The theme of IT enablement across multiple fronts as broughtout by several of the speakers at the SOA Summit this summer keeps coming backto mind. On the one hand, I came acrossanother reference to the lines of COBOL code out there (this one was for 240Billion!), and one the other there was an article in Mainframe Executive onHoplon (Hoplon’s Infotainment’s Gameframe ) and the fact that they are planning on hosting2000 users per IFL for their massively multi-player environment (you know, theone with cell processors in the System z?).
I was thinking about CICS and the sure progress for web servicesenablement, which has gotten lots of publicity, and thought of its counterpart:the progress in expanding legacy CICS efficiency through the evolution of ‘Thread-safe’tasks.
CICS has continued to evolve to take advantage oftechnologies to maintain application integrity while growing with the hardwareevolution of more processors. The process has involved distributing workloadacross multiple tasks, first with CICS core functions, and later with DB2integration, and now exploitation moves to include potential threadsafe use bysome MQ and VSAM functions (CICS 3.2). Theenabling of multi-tasking of user applications through multi-threading hashelped improve performance utilization while maintaining little things like consistentand predictable throughput results and workload sequencing that large systemshave been so obsessed with for the past few decades.
Why is this important? Well, if you can do this sort of thing safely, and improve utilization(there is that old system Z focus again), it can mean serious returns; like5-15% or more. For some of IBM’s largercustomers this has translated to saving hundreds of MIPs and Millions of Dollars.
Finding the appropriate candidates and implementation can getpretty involved, but the impact can be worth it, and finding candidates iseasier than in earlier implementations via the use of CICS tools such as Performance Analyzer-For which are good candidates, InterdependencyAnalyzer –For which are not threadsafe(which could fit nicely in CICS Explorer), and Configuration Manager (to enforce a threadsafe environment).
Mmmm.. maybe something less sexy than web services,but an area worth looking at, eh?
Some good paces to start:
Threadsafe Considerations for CICS RedbookDoesCICS still Love Fast Engines? (zJournal)
OTE(Open Transaction Environment) and Threadsafe: Why They Should Be Important toYou (also in zJournal)
Webcast on: Thread-safety and CICS file control applications