IT Management

MVS Boot Camp: Monitoring Virtual Storage Consumption

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After your RMF modify command has been active for a while, you are ready to run an RMF post processor job to obtain the virtual storage statistics for the selected address space. You will use the following RMF post processor command statement to invoke the virtual storage report: 


where PRDADBM1 is the name of the address space entered on the RMF modify command. Figure 2 shows the JCL for the post processor job. Don’t forget to change the address space name in the VSTOR control statement and the date control statement.

Notice that the post processor job does not specify the location of the RMF/SMF data via the MFPINPUT DD statement. By omitting the MFPINPPUT DD statement, you are telling the post processor to utilize the Sysplex Data Services to access the SMF buffers. Most shops have the SMF buffers protected by their security system. If you are using the RACF security system, you can provide access to the SMF buffers using the following commands: 

permit erbsds.smfdata class(facility)

     id(userid) access(read)

setr raclist(facility) refr 


You can download an example of a Virtual Storage Activity report generated by the RMF post processor job from the z/Journal Website (go to “Current Articles” and download the file that accompanies the article PDF). To determine the amount of free virtual storage above the 16MB line, perform the following calculations:

Subtract the “LSQA/SWA/229/230 Pages allocated in bytes” amount and the “User Region Pages Allocated in bytes” amount from the “Region Assigned Above 16M” amount. Figure 3 shows that there is 327MB of free virtual storage.

For DB2 address spaces, IBM published the following guidelines for virtual storage:

  • Greater than 500MB free = OK
  • 200MB to 500MB free = Warning
  • Less than 200MB free = Action Required.


The RMF documentation recommends that you not leave the VSTOR data-gathering function enabled for extended periods of time. Doing so could impact the performance of your system. Once you have generated your RMF post processor report, you should deactivate the data-gathering function. To do this, enter the following command from your console: 



If you are running critical applications, such as DB2 or WebSphere in an OS/390 environment, it is in your best interest to occasionally monitor and track the virtual storage consumption of your applications. Failure of a mission-critical application due to virtual storage exhaustion can be difficult to explain and even more difficult to correct. By tracking your applications’ virtual storage consumption, you can proactively predict when trouble is headed your way. Z

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