Subscribers to Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter can find the latest, 123-page, issue on our publications website (https://watsonwalkerpublications.com/). In her Cover page introduction, Cheryl said “You’ll find this newsletter to be jam-packed with so many tuning recommendations that I think it will be one of our most popular issues ever.” We hope that you will agree. Specifically, in this issue we have:
- A ‘News’ section that is even more information-loaded than ever. Some of the topics that it covers are z/OS-Related Software Announcements, z/OS-Releated Hardware Announcements, Free Education, End-of-Support Dates, Important Hardware Dates, 3 years’ worth of Statements of Direction, Red Alerts, Performance APARs, New Function APARs, HIPER APARs, SMF APARs, Health Check APARs, News from IBM Techdocs, Other Interesting Blogs and Websites, New and Updated IBM Redbooks and Redpapers, News on IBM Hot Topics articles, and Upcoming Conferences and Events. We puts weeks’ of research into this section of every issue so that you don’t have to.
- A User Experiences and Tips section that includes ten items, including two recent IBM software announcements, three items that provide performance tips, a pointer to a recent IBM white paper by Dave Follis about using R to process SMF data, recent COBOL migration tips, an introduction to a new Open Mainframe incubator project to process RMF data, and a new WLM Health Check related to upcoming changes in z/OS 2.5.
- The latest installment in Todd Havekost’s very popular series of articles. In this one, Todd teams with Mario Bezzi and Frank Kyne to offer a menu of 11 z/OS functions and capabilities that can be used to enhance the efficiency of your system. Not all of these will be applicable in every installation, but we would be amazed if you can’t find additional value in at least two or three of them.
- An article on spring cleaning your data sets. In the system health checks that we perform for clients, we always find opportunities for improved efficiencies in data set allocations. Some examples are data sets with blocksizes of just 80 bytes, data sets that haven’t been referenced in years that are contributing to high disk fragmentation, or data sets that re still being compressed using traditional DFSMS compression rather than zEDC. The article includes sample MXG/SAS jobs, kindly provided by Scott Barry, to create and process DCOLLECT data and identify data sets that are not following best practices for data set allocation.
We hope you will find this issue helps you identify savings that will pay for your Tuning Letter subscription many times over. We also believe the enhanced News article will both save you time and also make you aware of critical information that you need to manage your systems effectively.
The start of every year is typically a relatively quiet time for mainframe support teams, especially in the start of a year that will see a new z/OS release in September, so why not use this opportunity to ensure that your system is running as efficiently as possible before the typical spring and summer spike in workloads arrives. After weeks in COVID lockdown, you might find that hunting down and fixing inefficient data set blocksizes is the most exciting thing you have tackled in months :).