Data & Intelligence

Cognos TM1 Tuning – Keeping your Model Fit

fit

Architectural Best Practices and adequate Performance Testing will help insure that (at least) acceptable performance levels are met when a TM1 model is deployed. But as time passes, overall application performance may change -reducing effectiveness as well as user satisfaction. 

This can be caused by a variety of events, such as: 

A Changing User Community

After original inception, the TM1 user community may change. The following statistics should be considered:

  • Number of concurrent users
  • User Typing – number of “heavy writers” vs. the number of “read only” users
  • User Geographies – are there more users working remotely now?
  • User Scheduling – have peak usage times changed?
  • User Consumption – have the type, volume or frequency of user queries changed? 

Data Accumulation

As time passes, all models accumulate data – actual performance data, the number of budget or forecast versions, etc. How many years of history did you plan on storing in the model? How may forecast versions? 

Data Divergence

Changes to the organization, its market, customer base, product line, etc. will affect the “face of the data” stored in the TM1 model. Depending upon the differences in the data, this may affect the memory consumption of many of the cubes in the TM1 model. 

Modifications or Enhancements

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Changes made to the original model may also affect performance:

  • Programming changes implemented but not appropriately system or regression tested
  • Changes to original model assumptions – for example the method of consuming data changing from optimized BI reports to allowing users to “create their own” with MS Excel and Perspectives, or the amount of history stored, etc.
  • Environmental changes – such as moving to a new (or reconfigured) VM, backup/failsafe methodologies and scheduling, virus protection policies, memory and processor availability, etc. 

Fitness Checks 

To keep the model performing well, you need to perform a regular “TM1 fitness routine” which should include: 

Evaluating the TM1 Control Cubes

TM1 gives us 4 control cubes to help with performance monitoring:

  • }StatsByClient
  • }StatsByCube
  • }StatsForServer and
  • }StatsByCubeByClient.  

These cubes hold statistics for clients, cubes and servers and once “turned-on“, they track activity within TM1 on a minute-by-minute basis.

 Watching from the (TM1) Top

TM1 Top is a utility that allows dynamic monitoring of threads running in an instance of a TM1 server. “Top” can be configured to regularly snapshot utilization statistics to a file for later evaluation and comparison.

Checking Out Windows Performance Monitor

Windows gives us this simple utility to view some basic machine and memory statistics. “PerfMon” can provide some general memory consumption information about the TM1 servers. 

Reading Your Messages

There are 4 internal TM1 logging and messaging files that can help in tracking changes made to the server, user activity, system and server errors, etc.

These are: 

  • Admin Server Log
  • Transaction Logs
  • Server Message Log and the
  • Audit Log:

 Conclusion

Establishing a TM1 “fitness routine” is extremely important to keep your TM1 model in “fighting shape”. 

One final suggestion – catalog the results each time you perform your routine so that you can begin to compare statistics over time – I guarantee you be surprised at what you see.

About the Author

Mr. Miller is an IBM certified and accomplished Senior Project Leader and Application/System Architect-Developer with over 30 years of extensive applications and system design and development experience. His current role is National FPM Practice Leader. His experience includes BI, Web architecture & design, systems analysis, GUI design and testing, Database modeling and systems analysis, design, and development of Client/Server, Web and Mainframe applications and systems utilizing: Applix TM1 (including TM1 rules, TI, TM1Web and Planning Manager), dynaSight - ArcPlan, ASP, DHTML, XML, IIS, MS Visual Basic and VBA, Visual Studio, PERL, Websuite, MS SQL Server, ORACLE, SYBASE SQL Server, etc. His Responsibilities have included all aspects of Windows and SQL solution development and design including: analysis; GUI (and Web site) design; data modeling; table, screen/form and script development; SQL (and remote stored procedures and triggers) development and testing; test preparation and management and training of programming staff. Other experience includes development of ETL infrastructure such as data transfer automation between mainframe (DB2, Lawson, Great Plains, etc.) systems and client/server SQL server and Web based applications and integration of enterprise applications and data sources. In addition, Mr. Miller has acted as Internet Applications Development Manager responsible for the design, development, QA and delivery of multiple Web Sites including online trading applications, warehouse process control and scheduling systems and administrative and control applications. Mr. Miller also was responsible for the design, development and administration of a Web based financial reporting system for a 450 million dollar organization, reporting directly to the CFO and his executive team. Mr. Miller has also been responsible for managing and directing multiple resources in various management roles including project and team leader, lead developer and applications development director. Specialties Include: Cognos/TM1 Design and Development, Cognos Planning, IBM SPSS and Modeler, OLAP, Visual Basic, SQL Server, Forecasting and Planning; International Application Development, Business Intelligence, Project Development. IBM Certified Developer - Cognos TM1 (perfect score 100% on exam) IBM Certified Business Analyst - Cognos TM1

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