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IBM System z10 mainframe beta user touts HiperDispatch

HiperDispatch and the large-page feature of IBM's new System z10 mainframe were standouts for one beta user.

Orlando -- An early IBM System z10 mainframe beta tester said that a new feature on the box called HiperDispatch brought some promising performance improvements.

For more on the System z10 mainframe:
IBM leaks details of new z10 Enterprise Class mainframe

IBM pushes System z10 mainframe as consolidation savior

George Handera, a systems engineer for an insurance company, said HiperDispatch reduced the "serialization effect" on the machine," causing me to absorb more CPU faster and getting more throughput." He added that it appears to reduce MVS overhead cycles and targets efficiency advantages in large LPAR configurations -- particularly when it gets to about six engines.

HiperDispatch feature allows mainframers to limit the amount of data that is moved during different sessions. For example, a user inputs data with a certain processor. The next time he wants to access the mainframe, he'll be taken to the same physical area of the mainframe so that data and cache needn't be moved around.

"We're seeing some significant benefits," Handera said. "It increases the ability to consume resources and at a reduced cost."

[HiperDispatch]increases the
ability to consume resources and at a reduced cost.

George Handera,
systems engineeran insurance company

The System z10 Enterprise Class mainframe that IBM rolled out last week includes five different models, the largest of which can have up to 64 processors and 1.52 TB of memory. That compares with 54 processors and 512 GB of memory on its predecessor, the System z9 Enterprise Class.

Though IBM has pushed hard to present the mainframe as a consolidation target for hundreds, if not thousands, of virtual Linux servers, Handera saw the new machine as a boon to better handling more traditional mainframe applications such as DB2, WebSphere and CICS batch jobs.

Handera, who asked that his company not be named because of its policy concerning public statements by employees, received his test mainframe in December, almost three months before IBM announced the general availability of z10. The 40-way box Handera received is configured with 16 central processors, six System z Application Assist Processors (zAAPs), four Internal Coupling Facilities (ICFs), and 192 GB of memory. The company tested z/OS 1.8 and 1.9 on the box.

In addition to seeing benefits from HiperDispatch, Handera saw advantages in the System z10's new large-page feature. It "offers a lot of promise in helping to manage memory," he said, especially memory-hungry applications such as WebSphere and DB2. He hopes that IBM will take advantage of this hardware feature in future updates and versions of its own middleware.

"DB2 buffer pools and things like that will get a huge benefit out of having these large pages," he said.

Handera said he didn't know if and when his company would buy a new z10 and put it into production.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Mark Fontecchio, News Writer. You can also check out our Server Specs blog.

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