If my memory serves me correctly, 30 years ago the use of SECTION in a COBOL program forced a new storage page/page fault. (I don't remember what the page size was.) Does it still do that? Is the repeated use of SECTION in our COBOL, CICS, Legacy system increasing the size of our runtime footprint? Could the application be page faulting/thrashing on unfilled pages?
With the speed and the amount of memory of today's machines this is nothing to worry about. The compiler is also smarter than it used to be. Even if it was true, it wouldn't be a performance penalty unless that code was executed perhaps thousands of times per second and then the page would probably be in cache anyway. Don't worry, be happy.
If you are really interested in COBOL performance, I would look at the performance considerations documented in the COBOL manuals for the release of the compiler you are using. Here are some links to various versions:
COBOL for OS/390 & VM V2R2
Enterprise COBOL for z/OS and OS/390 V3R2
Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V3R3
You can find any other manuals here:
This was first published in June 2006