The pressure of today’s on-demand business world requires IMS mission-critical databases to always be available. Customers needing access to their ATM accounts, partners requiring current inventory and shipping status, and vacationers wanting to know if their flight is on time are only a few of the millions of on-demand and time-dependent needs of businesses. Yet, databases require structural changes and conversions to be implemented in a fail-safe manner and to continuously meet the highly available needs required by the business. Structural changes and conversions require the database to be taken offline, thereby impacting the availability of the database and applications accessing it. The result is a negative impact on the business and its competitive advantage. The challenge is to find a solution that enables these key changes to be safely performed at any time without taking the database offline, and maintaining the highest availability possible.

HALO (High Availability, Low Outage) from NEON Enterprise Software delivers maximum availability and recoverability during implementation of IMS database structural changes and conversions. IMS database conversions, such as converting from non-partitioned to partitioned databases such as HALDB or PDF, are driven by increased demands for real-time access to a constantly growing body of transactional data. By using HALO, IMS database conversion or segment restructuring can be implemented with a very minimal outage (usually a few seconds).

Database Conversions With Availability

Here’s how it works: HALO creates shadow copies of the database for use in the conversion process. During the time a database is undergoing restructuring or conversion, HALO captures online database updates in its Data Collection Facility, thereby permitting IMS and the applications accessing it to remain fully available. After the database restructuring or conversion is complete, HALO analyzes the changes made to the database, converts the captured database updates to match the new structure, and applies the updates to the new database with minimal outage—the seconds of time it takes to rename data sets and place the new database back into service. Companies already using the NEON Enterprise Software Database Director solution can use its batch process to automate the process of unloading and loading the database during restructuring activities.

Secure Recovery Process

Temporary RECON data sets are created by HALO for use during the restructuring or conversion process, while keeping the production RECON data sets untouched. If any issue arises, the production RECON data set is still operational, delivering uninterrupted online transaction processing.

Automatically Recognizes Logically Related Databases

Restructuring or converting logically related databases is effortless. The conversion of both internal and external logically related databases is supported by HALO. HALO concurrently captures and applies updates for all logically related databases during the conversion process, permitting what would normally be multiple outages to be avoided.

Ensures Conversion Success

HALO makes it easy to process Database Recovery Control (DBRC) Database and Change Accumulation Groups. For example, the name of the group is all that is needed for HALO to automatically and concurrently process all the databases in the group.

Database conversions and DBRC changes also can be tested after database restructuring without moving the database into production or affecting database availability. Database conversion and DBRC changes can be fine-tuned to ensure the amount of time the database is offline is further minimized.

Easy to Install and Manage

HALO is installed through an easy-to-use ISPF interface that also doubles as the central location for management of the product. Default value settings permit immediate use of HALO in most cases, and the product is easy to customize for various conversion processes with a few keystrokes. Detailed reporting also is included. Z