Supermarket Circulars in Vegas

The IBM Rational user conference formerly known as Innovate was folded into a new IBM conference this year called InterConnect. During the last week of February customers and IBMers descended upon Las Vegas. We weren’t there to talk about connecting hi-fi components, like turntables to amplifiers (those sorts of interconnects, remember?), but about software and hardware and business and all the sorts of things IBM is into.

This was your author’s first Las Vegas experience. Way back when, Las Vegas was a thing to study and consider in the abstract, the “architecture of disruption.” Needless to say, nothing quite prepared for the thing itself. Navigating the conference hotels and weaving through the Vegas strip was like trying to play Twister on a constantly changing supermarket circular. (Yeah, I know that makes no sense, but it illustrates my point.)

This year I spoke on Performance, Monitoring, and Capacity Planning for the Rational CLM Solution. The discussion highlighted performance updates delivered to the CLM products across the last few releases, and then moved on to a topic which I’ve been talking about in various contexts for quite some time. Customers use products and they want to be happy. If they use the products, that generally means that there will be a gradually increasing population with a gradually increasing amount of assets. As usage increases, capacity can dwindle, and sometimes performance suffers as a result. To address capacity planning, you must understand current usage and behavior which requires monitoring the system at hand. In essence, ensuring a top-quality performance experience requires monitoring.

There was a detour to talk about our CLM Sizing Strategy which I’ve pointed to here before and which took a long time to document (primarily because it contains a well-researched list of caveats and details on why sizing can be so difficult), but I’m pleased how it finally came together.

Discussing product improvements and fixes is important, as it shows our commitment to releasing excellent products and when we don’t get it quite right the first time, our ability to react and improve. We’re also encouraging customers tackle performance in a proactive way, by understanding existing system behavior and noting how a complex system changes over time.

See you next year? Well, more on that fairly soon. I admit there’s a certain sense of satisfaction to having “survived” Vegas’ absurd scale, disorienting patterns, and intentional obfuscation. Yeah, I’ll try it again if asked.

Looking ahead to InterConnect 2015

InterConnect 2015, in Las Vegas, NV, is a week away. The official conference starts on Monday, February 23, and pre-meetings and whatnot commence the day before on Sunday, February 24.

I’m looking forward to being there. One reason is because I’m sitting in a Boston suburb wearing extra layers including one of my thickest wool sweaters, sheepskin slippers and a scarf. I rarely ever wear a scarf in the house, but it is so cold. Maybe you saw in the news that we’re having a little problem with snowfall this year. Colleagues comfort me by pointing out how unseasonably warm it is for them in the great states of Washington, Texas, Florida and Colorado, to name a few. They mention two-digit temperatures well above freezing which have become rarity ’round here. But no one wants to hear someone complain about seven-foot snow drifts, so let me get back on topic.

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My main-tent session this year is DRA-2104: Performance, Monitoring, and Capacity Planning for the Rational CLM Solution. It’s on Monday, Feb. 23 at 3:30 pm in the Islander Ballroom B at Mandalay Bay. Because this is the first year the formerly-known-as-Rational-Innovate-conference has become part of a larger conference and moved from Orlando, FL, to Las Vegas, NV, I will get there early. Because I don’t know where anything is. And the helpful messages from the conference management folks suggest that it takes at least 30 minutes to get from site to site.

DRA-2104: Performance, Monitoring, and Capacity Planning for the Rational CLM Solution will talk about all the awesome performance improvements that are in the CLM 5.0.2, 5.0.1 and 5.x releases. Some improvements made back in 4.x are so good, they will bear mentioning again.

I’ll also talk about our CLM Sizing Strategy and how proper monitoring of an existing system can lead towards an understanding of capacity planning. There will be time for questions, and discussions about the local weather.

My presentation is part of the larger Rational Deployment for Administrators track. If you are attending InterConnect and can login to the event portal, https://ibm.biz/BdEC4B will take you to the entire track schedule.

We made slides for ourselves to cross-promote each others sessions:

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On Wednesday, I’ll be moderating DRA-1970A: Best Practices for Using IBM Installation Manager in the Enterprise which has a great line-up of Installation Manager practitioners who are dying to share their experiences.

It’s time for me to get outside and shovel a bit. I hope to see you in Vegas next week. Be sure to say “Hi!”

 

JTSMon 5.0.2 is here

JTSMon 5.0.2 is now available for downloading from the Deployment Wiki FAQ site (https://jazz.net/wiki/bin/view/Deployment/JTSMonFAQ).

  • Some facts to note with this new release:
    The appearance in CLM 5.0.2 of “scenario” (client-side use-case) based web service reporting will cause problems with earlier releases of JTSMon. The new version reads the new format reports accurately though it does not yet take advantage of scenario data.
  • A new 5.0.2 jazzdev baseline is included for comparison to user collected data.
  • RQM web service data is better broken down now for system component reporting.
  • Post-monitoring analysis can now be focused on a subset of the collected data.
  • Several additional defects have been fixed.

If you have questions or comments, please ask them at the jazz.net forum. We’re using the jazzmon tag there.

CLM 5.0.1 datasheets

Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) 5.0.1 was announced and released this week. For Rational Team Concert (RTC) 5.0.1 there were substantial improvements made to the Plan Loading capability which are outlined in Plan Loading Performance Improvements in RTC 5.0.1.

Other 5.0.1 datasheets include:

 

For the CLM 5.0.1 release, performance testing validated that there were no regressions for RTC and RQM between the 5.0 and 5.0.1 releases, therefore there has not been a need to create 5.0.1 datasheets for those products. For 5.0.1 performance information for those products please consult the 5.0 datasheets.

Two new CLM 5.0 datasheets on the jazz.net Deployment wiki

A quick note about two recent performance datasheets and sizing guidelines published on the Jazz.net Deployment wiki:

Just posted is the Rational Engineering Lifecycle Manager (RELM) performance report 5.0 by Aanjan Hari. This article presents the results of the team’s performance testing for the RELM 5.0 release and deployment suggestions derived from the tests.

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Also recently posted: Sizing and tuning guide for Rational DOORS Next Generation 5.0 by Balakrishna Kolla. This article offers guidance based upon the results of performance tests that the team ran on several hardware and software configurations.

 

CLM 5.0 performance documents and datasheets

CLM 5.0 was announced June 2, 2015, at the IBM Innovate 2014 conference in Orlando, FL. Lots of good things made it into the release. You can get all the details here.

Over on the deployment wiki we have published 11 — yes eleven! — datasheets detailing performance aspects of the CLM 5.0 release. Find them all here.

First the product-specific reports: Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: RTC 5.0 release compares RTC 5.0 against the prior release 4.0.6 to verify that there are no performance regressions in 5.0.

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RTC 5.0 provides new Web caching technology that can improve application performance and scalability. The new technology stores cachable information locally on the client. Web caching performance improvements in Rational Team Concert 5.0 details the changes, and demonstrates the response time improvements from 8% to 2x improvement.

The Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: RDNG 5.0 compares RDNG 5.0 against the prior release 4.0.6 to verify that there are no performance regressions. Additionally, several user actions, such as opening a project, have become faster. Note that the RDNG 5.0 architecture is different from prior releases in that the RDNG repository is no separate from the JTS server.

Similarly, Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: Rational Quality Manager 5.0 release compares RQM 5.0 to the prior release 4.0.6 to verify that there are no performance regressions in 5.0. The results show that in some cases, page response times are slower.

The CLM reliability report: CLM 5.0 release puts the CLM applications together and runs them under load for seven days to evaluate their performance.

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Rational Team Concert for z/OS Performance Improvement of Source Code Data Collection and Query in 5.0 shows improvements in source code data collection service and source code data query.

Since release 4.0.1 there have been gradual improvements in releases of RTC for z/OS. Rational Team Concert For z/OS Performance Comparison Between Releases details the improvements which include enterprise build time improving 45% from the 4.0.1 to 5.0 release.

Rational Team Concert Enterprise Extension zIIP Offload Performance in 5.0 documents how zIIP can offload application workload saving time and expense.

Enterprise Extensions promotion improvements in Rational Team Concert version 5.0 on z/OS compares ‘finalize build maps’ activity with the ‘publish build map links’ option selected between releases 4.0.6 and 5.0 where an improvement of 70% was observed.

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In the reporting space, Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: Export Transform Load (ETL) 5.0 release shows that DM and Java ETL for 5.0 have similar throughput as 4.0.6. The RM part of DM and Java ETL have an approximate 8% improvement due to the performance optimization of the RM publish service.

CLM 5.0 introduces a new reporting technology and Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: Data Collection Component Performance (DCC) 5.0 release compares the old technology with the new.

For the particular topology and dataset tested:

  1. DCC performance has a significant improvement per the comparison of JAVA and DCC ETL based on performance test data. The duration reduced from 48 hours to 16 hours. For the duration of specific applications the DCC also has a significant improvement. It improved about 30% on QM loading, 20% on RM loading, 60% on CCM loading and 90% on Star job.
  2. DCC duration also has a significant improvement per the comarison of DM and DCC ETL based on performance test data. The duration reduced from 139 hours to 16 hours. The major improvements are the RRC ETL and RQM ETL. RQM loading improved about 60% and RRC loading improved about 85%.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that a lot of good work went into CLM 5.0. If you have comments or questions on the reports, please use the comments box on the actual reports.

 

Software sizing isn’t easy

I’m going to quote pretty much the entirety of an introduction I wrote to an article just posted at the jazz.net Deployment wiki on CLM Sizing (https://jazz.net/wiki/bin/view/Deployment/CLMSizingStrategy):

Whether new users or seasoned experts, customers using IBM Jazz products all want the same thing: They want to use the Jazz products without worrying that their deployment implementation will slow them down, that it will keep up with them as they add users and grow. A frequent question we hear, whether it’s from a new administrator setting up Collaborative Lifecycle Management (CLM) for the first time, or an experienced administrator tuning their Systems and Software Engineering (SSE) toolset, is “How many users will my environment support?”

Back when Rational Team Concert (RTC) was in its infancy we built a comprehensive performance test environment based on what we thought was a representative workload. It was in fact based upon the workload the RTC and Jazz teams itself used to develop the product. We published what we learned in our first Sizing Guide. Later sizing guides include: Collaborative Lifecycle Management 2011 Sizing Guide and Collaborative Lifecycle Management 2012 Sizing Report (Standard Topology E1). As features were added and the release grew, we started to hear about what folks were doing in the field. The Jazz products, RTC especially, are so flexible that customers were using them with wonderfully different workloads than we had anticipated.

Consequently, we stepped back from proclaiming a one-size fits all approach, and moved to presenting case studies and specific test reports about the user workload simulations and the loads we tested. We have published these reports on the jazz.net Deployment wiki at Performance datasheets. We have tried to make a distinction between performance reports and sizing guides. Performance reports document a specific test with defined hardware, datashape and workload, whereas sizing guides suggest patterns or categories of hardware, datashape and workload. Sizing reports are not specific and general descriptions of topologies and estimations of workloads they may support.

Throughout the many 4.0.x release cycles, we were still asked “How many users will my environment support?” Our reluctance to answer this apparently straightforward question frustrated customers new and old. Everyone thinks that as the Jazz experts we should know how to size our products. Finally, after some analysis and messing up countless whiteboards, we would like to present some sizing strategies and advice for the front-end applications in the Jazz platform: Rational Team Concert (RTC), Rational Requirements Composer (RRC)/Rational DOORS Next Generation (DNG) and Rational Quality Manager (RQM). These recommendations are based upon our product testing and analysis of customer deployments.

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The article talks about how complex estimating a software sizing can be. Besides the obligatory disclaimer, there’s a pointer to the CLM and SEE recommended topologies and a discussion of basic definitions. There’s also a table listing many of the non-product (or non-functional) factors which can wreck havoc with the ideal performance of a software deployment.

Most importantly, the article provides some user sizing basics for Rational Team Concert (RTC), Rational Requirements Composer (RRC)/Rational DOORS Next Generation (DNG) and Rational Quality Manager (RQM). Eventually we’ll talk a bit more about the strategies / concepts needed to determine whether you may need two CCMs or multiple application servers in your environment.

For now, I hope we’re taking a good step towards answering the perennial question: “How many users will my environment support,” and explaining why it’s so hard to answer that question accurately.

As always, comments and questions are appreciated.

CLM 4.0.6 performance reports

A fresh batch of 4.0.6 datasheets was posted to the deployment wiki coincident with the 4.0.6 release. 4.0.6 was released February 28, 2014. Yes, that was a month or so ago, and so I’m late with mentioning the timely performance reports, our largest batch yet. The team worked hard to get the data and compile the reports.

For those keen on migrating data from ClearCase to Rational Team Concert, the ClearCase Version Importer performance report: Rational Team Concert 4.0.6 release report shows basic data on how long an import may take.

The Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: RTC 4.0.6 release shows that 4.0.6 RTC performance is comparable to 4.0.5.

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For the RTC for z/OS 4.0.6 release, the Rational Team Concert for z/OS Performance in 4.0.6 report  shows that 4.0.6 performance is similar to 4.0.5. For 4.0.6 There were enhancements made to RTC for z/OS queries so that they use the Java JFS API: “In the scenario of the incremental build (request build after changing all the copybook files), the “Collecting buildable files” activity in preprocessing time improved about 25%, and result in an about 5% improvement in total run time.”

The Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: RRC 4.0.6 release report shows that RRC 4.0.6 performance is comparable to 4.0.5.

Similarly, the Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: Rational Quality Manager 4.0.6 release shows that RQM 4.0.6 performance is comparable to 4.0.5.

The CLM Reliability report for the 4.0.6 release demonstrates the capability of a Standard Topology (E1) configuration under sustained 7-day load.

The Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: Export Transform Load (ETL) 4.0.6 release report demonstrates that there are no performance regressions in 4.0.6 ETL performance compared to 4.0.5. The 4.0.6 ETL functionality is more comprehensive than it was for 4.0.5, and so there are situations where ETL times may have increased although the data now indexed is more complete and accurate.

Comments, questions? Use the comments box on the actual reports themselves.

 

CLM 4.0.5 performance reports

To coincide with the CLM 4.0.5 release, the performance team has produced six — that’s six! — reports.

Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: RTC 4.0.5 release compares the performance of an unclustered Rational Team Concert version 4.0.5 deployment to the previous 4.0.4 release. With the workload as described in the report, we found no performance regressions between current release and prior release.

RTC for z/OS recently introduced a Java API to access JFS (Jazz Foundation Services) instead of using the HTTP APIs which provides the potential for significant performance improvements. The Rational Team Concert for z/OS performance impact of Java JFS API adoption in 4.0.5 report compares the performance before and after RTC for z/OS adopted the Java JFS API in part of the resource operations and queries. Comparison is made between the 4.0.5 RC1 development version and the previous 4.0.4 release.

Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: RRC 4.0.5 release compares the performance of an unclustered Rational Requirements Composer version 4.0.5 deployment to the previous 4.0.4 release.

Similarly, Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: Rational Quality Manager 4.0.5 release compares the performance of an unclustered Rational Quality Manager version 4.0.5 deployment to the previous 4.0.4 release.

There were design changes to ETL functionality for RM which are highlighted in Collaborative Lifecycle Management performance report: Export Transform Load (ETL) 4.0.5 release. This report presents the results of “Extract, Transform, and Load” (ETL) performance testing for CLM. The ETL type includes Java ETL and DM ETL. Data load includes full load and delta load. The article focusses on ETL performance comparison between the 4.0.5 release and the 4.0.4 release.

Finally, the CLM Reliability report: CLM 4.0.5 release presents a sample of the results from a CLM 405 Reliability test. Reliability testing is about exercising the CLM applications so that failures are discovered and removed before the system is deployed. There are many different combinations of pathways through the complex CLM application, this test scenario exercises the most likely use cases. The use cases are put under constant load for a seven day period to validate that the CLM application provides the expected level of service, without any downtime or degradation in overall system performance.

 

 

Yes, we renamed JazzMon

The tool formerly known as JazzMon has been renamed to JTSMon.

Given the tool’s popularity and wide-spread use, it made sense to align it more closely in name and version numbering with the CLM product family. Version 4.0 follows version 1.4.0 which has the new Excel macro visualizer to help make sense of the data which JTSMon can capture.

The JTSMon FAQ offers lots to help you get started. There is a 32-page user manual, and if you’re really impatient, a single-page QuickStart sheet. A downloadable .zip has all the moving parts, and release notes are published separately. There’s also a 10-minute video demo (Ok, so we didn’t re-record it when we changed the name), and a shorter one.

The older 1.4.0 version is still available. It works with RTC 2.x whereas the new 4.0 version works only with RTC 3.x and 4.x.

If you have questions or comments, please ask them at the jazz.net forum. We’re still using the jazzmon tag there.