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Preparing for a Rebound

Six computing strategies for a recovering economy

Six computing strategies for a recovering economy

Also, consider the advantages of using software for problem resolution, such as for automating actions resulting from an alert. Many automation tasks can be accomplished rapidly and easily with rules and include a form-driven, fill-in-the-blanks approach. Business rules can be used to establish the automated processes, and the software should be able to adjust to most deviations from rules and correct them without human intervention. This approach reduces operational costs, mitigates the risk of errors, enables you to handle more workload without adding staff or MIPS, and increases your control.

2. Manage MIPS Optimization

If MIPS optimization is managed aggressively, you have the potential to save money and position your company for future growth. It also allows you to consume fewer MIPS while handling equal or greater workloads.

The key is to reduce MIPS consumption during peak times, since MIPS usage drives hardware upgrades. Inefficient transactions increase MIPS consumption. Ever-expanding peak windows make MIPS optimization one of the highest-value practices you can implement.

Automated IT-management technologies enable mainframe IT teams to identify, prioritize and fix the sources of inefficiency in customer transactions.

Consider, for example, the challenges facing financial-services companies that handle customers’ stock-market trades over the Internet. Breaking news could cause tremendous activity when the U.S. stock market opens, resulting in a deluge of trading transactions. This unusual increase could expose weaknesses in the system that weren’t previously detected. Using the right IT-management tools enables IT staff to identify MIPS-consumption problems, such as a small piece of SQL code that queries a back-end DB2* database as part of every customer transaction. Identifying and optimizing this small piece of code could substantially reduce MIPS consumption.

A telecommunications provider, for example, had a similar area that impacted MIPS: An IMS* routine consumed too many CPU cycles as it checked for data availability, known as check pointing. By using automated database-management tools, the company identified the code responsible for the excess consumption. The company then used additional tools to change the level of check pointing, thereby lowering CPU utilization without rewriting the application code.

Optimizing mainframe MIPS consumption, more work can be squeezed out of fewer MIPS to accommodate new applications in support of business growth.

Mike Moser, a product management director and program executive within BMC Software's Mainframe Service Management business unit, focuses on issues related to reducing costs while improving IT efficiency and service delivery.

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