Recently, a major financial institution in America began developing a suite of applications on AIX
whose purpose is to perform analytics on data normally residing on IBM Z. They planned on capturing
data from z/OS applications and transmitting it to an AIX data lake where various business units could
use the data for analysis and transformation.
Initially the team planned to use traditional FTP to perform the data movement from IBM Z to AIX, but
ultimately found that this approach had a few major disadvantages:

  • FTP moves data via TCP/IP, which consumes a relatively large amount of CPU time and
    network bandwidth. Also, that technique was a little too slow to allow for these reports to be
    run at the desired frequency.
  • The EBCDIC data needed to be translated into ASCII. This conversion is performed by FTP
    and also uses CPU time on the general purpose processor.
    That’s where Alebra stepped in. Using Parallel Data Mover (PDM) and Alebra’s z/OpenGate appliance,
    the team was able to solve the problems presented by FTP:
  • Rather than using the TCP stack, PDM moves the data off-network at high speed via the
    z/OpenGate. PDM uses the z/OpenGate’s 16 GB/s FICON and fibre channel connections as a
    transport for the data.
  • PDM reads the data directly from DASD via z/HPF, which is fast and efficient. All processing
    on z/OS can execute on a zIIP processor.
  • PDM offloads EBCDIC to ASCII translation and deblocking to the AIX, eliminating a large
    share of the processing previously performed on the IBM Z.

Thanks to Alebra’s PDM, this development project was a success and the application is streaming
many gigabytes of data from IBM Z to AIX each day.