January 12, 2017 Batch Automation

LPAR Sets: Saving Your Bacon Without Soft-capping

Companies are more cost-focused than ever before. While some industries have always had narrow margins, every company is looking for cost-savings wherever possible.

In some areas of IT, this can be very difficult, but performance people (and systems programmers at some shops) have opportunities to make a noticeable and reportable difference. We’re all about reporting, so we can document what we have done. The challenge is that everything happens 24/7, and even young, superhuman mainframers can’t really work to that schedule. But automation software can.

If you are the one recommending the software, implementing it and reporting on the results, you get the credit. It’s as simple as that. Not everyone realizes this, but ThruPut Manager has a function called ACM (Automated Capacity Management). This helps you really cut the costs of your software if you are using IBM VWLC and paying based on your R4HA. In future blogs, we’ll delve into these capabilities more, but let’s start with the shop that doesn’t want to implement soft-capping.

Soft-capping can be scary, but you still need to save money. So what do you do?

The solution is LPAR sets. ACM allows you to define sets of LPARs across your z/OS environment then specify a R4HA limit to each which can differ based on the software licensed for each. An LPAR can be in more than one set, which assures maximum flexibility.

ACM will calculate the capacity level and then constrain the batch workloads in the set as needed to assure you don’t run above the limit you set, all without you doing anything but defining your sets.

It’s a one-time effort, unless you wish to modify it at some point. Three steps and then you’re done.

  1. Define each of your CPCs
  2. Define the LPARs running z/OS on each CPC
  3. Define your LPAR sets by selecting LPARs for each set and giving the set a name and a limit

LPAR set definition

This is what the third step looks like. It’s pretty easy to do and the gains can be really spectacular. If you really don’t know what limit to set, set it to zero. ThruPut Manager will monitor the activity and you can use the SLM DISPLAY CPC command to see the current R4HA for the LPAR set in question. Once you know the regular utilization, you can update the LPAR set definition with the correct value.

LPAR sets - SLM DISPLAY CPC command

If you’ve been watching your costs month-to-month, you can quickly evaluate the benefit after the first month. Once you’re comfortable with this, you’ll want to look at all the benefits of ACM. Improve your job with the help of automation and ThruPut Manager.