FDRViews Product Overview

FDReport gives you some wonderful sequences of numbers and some people really like this, but most of us find it hard to translate those raw numbers into Informaton. FDRviews solves this issue by taking the raw FDReport data and presenting it in a much easier to understand way.
InnovationDP states that the primary design goals of FDRviews are:

  • Ask a Question, Receive an Answer User Interface Design
  • Business Organizational Model Approach To Selection
  • Minimal Configuration Required To Get Started
  • Single System or Total Enterprise Storage Reporting Capabilities
  • Provide Real Time Response To Sophisticated Queries

FDRviews basically takes the FDReport data from the mainframe, exports it to an SQL database on a Windows PC, provides an interface to run queries against that database, then presents the results in an Excel spreadsheet in graphical format. To expand on that quick overview, the FDRViews system consists of four main components,

  • The FDRViews Data Pump
  • The FDRViews Snapshot Collector
  • The FDRViews Snapshot Datastore
  • The FDRViews GUI

The FDRViews Data Pump runs as a started task on each z/OS LPAR that you wish to report on. It runs the FDREPORT program to gather storage information such as volumes and datasets. Each FDReport run is called a 'Snapshot' and the data is timestamped. The Data Pump communicates with the Snapshot Collector via a TCP/IP connection to transmit this data to the FDRViews Datastore.

The FDRViEWS Collector runs on a Windows platform as a Java application and controls the scheduling of the data extracts for all the Data Pumps. It consolidates all the data from the Data Pumps and loads the data up into the database schema of the FDRViews Datastore. The Collector will automatically discover and connect to each Data Pump, so no manual configuration is required.

The FDRViews Datastore is a standard SQL database, in which the snapshot data transmitted by the Collector is stored as sets of tables, with each set of tables corresponding to one snapshot. Snapshots are retained in the database either by number of days or the number of snapshots to be kept. The Snapshots are interrogated and reported on by the FDRViews Analyzer component. The datastore can run on a file server, with the GUI running on one or more PCs, providing they have access to the file server.

The FDRViews GUI is a JAVA / MSoffice application. To get a result, you need to supply a Snaphot, filter and group the data, then ask a question about the data. The result is fed into a Microsoft EXCEL spreadsheet, where is is displayed as pie charts, line charts and summary reports. The GUI is presented as three different panels, or 'panes'.

In the 'Collections' pane you pick out a 'collection', or snapshot that was produced by the Data Pump.
In the 'Groupings' pane you pick out those parts of the snapshot that you wish to report on. These can be things like Storage Groups or DASD volumes. FDRviews provides some default groups for you to select, or you can define your own groups.
In the 'Questions' pane you pick your question from the 120 plus questions that are supplied. They cover four major categories: SMS Administration, Space Optimization, Performance Analysis, and Capacity Planning. You can tailor these questions by changing the values or operators. You can also pose your own questions.

Once you are viewing your answer in Excel, you can then manipulate and save the data as you wish, using all the standard features. Two example FDRviews charts are shown below.