Here at Watson & Walker we love SMF data. And judging by the volumes of it that most z/OS sites generate, we are not the only ones. SMF can tell you just about anything you could want to know about what is happening on your systems. The downside of having that vast sea of information is that it takes up lots of space – we have clients that generate over 2.5TB of SMF data per day. And if you are like nearly every other z/OS customer, you send at least some of that data to distributed systems for postprocessing. Sending TBs of SMF data over the network can take a long time, especially if the target system is remote.
The good news is that SMF data tends to compress very well. Compression ratios of around 7:1 are normal, and even 10:1 is not unusual, depending on the mix of record types. If you are transferring gigabytes or even terabytes of data every day, those good compression ratios are vital.
The not-so-good news is that the most common tools for compressing SMF data on z/OS do not have a distributed equivalent:
- AMATERSE achieves excellent compression with SMF data, but there is no tool on Windows or Linux to unterse the tersed version of VBS files.
- zEDC is another popular tool for compressing SMF data on z/OS. However, the compressed sequential data sets created by BSAM or QSAM are in a proprietary format. So even if you could get them over to a distributed system without them being uncompressed, there is no tool for Windows or Linux that can read those compressed files.
To address this need, and because we spent a lot of our own time moving SMF data around, our colleague Mario Bezzi created a program called WWUNTERSE. WWUNTERSE runs on Windows and Linux. It can process tersed files that were created from VBS files. It also supports tersed versions of F, FB, V, VB, and VBS files. And it provides the option to include the Block Descriptor Word (BDW) in the output file (as required by MXG/SAS on distributed systems). And the best news of all is that there is no charge for WWUNTERSE. It is available for download now, from the Free Tools page of the Watson & Walker public website.
Please take it for a test drive and let us know what you think.
The team at Watson & Walker