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IBM i Workload Groups



IBM i 7.1 now provides workload groups. Workload groups provide the ability to restrict a workload to a specified maximum number of processor cores within the partition it is running in.


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A workload is defined as a job, subsystem, or product running on the IBM i system. The user or system administrator can define a workload group, assigning a specified number of processing cores to that group. The workload group is then assigned to a job or subsystem. Once the assignment has been done, the workload is limited to the defined number of processing cores. The system enforces this processing core assignment, ensuring that a job or all the jobs running (and threads) under the subsystem are not allowed to run on more processing cores than have been designated. The general concept is if a workload is designated to use a single core, the workload will behave as if it is truly running on a single processor core system.

Example of how workload works

A user has a batch job that is very CPU intensive. The user needs to run this job during the day but can't afford to impact the performance of their production system. By assigning this batch job to a workload group, this job can be put into a "processing container" to help ensure this job is kept to a limited amount of system capacity. If the workload group has a processor core limit of one, then the batch job and any threads running under that job will only be allowed to run on a single processor core. If this job is running on a multiple threaded core, multiple threads can be running for that designated batch job, but only a single core will be used at a time. This same concept also applies to jobs running under a subsystem that has been assigned to a workload group. All jobs and their associated threads will be limited to the number of processor cores specified in the workload group.

This new capability can help users get better control of the workloads on their systems along with ensuring products are only using a designated number of processor cores. Software vendors can take advantage of the workload group support as a new virtualization technology. This allows a workload to be virtualized and licensed within a virtualized system. This means that product entitlements can be specified based on usage of the product instead of the total processor cores of the LPAR. Customers who want to take advantage of the enhanced licensing controls must register the specified products with the native IBM i License Management tooling that allows you to both register and manage the enforcement of the workload groups. To help users manage and understand the performance of jobs running in a workload group, the performance metrics have been updated to include metrics on workload groups.

To learn more about the workload groups support, see IBM i Knowledge Center topic Managing workload groups.

Configure WebSphere MQ to use workload groups
Learn how to configure your systems to leverage workload groups for the WebSphere MQ product. Limit the amount of processing capacity available to this product to better fit your licensing needs based on the capacity being used for this product. To see the details,
 follow this link: Limiting WebSphere MQ Licensing and Processing Capacity with Workload Groups

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Document Information

Modified date:
09 April 2021