With the advent of mobile computing, 24/7 online banking and other business demands, the pressures to drive transaction processing are greater than ever, and IBM zHyperlink on DS8880 rises to that challenge. With the IBM DS8880 storage system, IBM is making it easy to accelerate transaction processing for the mainframe.

The vision
On January 10, 2017, IBM issued a Statement of Direction for zHyperLink about the first new mainframe input/output (I/O) channel link technology since FICON. It defines zHyperLink as a new short-distance mainframe attach link designed for lower latency than High Performance FICON (zHPF). This technology can be installed on existing IBM DS8880 storage systems, and the hardware capability is already included in the DS8880 R8.2 delivered in December (model numbers 984, 985, 986 and 988). zHyperLink is intended to speed up DB2 for z/OS transaction processing and improve active log throughput.

As with many of the preceding I/O acceleration technologies provided by IBM DS8000 and IBM z Systems, clients will be able to install the hardware and firmware for the DS8880 without disruption. It will also flip a simple “software switch” to begin utilizing the new zHyperLink technology.

This new speed can best be visualized with a pop culture reference we all know and love. Hyperdrive is a popular science fiction term for a propulsion device used for ultra-fast travel. “Star Wars” swashbuckler Han Solo would often shout to his hairy co-pilot, “Punch it, Chewie!”

Then, looking out the cockpit window we see an amazing scene brought to us by iconic cinema. This is a perfect representation for how ulitizing zHyperLink technology will launch your transaction processing. If you haven’t seen these movies, there won’t be any spoilers in this blog, so keep reading!

The need for speed
The growth in cloud, analytics, mobile and social/secure (CAMSS) workloads drives additional requirements on IBM Storage and z Systems. It allows them to execute transactions with the same service level agreements (SLAs) and enterprise-class qualities of service that the most demanding of z Systems clients have come to expect.

For example, adding new data sources from the cloud to a workflow may increase elapsed transaction times. Financial applications often include additional information and calculations besides the functions that users request. This additional information could lead to more revenue opportunities. Perhaps a client examining their checking account balance may see how they can save money by refinancing their mortgage, and so on. Mobile access to data on z Systems may also add unpredictable increases to transaction volume with possible impact to SLAs.

It is important that middleware such as DB2 can scale to meet these demands. Lowering database transactional latency is critical to accommodate the use of new data sources and an increase in transaction volumes while enabling traditional and new mobile workloads to meet their service level agreements.

How fast and consistent application response times help clients generate revenue and address new business opportunities:

  • New storage technologies like Flash storage are driven by low latency I/O requirements.
  • Low latency drove the high adoption rate of I/O technologies including zHyperWrite, FICON Express16s, HyperPAV and zHPF.
  • Clients can save application development costs with a low latency infrastructure for these reasons:

  • It is expensive to re-engineer existing applications to meet latency objectives.
  • Low latency I/O enables shorter batch windows and a more resilient I/O infrastructure with predictable and repeatable I/O performance.
  • Clients have been willing to pay more for flash storage because of the I/O latency improvements it provides. Clients with z Systems have also rapidly adopted other new technologies to reduce latency in all components of the I/O path.

    We will discuss more about these technologies and IBM innovation in part two of this blog post. We’ll talk about what’s needed for improved latency for I/O to storage.

    Learn more about IBM zHyperLink and the IBM DS8880 family today.

    Harry Yudenfriend
    Peter Sutton

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