (one virtual processor + eight physical processors) processors available for it to use. EWLM has adjusted the partition to .65 processing units but is not using all of the .65 units.

The Processor utilization distribution chart indicates what percentage of processing power consumed by the partition workload group is consumed by each specific partition. This chart allows you to see how the used processing power is distributed among the partitions. This is the reason that the processor utilization values in the Statistics section and the Processor utilization distribution chart may be different.

EWLM Load Balancing

A load balancer is an external device that distributes incoming work to endpoint systems to process. It contains a set of group members to which it routes the work. A load balancer group member can be for a particular application or for an entire system. EWLM load balancing is an optional function that allows EWLM to recommend optimal workload distributions for load balancers to use when they distribute the incoming work.

EWLM monitors and collects performance data for all of the members of the load balancer group that are also defined as EWLM managed servers. EWLM uses the managed server's performance history to forecast performance results. Then, EWLM aggregates the data and sends workload distribution recommendations to the load balancer in the form of weight values. EWLM gives each member a weight value that indicates the amount of work the member should receive.

If the member is an application-level member, EWLM determines if the application uses the Application Response Measurement (ARM) 4.0 standard APIs. Application group members that use ARM provide EWLM with the most detailed data to calculate workload weight recommendations, providing the most effective load-balancing calculations. If the application group member does not use these APIs, EWLM uses system-level performance data to calculate its weight recommendations.

Figure 4 shows an EWLM load-balancing environment. The environment includes the EWLM Control Center, which is hosted on the same system that is the EWLM domain manager. The EWLM domain manager communicates with the load balancer. The load balancer routes incoming work to endpoint systems (a.k.a. load balancer group members). These group members run on systems that are also configured to be EWLM managed servers. The load balancer routes the work to load balancer group members based on EWLM weight-distribution calculations.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050603.png

Figure 4: This figure shows an EWLM environment that uses an external load balancer to route incoming work to endpoint systems.

Viewing Load Balancing Details

To view the workload distribution recommendations that EWLM makes, you can view the load balancing details report. See Figure 5.

http://www.mcpressonline.com/articles/images/2002/EWLMpartitonmgmtandlbrev5--04050604.png

Figure 5: This screen shot shows the Load balancer details report.

This report, which is available in the EWLM Control Center, includes each endpoint system that is a member of the load balancing group. View the weight value, in particular, to identify which members EWLM recommends routing more or less work to. A single weight value is relative to the weight values of other members in the same group. The higher the weight value, the more work EWLM is recommending to send to that member. The maximum EWLM weight value is 100.

Example Use of EWLM Partition Management

To gain a better understanding of how EWLM partition management capabilities can be utilized in an IT environment, let's examine an example environment. This environment contains a System i5 with two partitions. Partition A uses i5/OS, and Partition B uses AIX. Each partition contains separate workloads that have differing performance goals.

The following table provides details of this example environment:

Example EWLM Partition Management Environment
IBM System i5
Partition Name
Operating System
Processing Units
Capped
Workload
Peak Usage
Minimum
Entitled
Maximum
Partition A
i5/OS
.5
.75
1
No
System-level processes: i5/OS jobs
8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Partition B
AIX
.5
.5
1
No
Application-level transactions: Online Web transactions
4 – 9 p.m.


Based on this environment, the following table describes specific components of an EWLM domain policy that incorporates the workloads described in the example environment. For EWLM to monitor system-level processes, the EWLM domain policy must contain a process class. For EWLM to monitor application-level transactions, the EWLM domain policy must contain transaction classes. These classes of the domain policy identify specific workloads for EWLM to monitor as well as what performance goal the workload is to be measured against.

Example Classes and Performance Goals for Specific Workloads

Performance Goal
Rules
Description
Transaction Classes



Online Web Transactions
95% average response time of 1 second
QueryString = =
WRorder="orderID%"
Transaction class for all online orders
Default Class
80% average response time of 2 seconds
(*) = = "(*)"
Transaction class for all other transactions processed by the Web application
Process Classes



i5/OS jobs
Velocity: Fastest
EWLM:Hostname = = "example.i5os2.com"

AND

User goup == "Admin"

AND

Accounting code ==
"Admin"
Process class for all i5/OS system-level jobs that run on a specific host name and subsystem that use the Admin job name


In this example environment, EWLM has two key workloads to monitor. The first workload includes online Web transactions that occur when a customer makes a purchasing order. The second workload contains i5/OS jobs. Both workloads are critical because you want to ensure a quick response time for online business transactions. In addition, i5/OS jobs must process in a timely manner to avoid development delays.

The rules in the domain policy indicate how EWLM is to identify these two types of workloads. In addition, each workload is given a separate performance goal. Note that the Web transactions also have a default transaction class and performance goal.

Within this environment, EWLM can ensure that these specific performance goals are met by adjusting the processing power among the partitions when necessary. EWLM may need to adjust the processing power between Partition A and Partition B during peak workloads or at any given time throughout the day to ensure that each workload's performance goals are met.

Existing tools can adjust system resources based on CPU-utilization thresholds, but what if the CPU usage is at an acceptable level but your specific performance goals are not met? This is when EWLM is extremely useful because it makes adjustments that can align with your business goals rather than general CPU-utilization thresholds.

Net Solution Is IBM's Enterprise Workload Manager

IBM's EWLM provides robust performance management capabilities. First, EWLM can monitor workloads according to specific performance goals that you define. Then, EWLM reports to you the degree to which the performance goal is or is not met. Second, EWLM can adjust processing power among partitions to ensure that the partitions' workloads meet their performance goals. Third, EWLM communicates with external load balancers to ensure that the load balancer routes incoming work to endpoint systems appropriately. These EWLM functions use advanced algorithms to calculate precisely what processing power or workload distribution adjustments to make without hindering the performance of other work in the domain—all of which enables you to relax with ease, knowing that EWLM is managing your systems' performance.

For more information on EWLM and the functions described in this article, see the following Web sites:

EWLM topic collection in the IBM Systems Software Information Center
IBM Systems Software Information Center

Connie Cradick, a Staff Software Engineer at IBM, is the information development lead for Enterprise Workload Manager (EWLM) and is an IBM patent owner. She works with development and conducts usability tests to ensure that the user interfaces and documentation are user-friendly, clear, and concise. She has robust experience designing and documenting the IBM Virtualization Engine's EWLM. Prior to EWLM, she obtained extensive experience with i5/OS system values, i5/OS work management, and various job schedulers.

Connie joined IBM in 2000 and received her Bachelor of Science degree with summa cum laude honors from the University of Minnesota. You can contact Connie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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    This Developer Kit provides you study-backed data and a ready-to-use business case template to help get your very next development project approved!

  • What to Do When Your AS/400 Talent Retires

    HelpSystemsIT managers hoping to find new IBM i talent are discovering that the pool of experienced RPG programmers and operators or administrators is small.

    This guide offers strategies and software suggestions to help you plan IT staffing and resources and smooth the transition after your AS/400 talent retires. Read on to learn:

    • Why IBM i skills depletion is a top concern
    • How leading organizations are coping
    • Where automation will make the biggest impact

     

  • IBM i Resources Retiring?

    SB HelpSystems WC GenericLet’s face it: IBM i experts and RPG programmers are retiring from the workforce. Are you prepared to handle their departure?
    Our panel of IBM i experts—Chuck Losinski, Robin Tatam, Richard Schoen, and Tom Huntington—will outline strategies that allow your company to cope with IBM i skills depletion by adopting these strategies that allow you to get the job done without deep expertise on the OS:
    - Automate IBM i processes
    - Use managed services to help fill the gaps
    - Secure the system against data loss and viruses
    The strategies you discover in this webinar will help you ensure that your system of record—your IBM i—continues to deliver a powerful business advantage, even as staff retires.

     

  • Backup and Recovery Considerations for Security Data and Encrypted Backups

    SB PowerTech WC GenericSecurity expert Carol Woodbury is joined by Debbie Saugen. Debbie is an expert on IBM i backup and recovery, disaster recovery, and high availability, helping IBM i shops build and implement effective business continuity plans.
    In today’s business climate, business continuity is more important than ever. But 83 percent of organizations are not totally confident in their backup strategy.
    During this webinar, Carol and Debbie discuss the importance of a good backup plan, how to ensure you’re backing up your security information, and your options for encrypted back-ups.

  • Profound.js: The Agile Approach to Legacy Modernization

    SB Profound WC GenericIn this presentation, Alex Roytman and Liam Allan will unveil a completely new and unique way to modernize your legacy applications. Learn how Agile Modernization:
    - Uses the power of Node.js in place of costly system re-writes and migrations
    - Enables you to modernize legacy systems in an iterative, low-risk manner
    - Makes it easier to hire developers for your modernization efforts
    - Integrates with Profound UI (GUI modernization) for a seamless, end-to-end legacy modernization solution

     

  • Data Breaches: Is IBM i Really at Risk?

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIBM i is known for its security, but this OS could be more vulnerable than you think.
    Although Power Servers often live inside the safety of the perimeter firewall, the risk of suffering a data leak or data corruption remains high.
    Watch noted IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses common ways that this supposedly “secure” operating system may actually be vulnerable and who the culprits might be.

    Watch the webinar today!

     

  • Easy Mobile Development

    SB Profound WC GenericWatch this on-demand webinar and learn how to rapidly and easily deploy mobile apps to your organization – even when working with legacy RPG code! IBM Champion Scott Klement will demonstrate how to:
    - Develop RPG applications without mobile development experience
    - Deploy secure applications for any mobile device
    - Build one application for all platforms, including Apple and Android
    - Extend the life and reach of your IBM i (aka iSeries, AS400) platform
    You’ll see examples from customers who have used our products and services to deliver the mobile applications of their dreams, faster and easier than they ever thought possible!

     

  • Profound UI: Unlock True Modernization from your IBM i Enterprise

    SB Profound PPL 5491Modern, web-based applications can make your Enterprise more efficient, connected and engaged. This session will demonstrate how the Profound UI framework is the best and most native way to convert your existing RPG applications and develop new modern applications for your business. Additionally, you will learn how you can address modernization across your Enterprise, including databases and legacy source code, with Profound Logic.

  • Node Webinar Series Pt. 1: The World of Node.js on IBM i

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application.

    Part 1 will teach you what Node.js is, why it's a great option for IBM i shops, and how to take advantage of the ecosystem surrounding Node.

    In addition to background information, our Director of Product Development Scott Klement will demonstrate applications that take advantage of the Node Package Manager (npm).

  • 5 New and Unique Ways to Use the IBM i Audit Journal

    SB HelpSystems ROBOT GenericYou must be asking yourself: am I doing everything I can to protect my organization’s data? Tune in as our panel of IBM i high availability experts discuss:


    - Why companies don’t test role swaps when they know they should
    - Whether high availability in the cloud makes sense for IBM i users
    - Why some organizations don’t have high availability yet
    - How to get high availability up and running at your organization
    - High availability considerations for today’s security concerns

  • Profound.js 2.0: Extend the Power of Node to your IBM i Applications

    SB Profound WC 5541In this Webinar, we'll demonstrate how Profound.js 2.0 enables you to easily adopt Node.js in your business, and to take advantage of the many benefits of Node, including access to a much larger pool of developers for IBM i and access to countless reusable open source code packages on npm (Node Package Manager).
    You will see how Profound.js 2.0 allows you to:

    • Provide RPG-like capabilities for server-side JavaScript.
    • Easily create web and mobile application interfaces for Node on IBM i.
    • Let existing RPG programs call Node.js modules directly, and vice versa.
    • Automatically generate code for Node.js.
    • Automatically converts existing RPGLE code into clean, simplified Node.js code.

    Download and watch today!

     

  • Make Modern Apps You'll Love with Profound UI & Profound.js

    SB Profound WC 5541Whether you have green screens or a drab GUI, your outdated apps can benefit from modern source code, modern GUIs, and modern tools.
    Profound Logic's Alex Roytman and Liam Allan are here to show you how Free-format RPG and Node.js make it possible to deliver applications your whole business will love:

    • Transform legacy RPG code to modern free-format RPG and Node.js
    • Deliver truly modern application interfaces with Profound UI
    • Extend your RPG applications to include Web Services and NPM packages with Node.js

     

  • Accelerating Programmer Productivity with Sequel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    Most business intelligence tools are just that: tools, a means to an end but not an accelerator. Yours could even be slowing you down. But what if your BI tool didn't just give you a platform for query-writing but also improved programmer productivity?
    Watch the recorded webinar to see how Sequel:

    • Makes creating complex results simple
    • Eliminates barriers to data sources
    • Increases flexibility with data usage and distribution

    Accelerated productivity makes everyone happy, from programmer to business user.

  • Business Intelligence is Changing: Make Your Game Plan

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIt’s time to develop a strategy that will help you meet your informational challenges head-on. Watch the webinar to learn how to set your IT department up for business intelligence success. You’ll learn how the right data access tool will help you:

    • Access IBM i data faster
    • Deliver useful information to executives and business users
    • Empower users with secure data access

    Ready to make your game plan and finally keep up with your data access requests?

     

  • Controlling Insider Threats on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericLet’s face facts: servers don’t hack other servers. Despite the avalanche of regulations, news headlines remain chock full of stories about data breaches, all initiated by insiders or intruders masquerading as insiders.
    User profiles are often duplicated or restored and are rarely reviewed for the appropriateness of their current configuration. This increases the risk of the profile being able to access data without the intended authority or having privileges that should be reserved for administrators.
    Watch security expert Robin Tatam as he discusses a new approach for onboarding new users on IBM i and best-practices techniques for managing and monitoring activities after they sign on.

  • Don't Just Settle for Query/400...

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhile introducing Sequel Data Access, we’ll address common frustrations with Query/400, discuss major data access, distribution trends, and more advanced query tools. Plus, you’ll learn how a tool like Sequel lightens IT’s load by:

    - Accessing real-time data, so you can make real-time decisions
    - Providing run-time prompts, so users can help themselves
    - Delivering instant results in Microsoft Excel and PDF, without the wait
    - Automating the query process with on-demand data, dashboards, and scheduled jobs

  • How to Manage Documents the Easy Way

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWhat happens when your company depends on an outdated document management strategy?
    Everything is harder.
    You don’t need to stick with status quo anymore.
    Watch the webinar to learn how to put effective document management into practice and:

    • Capture documents faster, instead of wasting everyone’s time
    • Manage documents easily, so you can always find them
    • Distribute documents automatically, and move on to the next task

     

  • Lessons Learned from the AS/400 Breach

    SB_PowerTech_WC_GenericGet actionable info to avoid becoming the next cyberattack victim.
    In “Data breach digest—Scenarios from the field,” Verizon documented an AS/400 security breach. Whether you call it AS/400, iSeries, or IBM i, you now have proof that the system has been breached.
    Watch IBM i security expert Robin Tatam give an insightful discussion of the issues surrounding this specific scenario.
    Robin will also draw on his extensive cybersecurity experience to discuss policies, processes, and configuration details that you can implement to help reduce the risk of your system being the next victim of an attack.

  • Overwhelmed by Operating Systems?

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this 30-minute recorded webinar, our experts demonstrate how you can:

    • Manage multiple platforms from a central location
    • View monitoring results in a single pane of glass on your desktop or mobile device
    • Take advantage of best practice, plug-and-play monitoring templates
    • Create rules to automate daily checks across your entire infrastructure
    • Receive notification if something is wrong or about to go wrong

    This presentation includes a live demo of Network Server Suite.

     

  • Real-Time Disk Monitoring with Robot Monitor

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericYou need to know when IBM i disk space starts to disappear and where it has gone before system performance and productivity start to suffer. Our experts will show you how Robot Monitor can help you pinpoint exactly when your auxiliary storage starts to disappear and why, so you can start taking a proactive approach to disk monitoring and analysis. You’ll also get insight into:

    • The main sources of disk consumption
    • How to monitor temporary storage and QTEMP objects in real time
    • How to monitor objects and libraries in real time and near-real time
    • How to track long-term disk trends

     

     

  • Stop Re-keying Data Between IBM I and Other Applications

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericMany business still depend on RPG for their daily business processes and report generation.Wouldn’t it be nice if you could stop re-keying data between IBM i and other applications? Or if you could stop replicating data and start processing orders faster? Or what if you could automatically extract data from existing reports instead of re-keying? It’s all possible. Watch this webinar to learn about:

    • The data dilemma
    • 3 ways to stop re-keying data
    • Data automation in practice

    Plus, see how HelpSystems data automation software will help you stop re-keying data.

     

  • The Top Five RPG Open Access Myths....BUSTED!

    SB_Profound_WC_GenericWhen it comes to IBM Rational Open Access: RPG Edition, there are still many misconceptions - especially where application modernization is concerned!

    In this Webinar, we'll address some of the biggest myths about RPG Open Access, including:

    • Modernizing with RPG OA requires significant changes to the source code
    • The RPG language is outdated and impractical for modernizing applications
    • Modernizing with RPG OA is the equivalent to "screen scraping"

     

  • Time to Remove the Paper from Your Desk and Become More Efficient

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericToo much paper is wasted. Attempts to locate documents in endless filing cabinets.And distributing documents is expensive and takes up far too much time.
    These are just three common reasons why it might be time for your company to implement a paperless document management system.
    Watch the webinar to learn more and discover how easy it can be to:

    • Capture
    • Manage
    • And distribute documents digitally

     

  • IBM i: It’s Not Just AS/400

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic

    IBM’s Steve Will talks AS/400, POWER9, cognitive systems, and everything in between

    Are there still companies that use AS400? Of course!

    IBM i was built on the same foundation.
    Watch this recorded webinar with IBM i Chief Architect Steve Will and IBM Power Champion Tom Huntington to gain a unique perspective on the direction of this platform, including:

    • IBM i development strategies in progress at IBM
    • Ways that Watson will shake hands with IBM i
    • Key takeaways from the AS/400 days

     

  • Ask the RDi Experts

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericWatch this recording where Jim Buck, Susan Gantner, and Charlie Guarino answered your questions, including:

    • What are the “hidden gems” in RDi that can make me more productive?
    • What makes RDi Debug better than the STRDBG green screen debugger?
    • How can RDi help me find out if I’ve tested all lines of a program?
    • What’s the best way to transition from PDM to RDi?
    • How do I convince my long-term developers to use RDi?

    This is a unique, online opportunity to hear how you can get more out of RDi.

     

  • Node.js on IBM i Webinar Series Pt. 2: Setting Up Your Development Tools

    Profound Logic Software, Inc.Have you been wondering about Node.js? Our free Node.js Webinar Series takes you from total beginner to creating a fully-functional IBM i Node.js business application. In Part 2, Brian May teaches you the different tooling options available for writing code, debugging, and using Git for version control. Attend this webinar to learn:

    • Different tools to develop Node.js applications on IBM i
    • Debugging Node.js
    • The basics of Git and tools to help those new to it
    • Using NodeRun.com as a pre-built development environment

     

     

  • Inside the Integrated File System (IFS)

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericDuring this webinar, you’ll learn basic tips, helpful tools, and integrated file system commands—including WRKLNK—for managing your IFS directories and Access Client Solutions (ACS). We’ll answer your most pressing IFS questions, including:

    • What is stored inside my IFS directories?
    • How do I monitor the IFS?
    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.

     

  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.

     

     

  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption

     

     

  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.

     

     

  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

     

     

     

  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.

     

  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.

     

     

  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.

     

     

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    SB CYBRA PPL 5382

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    Produce bar code labels, electronic forms, ad hoc reports, and RFID tags – without programming! MarkMagic is the only document design and print solution that combines report writing, WYSIWYG label and forms design, and conditional printing in one integrated product.

    Request your trial now!

  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.