Workload Classification

When the timeseries data for a session is archived by the database, a 'cost item' is created in place of the timeseries data. Cost items are held in the database and calculated on an hourly basis. Each cost item is marked with the name of the session or Job, the name of the user under which it executed, and the amount of resource that the session consumed during that hour.

The SAS Enterprise Session Monitor Classification Interface allows those cost items to be grouped into categories, so that overall system usage per category can be calculated for a given time period.

To access the SAS Enterprise Session Monitor Classification Interface, click the Open Classification Interface button at the bottom of the Admin Settings tab. You will be presented with the following settings:

Item Limit This number controls the maximum number of cost items that are shown in the Unclassified Items list. By default it is set to a conservative number of 2000. If, after setting the Target Confidence and Billing Period the Unclassified Items list still contains 2,000 unique items, this limit can be increased. The number of items shown are always sorted in descending order, therefore a limited list always contains the specified number of most significant cost items.

Target Confidence Like the Item Limit, this setting also controls the maximum number of cost items that are presented in the Unclassified Items list. Whereas the Item Limit setting is a Count of the total number of cost items presented for classification, the Target Confidence setting limits the cost items shown according to their significance.

For example, if the database contains 15 cost items, where the first 6 items make up 90% of the total Cost and the last 9 items make up the other 20%, then setting a Target confidence of 90% will mean that only those 6 items will be presented to the user for categorization, and the other 9 items will be considered as insignificant. If items 7 and 8 together add up to another 5% of cost, then setting the Target confidence to 95% will include the first 8 items in the list of items to be classified, ignoring the remaining 8 that make up the smallest 5% of cost.

Billing Period This setting allows the Cost Items to be filtered according to the period during which they occurred. Any cost items that sit outside the specified date range are ignored.

Allocating Cost SAS Enterprise Session Monitor groups the cost items into unique job name / user combinations and calculates their share of the overall CPU consumed, taking into account the filter settings above. In order for the desired Target Confidence to be achieved, each of the cost items needs to be classified into Department.

Departments are created by clicking the Add Department button, which will prompt the user for a Department Name to be added to the list. When all departments have been added, their cost buckets can be opened by clicking each department in the Choose Department list.

From this point, each of the cost items in the Unclassified Items list must be allocated into a Department. This can be done by dragging and dropping each item in the list into a Departmental Bucket, or by selecting multiple items in the Unclassified Items list and clicking the (+) button on the department's cost bucket item. In addition, the Unclassified Items list can be filtered on Job Name or Executing User patterns, and clicking Select All and then (+) will assign all items appearing in a filtered list to the selected Departmental bucket.

The Total CPU Accounted For is designed to act as an indicator of progress. Clicking the Show Report button at any time will show a report detailing the breakdown of costs per department, along with a list of the top Users and Processes responsible for those costs. Clicking the Print Report button in this screen will present the report in a format which can be printed and reviewed by the party responsible for the system usage in each Department.

The username/jobname lookup lists created during the classification process persist in SAS Enterprise Session Monitor across billing periods. While the first classification exercise may be arduous, subsequent instances will only require the classification of cost items which have newly entered the list of significant cost items, as defined by the Item Limit and Target Confidence settings.

Last update: April 24, 2023
Created: April 24, 2023