Mainframe Performance Topics Podcast Episode 19 “You’ve Lost That Syncing Feeling”

(Originally posted 2018-10-06.)

This summer has seen the most travel I think I’ve ever done, and I would imagine Marna feels much the same.

We like to record together – which has made the logistics difficult. We actually met in the summer but thought recording in the same room would be difficult. We’ve stayed with each other a number of times but don’t want to record in our houses because the sound quality would be poor: Wooden floors produce way too much echo.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge in this time, of course. Which has yielded quite a few blog posts on both our parts. And one new feature…

The “What’s New” subtopic gives us a chance to point out announcements and things like APARs. It’s not meant to be encyclopaedic but just contain a few new things that took our fancy. It’s, as always, an experiment. It might move in the running order, we might can it, we might morph it. I doubt, though, that it will become a topic in its own right.

So, we’re back. We hope you enjoy this episode. And we think we have a good chance of recording more in the near future.

Here are the show notes.

Episode 19 “You’ve lost that syncing feeling”

Here are the show notes for Episode 19 “You’ve lost that syncing feeling”. The show is called this because our Topics topic is about losing the Xmarks URL synchronization tool.

Where we’ve been

This episode had a very long hiatus – more than 5 months – so we’ve been to many places and on vacation/holiday. Sorry we’ve taken so long to get back together to record! It is not through lack of trying!


For once we have some follow up: With iOS 12 the built-in Podcast app now supports MP3 chapter markers. As many listeners on iOS will be using this app they might see chapters (and the nice graphics) show up. Still, though, Android podcast apps with correctly working chapter markers have not been found yet.

What’s New (in APARs)

  • OA56011: OSPROTECT Flag in RMF SMF 70

  • PH00582: New function to export a workflow in printable format, as a text file.


Our “Mainframe” topic discusses moving from V4 to V5 zFS, prompted by a user comment that had a very positive experience.

  • You need to be totally on z/OS V2.1 to use, but now is applicable to many since z/OS V2.1 is now end of service.

  • The old version for zFS was V4. V5 gives you a directory using a tree structure for faster searching. This should be faster than a naive linear search approach.

  • This topic was prompted by a customer comment.

    • XCF reduction: IOEZFS group 99%, SYSGRS group 80%

    • Significant CPU reduction in address spaces: XCFAS and GRS

  • To take advantage of this, you need to convert from old V4 format to V5. V5 file systems can have both V4 and V5 directories, however V5 dirs must be in a V5 file system.

  • You can convert: offline with IOEFSUTL, online with zfsadm convert , IOEFSPRM CONVERTTOV5=ON , and on MOUNT – you choose.

    • Steps are: ensure fully at V2.1, set IOEPRMxx format_aggrversion=5 for new file systems, set IOEPRMxx change_aggrversion_on_mount=on for fast safe file system switch to V5, determine if you want IOEPRMxx CONVERTTOV5=ON for one-time switch on directory access. Delay is expected!

    • If cannot tolerate one-time delay, use MOUNT CONVERTTOV5 to selectively determine most benefit, on large directories and those highest used (F ZFS,QUERY,FILESETS)

      • Use zfsadm fileinfo to see a directory version, use zfsadm aggrinfo -long to look at all the file systems.
    • New RMF zFS reports in 2.2 with helpful pop-ups


Our Performance topic is a survey of Licence-Related Instrumentation. Most shops are very conscious of software costs. The key evidences are licence agreement documents and instrumentation. Martin discusses the instrumentation portion.

  • SMF can help you:

    • System level SMF 70 gives you the rolling 4 Hour Average CPU, Defined Capacity and Group Capacity information, and high-level CPU.

    • System level SMF 89 gives you more detailed information on licencing: Product Usage – both names and CPU.

    • Service Class level SMF 72-3 gives you Service Units (SUs) consumed on zIIP, on general purpose CP, and zIIP-Eligible on general purpose CP.

      • Mobile SUs is one set of fields and total SUs another

      • Resource consumption in general

    • Address Space level SMF 30 gives you a Usage Data Section for topology and for CPU in a product sometimes. (An example of topology is which CICS regions connect to which DB2 subsystem.)

  • Container-Based Pricing introduces new metrics: 70-1, 89, 72-3, and Tenant Classes and Tenant Resource Groups explicitly document this.

  • Closing thoughts:

    • Licensing is getting more complex, and difficult to understand it all fluently.
    • It would be wise to become familiar with the instrumentation.
    • And it would be wise to understand aspects of software licensing that cause impact in your installation.


Our podcast “Topics” topic is about Marna losing a handy and simple URL sync tool, XMarks. Xmarks used to let you save bookmarks between browsers with other cool capabilities. It was discontinued on May 1, 2018.

  • XMarks was a plug-in to browser, logon, sync, and they were there! With multiple profiles, such as work and home.

  • Here are some replacements?

    • NetVibes: better for rss feeds and dashboard seem to be its strength.

    • Google Bookmarks syncs URLs; Haven’t used it really, but still only for Firefox and Chrome. Gmarks will connect to google servers. Some sites need IE.

      • Modern browsers can fake the User Agent to look like IE
    • Diigo with a toolbar: not used it. Pricing plans, sharing URLs. A bit too heavyweight

    • The promising one is called Raindrop for Chrome, FF, and Safari. Just started trying it out. Works between Windows and Android!

    • Safari / Mobile Safari use iCloud syncing and work out of the box. But if you share an Apple ID, watch out!

    • Input from listeners??

Where We’ll Be

Martin will be renewing his passport, so limited travel for him.

Marna will be at a couple of conferences:

We welcome feedback!

On The Blog

Martin and Marna have both had several blog posts due to our long hiatus from the podcast.

Martin has:

Marna has these:

Contacting Us

You can reach Marna on Twitter as mwalle and by email.

You can reach Martin on Twitter as martinpacker and by email.

Or you can leave a comment below.

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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