Teradata is pleased to announce the official release of Teradata Viewpoint 13.11 effective December 17th, 2010. The fourth release of Viewpoint in 2010!
The primary focus of this Viewpoint release is the "Query Spotlight" portlet for super-advanced system and query analysis. However this release also includes a variety of improvements and feature advancements spanning many of the existing Viewpoint portlets. The Viewpoint 13.11 release also represents an integration of patch releases into the base packages.
The major portlet addition in the Teradata Viewpoint 13.11 release is Query Spotlight. Teradata Viewpoint has been excellent in providing customers the ability to review queries and their resource usage real time and also at any point in time with "Rewind". Query Spotlight now extends this monitoring to durations of time and offers the ability to initiate "Rewind" as part of that analysis. A powerful tool that changes the way DBAs perform system analysis! Other new features of this release include vertical resizing and data export capability for several portlets, new Admin permissions for roles, a new more efficient incremental backup, and native support for IE8.x. There are also significant improvements to the System Health, SQL Scratchpad and Query Monitor portlets. More details to all these feature additions can be found below.
The Query Spotlight portlet allows one to view completed queries that exceeded configurable thresholds, individual queries of interest as a line graph over time against a variety of metrics, and at any point in time with the snapshot tab. The first thing to setup is the configurable thresholds under preferences. For example, here is a preferences view with thresholds set and enabled for request CPU and spool space.
The preferences settings determine the qualifications for what queries to display. The second aspect to an initial setup would be choosing the Teradata system and time frame to display from the selection menu. In the screenshot below, the Teradata system Cayenne was selected with a last 24 hours duration. Note the "Custom" option which allows a configurable time duration when necessary.
The summary display of queries will then look and act very similar to the Query Monitor portlet including configurable column displays, threshold settings for highlighted entries, column filtering and sorting functions. The "Start" display column, shown above, now becomes more relevant considering extended time durations. Where things get really interesting is when drilling down to the details view of a query in Query Spotlight. The details view displays a graph, statistics and information about a selected query and is described as follows in the on-line help.
Notice the metrics list for choosing a metric to display, the (SQL, Explain, Blocked By) tabs similar to those in Query Monitor, the date-range slider similar to the one used in Capacity Heatmap or Metrics Graph portlets. The date-range slider appears for longer queries to control the amount of data displayed in the graph. The Time Marker (which can be dragged to different times) pinpoints information about a query at a particular point in time and is used to rewind time when Control Rewind is selected. This is the first portlet that can automatically direct "Rewind" to a point in time where other rewind-able portlets on the dashboard will travel back to. That is cool and a significant breakthrough feature for system analysis. As mentioned, this is a significant portlet addition to the Teradata Management Portlets.
The table display portlets (Query Monitor, Space Usage, Lock Viewer, Query Spotlight, etc) now allow vertical resizing to allow for more or less screen space for display. This is a simple drag operation on the portlet footer, circled below, for custom resizing. Notice the other icon in the footer that allows for resetting the portlet height to the default.
The other table display portlets feature enhancement is the data export capability. This allows exporting the current data set to a comma-separated values (CSV) file for whatever external reporting or analysis operations one may want to pursue. Also notice that this new menu interface incorporates the configure columns (change display), clear filters operations as well as the tools bar for query portlets.
Permissions have been added to the Admin menu options to allow for distributed management by Viewpoint users not in the Administrator role. For instance, one could allow another group to manage the Viewpoint backups or LDAP configuration. These new distributed permission settings are in the Admin -> Roles Manager, under the Portlets tab. Note that the Portlet Library, Roles Manager, and User Manager remain reserved for Viewpoint administrators so the ones with the new permission option are shown checked below.
Viewpoint 13.11 implemented a modified backup process for the Teradata Viewpoint DCS database. The original version of the backup process created a single instance backup run on a daily basis. This served the purpose of providing a full backup should a database failure occur. However, for customers with large DCS instances, this process could take multiple hours to execute and can impact Viewpoint performance due to the high I/O activity of the backup. The new design only backs up the collected data tables that have changed since the last backup although the configuration data will continue to be completely backed up on a daily basis. This new architecture improves performance, saves space, and allows flexibility in data restores.
The System Health portlet has new functionality that will assist DBAs and the entire Viewpoint user community in better understanding Teradata system status. The first new feature is the ability to drill down on the "Component Down" metric to view the list of component types and the number of components affected. When there is a component issue, the Component Down description becomes a highlighted underlined link to the additional information as shown below:
The other new feature of System Health should prove to be very beneficial to many customers. This is configurable system health descriptions. No longer does one have to use Healthy, Degraded, and Critical for system status conditions. The pop-up messages can also be tailored. This is done in the Admin menu under Teradata Systems and the System Health option, the same location for setting custom thresholds. Here's an example of customizing the descriptors with custom status conditions of Fair, Busy, and Slow.
This results in the user experience with System Health at the summary level with the custom descriptions shown here.
The custom descriptions are also used at the detailed level when viewing threshold details.
So create the health descriptions and messaging you want if you so desire.
SQL Scratchpad has been a valuable portlet and in particular as an important self service feature of Viewpoint. As its usage continued to increase, it was time to evaluate how to improve the overall experience with this portlet. It starts with a cleaner initial view that includes easy selection/switching of Teradata systems and new buttons for various operations. The "Load" button enables the object browser and also allows viewing of saved queries and query history. The "Run" button allows query execution and saving of queries.
So a cleaner more intuitive interface but more importantly, one should notice a drastic improvement in performance. The underlying Viewpoint architecture was re-engineered for more efficient display and results processing. Lastly, this version allows for larger results sets, no longer restricted to the 500 row limit. So enjoy!
In addition to the table portlet changes described above, Query Monitor incorporated additional new features. These include the new "Not Idle" selection option, a blocking navigation tree, the ability to export the SQL and explain plan. The explain export capability is also available in the My Queries and Query Spotlight portlets.
Often customers want to view all the queries on the system doing something, in other words all queries that are not idle. So a "NOT IDLE" selection option has been added for this convenience.
The blocking navigation tree provides the ability to traverse through multiple blocked queries. For instance, if query-A blocks query-B and query-B blocks query-C, the owner of query-C will be able to easily navigate all the way back to find the root cause, in this scenario query-A. This is done by making the blocked query information a link to that actual query. Then as one traverses through the blocking tree, each of the sessions are listed in the portlet as shown below where 3574232 is blocked by 3574265 but 3574265 is blocked by 3574269 which is a link that can be followed to that query.
The new export capability for the explain plan is initiated in a new button under the Explain tab, shown below next to the "Export Explain" help pop-up.
And worth mentioning again, this release now supports Internet Explorer 8.x versions natively.
That is quite a bit of content considering this is the fourth Viewpoint release in 2010. It has been quite a year for Viewpoint!