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Scalability of Micro Focus Enterprise Server and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 - page 3 / 9





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Mainframe Migration - 3


This paper is aimed at business professionals (CIO’s and IT managers) who manage mainframe information systems and wish to understand alternative hosting environments for those systems.

A previous publication (see Mainframe Migration, 2004 in the Resources section below) analyzed the performance of these mainframe alternative systems to process common business-oriented applications. It showed how Micro Focus® Net Express™ Enterprise Server with the Mainframe Transaction Option (MTO), together with Microsoft® Windows® Server™ 2003 Datacenter Edition, Service Pack (SP)1, combines with high-end multiprocessor hardware to perform at a mainframe equivalent rate of 1347 mainframes millions of instructions per second (MIPS). This figure represents mainframe computing rates larger than 80 percent of IT data centers. The current, new, study by Electronic Data Systems (EDS), Micro Focus, Microsoft and Unisys Corporation confirms the earlier benchmark of 1,347 MIPS and raises it to 1,715 MIPS for a base 8-CPU enterprise-class system.

The Micro Focus Lift and Shift™ process of mainframe migration assures that re-hosting is performed with minimal changes to COBOL applications currently running in an IBM Customer Information Control System (CICS) transaction system, IBM DB2 database system and IBM zOS operating environment.

In addition to raw performance of any hosting platform, IT professionals are inherently interested in the scalability of such systems. The ability of these alternative mainframe systems to grow with their business growth, by adding new hardware, is termed scalability. This paper analyzes all components (operating system, transaction system, database system) under a benchmark environment designed to simulate a CICS COBOL application as demands are made to increase users and transactions on the system.

For decades, countless organizations around the globe have relied on the performance, capacity, reliability and longevity of IBM mainframes to support their businesses, by processing data, printing billing details, running internal reports, calculating insurance premiums or bank balances, driving applications run by the customer call center staff, and more. In the 21st century, three quarters of the world’s data still resides on the mainframe, accessed by COBOL systems. Information is processed as online transaction systems (OLTP), such as the IBM CICS system running on IBM zSeries mainframes. These software and hardware systems are designed to be extensible and grow with a business. They can even deliver increased capacity at year-end or other times of peak workload.

For this paper we (researchers from Micro Focus, EDS, Unisys Corporation, and Microsoft) analyze the ability of this environment to scale as workload (transactions) increase at a rate proportional to increases in hardware. We conclude that, given enterprise-class hardware, Windows Server 2003, Micro Focus Enterprise Server with MTO and database systems scale linearly as workload increases.

Business Application Hardware Architectures

Initially linked to the clock speed of a processor, MIPS ratings have been expanded to imply a certain measure of workload capacity. Machines with differing input/output (I/O) subsystems, clustering interconnections and memory configurations can generate different MIPS ratings independent of the CPU speed. Mainframe business applications require a well-balanced I/O system. Amdahl’s law has held for business applications since the mid -1960s. For every instruction executed one byte

WinHEC 2005 Version - April 20, 2005

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