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As400

An Introduction to Top Ten System Utilities of your IBMi Software

(Last Updated On: September 8, 2021)

Are you aware of the features and functionalities of your IBM iSeries software? Or do you know how to plan and manage the ongoing operations on your IBM as400?

IBMi can handle many tasks automatically, whereas another OS requires a team to handle similar tasks. IBM iSeries AS400 always emphasis on security, software management, and problem-solving approach. Get an introduction to system architecture and built-in functions through this blog.

Have a look at ten IBM AS/400 iSeries utilities that can give you a boost in system administration:

History Log

Since starting, if the system has been shipped with the value QHSTLOGSIZ set to 5000, it means the number of records allowed in a single QHST log file before moving to another one.

Previously there happens to be very little activity onto the system, so 5000 was the best limit. But in today’s scenario, we’ve thousands of users using our system and data in multiple ways. Moreover, it’s a fact that more and more information is being uploaded on the IBM as400 iSeries system, which denotes the formation of a new QHST file every minute.

Message Queues

IBM as400 i-Series is excellent at logging events, and that mostly goes to the history log or message queue. But you should be aware that the message queue is capable of holding only 75,000 messages. In the absence of proper maintenance services, more messages in the queue can result in the process stopping.

System value QJOBMSGQFL allows users to dictate at the system level and decide what will appear on the screen when a queue is full. The system value is denoted through – *NOWRAP command, which means “do not wrap.”

If you rely heavily on the QSYSOPR command, keep in mind that this queue is clear at IPL time and can wipe your entire audit trail.
CRTMSGQ MSGQ (QSYS/QSYSMSG) – This command can be used to create a message queue.

Disk Space

Large IBM as400 iSeries organizations often find that their disk space grows 30% every year organically, but they cannot figure out what is growing and what can be done with these growths.

The IBM iSeries AS400 system automatically shows the code CPF0907, which denotes serious storage conditions and QHST when the system auxiliary storage pool reaches a threshold. This threshold limit can be defined within the system service tools. Apart from these, you won’t get any other notification in real-time for library size and disk space.

However, these two IBM as/400 iseries commands can give you some insights about what’s occupying the space:

RTVDSKINF – Retrieve Disk Information

This command must be entered into the batch and at a specific time within the system. The command analyses all the functions and collect data from each section, like disk percentage, last used, last changes, and many more.

PRTDSKINF – Print Disk Information 
This command works in parallel with the RTVDSKINF command. Once the process of retrieving disk information is completed, you can freely extract data through the Print disk. In general, the command focuses on accessing data from libraries, folders, objects, system information, and areas of interest.

Memory

Theoretically, you may run the overall application in memory on POWER8, but memory comes at some cost, and you should closely manage it.
The system value QPFRADJ (Performance Adjustment) is conveyed and manages system memory pool size. Moreover, it actively levels the number of threads that can be used by the processor when needed to attain optimal performance.

Furthermore, if you use the key, you can knob around to see active and ineligible values. Generally, these values should be zero, and any value other than this indicates that the thread has been waiting or active earlier. In such cases, deep analysis is advised.

Exit Points

System administrations often don’t pay attention to IBM iSeries AS400 exit points, apart from the critical position holders who want to shine a light on gaps. In IBMi 7.2, there are 133 exit points (the paths through which controls are passed to one or more programs).

Out of these 133 exit points, you only need to take care of 27 points. Out of these 27 points, only 12 points provide access to the system and data. Are you aware, who is accessing your system, and what are they accessing?

Object Size

There are no management services available in the IBM AS400 iSeries system to manage the IFS to overgrow. One GB of integrated file system (IFS) object takes longer to save & restore than one GB large IFS object. So, users must be aware of large and small IFS objects that have not been used for a long time.

There is a small limit of 360000 objects allowed within a library and in the QSYS.LIB file system. The application will continue in normal mode after the limit is crossed, but you won’t back up the library after that.
When thinking of saving the library, the IBM AS/400 iSeries system doesn’t generate a warning apart from “CPF3770”, which typically means no object saved or restored.

Spooled Files

The WRKSYSSTS command displays the “JOBS IN SYSTEM” figure, and it consists of all the jobs queued together, out of them how many are currently running and how many of them have spooled files.

IBM iseries as/400 look of each job into the system to stick to how jobs are available and how much time it will take to manage the system.
Job logs and as400 system output can be managed effectively by the options given in the operational assist menu, and there you can also define the number of days to keep the spooled files.

Journal Receivers

When system availability is the priority of every organization, it’s common to see high availability applications within the organizations. Many of these organizations use journaling to keep the standby systems coordinated.

Journal receivers can grow to a large extend in a short period, and it’s common for journals to process 300,000 entries per minute.

Runaway or Looping Jobs

IBM as400 system has numerous switches and controls that permit users to manage the system in a way they want and handle various workloads simultaneously. However, there is still room for improvement in the system, especially for looping jobs. These jobs make use of unnecessary system resources and impact the end-user experience negatively.

Elevated Profiles

Total four user profiles are sent with access to all IBM AS400 iSeries system objects:

  • QLPAUTO
  • QLPINSTALL
  • QSECOFR
  • CSS

Have a look at your IBM as400 system and check if you still have all these profiles with ALLOBJ* (special authority).

In our years of services, we’ve experienced that it’s easier to copy and modify an existing profile than to create a new one, and that’s the reason many companies consider existing user profiles. As a result of this, many companies end up collecting hundreds of robust profiles.

Sometimes, files with ALLOBJ* authority happens to be group profiles.

Final Words

If you’re new to the IBM AS400 iSeries platform or looking to modernize your existing setup, Integrative Systems can be your go-to partner in this journey.

At Integrative Systems, we can help you upgrade your complete software and enhance overall business productivity. We are based out of Chicago for 20+ years and helping customers worldwide with their IBM AS400 services.

So, if you are looking for something similar or have any queries regarding the software, feel free to initiate the conversation by sending us an email at contact@integrative-systems.com, and someone from our team will contact you within 24 hours.

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