Managing Performance in Increasingly Complex Environments

About C\TREK™

C\TREK™ Corporation provides CICS performance tuning software, consulting, and training services to IBM mainframe data center managers and system programmers. C\TREK™ Corporation was founded in 2001 by CICS performance tuning experts to dramatically streamline the process of CICS system optimization. The depth of their CICS performance tuning expertise is widely regarded throughout the industry. C\TREK™ expert tuning software and performance tuning consulting services are used by data center managers to recover wasted CICS system resources, delay expensive system upgrades, and transition to a proactive CICS performance management discipline.

Proactively Manage Performance

Traditional manually intensive CICS performance monitoring approaches were adequate when mainframe processors were standalone, resources and I/O devices were simple, and experienced software programmers were plentiful. Today’s data center environments however, are increasingly more complex with extensive multiprocessor configurations running different operating systems and utilizing a wide variety of internal and external system resources. They require a much less time consuming and more sophisticated approach to performance tuning. At the same time, current economic realities are requiring data center managers to be more efficient, more productive, and more cost conscious. Capital purchases are being closely scrutinized and experienced programmer time is scarce. Managers are being called upon once again to do more with less while keeping mission-critical applications running smoothly.

C\TREK™ can help

The C\TREK™ Expert CICS Performance Tuner™ enables mainframe data center managers to efficiently recover wasted system resources and delay expensive mainframe upgrades. It is dramatically different from traditional CICS monitors because it automates the analysis of vast amounts of CICS data, highlights performance problems, and makes specific recommendations for improving performance. This enables less experienced system programmers to manage a task more commonly reserved for seasoned pros while saving valuable time in the process. Efficient identification and correction of CICS performance problems enables a shift from reactive crises management to a more proactive approach to mainframe performance management.

Supported Environments

C\TREK™ is available for all major CICS/TS releases from IBM. C\TREK™ runs under CICS/ESA and CICS/TS and associated operating system environment (z/OS, OS/390 or MVS/ESA) using Language Environment (LE). C\TREK™ is also available under CICS/TS in a VSE environment. New versions are delivered with the general availability of new IBM CICS releases or versions. New versions can be downloaded via the Web which frees system programmers from having to maintain the product via the application of PTFs. Products are supported with highly responsive expert advice (via phone or email) for customers in need of assistance with technical support, CICS performance tuning, or capacity planning.

Not Another Performance Monitor

C\TREK™ Expert CICS Performance Tuner™ serves as a valuable compliment to more traditional CICS monitors. In fact, the vast majority of customers using C\TREK™ Expert CICS Performance Tuner™ also employ one or more CICS performance monitors. CICS performance monitors run in real-time using valuable CPU cycles to collect a vast amount of CICS operating statistics regarding the state of the system. This immense data set is used by highly experienced system programmers when a system begins to degrade to analyze performance bottlenecks and determine where adjustments should be made. This typically take several days or weeks.

Proactive Analysis

Whereas C\TREK's performance tuning tool is used proactively to analyze a vast amount of information and identify performance tuning opportunities using expert “rules-of-thumb.” Problem areas are presented to less experienced system programmers along with detailed recommendations for improving CICS resource utilization and response time. System tuning is typically done in a few hours.

With the C\TREK™ Expert CICS Performance Tuner™, VSAM file tuning is accomplished by less experienced system programmers as part of an ongoing performance tuning discipline. Individual files may automatically be evaluated, or the entire collection may be analyzed at once using expert “rules of thumb.” Areas in need of attention – such as over allocation of disk space, a bad CISZ for the data or index, or a free space percent that is not large enough – are highlighted for corrective action. Specific recommendations for tuning steps are presented by C\TREK™ such as the parameters that should be used to define a cluster. Tuning is performed in a fraction of the time compared to traditional monitors. For example, a multinational bank recently used C\TREK™ to tune 33 production CICS systems and hundreds of VSAM files in less than a week – a process that would have taken several weeks to perform using a traditional monitor.
VSAM file tuning, for example, is typically accomplished using a traditional performance monitor by system programmers with extensive VSAM tuning experience. Statistics such as record count, type of accesses, and I/O counts are used on a file-by-file basis to identify system problems. The system programmer manually applies formulas to each file one at a time to correct file management problems. This can be so tedious and time consuming that many mainframe operations chose to avoid tuning altogether until severe problems arise.

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