Performance Center 12.5 Upgrade Tips/Tricks

Here is a few things you need to consider before upgrading HP Performance Center to version 12.5 (Official install guide can be found Here):

  • SQL Server Version. HP recommends using SQL 2014 for the back-end of ALM. If that server is shared, upgrading might not be possible without significant coordination, if possible at all. Creating a new server might be the best way to remedy this issue.
  • Clean-up. Prior to upgrading to the latest version, cleaning up your existing PC instance is a great idea. This will make the project migration project smoother as the DBs will be smaller.
    • Within the OS:
      • Cleaning up old log files
      • Removing unnecessary applications
      • Install Windows Patches
      • Defrag. Drives
    • Within PC:
      • Deleting old Runs
      • Removing old scripts
      • Deleting Old Monitor Profiles
      • Cleaning-up Trend Reports
      • Deleting old Users
      • Updating permissions for existing users
    • Verifying Project settings and Pools.
  • If your fortunate enough to upgrade PC and leverage new servers using the most recent (and compatible) version of Windows will pay off in the long run. This minimizes the impact of future PC upgrades while ensuring your using the latest technology.
  • Prepping the install files. To minimize the downtime copy the necessary install files to the systems in question ahead of time to minimize the installation time.
  • Patch, Patch Patch. Don’t forget to install the latest patches after you upgrade.

Black Friday

When explaining why my job exists and what I do to non IT folks the easiest real-world example I commonly give is Black Friday. Everyone knows that Black Friday means millions descending on shopping malls. (In the good old days you had to show up at 5AM or earlier to get the best deals.)

Now many of those same deals can be obtained via online. As more and more shoppers look to Black Friday and Cyber Monday for the best deals, the pressure put on e-commerce solutions grow every year. Even though every year the large retailers know its coming, it never fails that multiple stores experience slowness or in some cases complete outages.

Below are a few links that detail some of the worst hit stores.

WSJ – Black Friday – Nieman Marcus

GottaBeMobile – Black Friday – Walmart

InternetRetailer – Black Friday – NewEgg

ChainStoeage – Black Friday – Footlocker

Resolving Server Name from IP Address

This is a simple command line trick that has come in handy as of late when I needed to resolve a system name from an IP Address. This is particularly handy when you’ve been given a architecture diagram that shows connections but the ‘what’ each system does. Most companies use a naming convention for their systems and having the system name will typically clue you in on its function.

ping -a 123.456.789.012

A screenshot of other useful commands is below.

Importance of Granularity

Its easy to get caught up in the analysis of results and miss key bottlenecks by using the default view in HP Analysis.  By simply changing the granularity of the graph, the results often tell a very different story.  Examine the graph below. If the granularity was set to 5 minutes then the spike below would be hidden.