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MIPS Reduction

Most hardware and software packages in the Mainframe world are licensed based on the size of the machine, or the number of MIPS (Million Instructions per Second). The total cost per each MIPS varies between 3,000$ and 5,000$ per year (*), including all hardware and software costs. Consequently, IT departments everywhere must squeeze greater operational efficiencies out of their systems or face spiraling costs.MIPS reduction is not a straightforward task and there are different approaches to tackle it. In many cases, big performance sinks are difficult to find and do not surface in threshold based monitoring as they do not violate the ‘normal’ operational rules.

In addition, there are different locations where excessive MIPS usage might be spent:
  • 1) Application logic – Inefficient use of the language (COBOL or another) can cause the application to use unnecessary resources. There are “famous” inefficiencies many DBAs are looking for, such as SORT, but the story might be more complicated than that.
  • 2) SQL commands – The SQL language, designed to ease the development of RDBMS related logic, has the potential to easily create high cost queries.
  • 3) Data model – building an efficient data model is an art form that requires both a deep understanding of the application, as well as of principles of optimal relational DB operation. As an example - sub optimal indices and a bad match between indices and SQL can be major sources of inefficiencies in the system. An added complication is that structures that started out as very efficient can often become sub-optimal because of changes to the application logic or to the data, as well as the introduction of new features to the DB2 version.

The prevailing approach is that looking at each of these “resources-eaters” sequentially is the way to go. There are also various silo-centered optimization products or services that monitor and point to bottlenecks in one of the areas mentioned above. Reality is more complicated, and there is a need for combining the different view angles in order to understand where most of the savings can be generated.

InnovizeIT for DB2’s proprietary technology uniquely combines automatic analysis of all application elements for insightful change recommendations. It analyzes several aspects of the DB2 database, catalog tables (metadata and SQL syntax) and application access information (Plan and Statement tables), all combined with a comprehensive view of the actual use of each element and the related data volumes

“We argue that improvements in the interaction between client applications and DB2 are the area of maintenance which has a potential to yield savings for the organizations. Furthermore, we will also argue that DB2 related source code alterations are low-cost and low-risk compared to other cost reduction efforts.” (**)

Similarly to this scientific article, InnovizeIT’s experience proves, that application’s access to DB2 is a significant source of optimization and savings

Each saved MIPS can create tremendous savings, based on the figures indicated above, and InnovizeIT’s experience shows that with an average savings of 20%-30% of its customers MIPS usage, operating costs can be reduced by many millions of dollars on a yearly basis.

(*) Gartner’s metrics (February 17, 2011)
(**) Reducing operational costs through MIPS management L.M. Kwiatkowski & C. Verhoef
Department of Computer Science, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 2010