Tango/04 Keeps System Resources in Step

The best-designed applications are no match for a system that cannot properly distribute resources throughout an enterprise. With this in mind, Tango/04 Computing Group has launched VISUAL Control Center, a full-featured performance management package for the AS/400, with a graphical interface.

"Performance is a very complex subject," says Raúl Cristián Aguirre, CEO of Tango/04 (Toronto). "One of the most important things any IS department needs to achieve is to assure proper service level to end-users, taking advantage of existing resources. VISUAL Control Center allows them to fulfill this task easily, obtaining the most out of the existing hardware investment and avoiding disruptions in service."

Application and system resource availability grows increasingly complex when users are competing for the same resources, Aguirre points out. As a result, Tango/04 designed VISUAL Control Center to provide both experienced and inexperienced system operators with a way to improve performance, detect and avoid bottlenecks, solve application problems and aid capacity planning.

The product is composed of five integrated modules that work to optimize the job workload and distribute resources.

The VISUAL Control for Jobs module is designed to improve response times by automatically preventing jobs from degrading performance. This module uses SmartCache -- on the machine interface level -- and prioritizes jobs, enhancing certain capabilities already found in the operating system, according to Aguirre.

VISUAL Control for Pools is designed to improve batch and interactive performance by automatically optimizing memory pools. This module features SmartTune, a system the uses little CPU resources and calculates the best memory assignments many times per minute. "Without adjusting the amount of data in individual pools, some users are happy, while other have to deal with lagging performance," Aguirre points out.

VISUAL Control for Windows performs real-time performance monitoring of up to 999 AS/400s simultaneously -- locally, through SNA or the Internet. This module is designed to react before problems escalate and can collect performance data for later analysis, according to Aguirre.

VISUAL Control Graphical Analyzer provides historical performance analysis to help users spot bottlenecks, correlate problems to real causes, plan for future capacity and justify hardware upgrades.

The fifth module, VISUAL Support, allows users to get down to the source code to inspect performance bottlenecks and help them diagnose and solve any general application problem. VISUAL Support is designed to accomplish this by capturing a job -- revealing actual screens, LDA, QTEMP, LIBL information -- and executing commands on it. Through this module, operators and help desk personnel have a tool to solve unexpected production problems, avoid disruptions and reprocessing, and achieve higher application availability.