How 3 types of users can easily monitor and manage their system with Teradata Viewpoint.

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Applied Solution 3

Different points of view

How 3 types of users can easily monitor and manage their system with Teradata Viewpoint.

Teradata Viewpoint is a portal for understanding everything about your data warehouse environment. Delivered on its own appliance as an integrated suite, it provides the capability for monitoring and managing Teradata systems.

At the same time, the solution hosts a new set of Web-based applications that can be assembled and customized to suit specific roles or job functions. The DBA, the busi­ness consumer and the IT operations manager can all reap benefits from its robust feature functionality.

DBAs gain anywhere-anytime access into Teradata management while new, extended capabilities and insight are provided to the user commu­nity for enhanced productivity. This self-service aspect eliminates a level of support that typically results in calls to DBAs, allowing the community better utilization of resources and empowering more intelligent decisions.

Teradata DBA

A DBA’s time is frequently taken up by answering query needs and researching system issues. But these tasks can be alleviated with tools to accommodate some simple problem solving.


Problem

A query arrival surge that began around 5 p.m. prompted Allison, a DBA, to investi­gate. She was also charged with providing a solution for more even workload distribution to support consistent system performance.


Investigation

Leveraging Teradata Active System Management, operating periods were already implemented to allow different management strategies for daytime, evening and weekend hours. For her analysis, rather than checking the Database Query Log, Allison starts with Teradata Viewpoint. The Query Monitor portlet enables her to sort the query activities and provide a count summary for any point in time. Drill-down capabilities show the SQL, explain and resource usage of each query.

The rewind feature of Viewpoint allows the portlet to display the activity that occurred around the same time of 5 p.m. on previous days. Several people in the finance department, listed in the work­load definition (WD) under FIN_USERS, appear to consistently submit more than a dozen long-running batch jobs every day. The Teradata Active System Management settings indicate that there are no Teradata Active System Management throttle con­straints on the number of active queries allowed to run.

A brief conversation reveals that the finance folks don’t care when their workload batches start as long as results are available when they arrive the next morning.


Solution—Throttles

Allison configures a Teradata Active System Management throttle changing the WD set­ting to three active queries per user for the evening operating period. Anything exceeding the newly established limit is placed in a wait queue. As this new throttle is only active for evening hours, it won’t affect daytime and weekend work.


Results

The next evening, the Workload Monitor portlet shows the smooth operation of the workloads: They are evenly distributed over time, while using fewer resources and overall throughput. (See figure 1.)

Figure 1: Workload Monitor

Click to enlarge

The surge is eliminated, and yet the finance department’s needs will be met as reports are made available each morning.

Teradata end user

Not everyone in an organization is a system expert, but end users can become more self-sufficient and less dependent on the DBA with the management capabilities offered through the portlets and reports.


Problem

Jerome is a marketing manager developing campaigns for the organization. He typically contacts Allison, the DBA, several times a day to get the status of his queries. If they are not completed within his expected time con­straints, he will often resubmit them multiple times. Consequently, he has the perception that the inconsistencies are because of a system problem.


Solution

To enable more user independence, Allison updates the security settings and allows Jerome access to the System Health, Canary Response Times and MyQueries portlets.


Results

The System Health portlet shows summary and detailed status based on key perfor­mance indicators. This allows insight into the performance status of the production and test systems. Jerome now has visual evidence that everything is running fine and nothing is delayed because of system problems as he had suspected.

The Canary Response Times portlet confirms the health of the systems based on select canary runtime results. In addition, it lists various times in the day when similar queries could run more efficiently based on weekly performance averages. With this knowledge, queries can be changed to a time when there is less activity, thus allowing users to assist in improved and more evenly spread system usage.

The MyQueries portlet monitors what queries an individual user has running at a particular time. In Jerome’s case, one of his jobs is occasionally blocked by another that runs simultaneously. By altering the runtimes, he is able to avoid a locked table and receive consistent performance.

Gaining access to these portlets and reports enables end users to investigate their queries on their own without always requiring the assistance of the DBA.

IT operations manager

The tool’s reports and portlets are often used by IT operations management to, among other duties, ensure that the system can sufficiently handle the workload. They can also be used to justify the expenditure of acquiring additional resources when necessary.


Problem

Greg is an IT operations manager of two Teradata systems—and, because he strongly advocated the dual active configuration, his use of Teradata Viewpoint is focused on met­rics. He is also often asked to justify the return on investment (ROI) for the additional nodes purchased a few months ago.


Solution

The Capacity Heatmap, Metrics Graph and Metrics Analysis portlets can chart more than 100 unique Teradata metrics in different visual­ization methodologies.

The Metrics Analysis portlet is especially powerful, as it allows easy comparisons and cross-analysis of similar metrics across mul­tiple systems in a single view. Greg exercised this capability and configured thresholds for several of his views to highlight outliers and drill down on particular metrics to display a performance envelope. (See figure 2.)

Figure 2: Metrics Analysis

Click to enlarge

He relies on the Capacity Heatmap and Metrics Graph portlets each time he is asked about the impact of the new nodes. The Capacity Heatmap and the date range slider display CPU usage over the period of time when the new nodes were introduced. The results demonstrate the additional processing power gained and the consequential relief of CPU saturation.

Adding new user groups created a significant increase in active sessions and query counts. The Metrics Graph portlet demonstrates that, because of the extra nodes, the available resources can satisfy the additional load.

In addition, by analyzing trend lines and current growth patterns through the Capacity Heatmap, Metrics Graph and Metrics Analysis portlets, IT management can proactively anticipate growth require­ments and plan accordingly.

Greg implements the Alert Viewer portlet to monitor and manage the triggered alerts to notify him via e-mail when system resources approach set thresholds. With the different report options, the alerts can be filtered by severity, for instance, for select time periods.


Results

These valuable reporting and alerting mecha­nisms are insurance that IT management is equipped with the right tools for planning and acquisition justifications. Greg is also confident that he can easily demonstrate the system’s additional value and growth realized after his proposed plans are accepted and implemented.

Many uses, much value

Teradata Viewpoint provides powerful tools for monitoring and maintaining multiple systems—even in remote locations or when running different platforms. With the easily accessible portlets, DBAs, users and IT operations managers are better equipped with the information they need to make smarter decisions to help drive their business.


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Datawatch Q4-2014