FAQs about Performance Navigator

FAQs about Performance Navigator

Posted on July 12, 2018

Will this product hurt the performance of my IBM i®?

You will not even notice that the product is working. The data gathering software is already part of the OS. I currently have a subscription to IBM's PM for Power service.

How is Performance Navigator compared to PM?

Glad you asked... Performance Navigator uses exactly the same input as PM for Power, Collection Services. Performance Navigator simply analyzes the data nightly and updates the history files on your system. The big difference is in the analysis and production of the dat. Besides the over 1000 graphs and reports, Performance Navigator's exclusive What-If function helps customers with server consolidation and upgrades.

What are the specs for the Windows PC to run Performance Navigator?

You need a Windows 98/NT/XP/Vista/7/8/10 PC with a minimum of 40 MB of free hard disk space. In addition, you need an ODBC connection with the IBM i (for example CA/400).

How often can I run Performance Navigator?

You can run Performance Navigator as often as you like. However, the historical data collection process is updated once a day. The more likely condition is that if you have a recurring period where performance is a regular problem, like end-of-day, or end-of-month, or during long backups, you may want to use the analytical capabilities of Performance Navigator to "drill down" into those specific times to "put your system under a magnifying glass".

How do I uninstall PN/400?

Before uninstalling PN/400 from your IBM i, read the following:

Reason #1: "I didn't know there was anything useful." We hear this frequently, but not only is there useful stuff, there is free useful stuff. Since Performance Navigator is useful to different people for different things, sometimes the business partners (who use it for capacity planning) neglect to mention the end-user features. The reason the business partners don't make this clear to you is usually just a matter of focus. They are focused on a hardware upgrade. If you'd like to see the free stuff, run Performance Navigator on your PC, and click "Graphs/CPU/Priority". If you'd like to learn more about what you can do, there is a built-in tour, just click "Help/Tour", or call us and we'll walk you through the product.

Reason #2: "We don't have any performance problems." or "We just upgraded so we don't have performance problems." or "It's just a development machine, so we'll never use it." Now is the perfect time to have PN/400 installed and collecting data. Someday, something will happen, and instead of searching for the problem, the answers will be at your fingertips. I can't tell you how many times we've seen people do something as simple as installing a new release of software, or maybe just applying a PTF, and performance takes a nose dive. Think of it like a fire extinguisher. If the need arises, you'll be glad you have it.

Reason #3: "We do it ourselves." Believe me, I know working with IBM i performance is one of the fun jobs in the shop, and no one wants to give up their performance methodology, but I guarantee there is no home-grown application that does even a fraction of what Performance Navigator does. You don't have to replace your methodology with ours, we'll coexist. Think of it as another tool in your belt.

Reason #4: "It uses too much CPU and/or too much disk space." These are common misconceptions. The truth is that the overhead is minuscule, about a hundredth of one percent of the CPU and a couple hundred megabytes of disk. Furthermore, Collection Services may be running even without PN/400 in which case there is virtually no additional overhead. And to top it off, since PN/400 collects data on every job and every library, we can prove the overhead is insignificant.

Before you uninstall PN/400, consider the following:

It's free, it's useful, the overhead is minuscule, and the benefits are potentially invaluable. I'll hop off the soapbox now.

The commands to uninstall are:






This will completely remove PN/400 from your System i.

How does Power Navigator® collect data?

On AIX and Linux, we use NMON. NMON is now part of Topas on AIX. The linux version of NMON is open source code. MPG has complied (and maintains) this version for many different platforms and versions of Linux. This includes x86, Power and Mainframe. For HP-UX, we use SAR. In both cases we put several jobs on the crontab to manage the data historically.

How is Power Navigator different from the NMON Analyzer?

Glad you asked. The NMON Analyzer is an Excel interface to the NMON data. For the most part, you can only look at one day at a time. However, there is no easy way to look at lots of historical data. Power Navigator by default keeps one year of data in a single file. This allows Power Navigator to do trending analysis on any metric. Secondly, Power Navigator can automate the production graphs and reports for management. This includes graphs by the whole frame and/or Shared Pool. The third major difference is Power Navigator’s What-If capacity planning function. This allows customers to do What-If scenarios on server consolidations and upgrades.

How does the Windows Client get access to the data?

Power Navigator uses up to three files from each server to produce the graphs and reports. Each of these files have the system’s name as an extension. Via the Power Navigator Transfer script, most users automate the transfer of the three files to a shared drive. Then just map the drive to the PC and connect to all systems.

How can you automate the production of graphs and reports?

Within Power Navigator, users create what we call a “Report Set”. This is simply a set of graphs and/or reports. Then you can automate the running of the Report Set via the Window Task Manager.

Can I collect TOP process information?

YES. As an option you can collect TOP processes information. In addition, Power Navigator also collects the user name for the process.

Learn more about Performance Navigator


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