We are on BPCS 405 CD which being mixed mode is very different from your reality in how the 400 talks to the desk top clients. When we last did the questionnairre we were going from an older BPCS so we had good information on the volume of transactions, numbers of items, customers and so forth. Our problems were with the features of the operating system that we had not used in the past and were interested in using in the future, and then there was the issue of how many users.

We have 40 users, which is a different world of existence than what you describe. About 2/3 of our users are on PCs and 1/3 on dumb terminals. The 15 odd dumb terminals have on the average 1 1/2 to 2 sessions each. The 25 odd PC users have on the average 3 sessions each. We also have some excess work stations for the roving work force that does not stay at one office, but then wherever they are they might want to plug in.

This latter needs to be figured out for two reasons - sizing, and licensing.

Example ... in each of our shipping and receiving departments of each of several facilities there is only one work station, but there is a crew of people working that department. Only one can use the work station at a time, to identify material moving in or out. In an average day, the work station in shipping sits idle 2/3 to 3/4 of the day. For software license purposes, we have assigned a group-user sign-on (e.g. MAT for Material at a Stock Room work station).

A performance issue is drain on the system. We have users who are hunkered down, data entry update for many hours of every day ... engineers adding new parts, customer service maintaining customer orders. We have people working the JOBQ overtime ... I have tuned that a good bit so that we have several JOBQ for different kinds of jobs. Call those people power users who demand a lot from the system. But they are in the minority. We also have a lot of users in which their work station sits on INV300 BOM300 SFC300 MRP300 etc. INQUIRY tasks ... the screen sits untouched for 1/4 hour, they go to it, key in item # or whatever, get what they want, it takes them all of 1/2 minute, then they leave the workstation sitting again in that inquiry program for another 14. hour. Their demand on the system is totally different than the person who has 7 sessions open at one PC and is energetically working all of them as close to concurrently as is humanly possible.

Once upon a time (earlier versions of BPCS) SSA GT had what was known as a Sizing Questionairre. Filling it out can be a pain.

Into it you put statistics like the size of your business
(how many transactions a day of various kinds)
(how many years you need to store history of transactions)
(how many invoices, average lines on invoices)
(how many customers ... various metrics)
what BPCS applications will you be running
how many different languages needed - do that on partitions by country or what - because that can mean multiple copies of OS/400 and BPCS software
how many different environments needed, because there may be tailoring needed differently for different divisions of the company
average number of concurrent sessions per user
how fast you want your performance
(subsecond response)
what IBM features you need to be using
what other stuff you want on your system OTHER than or in addition to BPCS

Then from the results of the Questionnairre, SSA and GT and any number of intermediate consultants could tell you how fast a processor you needed on what model 400.

Good afternoon:

 I am attempting to obtain information regarding iSeries system sizing for
BPCS release 8.X

 IBM suggested that we have 65 arms [DASD] and that a 825 3 way processor
would be enough power to operate over 500 users.

any thoughts


 Jerry Karth
 Systems Engineer
 Hart & Cooley
 500 East 8th Street
 Holland, Michigan 49423
 616 395 2809

- Al Macintyre

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Al Macintyre
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