REVIEWER: Gerhard Bleidl, change manager for BRZ.

BACKGROUND: Bundesrechenzentrum (BRZ), The Austrian Federal Computing Centre, successfully develops, implements and operates e-government solutions applicable to all aspects of public administration, acting as an integrator between the processes of public authorities, citizens' needs and the services of private industry.

PLATFORMS: IBM System z Server z/9, Operating System z/OS 1.6.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Performance management software is only as good as its results for the company. BRZ deployed several performance-tuning software packages a few years ago, which included BMC InTune, and found that the ROI was not as projected. BRZ's management realized that they had not established a process around these standalone software products or standardized their use by the end users and, therefore, were not obtaining the maximum benefits. BRZ management understood that its performance management software must be used according to best practices in order to directly support the company's goals of improving application performance and availability for the end user.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: Application development at BRZ uses BMC InTune with APC for InTune from TRILOGexpert and BMC APPTUNE for code analysis, identification of poor performing code and resource-intensive SQL calls. With the support of BMC Software and TRILOGexpert, BRZ built the underlying infrastructure to support the performance management process, allowing us to automate the identification of those SQL statements (SQLs) that would benefit most from an improvement in performance. BMC InTune is used by BRZ to collect a daily sample of SQL performance data of 20-minutes' worth of transactions from 16 different CICS production regions. Once a month, data components are collected by BMC InTune and unloaded by a prescheduled batch program. The extracted data is automatically transferred into an Oracle database for further threshold analysis. The main benefits of this solution for BRZ are: 1) automation of the identification of those SQLs that would benefit most from an improvement in performance; 2) documentation of changes for those SQLs; 3) verification of improvements of SQL performance after the change has been implemented; and 4) creation of a history log of execution statistics, which can serve capacity management purposes and other resource planning activities.

STRENGTHS: Two main strengths of BMC InTune are that it improves application performance by quickly identifying program delays that affect business-critical applications, and it provides measurement of all code components of an online transaction or batch program. These functions, together with a very low overhead for data collection, make it possible for BRZ to use BMC InTune on a daily basis, thus providing useful performance data for the whole production environment. 

WEAKNESSES: BMC InTune is an interactive tool, but it lacks the automation capabilities for scheduling measurements for particular online transactions or batch jobs. To solve this issue, BRZ bought APC for InTune from TRILOGexpert, which is sold through BMC via a partnership agreement. APC for InTune is seamlessly integrated with BMC InTune to automate the process of measuring applications and prioritizing tuning efforts.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The product was selected in the early 1990s when it was a Boole&Babbage product, before BMC acquired it.

DELIVERABLES: BMC InTune produces samples of performance data of CICS online transactions against a DB2 UDB for z/OS database in flat files. This data is automatically transferred into APC from TRILOG for further analysis and aggregation. Once a month, the collected data gets loaded into an Oracle database, is aggregated and cleansed and is then used by PL/SQL scripts to create performance tickets in the BRZ internal helpdesk system (BMC Remedy Helpdesk).

VENDOR SUPPORT: When BRZ decided to use BMC InTune as part of their performance management process, BMC coordinated several info days, which were two-hour workshops designed to demonstrate the functions of BMC InTune to the application developers. Once the implementation was complete, local BMC on-site support and a BMC support hotline were able to solve any issues in a timely and seamless manner.

DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is complete, easy to understand and supports our use of the tool on a daily basis.

BMC InTune
BMC Software, Inc.
2101 City West Boulevard
Houston, TX 77042-2827
(713) 918-8800

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