Benefits – Simplicity, Service, Savings

Simplicity

  • Simplifies the management of system resources and batch workload priorities
  • The system environment for batch is easier to set up and maintain
  • Ongoing batch operation requires less monitoring and intervention
  • Dependency on scarce batch knowledge and skills is reduced
  • Datacenter agility is enhanced by removing dependency on user compliance and JCL
  • Software can easily be licensed on fewer or smaller images

With Service Level Manager (SLM) the systems environment for batch is easier to set up, operate and support. More of the operational decisions are directly captured by your ThruPut Manager policies. The de facto SLA becomes obvious and is much easier to analyse and change as your organization changes. The necessary skill level for batch operation and system support is stepped down and knowledge loss when people move on is much reduced.

Since ThruPut Manager with SLM has automatic escalation when goals are in jeopardy of not being met, operators don’t need to constantly scan for emerging problems, or to mitigate capacity shortages or other system problems by starting and stopping initiators, cancelling and restarting jobs, and adjusting priorities of jobs. ThruPut Manager either anticipates and avoids the situation (e.g., allocation recovery, dataset contention) or mitigates it (e.g., by detecting where work could run and sending it there, by starting and stopping initiators, by manipulating priorities to give preference to more urgent work) – all automatically.

ThruPut Manager decouples datacenter decisions from the classing straitjacket and user JCL. Without ThruPut Manager, the datacenter is dependent on users to comply with datacenter standards for JCL, classing and using shared resources. Simple changes often require extraordinary co-ordination and involvement with the user community. Users are frustrated with the demands to comply with a seemingly arbitrary set of standards. ThruPut Manager eliminates these challenges.

Service

  • Batch is managed to service goals based on simple wall-clock metrics
  • Automatic escalation ensures more important work is favored when resources are stressed
  • Batch service is reported to all stakeholders in terms of the goals
  • Facilitates creation of Service Level Objectives with users

ThruPut Manager with SLM adopts a service perspective. Throughout all its functions, it is guided by the user goals for their jobs as well as the datacenter goals (or constraints) for the installation as a whole. A common set of metrics, using straight-forward wall-clock values, are used to express these goals, guide the automation engine and give feedback. Displays and reports use the same metrics to give feedback to users, operations, performance analysts and management. Now everyone can communicate in the same language and mean the same thing.

ThruPut Manager and the Batch Service Model:
Service-lifecycle-for-web

  • The datacenter manager is responsible for taking business goals and datacenter constraints into account and developing a policy to guide Operations in the running of the workload. Until ThruPut Manager there was nowhere to store this understanding, much less have the system automatically use it when processing the workload. ThruPut Manager collects goals and constraints in a policy. Only one policy is active at a time. There can be a different policy for different situations such as DAYTIME, WEEKNGHT, MONTHEND, HOLIDAY and so on.
  • SLM captures service objectives in terms of queue time and execution time goals, as well as relative importance. These are the metrics the automation engine uses to decide which jobs to favor.
  • Technical Support staff understand the complex nature of the datacenter resources. Some jobs have to run on certain machines to comply with software licences, or to have access to the correct DBMS, and so on. At run-time SLM uses constraint information to automatically distribute the workload.
  • ThruPut Manager provides an “at-a-glance” view of the entire batch workload such as “batch is being selected within its target and the trend is stable”. When the status is “being selected beyond Acceptable and the trend is deteriorating”, manual intervention is likely still not required since automatic escalation is already doing everything possible.
  • ThruPut Manager provides extensive feedback on every job. Users can check on its status while executing, and they receive a detailed report explaining the service the job received, including sources of delays.
  • Technical Support can verify that each business unit is receiving the service they are expecting and explain any periods when those goals could not be met.

Savings

The automation and modernization of batch workload management results in savings to the enterprise.

  • Software licensing costs can be substantially reduced.
  • Installations using sub-capacity pricing can generate significant monthly savings.
  • Simplification saves staff time and training for all batch stakeholders.
  • Service improvements deliver the business value expected of a modern datacenter.
  • Improved throughput and capacity utilization saves hardware and associated software by deferring upgrades and making lower “soft cap” limits possible, while maintaining acceptable batch service levels.

Organizational changes may be hard to predict and quantify but many managers have told us this is where they will realize the most savings. Automating the tedious, labor-intensive and error-prone parts of operations leaves skilled staff free to take on more valuable project work. Having an effective way to capture and act on the user service goals may yield even greater business value.

Easier to quantify are the savings reflected in a datacenter budget. Automation and its attendant optimizations can reduce the batch window needed to run your workload. This can be realized by running on a smaller machine, deferring upgrades to larger machines and/or running with a lower soft cap. Whichever option you choose, hardware savings means system software savings, since the pricing of most system software, from IBM and other vendors, is based on the hardware it is running on.

ThruPut Manager with SLM provides an extraordinary opportunity to save software licensing costs. In the past, it has been simpler to license all the LPARs in a datacenter for all the licensed software. Work could be moved around without worrying about license compliance and maintenance tasks were more uniform across LPARs. However with licensing costs now comprising a significant percentage of the datacenter budget, that strategy may be questionable.

ThruPut Manager mitigates the inconvenience of licensing fewer machines, while ensuring compliance and avoiding penalty charges. Several users, while deriving many benefits from the product, tell us they justify the product on this consideration alone.

Service Level Manager takes a systemic approach to optimizing batch in the z/OS context and savings are derived throughout the system, making batch more efficient and easier to manage in every datacenter.

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