Dummies guide to ZIIP

Discussion created by ca.portal.admin on Jan 24, 2009
Latest reply on Oct 9, 2018 by pal4.4
Dear fellow DBA s

I'm running ZIIP benchmarks on R17 on a wet grey Saturday afternoon.
Obviously I am bored to death until the pub opens. So..

My impression of this new cool toy.

Having a ZIIP Processor is like having an extra brain. Your brain is
overloaded because you have a mortgage, a wife, children, a mistress, a
large number of useless shares in various large banks and a distressing
unidentified lump which you don't want to think about but always do.

Your ZIIP brain has no body and is therefore unable to fall into the
wife,children,mortgage, bad lifestyle trap. Your ZIIP brain has nothing
better to do than just think.

Think how much more productive you could be if you could offload the
worrying bit of your thought processes and get on with the interesting

So what we want to do is to make as much of the humdrum tedious stuff
eligible to run on ZIIP as we can. The only questions are what and how.

The ZIIP brain can't do a lot of things that we are able to, due to its lack
of arms,legs etc. It is not much good getting the ZIIP to think about
playing football. Stuff like I/O and SVCs and ENQs and Timer functions are
not going to work on ZIIP. But lots of other things will.

But to use our ZIIP we need to have our processes managed in a slightly
different way. Normally we have a TCB to look after what we do. Our TCB is a
big brother making sure that we don't do anything naughty and that we clear
up after ourselves and leave the place as we found it.

ZIIP hasn't got a big brother. He has an SRB which is more of a
disinterested child minder - possibly alcoholic and almost certainly on
drugs. We can't really expect much in the way of supervision but as long as
we are quiet and just get on with it then everything should be OK.

Another way of thinking about it is to imagine a TCB to be like landing a
747 at JFK - but in a simulator on the ground. The SRB is doing it for real.
It feels the same and it needs the same skills but you don't walk away from
an SRB crash.

So as handling the SRB is a job for an experienced pilot, IBM only give out
flying licences to people it trusts. CA is trusted to fly the plane with R17
but CA is not allowed to let other people fly the plane.

IDMS on its own is a great thing to push out to ol' ZIIPy brain. Lots of the
R17 code can run on it freeing up the main processor. I am getting 25-30% on
ZIIP. I am sure that over time more and more of the code will be converted
to SRB. The problem comes when you get some NON CA code running in IDMS.
This code doesn't have a licence and that means we have to come back to the
old TCB and run on the Central Processor.

The code I am talking about is DB Procedures and Exits not written by CA. It
may be home written or it may come from a 3rd party vendor. This seems to
slow things down a lot and use valuable CP time.

I am sure that over time the 3rd party vendors will get their licences and
produce ZIIP eligible code. But that isn't the case right now for the 3rd
party products that we have. Also I have several exits of my own which
actually would be eligible for ZIIP but I am never going to get my pilots
licence, so every time my harmless code is called, IDMS has to swap back to
TCB mode. Bummer.

This isn't CA's fault. The licence with IBM to exploit ZIIP prevents them
from running non CA code under ZIIP. To do so would be a violation of the

So if you are thinking of ZIIPing then make sure that there are no redundant
or ""nice to have but not really necessary"" exits in your system.

And possibly ask your 3rd party vendors if they are ZIIP ready yet.

Chris Trayler


Chris Trayler, IXD
Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd.
P. O. Box, CH-8010 Zürich, Switzerland
Telephone +41 (0)58 887 4332, Fax +41 (0)58 887 4969 <>


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Re: Dummies guide to ZIIP
"Excellent, I am learned now.

William M. Allen, Jr.
ARCH Consulting Associates, Ltd.
(704) 641-0296