Join Triton and DBI Software at IDUG EMEA 2015!

With just under two months until this year’s IDUG EMEA conference in Dublin the Triton team is currently busy planning our annual drinks reception. This year we will be teaming up with our business partner DBI Software. Our joint event will take place just around the corner from the IDUG conference at M O’Brien’s on Monday 16th November from 8pm. You can view the location map here.

We’ve had to limit guest numbers, so to guarantee entry simply head on over to DBI Software’s booth 110 on the Monday where you’ll be able to pick up this year’s competition leaflet, which will also double up as your event invitation – so keep it safe!

We also return with a fresh, new DB2 competition to tax your brains. In the usual Triton fashion we have a great selection of prizes to give away to our lucky competition winners.

  • 1 x Motorola Moto 360 Android Smartwatch
  • 1 x Amazon Echo
  • 1 x Philips Hue Connected Lights Starter Pack

We’ll be providing further information leading up to the event, so we suggest subscribing to our newsletter to keep up to date. 

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Posted in DB2, DB2 Geek, IDUG, IDUG EMEA 2015 | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares and How to Avoid Them #10

Number 10 in our Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares series. This month we take a look at what issues arise from over-federating.

Posted in DB2, DB2 Geek, DB2 LUW, DB2 Support, Remote DBA, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Reduce MIPS to Manage Budget Pressures

Worldwide economic uncertainty in recent years has put significant pressure on CIOs to at least keep IT costs level and more likely push for cost reduction across the board.  Gone are the days when performance issues were relatively easily handled by adding or upgrading hardware and such purchases were part of the routine budget cycle – today everyone is expected to “sweat the assets” and “do more with less”.

One of the most effective ways of reducing or containing mainframe costs is through better management of CPU consumption.  By slowing down growth of CPU usage and managing workload placement, hardware and software upgrades can be deferred thereby allowing organisations to keep costs down and profitability up.

Reasons for MIPS Growth

The main reasons for growth can be categorised as follows:

  • Increased transaction rates.  Whilst it is generally good news for businesses to see transaction rates on the rise, with z/OS usage based pricing this increase in workload can push up software costs and can also negatively impact application performance.
  • More demanding applications.  As enterprises strive to remain competitive, more business operations are being automated and packaged business applications from vendors such as SAP and Oracle are becoming more common.  Such applications are highly capable and flexible but typically require more computing resources than their bespoke equivalents.  Other factors can also result in increased application CPU usage, such as the move to Java-based applications and reductions in development and testing time due to business and cost pressures.
  • Middleware overheads.  IBM is constantly enhancing critical enterprise middleware components such as DB2 and CICS, adding new capabilities to improve productivity and reduce development and operational costs.  However, such enhancements can often entail additional CPU overheads and many organisations find themselves paying the CPU cost for the new function without always being able to exploit the benefits.

The Effects of MIPS Growth

The growth factors discussed above can have a direct impact on the cost and performance of an organisation’s mainframe applications:

Cost – The major driver for many IT teams is the need to reduce mainframe resource usage and thereby potentially defer hardware upgrades and reduce monthly MIPS costs.  There are also human costs to consider: maintaining an underperforming system takes more time and resource from IT teams, and adds pressure from the business teams who are calling for improved response times.

Performance – Typically, any significant increase in the amount of CPU used by a given workload will result in an associated increase in transaction elapsed times.  For performance-critical online workloads, that increase can translate directly into poorer critical business metrics such as customer satisfaction and retention.    

Just throwing more MIPS at a poorly-performing workload does not always address the issue.  A 2-hour response time may be reduced to 1.5 hours with more CPU time being available, but the problem might be due to a poor access path and some expert DBA attention could get it down to 5 seconds. This is especially true of application performance tuning, which is where the majority of performance issues tend to lie.

By analysing your current environment and identifying opportunities to optimise and tune your mainframe workloads you can regain control of spiralling costs.

Tuning Challenges

The key to a successful workload tuning exercise is to know where you’re starting from.  It is vital to understand exactly where workload peaks occur, and how they contribute to software licence costs, before you can really be effective with your workload tuning.  I have seen many large mainframe customers struggle to get a clear view on when their workload peaks occur across all mainframe workloads.  Only once these peaks have been identified can organisations really bring down the cost of their mainframe software licencing through tuning activities.

One of the major challenges in any environment, but particularly with client/server applications, is determining which component is responsible for poor response times, although the tools for this are improving.  Another related challenge is “skills silos”, where a client has the individual skills necessary to resolve a particular issue but no single person has the whole picture and internal culture and politics prevent the individuals from communicating and collaborating effectively. 

Regain Control of Software Charges

The majority of mainframe users have significant potential for reducing resource consumption (and therefore costs) through performance tuning of key workloads.  This is especially true for those with older applications that haven’t been actively maintained for a while or who have lost some of their deep middleware skills through retirement or redundancy.  By tuning these workloads, ongoing software costs can be reduced and mainframe upgrades potentially deferred.  In addition, application performance will be enhanced and overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) reduced.

Through the effective analysis and tuning of workload peaks it is typically possible for organisations to reduce their CPU charges by at least 3-5%.  For organisations running very large workloads this can equate to savings of tens of thousands of pounds per month.

The benefits of mainframe workload tuning can be felt across the entire business.  From the CFO who will see significant reduction in IT spend through to the IT teams who benefit from improved application performance and thus improved customer service, a thorough tuning exercise can indeed improve many aspects of business performance.

 Find out more about our Mainframe Cost Reduction Service

Posted in CIO, mainframe, System Z, zTune | Tagged | 1 Comment

How to handle the Mainframe skills gap

It has been an interesting 12 months in the Mainframe world. 2014 saw IBM celebrating 50 years of the Mainframe and in January this year the latest incarnation of the Mainframe – the z13 was launched. Propelling Mainframe back into “cool new” technology territory the z13 has been designed specifically with the mobile economy in mind.

More good news for Mainframe emerged earlier this year from Compuware’s Global CIO Survey which delivered some positive messages around Mainframe’s role within big business:

- 88% of CIOs agree that the Mainframe will continue as a key business asset over the next decade

- 81% of CIOs believe that Mainframe technology continues to evolve

- 78% of CIOs see the Mainframe as a strategic platform that will enable innovation

As heart warming as these messages are for those involved in the Mainframe world they come with a warning for the future:

- 70% of CIOS are concerned about knowledge transfer – with few younger IT professionals heading to the Mainframe to begin their careers and life-time Mainframers approaching retirement this is a very real concern.

- Despite that though 39% of CIOs admitted that they have no specific plans for addressing the Mainframe skills shortage

Plan for change now

Managing the skills transition efficiently will be vital for large organisations to ensure they maintain their critical data effectively and keep competitive in these challenging times.

The Options:


Outsourcing mainframe services is certainly an option but it does bring with it many complications. Outsourcing to a third party means that the ingrained organisational knowledge of those currently managing the system can be lost. Although the outsourcing provider is no doubt highly skilled, they don’t have that intimate knowledge of the organisation which is built up over many years.


Both IBM and CA are putting huge amounts of money and effort into training the next generation of mainframe experts by running education initiatives through universities in the US. However, training university students takes time to filter through the system and we are yet to see this trend crossing over to the UK.

Access to skilled Mainframe resource

It can be difficult to access skilled Mainframe resource. Triton Consulting provide flexible resourcing options to organisations who need to supplement their Mainframe skills. With the option to purchase a block of hours, our Consultancy on Demand solution allows organisations to access key skills as and when they are required. These consultancy hours can be used for training and skills transfer; to provide specific skills where they are lacking in the team or for specific project work. Working alongside the in-house team our highly experienced consultants can enable large Mainframe users to manage their resource requirements in a highly cost effective and flexible manner.

Find out more about Consultancy on Demand

Compuware Global CIO Survey

Posted in CIO, DB2, DB2 Training, IBM, mainframe, System Z, z/OS, zSeries | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Flexible Resourcing

Flexible IT resourcing can mean different things to different people.  It could be that your organisation needs access to extra IT skills quickly or on a short-term basis to plug a gap in the team due to unexpected leave.  Perhaps a new project means that you will need extra resources or specialist skills.  To some, flexible resourcing means the ability to call on a trusted supplier for resource on an ad hoc basis without the need to go through a protracted contracting process each time.

Some of the most common resourcing problems which we see from our customers are:

-          Ability to gain access to experienced support for specific projects or tasks

-          Need to supplement resourcing for short-term cover

-          Delays to getting resource on site due to long time-frame procurement and contracting processes

Triton Consulting have come up with a solution to help organisations better manage their resourcing requirements in a flexible and cost effective way.  Our solution is called Consultancy on Demand.  With this type of contract you can purchase a block of hours which can be used over a 12 month period for any type of DB2 related consultancy, project work, ad hoc support or training.  You only have to go through the procurement process once when the contract is set up and from then on you have access to the resource you need, when you need it.

Find out more about Consultancy on Demand

Listen to the podcast from our customer CPA Global on how they have used their Consultancy on Demand hours – Listen Now

Posted in CoD, DB2, DB2 Support | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares and How to Avoid Them #9

Number 9 in our Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares series. This month we take a look at what happens when organisations are not able to keep up to date with the latest DB2 technology. 

Posted in DB2 Administration, DB2 Support, DBA, Remote DBA | Tagged , | 1 Comment

IDUG EMEA 2015 – Call for Presentations

We are delighted to let you know that IDUG is now accepting presentation abstracts for the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference which will take place in Dublin from 15-20th November.

Being an IDUG presenter is a great opportunity to share your DB2 experiences and expertise with an audience of your peers.  If your presentation abstract is selected you will also receive one complimentary conference registration.

The Conference Planning Committee are looking for presentations on a range of DB2 related topics including:

  • New DB2 releases: migrating and effective usage
  • Analytics & Business Intelligence
  • New Technologies: Mobile Applications, Cloud….
  • Performance, Availability & Security
  • Application Development and Data Modelling
  • DB2 and Packaged Applications
  • User Experiences and Best-Practices; What did you achieve with DB2?

Visit the IDUG website to find out more

Posted in IDUG | Tagged | 1 Comment

Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares and How to Avoid Them #8

Number 8 in our Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares series. This month we take a look at what happens when organisations are not able to keep up to date with the latest DB2 technology. 

Posted in DB2, DB2 Administration, DB2 Monitoring, DB2 Support, DB2 Tools, Remote DBA | Tagged | 1 Comment

IBM Launches z13 Mainframe

IBM have recently announced the launch of the z13 Mainframe. The latest version of the iconic Mainframe has been designed to deliver scale and economics together with real-time encryption and analytics to help meet the expectations of consumers for speed and safety for trillions of transactions in the mobile economy.

The highlights:

- First system to process 2.5 billion transactions per day, built for the mobile economy

- Makes possible real-time encryption on all mobile transactions at scale

- First mainframe system with embedded analytics providing real time transaction insights 17x faster than compared to competitive systems at a fraction of the cost

Read more from IBM

Learn more in an IBM z13 Technical Workshop

Posted in mainframe, System Z | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

DB2’s Got Talent: The Search Returns

It has been almost a year since our partner DBI Software crowned the current DB2’s Got Talent Champion, Mike Krafick. Once again DBI are searching for participants to enter the hugely successful annual contest and we are thrilled to be sponsoring the competition again this year.

DB2’s Got Talent encourages contestants to share their recent DB2 LUW or z/OS experiences, challenges and successes encountered during the past 12 months in an educational, informative yet fun and entertaining way. If you think you fit the bill and wish to compete for this year’s crown* you can find out further information on how to enter the competition here.

Not only will you gain great respect from the DB2 community, there are also some top prizes up for grabs.

This year’s prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Prize: One FREE IDUG Conference Registration to any IDUG Conference in 2015 (North America, Europe, or Australia) provided by IDUG, plus up to $1,500 USD travel expense allowance provided by DBI. Approximate value of prize package: $3,500 USD
  • 2nd Prize: One FREE DB2 Symposium Registration (3 Days) to any Event in 2015 provided by KBCE, plus up to $1,000 USD travel expense allowance (sponsor pending).
  • 3rd Prize: Apple iPad (approximate value $500) provided by Responsive      Systems.
  • Finalist Prizes: Each of the top 10 Contestants that are invited by the judges to participate in Finals Shows will win $50 Gift Certificates provided by ourselves Triton Consulting.

*no crown included

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment