Subscribers to Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter can find the latest 114-page issue, 2023 No.4, on our publications website (https://watsonwalkerpublications.com/). In this issue, you will find the following articles:
- Cheryl and Tom’s blog post announcing their plans to retire and close the Watson & Walker company and cease publication of Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter. This is truly the end of an era. Many of our friends and readers have pointed out that Cheryl and Watson & Walker have been there for their entire working lives. But no one can deny that after a lifetime devoted to helping customers and the mainframe platform, Tom and Cheryl have earned the chance to hang up the keyboard and enjoy life to the full. We will have more news about their plans and what this means for Tuning Letter subscribers in future issues. For now, everything will continue Business-as-Usual until early 2025, with the normal four Tuning Letter issues (after this one) being published for 2024.
- While mainframe workloads continue to grow to support their businesses, many customers find that what they need is capacity rather than a screaming-fast processor. A growing number of customers are now including sub-capacity processors in their upgrade evaluations. Moving to a CPC in a slower speed range presents both opportunities and challenges. To help our readers understand the considerations, our friend Todd Havekost from IntelliMagic addresses this in his latest article – The Expanding Role of Sub-capacity Processors in Today’s Mainframe Configurations. Whenever you are next considering a CPC upgrade, we highly recommend using Todd’s article to help you decide if a sub-cap CPC should be among your list of candidates.
- Huge application databases tend to receive all the attention and love and care in a production system. This is as it should be – performance issues on those files can impact your entire business. However, there are likely thousands of partitioned data sets that are the workhorses of your z/OS system – they hold your software, your application executables, your JCL and utilities, the source for our application programs, and countless other things. But in our experience, they get little TLC. Even performance-enhancing capabilities that have been with us for 20+ years are often not exploited. To address this missed opportunity for system optimization, our Optimizing PDS and PDSE Performance article in this issue describes the basics and provides recommendations for providing a sound PDSE environment. In Tuning Letter 2024 No. 1, we will dive into the commands and metrics that you can use to identify the best candidates for optimization improvement.
- Possibly the best thing about Parallel Sysplex is its robustness and resiliency – the ability to ‘take a licking and keep on ticking’. But that is also possibly the worst thing about Parallel Sysplex. While it will perform great with properly-sized CF structures, it sort of shrugs its shoulders and makes the most of under-sized structures too. As a result, it is not uncommon to see CF structures that are functioning flawlessly, but that could deliver better performance and efficiency if their size was better suited to their workload. The Best Practices for Sizing CF Structures article discusses the factors that can affect a structure’s size, describes how structure sizes have traditionally been managed (or ignored), and the discusses the latest Structure Sizing enhancement to the z/OS CFRM Policy Editor. To cut a long story short, it can help you achieve better efficiency while also saving you time and effort – sounds like a win-win to me.
- Our friend Mike FitzGerald from Fitz Software in Ireland presented a very interesting session about the z/OS IPL process at last year’s GSE UK Conference in Whittlebury. This is a topic that many experienced system programmers take for granted, but that could potentially be horrendously complex to someone new to the platform (or even an experienced person from a different site). With so many z/OS infrastructure staff retiring over the coming few years, we felt that this is a very interesting topic for the next generation that will replace them. So Mike kindly offered to create The Life of a z/OS IPL article for us based, on his GSE presentation. I’ve been working with z/OS for nearly 40 years, and I learned things from Mike’s article. We think this article will be valuable for anyone that could someday be faced with a system that won’t IPL.
- Of course, we also have our regular helping of User Experiences and Tips. In this issue we describe one customer’s experience with adding and removing large amounts of memory to a z/OS LPAR. We have a valuable little tip about a relatively new function in the DEVSUPxx member to protect VTOC, as well as a clarification about the ability to use new parms in the IEAOPTxx member to control the behavior of the new Implicit Long Term CPU Protection function in WLM. There is also some additional information about the z/OS Connect metrics that Todd discussed in his z/OS Connect EE: Strategic On-ramp to the Mainframe article in Tuning Letter 2023 No. 3. And we have additional information about how sites might integrate the new z/OSMF UUID function into their own software deployment processes.
- And to round things off, the News article provides a meaty list of recent New Function APARs for z/OS, CICS, and Db2, plus info about updated CPS tools from IBM, and information about upcoming user conferences.
You can find the full Table of Contents here. We hope you find this information helpful and timely. Please let us know if there are specific topics you would like to see in a future Tuning Letter article.
If you are not a current Tuning Letter subscriber, see our website for information about subscription rates and the ordering process.