#InterSystems Business Solutions and Architectures
This topic unites publications, which describe business ideas and approaches, success stories, architectures, and demos of solutions you can create, build, and implement with InterSystems products: InterSystems IRIS, InterSystems IRIS for Health, HealthShare, Caché, and Ensemble.
This post will show you an approach to size shared memory requirements for database applications running on InterSystems data platforms including global and routine buffers, gmheap, and locksize as well as some performance tips you should consider when configuring servers and when virtualizing Caché applications. As ever when I talk about Caché I mean all the data platform (Ensemble, HealthShare, iKnow and Caché).
Your application is deployed and everything is running fine. Great, hi-five! Then out of the blue the phone starts to ring off the hook – it’s users complaining that the application is sometimes ‘slow’. But what does that mean? Sometimes? What tools do you have and what statistics should you be looking at to find and resolve this slowness? Is your system infrastructure up to the task of the user load? What infrastructure design questions should you have asked before you went into production? How can you capacity plan for new hardware with confidence and without over-spec'ing? How can you stop the phone ringing? How could you have stopped it ringing in the first place?
In the last post we scheduled 24-hour collections of performance metrics using pButtons. In this post we are going to be looking at a few of the key metrics that are being collected and how they relate to the underlying system hardware. We will also start to explore the relationship between Caché (or any of the InterSystems Data Platforms) metrics and system metrics. And how you can use these metrics to understand the daily beat rate of your systems and diagnose performance problems.
In this post I show strategies for backing up Caché using External Backup with examples of integrating with snapshot based solutions. The majority of solutions I see today are deployed on Linux on VMware so a lot of the post shows how solutions integrate VMware snapshot technology as examples.
There are often questions surrounding the ideal Apache HTTPD Web Server configuration for HealthShare. The contents of this article will outline the initial recommended web server configuration for any HealthShare product.
As a starting point, Apache HTTPD version 2.4.x (64-bit) is recommended. Earlier versions such as 2.2.x are available, however version 2.2 is not recommended for performance and scalability of HealthShare.
I have attached a document that describes the product I have developed called NiPaRobotica Pharmacy. This is an interface I developed that accepts Pharmacy Dispense Requests and converts the line items on the order into dispense dialogues which it sends to pharmacy robots. I deployed the interface into 3 Hospital pharmacies two of which had 6 robots that were arranged in such a way that the dispense chutes channelled medications to desks by the pharmacists sitting in windows serving 1200 patients a day. The robots cut the average waiting time from 2 hours down to one hour.
The following steps show you how to display a sample list of metrics available from the /api/monitor service.
In the last post, I gave an overview of the service that exposes IRIS metrics in Prometheus format. The post shows how to set up and run IRIS preview release 2019.4 in a container and then list the metrics.
This post assumes you have Docker installed. If not, go and do that now for your platform :)
Enterprises need to grow and manage their global computing infrastructures rapidly and efficiently while simultaneously optimizing and managing capital costs and expenses. Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) computing and storage services meet the needs of the most demanding Caché based application by providing a highly robust global computing infrastructure.
This week I am going to look at CPU, one of the primary hardware food groups :) A customer asked me to advise on the following scenario; Their production servers are approaching end of life and its time for a hardware refresh. They are also thinking of consolidating servers by virtualising and want to right-size capacity either bare-metal or virtualized. Today we will look at CPU, in later posts I will explain the approach for right-sizing other key food groups - memory and IO.
The Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud provides a broad set of infrastructure services, such as compute resources, storage options, and networking that are delivered as a utility: on-demand, available in seconds, with pay-as-you-go pricing. New services can be provisioned quickly, without upfront capital expense. This allows enterprises, start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, and customers in the public sector to access the building blocks they need to respond quickly to changing business requirements.
This is a list of all the posts in the Data Platforms’ capacity planning and performance series in order. Also a general list of my other posts. I will update as new posts in the series are added.
You will notice that I wrote some posts before IRIS was released and refer to Caché. I will revisit the posts over time, but in the meantime, Generally, the advice for configuration is the same for Caché and IRIS. Some command names may have changed; the most obvious example is that anywhere you see the ^pButtons command, you can replace it with ^SystemPerformance.
While some posts are updated to preserve links, others will be marked as strikethrough to indicate that the post is legacy. Generally, I will say, "See: some other post" if it is appropriate.
Capacity Planning and Performance Series
Generally, posts build on previous ones, but you can also just dive into subjects that look interesting.
The use of the InterSystems Virtual IP (VIP) address built-in to Caché database mirroring has certain limitations. In particular, it can only be used when mirror members reside the same network subnet. When multiple data centers are used, network subnets are not often “stretched” beyond the physical data center due to added network complexity (more detailed discussion here). For similar reasons, Virtual IP is often not usable when the database is hosted in the cloud.
Network traffic management appliances such as load balancers (physical or virtual) can be used to achieve the same level of transparency, presenting a single address to the client applications or devices. The network traffic manager automatically redirects clients to the current mirror primary’s real IP address. The automation is intended to meet the needs of both HA failover and DR promotion following a disaster.
InterSystems Data Platform includes utilities and tools for system monitoring and alerting, however System Administrators new to solutions built on the InterSystems Data Platform (a.k.a Caché) need to know where to start and what to configure.
This guide shows the path to a minimum monitoring and alerting solution using references from online documentation and developer community posts to show you how to enable and configure the following;
Caché Monitor: Scans the console log and sends emails alerts.
System Monitor: Monitors system status and resources, generating notifications (alerts and warnings) based on fixed parameters and also tracks overall system health.
Health Monitor: Samples key system and user-defined metrics and compares them to user-configurable parameters and established normal values, generating notifications when samples exceed applicable or learned thresholds.
History Monitor: Maintains a historical database of performance and system usage metrics.
pButtons: Operating system and Caché metrics collection scheduled daily.
Remember this guide is a minimum configuration, the included tools are flexible and extensible so more functionality is available when needed. This guide skips through the documentation to get you up and going. You will need to dive deeper into the documentation to get the most out of the monitoring tools, in the meantime, think of this as a set of cheat sheets to get up and running.
The healthcare technology market is in strong evolution. Gartner's wave chart for healthcare technologies demonstrates what these technologies are, very well reflected by healthcare.digital. I call this HealthTech See:
These technologies can use InterSystems technologies (ISC Health Tech), see:
This article provides a reference architecture as a sample for providing robust performing and highly available applications based on InterSystems Technologies that are applicable to Caché, Ensemble, HealthShare, TrakCare, and associated embedded technologies such as DeepSee, iKnow, Zen and Zen Mojo.
Azure has two different deployment models for creating and working with resources: Azure Classic and Azure Resource Manager. The information detailed in this article is based on the Azure Resource Manager model (ARM).
Released with no formal announcement in IRIS preview release 2019.4 is the /api/monitor service exposing IRIS metrics in Prometheus format. Big news for anyone wanting to use IRIS metrics as part of their monitoring and alerting solution. The API is a component of the new IRIS System Alerting and Monitoring (SAM) solution that will be released in an upcoming version of IRIS.
I saw someone recently refer to ECP as magic. It certainly seems so, and there is a lot of very clever engineering to make it work. But the following sequence of diagrams is a simple view of how data is retrieved and used across a distributed architecture.
Myself and the other Technology Architects often have to explain to customers and vendors Caché IO requirements and the way that Caché applications will use storage systems. The following tables are useful when explaining typical Caché IO profile and requirements for a transactional database application with customers and vendors. The original tables were created by Mark Bolinsky.
In future posts I will be discussing more about storage IO so am also posting these tables now as a reference for those articles.
Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) solutions have been gaining traction for the last few years with the number of deployments now increasing rapidly. IT decision makers are considering HCI when scoping new deployments or hardware refreshes especially for applications already virtualised on VMware. Reasons for choosing HCI include; dealing with a single vendor, validated interoperability between all hardware and software components, high performance especially IO, simple scalability by addition of hosts, simplified deployment and simplified management.
One of the great availability and scaling features of Caché is Enterprise Cache Protocol (ECP). With consideration during application development distributed processing using ECP allows a scale out architecture for Caché applications. Application processing can scale to very high rates from a single application server to the processing power of up to 255 application servers with no application changes.
I have already asked a question about migrating an Oracle database to Caché, and I was promptly answered.Now, I have one more question, however it is more conceptual.In general, any tool defends its benefits, and looking at Caché's, among many, there is a lot of talk about speed.The question is, if I already have a database, and at the moment, its performance is not a problem, I would like to know what else could influence the change of this database?Remembering that it is functional and without any apparent problem.