IBM previews a new release of z/OS early every year, announces it later that year, and then makes it available on the last Friday in September. And so it is for z/OS Version 1 Release 12—previewed Feb. 8, announced July 22, and available Sept. 24, 2010. It sounds like business as usual, but is it?
z/OS V1.12 is like no other prior release; it has significant performance, availability, networking, usability, and productivity enhancements that many will find valuable. Together with the new IBM zEnterprise System, it may change the way you do business.
With new VSAM Control Area (CA) reclaim capability, applications that use VSAM Key-Sequenced Data Sets (KSDS) can benefit from improved performance, minimized space utilization, and improved application availability. Such applications include CICS VSAM, VSAM RLS, IMS VSAM, and Catalog processing. In the IBM labs, VSAM workload performance improved by up to 44 percent. Actual results can vary, depending on the degree of data fragmentation. In addition, you benefit from avoiding outages that used to be required to defragment and reorganize this data.
XML is an increasingly important standard used for data interchange and you can exploit this new standard with z/OS. With z/OS XML System Services, validation parsing performance improvement is anticipated to be between 30 and 50 percent, depending on the amount of data being parsed and schema complexity.
z/OS also introduces a revolutionary new fragment validation parsing capability. By revalidating only the fragments being updated, DB2 10 for z/OS pureXML can avoid the costly revalidation of entire XML documents, which otherwise can take many times longer. As of z/OS V1.10, all validating and non-validating parsing performed by z/OS XML System Services is eligible for the System z Application Assist Processor (zAAP) or System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) specialty engines. XML on z/OS is both smart and economical.
With z/OS V1.12, there are significant performance enhancements expected for other types of workloads, too. For example, SVC dump capture time can be reduced by up to 90 percent, though this benefit will depend on the amount of data being captured and how much of that is dumped from auxiliary storage.
Network throughput is improved, too. CPU overhead for applying secure Application Transparent - Transport Layer Security (AT-TLS) will be up to 30 percent less, with the precise benefit dependent on the amount of data transmitted, whether the workload is interactive or streaming, and overall z/OS image utilization. Network throughput for interactive, streaming, and Sysplex Distributor workloads can be improved by using new Open Systems Adapter (OSA) Express 3 Inbound Workload Queueing (IWQ), available on the IBM System z10 and the new IBM zEnterprise 196 server.
z/OS also provides terrific availability enhancements. One valuable function mentioned earlier is VSAM CA reclaim, which gives you the ability to avoid planned outages due to VSAM data set reorganizations. Now you don’t need to take down your applications for VSAM defragmentation, avoiding a task you may currently be doing frequently (e.g., weekly).