Jan 1, 2022

How to make your TM1 system observable?

Whenever you’re working within a complex system, the more information you have access to about what’s happening behind the scenes, the better.  As you push a piece of software to its limits, you don’t want an opaque system that offers limited context as to how it’s performing and what obstacles might be in its way.  Instead, you want your system to be observable.

In the IBM Planning Analytics (TM1) space, you might be asking yourself questions like these:

  • Who was using my applications between 1 and 3pm today, and what were they doing?
  • Why is this process taking longer than it usually does?
  • Why is the memory of my instance growing?

When a system is observable, it allows you to answer these sorts of questions because you can pull back the curtain and evaluate what’s happening internally. This is invaluable for the robustness and efficiency of your applications and in this article, we’re going to discuss how to make your TM1 system observable.

Monitoring vs Observability

Before we unpack observability in more detail, it’s worth distinguishing it from monitoring which is relatively common in the TM1 community. You can make use of TM1Top or PAW Administration to track what is happening in real-time and this monitoring can be very useful if you know what you’re looking for.

But what if you are trying to understand something that has already happened? In those instances, monitoring tools are not going to help.

Observability takes things further and allows you to ask open questions about your system at any point in time, enabling a much greater contextual understanding of how the system is operating.



A Brief History of Observability

Twitter was the first major company to fully embrace observability in 2013 and they really led the way in this regard, making it a key component of their IT infrastructure. As other companies saw the value that this context provided, it slowly become an industry standard that is used on a regular basis.

In the TM1 world, it was the release of Pulse 6 in 2021 that made TM1 systems observable. 

How To Make Your TM1 System Observable

Pulse 6 is really pushing the boundaries of what is possible here and it remains the easiest way to make your TM1 system observable. Pulse scrapes everything that is happening on a second-by-second basis and stores all that data in its own Elasticsearch. You can then visualize that data with Kibana and get to the bottom of any question that you might have about your system.

Elasticsearch is the most powerful search engine in the observability world and is the default source for visualization tools like Kibana and Grafana. But you don’t have to use those specific tools if you don’t want to. The data can be used by any visualization tool that you prefer, meaning that it fits seamlessly into your existing workflows. 

What’s Next?

We hope that we’ve been able to show you just how powerful true observability can be as you go about maintaining and developing your TM1 system. If you would like to try Pulse, be sure to get in touch with us today, and let’s see how we can help.  Pulse is also available for IBM Planning Analytics Cloud customers on our Cubewise Cloud Infrastructure.

Don’t let opaque systems slow down your development processes. 

Make them observable and you’ll never look back.

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