LLA and Measuring its use of VLF

(Originally posted 2005-04-28.)

I’m reminded by a question on MXG-L Listserver that many people don’t understand how LLA works – and in particular how to interpret the statistics in VLF’s SMF 41 Subtype 3 record.

You really have to understand the exploiter to make sense of the statistics. Here’s how it applies to LLA…

LLA (when it was Linklist Lookaside, prior to becoming Library Lookaside) could cache load library directories in its own address space. You get no statistics for this behaviour. 😦

Then in December 1988, when MVS/ESA 3.1.0e was released, LLA got renamed to “Library Lookaside”. The key difference was that you could (selectively) enable exploitation of VLF cacheing of modules. Compare this with “XA” LLA which only cached directories. You enabled module cacheing by specifying in your COFVLFxx member a new class (CSVLLA) with an EMAJ of LLA and a MAXVIRT (which defaulted to 4096 pages or 16MB). 16MB was large in 1988. Now it’s puny.

Now here’s why the VLF statistics are deemed “meaningless” for (CSV)LLA: LLA only asks VLF for something if it knows it’s going to get it. So you always get something close to 100% hits with LLA’s exploitation of VLF. But you probably would regard the “successful find” rate as a reasonable metric of benefit.

It’s much better in my opinion to look at the load library EXCPs or SSCHs. After all those are what you’re trying to get rid of. I know this is old news but a few years ago I got into a dialogue with the LLA component owners. They suggested that installations start with a VLF specification of 128MB for LLA – and then worked up from there.

So that’s what we do – when it’s deemed relevant to look at this sort of thing. (I wrote this particular piece of our code in 1994.)

Published by Martin Packer

I'm a mainframe performance guy and have been for the past 35 years. But I play with lots of other technologies as well.

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