Underutilizing zIIP Engines Was Costing This Global Bank Serious MIPS & Money
Syncsort MFSort and Syncsort ZPSaver Save on IBM MLC Costs for Sort
One global bank with four major data centers (each housing 2-4 mainframes) was finding that CPU time spent on mundane sort and copy operations was becoming a huge target for cost reduction. Although faster and more efficient alternatives to DFSORT were available, such as Syncsort MFSort, the IT shop was facing more pressing concerns when looking to save costs and address mainframe challenges.
Once Syncsort ZPSaver was brought into the picture; however, the circumstances changed. With Syncsort ZPSaver and Syncsort MFSort, 90% of the work could be offloaded to ZIIP, meaning it would not incur MLC fees from IBM. Furthermore, CPU time spent on sort/copy/merge processing was down by about 39% to 40% on average across the four mainframe data centers.
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That circumstance changed in 2016 when Ciber (an Experis IT brand), a global IT consultancy, brought Precisely’s Syncsort ZPSaver software into the picture. Syncsort ZPSaver augments the capabilities of Syncsort MFX in several respects, but mainly it increases the amount of sort-type processing that can be offloaded from the CPU to the zIIP. Some costs are attached to zIIP processors, of course, but they are one-time costs and they are relatively minor compared to the substantial and ongoing usage-based licensing charges that go with the IBM’s general- purpose CPUs.
With the Syncsort MFX and Syncsort ZPSaver solution, up to 90% of that work can be offloaded to zIIP engines, meaning it would not incur dreaded MLC (monthly license charge) fees from IBM. This suddenly became one of the bigger fish to fry. Ciber, as a knowledgeable systems manager and reseller of Precisely software and services, played a central role in implementing the Syncsort MFX and Syncsort ZPSaver solution at all four of the bank’s major data centers. Ciber continues to consult with Precisely and this bank on how the bank could benefit from other mainframe optimization opportunities in its z System environments (some of which could also reduce Db2-related MLC charges and other costs, etc.)