Monday, March 20, 2023

Harnessing the Power of zIIP Processors for Improved Db2 Performance and Lower Cost

As a Db2 DBA, you're constantly looking for ways to improve performance and efficiency while minimizing costs. One technology that can help achieve these goals is the zIIP (IBM System z Integrated Information Processor) processor. By offloading eligible Db2 workloads to zIIP processors, you can free up capacity on general-purpose processors and reduce costs, while improving performance.

So, what workloads are eligible for offloading to zIIP processors? XML processing, and portions of the Db2 LOAD, REORG, RUNSTATS and REBUILD utilities are among the most common. If you have third-party utilities (BMC, Broadcom, InfoTel) it is likely that they, too, will be zIIP-eligible, at least for some of their functionality.

Shifting workload to distributed/DDF is another good way to exploit zIIPs because SQL statements executed through DDF are zIIP-eligible. But most of the time DBAs have little influence on moving workload to distributed processing. This choice is typically driven by application development plans instead of DBA tuning tactics. 

Nevertheless, by understanding what type of workload is zIIP-eligible and encouraging such usage, you can offload workload to zIIP processors. Moving workload from general-purpose processors to zIIPs can possibly improve system performance and reduce costs.

You might also want to take a look at converting some of your COBOL workload to Java, if at all possible because Java programs are zIIP-eligible. Of course, this requires application developers to get involved, as well as (possibly) a conversion tool.

To fully harness the power of zIIP processors, it's important to identify eligible workloads and configure the system accordingly. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  • Configure Db2 for zIIP offload: Configure Db2 to take advantage of zIIP processors by setting the appropriate parameters and options. Consult the IBM Db2 documentation for specific guidance on configuring zIIP offload.

  • Monitor and analyze performance: Use Db2 performance monitoring tools to track the performance of zIIP offloaded workloads and identify areas for further optimization. This can help you continually improve performance and efficiency over time.
By effectively utilizing zIIP processors for Db2 workloads, you can achieve significant cost savings and performance improvements on IBM Z mainframe systems. Don't let this powerful technology go to waste – start exploring the benefits of zIIP processors today!

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