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The Twelve Days of Christmas from HIPPO: No. 9 – Unlock the Mystery of the Cache!

December 20, 2011 | By | No Comments

Browse many of the Informatica Developer forums and what is most striking is that many posts relate to Cache behaviour and Cache sizing. Often kind folk reply. They offer solutions to the struggling developers and the sheer range of their advice varies enormously:  “just set it to auto” to “try doing X and adjusting Y and then let me know if it had any effect” or “re-design your mapping” are common responses. Some may even contain good advice but what is clear by their variety is that there is little consensus.

Yet a shared understanding of cache behaviour is critical since it gives us the ability to gauge how much memory is actually being used, how much is actually required and to understand how it is split by cache type. This can shine a new light on an existing development project or even on a mature code-base. Understanding the make-up and nature of the code running in your environment allows you to make much better decisions – whether those decisions are capacity planning, buying new kit or just trying to squeeze more from your existing investment – knowledge is the key to making informed choices about resource usage.

That’s why HIPPO captures statistics from Informatica about the cache sizes for aggregators, joiners, sorters and lookups. HIPPO reports this alongside the actual size of the cache in memory, according to the OS, and whether that cache has split to disk. HIPPO also captures how long the cache took to build and presents this in a series of Data Visualizations that include how much memory is actually available when your session executes.

This means that you can optimize cache memory usage across the session starting in development to ensure that the session is highly performant at go-live. Then HIPPO will alert you on the need to improve performance for the mature production code as circumstances change; as more sessions run in contention; as data volumes in look-up caches grow in step with historical data growth; and so on. HIPPO then trends this cache behaviour over your chosen time span to help you plan ahead for future needs. If you are serious about your Informatica environment then you need HIPPO’s pro-active monitoring approach to sustain highly-performant applications that get the most from your infrastructure investment.

That’s why HIPPO’s ninth day of Christmas gift is the unlocking of the mystery of the Cache!

Footnote: the latest version of HIPPO has just gone on general release and it is packed with new and unique features to manage, optimize and control your Informatica environment. In the run up to Christmas I am choosing twelve of my favourite new benefits that HIPPO brings to the Informatica Community. I acknowledge that the twelve days of Christmas occur after Christmas!

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