Ripple-Trac Overview

Ripple-Trac is a VSAM Performance Improvement tool that allows DASD Management to better regulate the response times from both online and batch applications. It helps in correcting structural flaws in VSAM parameters that may have been set 10-20 years’ prior as legacy applications continue to be productive in today’s mainframe environment.

As transactional based workloads increase to greater volume, VSAM files tend to become less responsive due to creating additional records in overflow areas. The overflow also creates split records and inefficient use of the storage media.

The typical solution in response to poor response times is to reorganize the VSAM file(s) to regain DASD space and put those additional records in the main files in the allocation of cylinders/tracks.

While it’s customary for these reorgs to occur at off times rather than at peak hours sometimes, due to extraordinary volumes of transactions reorgs have to be scheduled at no peak hours putting sections of an application out of service.

Ripple-Trac can solve the aforementioned problems and help IT maintain their Service Level Agreement with their customer.

Ripple-Trac is a software product that develops all is information and results in a batch process. The result set output is an Excel spreadsheet that contains multiple sheets of vital information. This information is obtained from the standard IBM LISTCAT utility.

Ripple-Trac reads the LISTCAT and builds its own proprietary files placed in a PDS. From there DASD Management can specifically pick the information for the VSAM files they want to review.

This information includes:

  • Potential Buffer issues (data excps > index excps)
  • Index levels that are causing excessive I/O, EXCPS, and CPU
  • Actionable statistics from data capture
  • CA/CI splits that are causing performance issues
  • Secondary allocations and when they occur
  • Files crossing multiple DASD volumes
  • Eliminating reorgs just to fix CA/CI splits.
  • And more

Ripple-Trac Benefits

  • Quickly recognizes potential production problems and enables them to be fixed before they occur.
  • Minimizes production problems through both prevention and treatment.
  • Avoidance of performance slowdowns.
  • Decreases the mean time to repair which can significantly lower costs.
  • Creates performance data into actionable information for both staff and management.
  • The organization benefits from better customer service and less lost revenues from performance problems.
  • Customers experience shorter, less frequent performance problems and better service.