Performance Navigator Offers Free Graphs Subset

Midrange Performance Group Inc. (MPG, Boulder, Colo.) has announced the release of Performance Navigator 3.1, the latest version of its graphical performance management and capacity planning tool for AS/400. Version 3.1 expands on the features of previous releases by offering a free subset of graphs included with the license.

The additional offering consists of CPU Utilization by priority and Disk Space Utilization graphs. According to Randy Watson, president of MPG, the additional graphs allow users to view data from multiple machines, an operation that was possible, but inconvenient, with previous releases.

“Before, [customers] could look at only one machine, but now we’ve made it very easy for them to look at multiple machines at the same time,” Watson says. “The thing we’ve tried to do with this announcement is to try to make it real easy for people to get these two graphs, to be exposed to this really valuable tool.”

As with the 100-plus graphs that are part of the Performance Navigator Package--including Current Day Graphs, Average Day Graphs, and System Activity Reports--the free graphs are fully dynamic. Users can choose to view data representing a period of years, months, weeks, down to 15-minute intervals. Linear regression analysis graphs--which chart a company’s rate of growth over a defined period--can also be adjusted according to the type of information a customer seeks, whether it is in terms of years, months, or even days.

“Our uniqueness here is that all of our graphs are dynamic, so that the customers can drill up or down, zoom in or out … to adjust how much data will be shown on the x-axis [which displays time intervals],” says Watson.

Users can also manipulate the graphs to exclude data that might skew an overall utilization trend--such as holidays, when demand on the system would significantly decrease, or the implementation of some operation which might use an unusually large portion of the CPU on a particular day.

As to the competitive landscape, Watson said there are a number of companies who provide capacity planning solutions, analysis tools to track the most immediate performance failures, or trend charts. While some of Performance Navigator’s functions overlap with these offerings, Watson believes MPG’s product is distinctive because of its ease of use, long-term analysis capability and dynamically enabled graphs. “Functionally, there’s nobody who can do what we do.”

The new Performance Navigator Professional Edition, which includes all the graph and report features of Standard Edition 3.1, also includes Capacity Planning functions for mapping to the AS/400 7xx series and older AS/400 models. The Professional Edition’s “What-If?” feature provides point and click CPU capacity planning, server consolidation, LPAR configuration and DASD capacity planning.

Performance Navigator 3.1 runs on a Windows 95/98/NT workstation with a minimum of 15MB of free disk space. It also requires an ODBC connection with the AS/400 (e.g., CA/400). The product utilizes data gathered through AS/400’s built-in PM/400 data reduction program, or through a data reduction program provided directly through MPG. Both are offered at no additional cost to the user. Users can download Performance Navigator 3.1 from MPG’s Web site, (new window). Single-subscription pricing starts at $995 for the Standard Edition and $1,295 for the Professional Edition.

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