On a daily basis the IT team at a global designer and manufacturer of premium trucks was receiving calls from internal users. They were unable to access the mainframe because it was running at 100% of capacity.

This IT organization has a total of 225 MSUs of mainframe capacity with zIIP specialty engines. They were maxing out of MSUs during the most critical time of the day. Users who were trying to get onto the system were unable to.

This out-of-capacity situation developed over a period of a few months. It initially was occurring one or two days a week. As the situation got progressively worse, it became an everyday problem.

The Impact of Running Out of Capacity

Internal users rely on core CICS applications to transact business. CPU utilization was so high that customers would see their requests time out because there was no capacity to process them. Critical work wasn’t getting done, negatively impacting users and external customers alike.

The crisis was so serious and the impact so great, the IT team set up a special website for users to bypass the normal support ticketing process to communicate outages. Efforts to manage and resolve the situation consumed a lot of staff time trying to find ways to deal with maxing out the CPU while also communicating with a frustrated user base.

Most organizations in this situation have two options: add mainframe capacity or reduce workload. Neither option was desirable because of the cost, the time required, or the sacrifice of essential work processing.

HostBridge Recommends Leveraging the zIIP for Integration

This manufacturer has used HostBridge for over 10 years to integrate their CICS applications with many, non-mainframe systems and applications. HostBridge is a critical part of the IT infrastructure and handles a significant amount of integration processing.

Members of the IT team familiar with HostBridge and the deep mainframe expertise its technical team possesses reached out to the company. The HostBridge team was able to quickly use its integration analytics process to determine what was consuming CPU cycles and when. The analysis revealed enough CPU cycles were spent in HostBridge integration processing that offloading this to a zIIP specialty engine would provide relief.

The HostBridge CICS integration software is zIIP-enabled. To immediately decrease the amount of MSUs in use was simply a matter of installing the HostBridge zIIP-enablement feature. After installing this feature, an immediate CPU usage decrease of greater than 10% occurred. Users noticed the change and support calls about the situation stopped completely.

Results of zIIP-Enabling the HostBridge Workload

After installing the HostBridge zIIP-enablement feature, this customer’s CPU utilization dropped from 100% to 85% during its key processing window.

The impact of zIIP-enabling HostBridge was immediate and significant.

Without zIIP enablement, this IBM System Z users most likely were facing the shut down of certain environments. One was the development environment, which would have delayed the development of new features, products, and applications. It was not a desirable option. Because the HostBridge zIIP-enablement feature is working so well, it’s not an option they have to entertain. By exploiting the HostBridge zIIP-enablement feature, this manufacturer was able to find a fast, simple, and inexpensive solution to maxing out their processor. They have now gained back valuable resources and time to do more strategic work.

HostBridge customers may get similar benefits from the optional, zIIP-enablement feature. Contact the HostBridge support team about testing this feature to understand its benefits. Non-HostBridge customers who are considering CICS integration and modernization have the assurance that using HostBridge will not adversely impact mainframe resources.