Late To The Party

(Originally posted 2007-10-03.)

I’m towards the end of revamping our analysis code to support (z9) and z/OS R.8. What took us so long? 🙂 I’m telling you this for two reasons:

  • So you know what there is that might slow you down.
  • So you have some view as to whether we can competently process your data. 🙂

System z9

About the only change in instrumentation between z990 and z9 is the separation of specialty engines into pools. But this is a big change…

We process SMF 70 records into tables – with rows and columns. When we had just 2 pools we could have separate columns for GCP and “ICF” pools. Now, with 5 pools (GCP, zAAP, IFL, ICF and zIIP) this approach no longer works. So we’ve reworked it to have separate rows for each pool for each LPAR and machine. This caused lots of breakage. But we’re over that. The other thing that did was to cause a rethink of how we display the pool-level data. And I’m much happier with how it turned out.

Incidentally, I’ve managed to make our (Bookmaster) reporting work nicely with B2H so I can now publish HTML versions of the textual reporting. I may well do that for the machine-level reporting in a future blog entry. I think I’d better learn some more CSS first, though, or you’ll be underwhelmed. 🙂

Also on z9 our charts are by pool now. And I’ve taken the “IDLE” and “UNKNOWN” samples off the Service Class Period charts. That way the “Using” and “Delay” samples are clearer. (Also, of course the zAAP- and zIIP-related samples are displayed.) And I “smart out” zero delay buckets. Overall the foils are less cluttered and more punchy (but are still GDDM-originated CGMs – with styling that went out with the (B) Ark). 🙂

z/OS Release 8

z/OS R.8 provides us with some challenges in the Memory area as previously noted. On a more positive note it added the machine serial number (e.g 51-11D68). This I can now display – and I do when I have it. But so what? Actually one immediate thing (and one deferred)…

  • There is a nice Customer Engineer’s tool called “VPD Formatter for Windows” (VPDFWIN). This takes the VPD that each machine periodically sends to the Boulder server and formats it. The input to the tool is the device type (e.g “2094”) and the 7-digit machine serial number. With it I get lots of gory information about the machine. Such as how much memory is physically on the machine and how much is purchased. Such things tell me the impact of e.g. buying more memory, or even deploying more to an LPAR.
  • A “still to do” is to tie up the 70-1 view of CPU for an ICF with the 74-4 view (as the 74-4 also got the machine serial number). But for now I’m concentrating on higher priority work – such as listed above.

So, I’ve been busy coding – and I like what’s coming out – despite the breakage both z9 and z/OS R.8 caused in my code. And as always having “early sight” of the data gives me a chance to advise my customers on what’s coming and how to use it.

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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