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Friday, 08 July, 2011

dim_STAT: Experimental Core Upgrade v9-dev1

As there were several users expressed to see dim_STAT v.9.0 improvements before than the "official" release will be available, I've decided to ship a "Core Upgrade" - a current scripts version corresponding to the "v9-dev1" level. This upgrade is experimental, and even if I'm applying all these changes on our LAB servers on regular basis it still doesn't mean it'll work as well for everybody :-))

So, before to involve any deployment of Core Upgrade, please do a backup of your currently installed scripts.


  • the upgrade is only applicable if you're running the latest "official" dim_STAT version! (currently v.8.5)
  • the upgrade is platform independent as it'll change scripts only, so doesn't matter if you're running dim_STAT on Linux or Solaris :-)
  • as well I'm always taking care about a backward compatibility, so no one from new features requiring any new tables in database, etc. (and even when it's really required, all missed stuff will be created automatically on demand by the tool itself)..

So far, following are the instructions about upgrade installation (default directory names are used below):

  • First of all, stop your dim_STAT server:
    # /apps/ADMIN/dim_STAT-Server stop

  • Backup your current core scripts:
    # cd /opt/WebX
    # tar czf /MyBackup/WebX_apps-backup.tgz apps

  • Deploy downloaded Core Upgrade v9-dev1:
    # cd /opt/WebX
    # tar xzf /PathTo/WebX_apps-v9-dev1.tgz

  • Start dim_STAT server:
    # /apps/ADMIN/dim_STAT-Server start

  • Enjoy! ;-))

Well, I very hope there will be no issues and you'll really enjoy new features rather restore old scripts from your backup :-)) but in case you have some problems - follow the same steps, but don't do the backup again and just restore your backup instead of Core Upgrade deployment..

However, let's hope it'll be OK and you're ready now to discover new features ;-))

Of course, there are many features that you'll be not able to see because they are related to the internals and general code improvements.. - probably you'll feel that the same tasks will run faster, don't know, as the true changes will come with a final v.9.0 running on MySQL 5.5 :-)

But here is the list of the new features or fixes that you'll see for sure:

  • fixed: Extended Multi-Host analyzing is now working to draw graphs even if no Mutli-Host stats were selected!

  • fixed: Date tags on graphs are no more mixed if the time interval is too wide (several weeks or more)!

  • Error messages are now logged in case when the communication was lost with a STAT-service from an active collect!

  • Regular expressions are used now for name selection criteria in multi-line stats!

  • List of names within multi-line stats have now a Filter option (to reduce the list size and simplify per name selection)!

  • On Multi-Host Analyze is possible to show a SUM/AVG values for all hosts together via Group by Name option and use 0 in the Name length!

  • Data Distribution graph is now working not only with Java Applet option, but with PNG drawing too!

  • For any values you want to present on the graph you may now choose also to present the SUM of all these values (or just the SUM instead) - it helps in many cases when you need to analyze the totals! (for ex. for CPU% usage to see the Sys%, Usr% and Sys% + Usr% on the same time; or I/O Read/sec, Write/sec, and Read+Write/sec; etc.)

  • And then the most exciting feature - Multi-Host Bookmarks!! ;-)

Why Multi-Host Bookmarks? - it was quite painful to not have the same flexibility on the Multi-Host Analyzing as on the Single-Host. Specially when you're interesting, for example, not just on a global CPU usage on several hosts, but on CPU usage of some particular processes (ex. oracle). In this case you may make a specific Bookmark by selecting only Oracle processes names (as filter) and CPU% Usage within ProcLOAD (for ex.) and then apply it on the Multi-Host Analyze! :-)) Same if you're looking on particular list of storage devices (ex. only those on c0 and c4 controllers) and want to graph their activity from several hosts and on the same graph (rather the SUM of all devices) - now it'll be possible! :-)

How can you create a Multi-Host Bookmark? - just keep in mind that you can bring only one single value to show it on the Multi-Host activity graph! - in case of single-line stats (ex. vmstat) it may be any value (ex. free memory), in case of multi-line (ex. iostat) it can be only an aggregate (SUM/AVG/etc.) as it should result in a single value at the end. And then this value is presented on the same graph for every host name. So, just keep it in mind when you're doing a Single-Host Analyze, and once your graph is ready, as usual you'll see a field on the bottom of the page to Save Graph as Bookmark, except that now there will be an option to save it as Single-Host or Multi-Host Bookmark :-) The option for a Multi-Host Bookmark is appearing only if you're drawing only a single value on your Graph and not using Host-related criteria (top-10 disks, etc.), as only "generic" criteria will be allowed (name mask, value conditions, etc.).. Well, it's longer to tell rather to try :-))

Where Multi-Host Bookmarks can be used? - everywhere ;-)) Well, currently they are mixed with "classic" Multi-Host stats, but with a time I'm expecting to transform all Multi-Host stats into Multi-Host Bookmarks (and let me know what do you think about) - Bookmark naming is way more flexible comparing to auto-generated ones for SUM/AVG/etc :-) And since upgrade you'll be able to use Multi-Host Bookmarks in:

  • Multi-Host Analyze (as expected ;-))
  • Report Tool
  • dim_STAT-CLI - yes!! ;-)) - you can now give a list of IDs like "-ID 2,3,4,5" and in this case Multi-Host Bookmarks will be used instead ;-) and as well you may use by Host Name Grouping via "-Group Aggr:Len" where Aggr is the Aggregation operation (SUM/AVG/MAX/MIN) and Len is the length of the first N characters in the Host name by which you have to group your data. For ex. "-Group SUM:4" will group data by the first 4 letters in the name of your Hosts and draw the SUM of them (very useful if you have so many hosts that a single host activity is not really important, and you have rather to analyze groups of hosts (and as you may rename hosts as you want via Preferences, it's easy to choose naming which will well match your future grouping ;-))

Well, enough said, it's time to try it now! :-))
The link is here: Core Upgrade-v9-dev1 .

If this experiment will be successful, I'll continue to ship similar Core Upgrades in the future to avoid a long wait for the next final versions and have more reactive bug fixing (if any) and new feature availability as well ;-))

Any comments are welcome!


Posted by Dimitri at 20:20 - Comments...
Categories: dim_STAT