Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Quick review of Openview Performance Manager 8.0

Version 8.0 of Openview Performance Manager has been released, what, two years ago now, and I never thought of upgrading it since versions 5, 6 and 7 were basically identical from my perspective and I expected the same with 8.0. So I didn't bother upgrading until I saw screenshots from 8.0 in slides that were released at the HPTF.

I missed a lot of things. Version 8.0 is better integrated, actually easier to use for newcomers, and the graphs you can make are much more readable. Exit is the old "web forms" interface, everything is Java-based, and surprisingly, it works! While previous versions didn't allow you to easily print out graphs from the Java interface, this one has a handy Print function that will pop a standard browser with a nice looking graph you can print such as this one:

And take a look at the CPU gauge which has changed for the better:

There are some things that are less fun, though. For instance, while it used to be very easy to unselect metrics to be displayed in the graph in the previous version by simply clicking on them in the legend, this no longer works. You have to edit the graph and remove the manually, and it takes more effort. The older systemcoda.txt no longer works either to quickly add managed nodes - you need to import them using a tedious process, or edit and XML file directly, and restart OVPM each time you change it.

The graphic designer has also changed a lot its interface, so users who tediously migrated from Perfview to OVPM <=7.0 will again have to change the way they work. Considering it's a complex process, that's too bad.

Overall 8.0 is interesting if you're looking into making sexier graphs, but functionality might be a problem if you're used to the older versions. In my case, since I'm a casual user, I'm glad to have migrated to 8.0.


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