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FAQ

T4 & Friends Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is T4 & Friends?
  2. What is a T4-style format?
  3. What is Time Line Visualizer (TLViz)?
  4. What is CSVPNG?
  5. How can the T4 & Friends tools save time?
  6. Can T4 & Friends help me with data other than OpenVMS performance statistics?
  7. Where can I learn more about the T4 & Friends approach?
  8. Where can I find out more about T4 & Friends?
  9. What other data would aid in performance analysis?
  10. What is the ideal sampling interval to be used during a collection period?
  11. Where can I find details about the [NET.TCP] related fields?
  12. Can I edit chart properties using TLViz?

1. What is T4 & Friends?
T4 stands for Total Timeline Tracking Tool. It runs on HP OpenVMS systems with the purpose of capturing and consolidating important OpenVMS performance statistics. Pulling from several (currently seven) independent yet cooperating sources, T4 lets you create a relatively compact composite timeline view of the day-to-day performance of each important OpenVMS node.

2. What is a T4-style format?
The output of a T4 collection is a simple, two-dimensional table formatted as a readily reusable comma separated value (CSV) file. Not all CSV files are in T4-style format. T4-style tables have exactly one row per measurement time sample and one column for each important factor that has been measured. Files that meet this standard have proven to be readily reusable by a variety of analysis software (collectively known as the downstream "Friends of T4"), including TLViz, CSVPNG, and Microsoft Excel. The T4-style format is not restricted to OpenVMS. Any time series data can be converted to this format and benefits from this readily reusable format.

3. What is Time Line Visualizer (TLViz)?
TLViz is a time-saving interactive application that runs on Microsoft Windows systems. TLViz accepts T4-style formatted CSV files as input. With TLViz you can look at complex performance time-series histories containing hundreds or even thousands of variables. TLViz lets you look at individual metrics one at a time in rapid succession, or quickly look at the relationship between two or more metrics. TLViz also includes special built-in capabilities for comparing before-and-after behaviors.

4. What is CSVPNG?
CSVPNG is a command-line tool that runs on HP AlphaServer systems, HP Integrity servers, and DOS under Microsoft Windows systems. It accepts standard T4-style CSV files as input and permits automatic creation of standard PDF or HTML reports containing pre-selected timeline graphs formatted to your specifications. It also provides a method to automate trimming large CSV files down to more a manageable size. CSVPNG can reduce a file with thousands of variables to a subset of variables of your choice. CSVPNG contains many other options for manipulating T4-style files and automating the most commonly requested operations on such files. For more information about CSVPNG, see the CSVPNG.TXT file included in the CSVPNG kit.

5. How can the T4 & Friends tools save time?
Many of our customers and partners have discovered that they can use the T4 & Friends tools out of the box to automate and speed up their most important performance work. Others have approached the T4 model as an example of possibilities and have extended these tools or built their own similar tools to satisfy local requirements.

6. Can T4 & Friends help me with data other than OpenVMS performance statistics?
You can create your own T4-style CSV file from your most important performance data, so that new data collectors can be added as needed. Many new T4-style collectors have already been added and more are in progress. Each T4 collection is a composite of seven separate collectors working together to produce a coordinated multi-dimensional view of OpenVMS performance.

7. Where can I learn more about the T4 & Friends approach?
The OpenVMS Advanced Technical Boot Camp (June 5-10, 2005) included a detailed three-hour T4 & Friends workshop that focused on the latest developments and time-saving improvements.

8. Where can I find out more about T4 & Friends?
For more information about T4 & Friends, see T4 & Friends Documentation Download.

9. What other data would aid in performance analysis?
The foremost data that is required is captured by T4 in the CSV files. Depending on the problem symptom seen, you can either use optional collectors or utilize the SDA extensions to provide detailed data for further diagnosis. The collector or extension that you use might vary depending on the problem you are trying to troubleshoot.
For example, if performance issues with I/O connected to HP EVA are detected, then collect data from EVAPerf.
For more information on collecting additional data, see Tracing Tools on OpenVMS.

10. What is the ideal sampling interval to be used during a collection period?
The ideal sampling interval depends on the time duration of your collection period. If the time duration lasts for a couple of hours or so, then you can use a finer sampling interval such as 10 seconds. However, if you intend to collect T4 data throughout the day or in the history mode (where the collection job is automatically submitted to run daily), then a sampling interval of 60 seconds will be ideal.
You can use the following command for a much finer sampling interval of 1 second, by defining a logical called �T4$EXPERT�:
define/system/exec T4$EXPERT 1

11. Where can I find details about the [NET.TCP] related fields?
You can use the following command to get details on these statistics:
$ help/library=tcpip$examples:tcpip$tcp_mon tcpmon

12. Can I edit chart properties using TLViz?
Yes. You can invoke the chart editor using Ctrl+Shift+F10.
Access a list of shortcut keys from the TlViz Help menu using Help > Shortcut Keys.