With much of the world as we know it going through rapid transformations and forcing us into the “comforts” of our new home offices, our favorite technical conferences have been postponed. This has the potential to create a gap in the educational sessions we’re used to getting at those conferences.

In an effort to fill that gap we have launched the IntelliMagic zAcademy: An Online Educational Series for z/OS Professionals. Watch one or more of these recorded sessions and start learning from the comfort of your home office!

Upcoming zAcademy Sessions

Transparency in z/OS Infrastructure Performance Analysis – The Benefits of Collaborative and Explainable Analytics

November 17  |  Presenters: Dan Speer and Todd Havekost

Analyzing and optimizing performance and cost across the different z/OS infrastructure areas has led to many “silos” of expert knowledge which often create natural barriers to collaborative and quick problem-solving. It also makes it difficult for managers and LOB executives to easily understand the performance health and cost optimization status for their applications. This webinar will discuss the historical reasons why these silo barriers exist, their ramifications, how to achieve greater transparency and collaboration, and a roadmap to help break down the silos one application at a time.

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Past zAcademy Sessions

Imagine How Much You Can Learn from SMF Data

April 16  |  Presenter: Todd Havekost

The mainframe produces a set of metrics far superior to any other platform. Unfortunately, there are significant barriers to unleashing the learning value of this SMF data.

Attend this session to learn how rapidly you could leverage easy visibility into RMF and SMF data to expand your understanding of how the z/OS ecosystem operates, and renew your passion for the disciplines of performance analysis or infrastructure support!

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“What Am I Waiting For” is a basic performance session for anyone

April 22  |  Presenter: John Baker

The performance analyst is that rare breed that simply must know – in excruciating detail – what makes things take so long, whether the “thing” is a DDF transaction from the web or a line at the store.

Regardless of your job, we all hate to wait, so understanding these principles can be quite satisfying. Take a stroll with John as we shed some light on these concepts. No degrees, certifications, or programming necessary – this intro session is for everyone.

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Reining in HSM

April 29  |  Presenter: Jack Opgenorth

You’ve already heard some good advice on optimizing HSM, but what about the new z15 features? What about your different tape compression options? Or changing your storage management strategies?

We’ll use some comparative data to outline some opportunities to consider going forward. Previously referenced recommendations will be emphasized, and other good practices will be highlighted to help you rein in your HSM demand.

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Boost the Value You Derive from CICS and Db2 SMF Data

May 6  |  Presenter: Todd Havekost

This session will present the benefits of modernizing how you understand and leverage SMF data for CICS and Db2 Performance analysis.

Instead of being overwhelmed by massive volumes of CICS and Db2 SMF data and combing through countless static reports, discover how interactive analysis using an intuitive GUI interface with context-sensitive drilldowns can elevate your effectiveness to an entirely new level.

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Lessons on Optimizing Processor Cache From z15 Upgrade Case Studies

May 12 |  Presenter: Todd Havekost

Since it is likely that 1/3 to more than half of your total CPU cycles are spent waiting for data to be staged into level 1 processor cache, it is critical to understand and have visibility into this significant component of your CPU consumption.

This is not ivory tower theory… every main point in this presentation is backed up with real-life case studies from more than 70 sites across 8 countries.

And though these concepts have been presented before, the presentation continues to be enhanced with additional before-and-after data from sites quantifying the CPU reductions they have achieved through more effective utilization of processor cache.

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The All-Flash datacenter: How come my I/O Response isn’t twice as fast?

May 20 |  Presenter: John Baker

In IT, the term “Flash” is both ubiquitous and vague. The solid-state drive in your laptop, the new memory in your z15, your new all flash storage array – these all boast flash technology that promises to make everything faster.

Many datacenters have adopted flash technology and are observing that their I/O response times are not dramatically different. Why? John breaks down this relatively old invention to understand what it can – and cannot – do for your datacenter.

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Value and Visibility into zERT Network Encryption Data

May 27  |  Presenter: Todd Havekost

Given the importance of security in today’s world, managing network encryption is a critical requirement for almost every z/OS environment.

I consider the introduction of zERT SMF 119.12 records to be perhaps the greatest advance in SMF data since CPU Measurement Facility (CPUMF) began providing instrumentation of processor cache metrics through SMF 113 records in 2008.

Attend this session to learn more about the value provided by this new zERT data, and to gain the visibility your security team needs to derive great value from this data.

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Why did my job run so long? Understanding and applying z/OS Performance Concepts

June 3  |  Presenter: John Baker

There are few things more annoying than a daily job running dramatically longer for no apparent reason. Such delays can trigger financial penalties leading to pressure on the performance team.

Performance Analysis is about identifying the distribution of response times and dealing with each component. In this presentation, we will explain the meaning of some the most useful components and provide practical recommendations on how to improve application and overall system performance.

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Boost the Value You Derive from MQ SMF Data through a Modern Approach

June 10 |  Presenter: Todd Havekost

IBM’s MQ is very widely used across today’s z/OS environments. But reporting capabilities for MQ SMF data have lagged behind those of other subsystems.

This session will present the benefits of modernizing how you understand and leverage SMF data for MQ performance analysis.

Instead of being overwhelmed by massive volumes of MQ Accounting data with very limited visibility, discover how you can elevate your effectiveness to an entirely new level.

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Getting to Know Your WebSphere for z/OS Workload

June 17  |  Presenter: Dennis Moore

WebSphere Application Server is mission-critical for many businesses today. However, for many mainframe performance/capacity specialists, these workloads can be a bit of a mystery – a black box of resource consumption that is hard to get your arms around.
There are many areas of WebSphere that can leave even a seasoned z/OS performance specialist scratching their head. Knowing what you want to see and where to look is one hurdle to overcome, but even then, how do you access that data? And more importantly, how do you visualize it in a way that makes sense? This webinar will help you:

  • Gain a better understanding of your WebSphere workload through SMF data
  • Quickly see transaction rates, CPU/zIIP utilization and response times
  • Spot trends, patterns and unusual conditions

Join us to learn how you can shine a light into this otherwise black box!

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Life in the Fast Lane: zHyperlink

June 24  |  Presenter: John Baker

The z14 and z15 support a completely new I/O method called zHyperLink. This is easily the most substantial I/O announcement from IBM since the introduction of FICON. We all know that the best I/O is no I/O but every record won’t fit in your buffer pools, so I/O is a fact of life. What about more cache or flash drives? The many options to accelerate your speed on the I/O highway can make you lose your mind – come check out the fast lane!

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Does IBM’s Recent Tailoring of Tailored Fit Pricing Make It a Better Fit for You?

July 1  |  Presenter: Cheryl Watson of Watson & Walker

Every IBM software pricing option has a set of customers that it will benefit. For the remaining customers, one of the other options might make more sense. IBM’s Tailored Fit Pricing option had some aspects that limited the set of customers that it was a good fit for. In this webinar, mainframe maven Cheryl Watson describes recent, unannounced, changes to TFP, and explains how those changes might alter your calculation about whether TFP is right for your company.

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Is a Sub-Capacity CPC the Right Move for You?

July 8  |  Presenter: Frank Kyne of Watson & Walker and Todd Havekost of IntelliMagic

Most installations tend to upgrade their CPCs to the equivalent model in the newer generation – for example, from a z13 710 to a z15 710. Accordingly, IBM’s capacity planning tools are designed to model upgrades to newer generations within the same speed range (7xx to 7xx, 5xx to 5xx, and so on). There are numerous stories of customers moving to a lower speed range (z13 7xx to z15 6xx, for example) and finding that the performance exceeds their expectations. But if the IBM tools are not intended to model such moves, how do you evaluate if such an upgrade would be right for your workloads? In this session, Frank and Todd will discuss the attributes that they use to evaluate such upgrades.

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The Value of Automated z/OS Performance Change Detection

July 15  |  Presenter: Todd Havekost

With all the complexity and workload variability present in today’s z/OS systems, it is important to have significant deviations of key metrics from their historical norms called to your attention. Built-in “change detection” functionality to automatically identify these deviations accompanied by intuitive capabilities to investigate the underlying causes provides another important step forward facilitating effective availability and performance management. This session will show how this capability complements health assessments using built-in instrumentation of z/OS best practices and will show real-life examples of how it can add value across several areas of the z/OS infrastructure, including CPU, CICS, Db2, CF, Disk replication, and batch jobs.

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Tune your TS7700 Cache Capacity

July 22  |  Presenter: Katja Denefleh

You have multiple functions and parameters at your disposal to define which logical volumes will remain in the TS7700 cache, regardless if you use a TS7700 Disk-Only or a TS7700 with Tape attach. This session gives you detailed information about the different options. Learn more about Cache Partitions, Retention Policies, Preference Groups, Autoremoval, and parameters like COPYFSC and RECLPG0.
We will discuss how these parameters control the cache content and how they may influence recovery times. After this webinar you will be able to optimize the cache usage.

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Your Datacenter Under TFP: The New Rules of Measurement

September 17  |  Presenters: Cheryl Watson of Watson & Walker and John Baker of IntelliMagic

Tailored Fit Pricing is no longer an abstract concept as many data centers have adopted this new pricing model. For those that held back, recent enhancements from IBM have made TFP potentially more attractive. While TFP has the potential to greatly simplify software costs the Capacity Planner/Performance Analysts (CP/PA) needs to adjust many of their tried and true methods for tracking – and controlling – MSU consumption. Are you paying too much? Have your measuring tools and techniques adapted to these new rules? Join Cheryl Watson and John Baker as they dive into this critical subject. They’ve been known to have an opinion or two.

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Preparing for and Managing Peak Periods in 2020 and beyond

October 15  |  Presenters: Brent Phillips and Jerry Street

2020 will undoubtedly go down as a year to remember for each and every one of us. The way that every business has adapted to the changes shows resiliency and creative professionalism in positive ways. One thing that has not changed is the need to ensure that our infrastructure and applications can handle peak loads at any time. This webinar will demonstrate how to quantify risk in the z/OS infrastructure to ensure better availability in peak periods, and how intelligent navigation through the RMF/SMF data can accelerate problem resolution times and display newly supported SMF data.

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Related Resources


Health Insights and Change Detection

To help enhance the value you can derive from that SMF data, IntelliMagic Vision provides two complementary types of automated anomaly detection: health insights and change detection.

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CICS Max Tasks: Automated Change Detection Use Case 7

Change Detection and Health Assessments (based on pre-defined best practice conditions) play complementary roles, but there can be scenarios where they both flag issues. This use case with CICS Max Tasks is one such example.

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Batch Job Elapsed Time: Automated Change Detection Use Case 6

Elapsed and CPU times can be of interest for batch jobs, especially those on the critical path for key business job cycles. This use case reflects an abnormally long run time for a daily batch job, and illustrates how potential causes might be investigated.

Watch video

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