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OpenVMS System Performance Management

Course Code: U3727S
Length: 5 days

Schedule and Registration

Course Description

This course presents OpenVMS performance under three subsystems: Memory Management, I/O and CPU. This course features:

  • Isolating performance bottlenecks to one of the three subsystems
  • Effects of SYSGEN parameters on each of the subsystems, when to change these parameters and when other management modifications or the purchase of new hardware will be required
  • Sufficiency (keeping the system running), as well as tuning considerations
  • The relative merits/drawbacks of using AUTOGEN

Who Should Attend

OpenVMS system managers, applications programmers, and system programmers.


Students should have a fundamental understanding of system management and be able to:

  • Set up accounts
  • Use SYSGEN/SYSMAN to change a system parameter
  • Use the INSTALL utility
  • INITIALIZE and MOUNT a disk

Students should also have a fundamental understanding of programming concepts, including:

  • Understanding the purpose of a compiler
  • Understanding the purpose of a linker
  • Understanding how a computer executes a program

Benefits of Attending this Class

Upon completing this course, students should be able to:

  • Interpret performance metrics supplied by:
    • The MONITOR utility
    • DCL commands including: SHOW SYSTEM SHOW
    • The INSTALL utility
  • Identify bottlenecks in the following subsystems:
    • Memory Management
    • I/O
    • CPU
  • Size working set parameters
  • Monitor page file space
  • Describe the advantages of balancing disk I/O
  • Improve the performance characteristics of indexed files using the CONVERT utility
  • Identify factors contributing to time spent executing in processor modes
  • Describe file locking design considerations to attain good performance
  • Monitor distributed lock traffic and the impact of its performance
  • Identify the impact of changing key system parameters

Course Contents

General Performance Topics
  • Module Outline
  • Performance Issues
  • Performance Bottlenecks
  • OpenVMS Performance Metrics
  • OpenVMS Performance Tools
Layout of Virtual Address Space
  • Module Outline
  • Layout of Virtual Address Space (VAX, Alpha, I64)
  • Address Space
  • OpenVMS Alpha Memory Management
  • P0 Space Contents
  • P1 Space Layout
  • System Space Layout (Alpha, I64)
  • System Space
  • S0/S1 Space
  • Monitoring Pool
  • Nonpaged Pool Reclamation
  • Pool Zones
  • Lock Manager Use of Pool Zones
Image Activation and Paging
  • Module Outline
  • Paging Compared to Swapping
  • Address Translation
  • Page Faults
  • Locating Pages in Virtual Memory
  • Producing an Image File
  • Image Activation and Paging
  • Image Activation
  • Free Page List
  • Valid Pages and the Working Set List
  • Free List Fault Rate
  • Modified List Fault Rate
  • Secondary Hard Faults
Interpreting Paging Metrics
  • Module Outline
  • Sample Display from $Monitor Page
  • Interpreting the $Monitor Page Display
  • Interpreting Paging Metrics
  • $SHOW MEMORY (Alpha, I64)
  • $MONITOR Page
Working Sets and Automatic Working Set Adjustment
  • Module Outline
  • Working Set List
  • Working Set Size vs. Working Set List Size
  • Parameters Affecting the Working Set List Size
  • Automatic Working Set Adjustment
  • Working Set Performance Considerations
  • AWSA Performance Considerations
  • AWSA Parameters
Locality and Paging Performance
  • Module Outline
  • Locality
  • Locality Issues
  • Effects of Poor Locality
  • Effect of Improving Locality
Shared Image Cost and Benefits
  • Module Outline
  • Shared Image Costs and Benefits
  • Image Activation and Paging
  • Linking Shareable Images
  • Alpha & I64 Resident Images
  • Shared Address Data
The Modified Page List and Modified Page Writing
  • Module Outline
  • Modified Page List
  • Modified Page List Parameters and Metrics
  • Modified Page List Performance Considerations
  • MPL Performance and Analysis
  • Page File Exhaustion
  • Modified Page Writer Parameter Relationships
The Swapper and Memory Reclamation
  • Module Outline
  • The Swapper and Memory Reclamation
  • Free Page List Parameter Relationships
General I/O Flow
  • Module Outline
  • General I/O Flow
  • Geometry of Disks
  • Time-Based Components of a Disk Transfer
  • Optimization of Disk Operations
  • Virtual I/O Cache
  • Extended File Cache (XFC)
  • XFC SYSGEN Parameters
  • Permanent vs. Dynamic XFC Cache Size
  • Monitoring the XFC
  • Monitoring Volume Activity
  • Monitoring File Activity
  • Cache Control
  • Resetting Cache Counters
Analyzing the Effects of Fragmentation
  • Module Outline
  • Determining I/O Rates
  • Dump of Header for X.Dat
  • Effect of Making File Contiguous
  • Effect of Making Both Files Contiguous
  • Using Multiple Spindles
Controller Optimizations
  • Module Outline
  • Controller Optimizations
  • Locating Bottlenecks
  • Other Optimizatons Through Layered Products
  • RAID
Files-11 ODS-2 Concepts
  • Module Outline
  • Files-11 Terminology
  • Directory Concepts
  • File Open Operation
Contiguity and the File System
  • Module Outline
  • Contiguity and the File System
  • Window Turns
  • Preventing Fragmentation
  • Split Transfers
  • Window Turns Versus Split Transfers
  • Accessing Sequential Files
  • Accessing Files Randomly
File System Caches
  • Module Outline
  • File System Caches
  • $MONITOR File
  • Shared and Private Caches
  • Checking for Shrunken Caches
RMS Structures and Design Considerations
  • Module Outline
  • RMS File Concepts
  • Summary of RMS File Organizations
  • File Structures
  • Indexed File Organization for a File with No Alternate Keys
  • RMS Interfaces for Affecting File Structure
  • Bucket Splits
  • Indexed File Growth
  • Factors Affecting Bucket Splits
  • Duplicate Keys for Data Records
  • Compression
RMS Utilities
  • Module Outline
  • File Definition Language
  • Techniques for Creating Data Files Using an FDL File
  • Creating a Data File from an FDL File
  • Optimizing RMS Indexed Files
  • Examining File Structures
  • Example Using RMS Utilities to Tune an Indexed File Structure
  • Example Testing Random Access of Indexed Files
RMS I/O Buffering Considerations
  • Module Outline
  • Buffers and Buckets
  • Design Considerations
  • Multiblock Count Example
  • Read Ahead/Write Behind
  • Deferred Write
  • Setting Up Multiple Buffers
  • Determining the Number of Local Buffers
  • Global Buffers
Monitor RMS
  • Module Outline
  • MONITOR RMS Example
Understanding CPU Performance
  • Module Outline
  • CISC vs. RISC Architectures
  • Understanding CPU Performance
  • VAX Alignment Considerations Example
  • Data Alignment Issues
  • Nonaligned Data Example
  • Nonaligned and Compiler Aligned Data Sample Runs
  • Aligned Data Example
  • Badly Aligned Macro Example
  • Well Aligned Macro Example
  • C Code with Bad Alignment
  • C Small Data Accesses Issues
  • C Code with Good Alignment
  • Debugger Issues
  • Using the Break/Unaligned Debugger Option
  • CPU Performance and Symmetric Multiprocessing
  • Galaxy Performance Options
  • Galaxy Computing Model
  • Galaxy Shared Everything Model
  • CPU Migration Under Galaxy
  • Sample CPU Migration Using DCL
  • CPU Controls Using DCL
Understanding Time Spent in Modes
  • Module Outline
  • OpenVMS Access Modes
  • Interrupt Stack/State Time
  • Impact of High Timer Service Rate
  • MP Synchronization Time
  • Dedicated CPU Lock Manager
  • Dedicated CPU Lock Manager Interaction
  • Dedicated CPU Lock Manager Examples
  • Impact of the Dedicated CPU Lock Manager
  • Dedicated CPU Lock Manager Litmus Test
  • Idle Time
  • Examining Time Spent in Access Modes
  • Compatibility Mode Time
  • Analyzing Time Spent in Modes
OpenVMS Scheduling and Priorities
  • Module Outline
  • Quantum and CPU Time
  • Priorities
  • Waiting States
  • States of Concern
  • Class Scheduler
  • Class Scheduler Example
Locking Concepts
  • Module Outline
  • Locking Concepts
  • Other Characteristics of Locks
  • Application Design and Locking Performance
  • Locking Considerations
  • Record Options in RAB for Locking Shared Files
  • Sample $MONITOR LOCK/Local Buffers
  • $MONITOR LOCK Display (Global Buffers)
  • Interpreting the $MONITOR LOCK Display
  • Lock Manager Parameters
  • Global Buffers
  • Global Buffer Read-mode Bucket Locking
  • RMS Contention Policies
  • Setting RMS Contention Policies
  • No Query Locking
Distributed Locking Concepts
  • Module Outline
  • Distributed Locking Concepts
  • PE1 Processing
  • Lock Tree Inbound Example
  • Higher Activity Example
  • Higher LOCKDIRWT Example
  • Performance Issues with Distributed Locking
  • Distributed Locking Example
The MSCP Server
  • Module Outline
  • MSCP Server
  • Interpreting $MONITOR MSCP