Beyond Optimization: How Adabas Review Saves Money

Issue 1, 2012 Download pdf

Adabas Review, a performance monitor, is an essential tool to own. Aside from analyzing basic performance metrics, performance monitors are used by DBAs and programmers alike to drive down costs, recoup expenses and delay upgrades. To learn more about why you must have a performance monitor and how to compare performance monitors for Adabas, read my whitepaper “Beyond Optimization: How Using a Performance Monitor for Adabas Saves Money” at

The traditional role of using performance monitors to optimize performance has diminished in recent years as CPUs, memory and I/O devices have gotten faster and cheaper. In contrast, the cost of DBAs and programmers to operate systems has risen while the number of employees with internal knowledge of the database and programs has declined. Consequently, the role of performance monitors now focuses on opportunities to recover costs and reduce the amount of labor required to debug problems.

Here’s what you can do with a performance monitor:

Performance monitors can be used to:
•    Collect chargeback information
•    Debug programs
•    Resolve error messages
•    Identify programs using excessive resources
•    Track historical resource utilization
•    Tune the database to achieve optimal performance

Since databases are often one of the largest consumers of machine resources, many organizations attempt to capture computer-resource consumption and bill departments accordingly. This process is referred to as chargeback.  
Adabas Review can uncover calls to the database that produce a significant amount of CPU and I/O that are hidden inside the database job by looking at the command and/or the number of I/Os attributed to the command and produce reports that allocate costs by user.  Chargeback is a critical feature for many organizations as it translates into real money.

While program debuggers allow you step through a program line by line or by stopping at various breakpoints, Adabas Review takes debugging and error resolution to the next level. For example, if the Data Definition Module (DDM) is pointing at the wrong database or file number, the call may execute when you expect it to but may point to the wrong location. This can result in unusual error messages or unexpected data results. Tracing database calls using Adabas Review filtered by user, program or file can help quickly determine what is going on and why. Users of Adabas Review can also analyze the contents of the Adabas Control Block (ACB) and the various buffers to determine what is actually being seen and sent by the database.

Using Adabas Review to debug programs and resolve errors can save a great deal of time and energy for a DBA or programmer trying to resolve an issue. Saving time and resources can reduce support costs.

Tuning the database involves analyzing the various pools, queues and tables along with overall throughput to determine where parameter changes can improve performance. However, improvements to infrastructure have reduced response times for database calls so radically that relatively few shops worry about tuning the database.

Due to the lack of tuning efforts over the years, many organizations may not realize they have some low-hanging fruit to gain easy savings. Depending on how you pay for your resources, tuning the database may either save real money or help put off a machine upgrade.  

Despite all the performance improvements in the database and the infrastructure that supports it, poorly written programs can still create bottlenecks. There will always be a reason to monitor application program performance and the resources consumed by these programs.  Culprits such as excessive calls or I/Os or large numbers of held records can cause unexpected error messages or delays in processing.  

Monitoring resource utilization is often necessary to “prove” the database is not running poorly and if an application problem really exists. DBAs often find monitoring resources is valuable if only as evidence the database is not at fault for performance problems.

Tracking historical data about performance can provide valuable insight.  For example, in order to tune the database, it is necessary to understand what is “normal” for the database by watching performance for a period of time. Adabas Review can also record the number of commands executed against a particular file or database as a measure of CPU consumption and track the number of records in a file as a proxy for disk space used.  This information can be used to extrapolate future growth for capacity planning. It is also possible to analyze the impact of a particular event, such as year-end processing or a hardware upgrade.  

Performance monitors are the must-have product for organizations using the mainframe. Monitors practically pay for themselves in many ways, from recouping costs with chargebacks to reducing support costs by resolving errors faster.

Find out why Adabas Review is your best choice in “Beyond Optimization: How Using a Performance Monitor for Adabas Saves Money” at

And join the Adabas Administration and Monitoring forum for further questions and discussions on using Adabas Review at