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September 11, 2012

zEC12: What’s in it for DB2 pros?

IBM recently announced the zEnterprise EC12 (zEC12), an enterprise system that provides cloud computing capabilities. Here's a nice overview, and here's Willie Favero dissecting the name.

The day of the zEC12 announcement, the IBM Redbook team released a draft titled, “IBM zEnterprise EC12 Technical Introduction."

I mention this publication because it cites three new features that I believe will improve DB2 processing. 

The first is the introduction of 2 GB page frames. This support means that the page size limit of 1 MB that's available in DB2 10 has grown by 2,048 times. IBM has this statement of direction:

  • IBM plans for future maintenance roll-ups of 31- and 64-bit IBM SDK7 for z/OS Java to provide exploitation of new IBM zEnterprise EC12 features, including: Flash Express and pageable large pages, Transactional Execution Facility, Miscellaneous-Instruction-Extension Facility, and 2 GB pages.
  • Beyond the existing DB2 support for zEC12, DB2 plans further enhancements designed to improve performance in two ways: 1) using pageable large (1 MB) pages and Flash Express and 2) enabling support of 2 GB pages

The second new feature is improved DB2 I/O response time based on changes to MIDAW and FICON channels. For more, see IBM Redpaper, “How does the MIDAW Facility Improve the Performance of FICON Channels Using DB2 and other workloads?”

The final new feature involves improvements in Java execution on z/OS. Java is planned to exploit a significant set of the new instructions available in zEC12. Here's IBM statement of direction on this:

"IBM SDK7 for z/OS Java is available for use by IBM middleware products running Java, such as IBM IMS 12, IBM DB2 10 for z/OS, and the Liberty profile of IBM WebSphere Application Server for z/OS v8.5 and is planned for use by a future release of CICS Transaction Server for z/OS."

IBM's intent to provide future maintance roll-ups of 31- and 64-bit SDK7 for z/OS Java (detailed above) also applies here.

I look forward to learning more about Flash Express, pageable large pages and the other new capabilities to come.

So is your company moving to zEC12? What's driving the decision for your upgrade?