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Zombies! Yes, They Are Real and Lurking Everywhere

Zombies are pretty big in Hollywood these days.  The movie Zombieland was a huge box office success and taught us some valuable lessons for surviving when zombies take over the world. There were over 30 rules revealed. My two favorites were: 1) Good Cardio – to outrun zombies and 4) Doubletap – shoot a zombie twice to make sure they are done.

Surprisingly, the movie never talked about ZOMBIE WORKFLOWS!!!

Zombie workflows are truly real.  They are workflows that keep running and appear to be okay, but aren’t doing much and still consuming resources.  We spoke to a number of customers that wanted help in identifying and then fixing these workflows.  They reported many problems as a result of these zombie workflows – especially when other sessions or workflows depended on these. In order to solve this problem for customers, we had to start with two key things:

  1. Define a zombie workflow: We identified that zombie workflows would process fewer and fewer rows but look like they are still alive. The rate of processing would hit a low watermark and not improve for a matter of minutes.
  2. Determine what to do when we identify a zombie workflow: Customers not only wanted to be alerted, but they also wanted to automatically stop and restart that workflow.

We’ve now added the “Zombie Workflow” out-of-the-box alerting rule to the Proactive PowerCenter Monitoring solution, which has over 20 pre-built alerting rules that help customers monitor their PowerCenter operations and enforce best practices.  If you’re interested in learning more about zombie workflows and the Proactive PowerCenter Monitoring solution, check out these resources:

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