February 2, 2017 Batch Automation 0 Comments

Service Level Manager Adds Real Value

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As I write this post using Microsoft Word, I realize how much of it we never use. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t even know all the features it contains. We just use it as a digital typewriter.

Of course, there’s a flip side to this. We tend not to recognize all the features that provide benefit to us because we don’t measure them. Unlike an actual typewriter, of course, Word prompts us and makes us more efficient. We can set up features to further speed our work—automation for writers. Why not take a moment and enjoy how much easier life is with this kind of automation?

Many ThruPut Manager users may not realize all the benefits they are getting from the base automation product, even before implementing Automated Capacity Management (ACM). We know that ThruPut Manager’s automation engine—Service Level Manager—can really speed up your batch workload. In most cases, it can reduce your batch window.

But it can also save you CPU cycles; and, anything you can do to put off an upgrade or reduce your MSU numbers means you’ve saved your company money. You should measure this and report it.

Getting a Handle on Consumption

Service Level Manager (SLM) on its own can reduce CPU consumption by improving batch workload efficiency. A lot of CPU is wasted on activities such as managing dataset contention and dispatcher thrashing. In the first case, jobs keep asking, “Is the dataset available yet?” and work backs up. SLM detects the potential conflict and manages initiation to ensure this doesn’t happen.

For the second case, when CPU demand starts to reach 90 to 100 percent, the dispatcher is overworked trying to figure out what work to release. SLM reduces this impact by better balancing the workloads to reduce peaks and managing batch load to reduce over-initiation.

Batch jobs use more CPU when they are constantly swapped in and out, waiting for resources or bumped by a higher priority workload. ThruPut Manager manages this more efficiently, only releasing jobs when resources are available. Service Level Manager is constantly and automatically checking on the queue to ensure that highest priority work completes on time. When jobs are delayed, it manages when they eventually will get released, according to standards set for the job. Like traffic building up on the freeway, SLM gets things moving.

Service Level Manager Leverages Machine Speeds

Every 10 seconds, SLM evaluates CPC, LPAR and service class performance. It re-balances the workload to ensure that each system runs the right amount of batch. ThruPut Manager knows that there are affinities and resource requirements to consider and handles these automatically. This simply isn’t possible with manual intervention. It requires machine speeds to accomplish effectively.

This results in reductions in CPU demand which might allow you to reduce your MLC (largely depending on the contribution of batch to your billing peak and other factors), but will certainly help you defer the expense of hardware upgrades.

If you haven’t yet installed ThruPut Manager, you have the opportunity to measure the benefit of Service Level Manager, even before you turn on ACM. If you are already running ThruPut Manager, you currently have the benefit, and no one would recommend turning it off just to do the measurements. But it’s useful to recognize the benefits you are receiving, even if you don’t have an exact metric.

Knowing how good the product is even without ACM might prompt you to consider taking that next step. See how much more you can get when you use ALL the capabilities. Talk to Compuware to learn more about how you can be the cost-cutting hero of your shop.

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Chief Innovator, Denise P. Kalm began her career in biochemical genetics (M.S. University of Michigan). She went on to have a career in IT, beginning with programming, moving to performance and capacity planning and then to work for vendors. Her experience as a performance analyst/capacity planner, software consultant, and then marketing maven at various software companies grounds her work providing contract writing, editing, marketing and speaking services. She is a frequently published author in both the IT world and outside. Kalm is a requested speaker at such venues as SHARE, CMG and ITFMA and has enhanced her skills through Toastmasters where she has earned her ACG/ALB. She is also a personal coach at DPK Coaching.