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zDynaCap Introduction: Intelligent z/OS MSU Management Delivering Lower WLC Costs
The introduction of Workload License Charges (WLC) in Mainframe Data Centres generates a challenge of how available peak time CPU (MSU) capacity can be optimally allocated, safeguarding that high priority workloads operate at peak efficiency, without increasing the associated IBM z/OS software costs unnecessarily.

To some extent, the z/OS Mainframe user can control MSU usage by deploying soft-capping techniques generally associated with Defined Capacity (DC) and Group Capacity Limit (GCL) functionality, while workloads can be prioritized via the Workload Manager (WLM). However, these controlling mechanisms don’t necessarily have the required granularity for each and every Mainframe Data Centre to deploy policies that provide the optimal cost versus performance balance. All too often, inadvertently or otherwise, Mainframe Data Centres might not be benefitting from lowest WLC cost, even though their workload might appear constrained, because MSU resource is not available to the high priority workload that is mission critical and heavily influences the associated z/OS WLC costs. The only constant rule for Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool (SCRT) invoice generation is that the customer MSU metric is based upon the Defined Capacity (DC) or Rolling Four Hour Average (R4HA), which ever value is the lowest.

Traditionally, Mainframe workloads comprised an on-line day and batch window timeframe, where workload characteristics are vastly different, and so when allocating CPU resource, significantly different MSU values might be required, where the short-running TP (E.g. CICS, IMS) Monitor transaction bears no relation to a long-running batch job. So in an ideal world, there might be a CPU (MSU) resource allocation policy for each of these timeframes. This might be further complicated by peak workloads generated by periodic (E.g. Weekly, Monthly, Yearly) and known timeframes, and the 21st Century “on demand” 24*7 transaction orientated workload, when the peak can happen at any time. So wouldn’t it be good if there was a solution that could automatically and dynamically apply a CPU (MSU) resource allocation policy that was proactive and safeguarded that high-priority workloads benefitted from the optimal MSU available, without impacting the R4HA, whose peak values dictate the size and shape of the monthly SCRT invoice?

zDynaCap Functions
A modern plug and play product with no hooks or interfaces other than the standard z/OS HMC & BCPii functions
Automatically balances CPU (MSU) resource via customer defined policies (LPAR groups)
Cost control flexibility either for total z/OS MLC software costs or per product via LPAR groups based upon product usage
Enables a higher granularity of control via nested group functionality (groups within groups)
Delivers a complete overview and control of MSU usage and associated WLC costs
Function rich browser based reporting feature delivering a cockpit view, showing current usage information
Useful reporting that can be used to cross-check SCRT reports and associated invoices
Quickly deployed software install via customer based policies from real-life SCRT and WLM data (SMF Type 70, 89 & 72)

zDynaCap Capacity Balancing
zDynaCap delivers automated capacity balancing within CPCs, Capacity Groups or Groups of LPARs. Central to zDynaCap are the predefined balancing policies. Within these balancing policies, users define their MSU ranges of Groups and LPARs and also the priorities of the associated LPAR Workload. zDynaCap continually monitors overall usage and compares this to the available capacity and the user defined MSU balancing policies. For example, should a high priority workload on one LPAR not get enough capacity, while a low priority workload on another within the group gets too much capacity, the available MSU capacity is distributed according to the balancing policies. Only if there is no leftover capacity to be rescheduled within the defined Group, and if the high or medium priority workload will be slowed down, will zDynaCap add MSU.

Changes in MSU capacity values are implemented by accessing the HMC through the official IBM BCPii interface. HMC values set by zDynaCap can at any time be overwritten temporarily or permanently. zDynaCap is easy to use and comes with an initial user specific set of balancing policies, as per our efficient analysis of customer SCRT and WLM (SMF Type 70 & 72) data. As and when required, zDynaCap efficiently allocates MSU capacity assigned to a less time critical workload, thus optimizing MSU resource and minimizing the associated R4HA. This is an absolutely unique feature to the System z platform.

With zDynaCap Capacity Balancing, available MSU capacity is balanced within LPAR groups, safeguarding that during peak time the mission critical workload is processed as per business expectations (E.g. SLA/KPI) for the lowest possible MLC cost.

zDynaCap: Simplified MSU Usage & Policy Reporting For The z/OS Technician
All too often there might be too much data and not enough information; zDynaCap provides an efficient elegant GUI interface displaying the required information to assist the z/OS technician who manages MSU capacity usage. This example report shows the policy flexibility in defining an MSU policy with calendar (E.g. Day, Time) & zServer (E.g. CPC, Group, LPAR) metrics:
zDynaCap Policy Display Example
Clearly this simple to use design is an extension to the standard IBM supplied soft-capping techniques of Defined Capacity (DC) and Group Capacity Limit (GCL), with Workload Manager (WLM) interaction. Therefore zDynaCap supplements and enhances these standard IBM functions, providing every Mainframe customer, whether large or small, with the ability to derive maximum value (I.E. Price vs. Performance) from their z/OS software (E.g. WLC) investment.

zDynaCap: Combined Technical Analysis & Management Summary Reports
The 21st Century Manager requires compelling graphical reports to understand how their business policies are performing, allowing them to interact with their technicians (E.g. Systems Programmers, Capacity Managers) and Senior Management (E.g. CIO, CFO, CEO) alike. zDynaCap performs the required data reduction to produce such reports, for example:
zDynaCap GUI Report Example

This GUI (Smartphone, Tablet, PC) report highlights the potential to refine the MSU usage policy, allowing Mission & Time critical workloads to process without being impacted by low priority workloads.

zDynaCap Benefits
As with any technology investment a combination of technical and commercial benefits are required to assist the IBM Mainframe customer in optimizing their infrastructure, with short-term ROI and long-term TCO cost reduction. zDynaCap provides the following benefits for IBM Mainframe users, both large and small:

Simple to use and enhanced MSU management, supplementing existing IBM soft-capping (I.E. DC, GCL) techniques
Optimized MSU usage, minimizing monthly z/OS WLC software charges (I.E. SCRT)
WLM interaction to safeguard that Mission & Time critical workloads process as efficiently as possible
Enhanced MSU usage policy definition reporting to simplify z/OS technical management & reporting
Meaningful elegant GUI reports allowing senior management to safeguard business performance (I.E. SLA, KPI)
Potential for delayed zSeries resource acquisition (E.g. CPU upgrades)

The 21st Century business is compelled and indeed obliged to do more with less and zDynaCap provides such a mechanism for IBM Mainframe users to derive maximum bang from their z/OS WLC software financial investment.

zDynaCap: Complementary Customer Workload Analysis
By analysing your business specific SMF Type 70 & 89 (SCRT) and Type 72 (WLM) data, we can very quickly highlight what MSU and associated z/OS WLC software savings can be achieved with zDynaCap, while delivering you a customized software installation package, with sample policies tailored to your environment. zDynaCap has no technical pre-requisites, other than the ability for a customer environment to be WLC compatible, and is typically installed and running in several hours...

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zDynaCap: Intelligent z/OS MSU Management Delivering Lower WLC Costs
Product Resources
PDF Icon zDynaCap Fact Sheet (518 KB)
Useful Web Links
IE Icon IBM System z Software Pricing Website
IE Icon IBM zSeries Software Pricing: Sub-Capacity Planning Tool
IE Icon IBM zSeries Software Pricing: Sub-Capacity Reporting Tool
Additional Information
PDF Icon IBM z13 WLC Software (TTO, ICAP, CMP) Pricing Review (1278 KB)
ISV Web Site
IE Icon zIT Consulting
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