Running HostBridge Integration Scripts on zIIP Engines Helps Insurer Smoothly Navigate Year-End Peak Processing Load

major health insurance company is using the HostBridge JavaScript Engine (HB.js) to enable its CICS web services integration strategy. Since choosing HostBridge as its CICS integration solution, the firm has developed and deployed almost 200 CICS web services. At the beginning of 2021, the company went through what is normally a peak demand period. Clients were triggering high volumes of transactions associated with the end of a coverage year and the start of a new one. It was simple to run HostBridge integration scripts on zIIP engines, improving throughput and keeping costs to a minimum.

This busy time of year was a stress test for HostBridge in this environment. As transaction volumes ramped up, CPU utilization went up by a factor of 10 in the CICS region where HostBridge integration scripts run. This unexpected exponential increase seemed out of line with the linear increase in transaction volumes. Working with the user’s technical staff, the HostBridge technical services team suggested the problem was likely due to running out of z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) threads. This condition was causing work to shift over to the General Processor (GP).

Leveraging zIIPs for HostBridge Integration Scripts

zIIP engines enable System z users to leverage the cyber resiliency, elasticity and scalability of IBM® z without affecting the MSU rating or the machine model designation. The client’s z/OS support team confirmed processing in the HostBridge LPAR had exceeded available zIIP engines.The result was an increase in GP utilization. This situation was not ideal due to increased costs and lower throughput. The resolution was simply a matter of assigning two additional zIIP engines to the LPAR, which is possible to do on the fly. After doing so, GP utilization returned to normal. HostBridge runs inside CICS, where it takes full advantage of CICS features and System z architecture.

The HostBridge JavaScript Engine (HB.js) is zIIP-enabled. It’s easy to run HostBridge integration scripts on zIIP engines for better performance and lower costs.

For this HostBridge customer, the zIIP-enablement of HB.js is allowing its integration scripts to deliver the highest possible performance without incurring additional processing costs. The HostBridge technical team was able to help the client recognize what was happening during its period of peak processing, and reconfigure zIIP engines to move work off the GP. This insurance company is efficiently processing workload at a peak time of the year, because of the way HostBridge exploits zIIP engines, and doing it in the most cost-effective manner. In fact, virtually 99% of HB.js scripts will run on the zIIP. Code that runs on the GP is non-HostBridge code, often a combination of IBM and customer code.

In the region where HostBridge integration scripts run, 85% of CPU consumed was offloaded to the zIIP specialty engine.

This performance data from an actual day’s production run hit a new high for the number of HostBridge services executed in single day: over 1.12 million services with an average response time of about 1/10th of a second. Each service orchestrates multiple CICS transactions.

This customer experience is just one example of how HB.js exploits the features of CICS and IBM Z. The ability to run on the zIIP engine makes HB.js ideal for high-volume, high-availability, mission-critical CICS integrations. HostBridge customers can easily run HostBridge integration scripts on zIIP engines for highest possible performance at the lowest cost. Enterprises that have CICS integration requirements can test HostBridge on their system, using their applications, through the HostBridge Pilot Software Program.

Contact HostBridge using the information found at the bottom of this page for more details on conducting a HostBridge pilot.

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