Mainframes are the predominant platform for large-scale processing for mission-critical applications, so they are a necessary part of any major corporation. Unfortunately, as the need for processing power grows, most corporation’s mainframe budgets tend to remain relatively flat. This is a problem that is all too common across many industries. IBM recognized this problem and responded by creating its System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) to help reduce mainframe costs.

What is zIIP?

 IBM describes zIIP as:

“a purpose-built processor designed to operate asynchronously with the general processors in the mainframe to help improve utilization of computing capacity and control costs. It is designed for select data and transaction processing workloads and for select network encryption workloads. zIIPs allow customers to purchase additional processing power without affecting the total million service units (MSU) rating or machine model designation.”

Basically, work from suitable tasks running in a z/OS mainframe operation system are allowed to access the zIIP’s engine rather than using the main processor. The capacity of the zIIP engine doesn’t count toward the overall MIPS rating of the mainframe and the CPU usage incurred on the zIIP is not chargeable in typical workload based software maintenance. This way, the mainframe’s transactional data stores and applications that run on distributed servers can work together, all at a lower cost.

zIIP & Alebra

 Although there is always some overhead associated with processors, we are always seeking ways to minimize it. This is why we have taken measures to enable zIIP processing to eliminate as much of this remaining overhead as allowed by zIIP processing rules. This enablement applies to the most common file transfer operations. CPU usage on CP processors for zIIP enabled transfers using TCP/IP will be significantly reduced and transfers using Alebra’s z/OpenGate transport will have almost no overhead remaining on CP processors. Our competitor’s data movers use around 128 MIPS compared to the 7 our z/OpenGate consumes. However, when our z/OpenGate is paired with a zIIP processor it drops the MIPS consumption to zero, saving you even more than just using a zIIP alone.

Contact us to learn more about z/OpenGate, zIIP enablement or any of our other solutions.