What’s New in Server Monitoring and Job Management in Centerprise 8?

By |2020-09-30T06:04:57+00:00June 17th, 2019|

For a moment, imagine that you are an IT administrator at a large enterprise with a highly complex infrastructure, and you are responsible for ensuring uninterrupted service delivery to your internal and external customers. Suddenly, one of the services goes down and complaints start rolling in. How do you resolve the problem and get the system up and running? Or, more importantly, where do you start? 

The health and smooth running of a data management process depend on the health of the underlying server and its components. However, with organizations maintaining increasing numbers of servers and server clusters, getting to the root cause of a failure can be challenging.  

Centerprise addresses this problem with advanced server monitoring and job management features that allow system operators to not only pinpoint the exact cause of a server failure, but also help prevent outages with proactive monitoring features. The latest release of Centerprise includes several enhancements to this functionality to offer a high granularity for metrics that need to be tracked for optimal server and job performance. This article includes a round-up of all these server monitoring and job management enhancements

Generate Diagnostics File

Generating Server Diagnostics File

Figure 1 – Generating Server Diagnostics File in Centerprise 8.0

In Centerprise 8.0, users can generate a server diagnostics file and save it in a local folder. To generate the file, right-click on a server, select ‘Generate Diagnostics File,’ and specify the path of the folder where you want to save the file. This is an XML file that provides detailed information about the machine the server is installed on, process memory size, the status of different server components, server health, active connections, drivers installed, thread count, and more. Previously, this file was auto-generated every time users accessed server information from the Server Explorer.

When a user requests diagnostics information, Centerprise retrieves information on the server components, and runs a series of quick tests to identify the status of different connectors and the overall state of the server. After the server snapshot is complete, the log file is saved in the folder that the user has specified. This file can be easily opened in an XML editor, such as Notepad++, and is shared with Astera to troubleshoot problems and make product improvements.

Improvements to the Job Monitor

Since the ETL landscape of an enterprise comprises of a large number of dataflows and workflows, it makes sense to have a unified place to centralize the monitoring and management of all the jobs. Centerprise addresses this need with a Job Monitor that provides information about the type, duration, start and end date, status, records processed, and other details about all jobs that are being executed or have been executed on a server.

In Centerprise 8.0, several improvements have been made to this functionality. These include:

New Job Filters – The Jobs Monitor window in Centerprise provides different filters, such as Job Type, Date, Server, Job File, Job Name, Priority, and more to filter jobs that were successfully completed, ended in an error, or are scheduled to run. After applying the required filters, users can view detailed information about a specific job, such as individual tasks that comprise a dataflow, time spent to complete each task, number of errors, and number of input and output records. One new feature introduced in Centerprise 8.0 is the capability to filter and view jobs that were executed within a custom date range.

Records Read – The job log in Centerprise provides a quick summary of all the jobs being run on the server, such as the job type, status, user name, file name, and more. A new column of Records Read has been added to this list, in addition to Error Records and Warn Records.  This makes it easier to filter out jobs that run frequently, but don’t necessarily process any records from the view.

Figure 2 – Job Monitor Window in Centerprise 8.0

Advanced Job Search – The default search bar in Job Monitor allows users to filter jobs based on Job ID, Parent ID, Job Name, and File Name. However, with the Advanced Job Search feature in Centerprise 8.0, jobs can now be filtered based on other criteria as well, such as Server, Job Type, Job Status, and User. Two new checkboxes have been added to the Advanced Search window that allow a user to filter only parent jobs and jobs that were run by a specific user account.

The filters applied using the Advanced Search option remain saved even after the Job Monitor window has been closed and are automatically pulled up when the window is reopened. Centerprise 8.0 also saves the last ten searches, allowing users to instantly call search parameters that they use often and reuse them to filter jobs.

Figure 3 – Advanced Job Search in Centerprise 8.0

Viewing Child Jobs – In Centerprise, you get the capability to design workflows to manage complex data management needs. Workflows are composite jobs comprising of multiple dataflows and subflows, also known as child jobs.

In Centerprise 8.0, you can now view all the child jobs comprising a workflow directly in the Job Monitor. Just right-click on a workflow or subflow and select ‘Show Child Jobs’ to view all the dataflows and subflows that were run as a result of the execution of the workflow.

Improvements to the Job Progress Window

In Centerprise 8.0, users can view detailed information about a specific job in the job log by right-clicking on the job and selecting ‘Show details for the selected item.’ This will open the Job Progress window that shows a summary of all the tasks that comprise a dataflow on the left side and detailed information about each step on the right side.

A few improvements made to the Job Progress window include:

  • A search bar has been added using which users can search for a specific action within the job trace log.
  • A button has been added to view errors and warnings only.
  • New icons have been added for jobs that completed successfully or were terminated due to an error .

Figure 4 – Job Progress Window in Centerprise 8.0

Improvements to the Server Log

Continuous server monitoring is not only essential to better understand server capacity and availability of resources, but also helps troubleshoot issues as they arise. Centerprise features a Server Log that provides detailed logs for all server components, including Job Manager, Scheduler, Failover Processor, Server Health Monitor, and more.

The Server Log can be accessed from the Server Explorer. Right-click on the server cluster and select Server Log. A new window will open, containing info about the health of individual server components. This list can be filtered based on date, severity of the issue, and server. A few enhancements made to Server Log in Centerprise 8.0 include:

  • A search bar has been added using which users can perform a simple text search and filter the results based on the presence of specific keywords, such as ‘refreshed’ or ‘job started,’ as well as filter jobs based on the component name involved.
  • Users can now search the server log for error or warning messages generated within a custom date range as well.

Figure 5 – Server Log in Centerprise 8.0

These are a few of the many improvements made available in the latest release of Centerprise. Other key enhancements include a new REST server architecture, Lean Client release, and much more.

Interested in giving Centerprise 8.0 a try? Download the beta version here.