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Is it possible to change SQL in a z/OS mainframe COBOL application so that it becomes eligible to be directed to the IBM System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP)?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I posted this answer in response to the same question on StackOverflow, so here is a re-post:

An important distinction to make is that according to IBM, zIIP is only available for "eligible database workloads", and those "eligible" loads are mostly targeted for large BI/ERP/CRM solutions that run on distributed servers, which are connecting through DDF (Distributed Data Facility) over TCP/IP.

IBM has a list of DB2 workloads that can utilize zIIP. These include:

  • DDF server threads that process SQL requests from applications that access DB2 by TCP/IP.
  • Parallel child processes. A portion of each child process executes under a dependent enclave SRB if it processes on behalf of an application that originated from an allied address space, or under an independent enclave SRB if the processing is performed on behalf of a remote application that accesses DB2 by TCP/IP. The enclave priority is inherited from the invoking allied address space for a dependent enclave or from the main DDF server thread enclave classification for an independent enclave.
  • Utility index build and maintenance processes for the LOAD, REORG, and REBUILD INDEX utilities.

And if you're on DB2 v10, you can also use zIIP with:

  • Remote native SQL procedures.
  • XML Schema validation and non-validation parsing.
  • DB2 utility functions for maintaining index structures.
  • Certain portions of processing for the RUNSTATS utility.
  • Prefetch and deferred write processing for the DB2 buffer pool

So, if you're using COBOL programs, it would appear that IBM does not intend for you to use zIIP with these workloads. You can still take advantage of zIIP with utilites (LOAD, REORG), and some steps of the RUNSTATS utility, so it may still be worthwhile to have some zIIP.

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The point of zIIP processors is that you can't run z/OS code on them. Your COBOL code won't run on them. However, according to this article DB/2 for z/OS is an eligible workload to run on a zIIP processor. I presume your COBOL code has embedded SQL. Embedded SQL architectures are actually preprocessors that generate code that sends the query off to the database behind the scenes, so your SQL code is going to run on the DB server.

If the COBOL programme is sending SQL to the DB/2 server via TCP/IP (DRDA) then it should run on the zIIP if the DB/2 server is configured to run on it. If the COBOL code is doing a lot of client-side processing or it's not using this then this will not be eligible. Chances are the COBOL app is not using DRDA, though.

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You are correct is assuming this is an embedded SQL COBOL application, which is why I'm interested in the DB2 load being eligible for zIIP. The article you cite states that DB2 is eligible for "portions of eligible data serving". Any idea what that means, and if there is something to be done in the SQL, or application on the whole, to increase this eligibility? – GilShalit Jun 19 '12 at 14:44
Will look into the DRDA issue, thanks. +1 but still not closing in the hope of getting more hard to find info. – GilShalit Jun 19 '12 at 15:03
Depending on how your COBOL application connects to the DB/2 server it may be constrained to sit on the same processor, in which case you can only use the local DB/2 capacity. If you can configure the COBOL app to connect over TCP/IP then you may be able to hit a DB/2 server running on a zIIP. – ConcernedOfTunbridgeWells Jun 19 '12 at 15:08

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