System Administration

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Often InterSystems technology architect team is asked about recommended storage arrays or storage technologies.  To provide this information to a wider audience as reference, a new series is started to provide some of the results we have encountered with various storage technologies.  As a general recommendation, all-flash storage is highly recommended with all InterSystems products to provide the lowest latency and predictable IOPS capabilities.

The first in the series was the most recently tested Netapp AFF A300 storage array.  This is middle-tier type storage array with several higher models above it.  This specific A300 model is capable of supporting a minimal configuration of only a few drives to hundreds of drives per HA pair, and also capable of being clustered with multiple controller pairs for tens of PB's of disk capacity and hundreds of thousands of IOPS or higher. 

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In this post, I am going to detail how to set up a mirror using SSL, including generating the certificates and keys via the Public Key Infrastructure built in to InterSystems IRIS Data Platform. I did a similar post in the past for Caché, so feel free to check that out here if you are not running InterSystems IRIS. Much like the original, the goal of this is to take you from new installations to a working mirror with SSL, including a primary, backup, and DR async member, along with a mirrored database. I will not go into security recommendations or restricting access to the files. This is meant to just simply get a mirror up and running. Example screenshots are taken on a 2018.1.1 version of IRIS, so yours may look slightly different.

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I was approached recently by and end use who wanted to perform analysis of their databases and see how they could save some space by picking data good for deletion without harming the application. As part of investigation, they wanted to know sizes of globals within datasets. This can be achieved by various means but all of them provide data in text form only.

I thought I might be a good tool for database administrators in general - to see global sizes in a graphical way.

Last comment 14 June 2018
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++ Update: August 1, 2018

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. 

Last comment 14 June 2018
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Application licensing enables InterSystems application partners to take advantage of Caché’s licensing capabilities for their own licensing purposes.

Caché manages customer application licenses just as it does Caché/Ensemble and InterSystems application licenses, maintaining usage counts and acquiring and returning user licenses as needed.

Application licenses consumed by a process or a CSP session are automatically released along with the Caché license consumed by the process or session when a process exits, halts or is deleted from the process table, or when a CSP session times out or is deleted.

More in docs.

Do you use this feature? If so, how?

I'm especially interested in license validation and general workflows?

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In this series of articles, I'd like to present and discuss several possible approaches toward software development with InterSystems technologies and GitLab. I will cover such topics as:

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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.

Last comment 24 March 2018
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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;

  1. Caché Monitor: Scans the console log and sends emails alerts.

  2. System Monitor: Monitors system status and resources, generating notifications (alerts and warnings) based on fixed parameters and also tracks overall system health.

  3. 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.

  4. History Monitor: Maintains a historical database of performance and system usage metrics.

  5. 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.

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In this series of articles, I'd like to present and discuss several possible approaches toward software development with InterSystems technologies and GitLab. I will cover such topics as:

  • Git 101
  • Git flow (development process)
  • GitLab installation
  • GitLab Workflow
  • Continuous Delivery
  • GitLab installation and configuration
  • GitLab CI/CD

In the first article, we covered Git basics, why a high-level understanding of Git concepts is important for modern software development, and how Git can be used to develop software.

In the second article, we covered GitLab Workflow - a complete software life cycle process and Continuous Delivery.

I this article we'll discuss:

  • GitLab installation and configuration
  • Connecting your environments to GitLab
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