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NonStop Performance Essentials – Delivering the Features you Asked For!


Last week, I was in Portland, Oregon attending the OpenStack Summit. Being quite new to OpenStack, it was very educational to me, and I couldn’t help from thinking how HP Integrity NonStop is an ideal platform for cloud computing.


But another thought was also consistently in my mind – and that was that even in the cloud infrastructure, IT has to worry about how the systems are performing. After all, even with all the virtualization and cloud layers, it is the underlying hardware that provides the service. With a lot of hardware, SLAs might not be affected and workload can be moved from one piece of hardware to another, but the failed and non-performing hardware still needs to be taken care of - before SLAs do start getting affected.


NonStop customers have a choice of management applications that can monitor performance of the various components in a system. These applications have different levels of functionality and varying price points. For day-to-day performance monitoring and alerting, especially in an environment where HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM) is used as a single pane of glass for infrastructure management, HP NonStop Performance Essentials makes an ideal choice for the performance monitoring.


HP NonStop Performance Essentials is a plug-in to HP NonStop Cluster Essentials, and provides real-time performance monitoring of homogeneous clusters consisting of NonStop systems, and heterogeneous clusters consisting of NonStop and Linux systems. The product monitors CPU, disk, process, Expand line, TMF transaction, ServerNet, SQL Procedure, File Open and CLIM entities for NonStop; and CPU, disk, process and network entities for Linux. In addition to GUI display of various performance metrics and an aggregate performance status per system and per cluster in real-time, NonStop Performance Essentials displays a trend graph for each entity to show its recent usage pattern. Of course, like any sophisticated performance monitoring application, NonStop Performance Essentials provides capability for you to create alert notifications based on whatever threshold makes sense for your specific environment. These notifications can be via E-mail or SMS text message.


In this blog, I will discuss some very cool enhancements made in HP NonStop Performance Essentials in its last release in January, 2013 in SPRs T0831V02^AAG and T0832H02^AAF.


CLIM QoS (Quality of Service) metrics

In addition to many other metrics collected from the NonStop CIP (Cluster I/O Protocols) subsystem and CLIM Linux environment, HP NonStop Performance Essentials now collects two other metrics for CLIM Network Protocol entity - SCTP Sent and SCTP Rcvd. These two metrics provide a measure of QoS for Telco CLIMs, and are very useful for Telco customers.


Ability to specify time periods in alert settings

By default, any alert configuration specified in HP NonStop Performance Essentials is applicable at all times. In other words, if you set up an alert to send an SMS text message to your NonStop system administrator (Joe) if any CPU busy is more than 70%, this SMS text will be sent to Joe any time CPU busy is at more than 70% - day or night. I bet that will annoy Joe, especially when it is Jane, who is responsible for after-hour administration of the system. Now, you can keep both Joe and Jane happy, and keep your management operations following the sun 24x7.


HP NonStop Performance Essentials now provides capability to specify time periods in any alert configuration. This capability can be used in two different ways:

  1. To provide separation of duty. For example, in the above use case, you can setup the alert configuration so that if the CPU busy is more than 70% during day time, Joe gets notified; while if the CPU busy is more than 70% during night time, Jane gets notified.
  2. To create alerts based on specific time periods. For example, if you expect CPU busy to be not more than 70% during day time, but not more than 40% during night time, you can create two different alerts – one for day time and one for night time (and of course, with two different notification destinations if you so choose).

Ability to export reports and graphs to Excel files

One of the ways some customers use performance metrics is to collect them over time and perform trend analysis. One of the ways to accomplish this is by exporting the data from the performance monitoring application to Microsoft Excel.


The new version of HP NonStop Performance Essentials provides exactly this functionality. Any report or graph displayed in the GUI can be exported to an Excel file. This file can then be used to perform any kind of analysis.


Ability to use non-super user credentials to collect CLIM metrics

Before the latest release of HP NonStop Performance Essentials, it required the credentials of a super group user to be stored in HP SIM because super group user credentials were required to collect CLIM metrics.


The latest release of HP NonStop Performance Essentials lifts that restriction. Now, any user credentials can be stored in HP SIM, and NonStop Performance Essentials will use those credentials to collect CLIM metrics. Even if SSOCLIM was not performed for that user, NonStop Performance Essentials is still able to collect CLIM metrics.


If you were concerned about storing super user credentials in HP SIM, you don’t have to worry about it anymore.


Whether it is a traditional IT environment or a cloud environment, infrastructure performance monitoring is an essential requirement. HP NonStop Performance Essentials provides the capability to do that job efficiently in a lights-out environment. And now, with even cooler features, the product is even better than before.

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About the Author


Vinay Gupta is an HP Distinguished Technologist and the NonStop Manageability Architect. He joined Tandem in 1994 after graduating from Indian Institute of Technology. He has worked on many NonStop manageability applications over time. He works across various groups within NonStop and HP to ensure consistency and interoperability in manageability interfaces and applications. He is also a member of DMTF workgroups.

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