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zEDC Helps Compress System Management Facility Data


This is part two about a compression feature new to the z/OS 2.1 operating system, zEnterprise Data Compression (zEDC). Read part one here.

Take Advantage of zEDC

The first practical application targeted for zEDC being made available from IBM will be the compression of System Management Facility (SMF) data. SMF data can be massive, and its volume is always increasing.

There always seems to be someone wanting to use SMF to record something, a new SMF record or record subtype, new or extended fields in existing SMF records and—in the case of DB2—a new or enhanced Instrumentation Facility Component ID written to the SMF 100, 101 or 102. Without SMF, we would have no way to know what’s going on with z/OS or one of its subcomponents.

If compressing your SMF data sounds interesting, as well it should, then zEDC is your answer. However, to use zEDC to compress your SMF data, you will have to use log streams. SMF can use either log streams or SMF data sets, but not both. If you haven’t moved to log streams yet, this may be a good incentive.

The z/OS System Logger provides logging capabilities in a single or multi-system sysplex to any applications that wants to log something.

If you need additional details about the System Logger specifically, there is an IBM Redbooks from 2007 that does explain almost anything you would like to know about Logger. “Systems Programmer's Guide to: z/OS System Logger” does focus on Logger only and not SMF.

Compressing SMF data using zEDC can either take the place of or be in addition to the SMF compression feature available in DB2 (SMFCOMP set to ON on the DSN6SYSP subsystem macro). Again, I have published a couple of posts here on SMF compression and how this feature can compress SMF 100, 101, and 102 records from DB2.

What the Future Holds

You’ve just read how SMF will use zEDC. What’s next for zEDC? Where else will zEDC come into play? What other z/OS functions will be able to take advantage of it?

The original zEDC announcement letter listed other features that would be supported in the future. The future has arrived. The Feb. 24, 2014, announcement letter has the details about what additional support has been realized. This information, along with APAR numbers that enable this additional coverage, is contained in the IBM United States Hardware Announcement 114-009 than can be read here.

One statement of direction in the announcement letter was the intent to provide zEDC support for BSAM and QSAM. That usage for zEDC has arrived and is titled “Extended Format BSAM and QSAM data set compression.” There was a COMPACTION option added to the SMS DATACLAS structure and a COMPRESS option added to IGDSMSxx member in PARMLIB. This additional functionality was delivered via the PTF fix for APAR OA42195.

Other targeted products using zEDC Express include IBM SDK 7 for z/OS Java and the IBM Encryption Facility for z/OS. The same announcement letter also implies the current availability of IBM’s 31-bit and 64-bit SDK for z/OS Java Technology Edition 7.1 exploitation of zEDC Express. If you add in the PTF for APAR OA43869 along with the Java update, IBM’s Encryption Facility is also now ready to take advantage of zEDC Express and zEDC on z/OS 2.1.

Version 5.2 of Sterling Connect:Direct for z/OS is another function that will now use zEDC Express and z/OS 2.1 zEDC. Although it did not appear in the original announcement letter, it is listed in the above announcement letter.

Support is now available for z/VM 6.3 guest on the zEC12 and zBC12 servers. This support extends to a z/VM quest only, not to z/VM directly. Support to z/VM guest will be provided by the PTF for APAR VM65417, plus additional maintenance to a list of components in the announcement letter noted above.

Still part of the statement of direction are plans that will have DFSMSdss take advantage of zEDC. zEDC will not only be used when DFSMSdss dumps and restores data, but also when DFSMShsm uses DFSMSdss for data moves.

See if it’s Right With zBNA

If all this has sparked your interest, you might be asking how one might go about determining if zEDC is the right choice? The no-charge capacity-planning tool—only supported by Windows—called the IBM System z Batch Network Analyzer (zBNA) Tool, is available to customers has recently been enhanced to version 1.3 in support of zEDC. zEDC is one of many scenarios that the tool can analyze. Visit the website here for additional details and other applications.

Willie Favero is currently an IBM Senior Certified IT Software Specialist and the DB2 for z/OS SME for the Data Warehouse on System z Swat Team at IBM's Silicon Valley Lab.



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