EZ-Synchro® is a software product that gives CA-IDMS users far greater scope and flexibility in defining multiple CV environments by using MVS cross-memory services to synchronize the database buffers.
CA-IDMS itself permits the sharing of areas between multiple CVs and local mode batch jobs with the restriction that only one at a time may READY an area for update processing. However, users who operate in this fashion will invariably suffer from undesirable side effects, namely inconsistent data and perceived broken chains. This is because of the manner in which CA-IDMS manages its buffer storage; Use of a least-recently-used stack for buffers ensures that frequently accessed database pages remain in memory without requiring disk access.If an update process in another CV or batch job modifies a database page that is currently in memory in a retrieval CV, the retrieval CV could be referencing out-of-date data for an indeterminate time. Worse still, if an update process in another CV or batch job were to delete a set-member, the retrieval process could abend with a "broken-chain" error while walking the set.
EZ-Synchro® ensures that these problems do not occur by using MVS cross-memory services to maintain buffer integrity. Whenever a database page is updated, the buffers of other synchronized CAIDMS jobs are searched for the existence of this page. If it is found, EZ-Synchro® invalidates the page in the buffer, forcing a re-read of the page next time it is required.
For Synchronizing between CA-IDMS systems on different LPARs or machines you also require the Cross-MVS Option.
With the EZ-Share® component of EZ-DB active, EZ-DB dataspaces are automatically shared between all concurrently executing CA-IDMS central version and local mode batch jobs.
In addition, by specifying a EZ-Share® ShrdREAD Table, users may also share CA-IDMS DMCL buffer pools and CA-IDMS dataspaces . The ability to share dataspaces and DMCL buffer pools between multiple CA-IDMS services allows users to achieve optimum I/O rates for the minimum cost of virtual storage.
Cross-MVS Option - EZ-Synchro® Cross-MVS option is an extension to EZ-Synchro® which permits database buffer synchronization to take place between CA-IDMS jobs executing on different physical processors. Standard EZ-Synchro® achieves buffer synchronization between CA-IDMS jobs running on the same MVS system using crossmemory services. Cross-MVS option achieves buffer synchronization between CA-IDMS jobs running on different MVS systems using a combination of cross-memory services and LU6.2 (APPC).
Cross-MVS option permits users even greater flexibility in designing multi-central version environments by allowing exploitation of IBM's PR/SM or Amdahl's MDF architectures, or multi-cpu environments.
Uses of EZ-Synchro®
Performance and Throughput
Many sites operating large CA-IDMS systems find themselves CPU bound within a single processor and unable to exploit unused power available within the other processors in their multiple processing CPUs. CA-IDMS Multi-Processing (MP mode) often does not help (depending on contention for the different modes), and often the database/application design does not lend itself towards segmentation techniques required to split the processing over multiple CVs.
Many sites have used the far simpler and more effective technique of splitting transactions over multiple update and read-only CVs. Providing the right balance of update and read transactions can be achieved, this technique gives unsurpassed levels of multiprocessing.
However, without EZ-Synchro®, this technique would be susceptible to the type of errors described earlier, ie., inconsistent data or perceived broken chains. Where CPU bottlenecks are the problem, it is usually a simple task to split the processing between update and retrieval transactions.
Many users of EZ-Synchro® are attaining transaction levels unobtainable in conventional CA-IDMS environments and have avoided costly upgrades.
Sharing of areas
It is common for sites to have multiple CVs having retrieval only access to another CVs dictionary or to centralized reference or security data areas. Typically, reference data is the most likely to remain stuck in the buffers of the retrieval CVs hence providing inconsistent data to users. This is another example of the sort of problem that can be solved by EZ-Synchro®.Local Mode Processing
It is common practice (at some sites) to VARY areas OFFLINE or to RETRIEVAL, while a local mode batch UPDATE process runs against the area. If the local mode job is executed under EZ-Synchro® control, users accessing the area under CV will always have access to the most current data available, as EZ-Synchro® will flush any pages from the CV buffers which have been updated by the local job.
The security system of CA-IDMS uses GLOBAL RESOURCES and SECURITY DOMAINS. The GLOBAL RESOURCES are USERS, GROUPS, USER PROFILES and SYSADMIN privileges. A SECURITY DOMAIN consists of all of the CA-IDMS services (batch jobs and central versions) that share the same physical user catalog (i.e., the SYSUSER segment).Sharing these GLOBAL resources can greatly reduce the maintenance needed to maintain the security environment, since there is no duplication of effort when adding new users, groups etc. Also, once a change is made to the shared SYSUSER segment, it will be reflected across all systems, thus eliminating possible inconsistencies. But will the change be reflected IMMEDIATELY across all systems?
It is possible that following an update to the SYSUSER segment that a CA-IDMS central version that has read only access to the SYSUSER segment will not pick up the change as the relevant database pages are still in the buffer pool and will therefore not be re-read from disk. A simple example is that a new user signing on only to find that his user ID is not defined to the user catalog. Security administration quickly add the user ID and the user attempts the signon once more. The relevant pages are still in the buffer of the central version being accessed and so it still does not see the user in the user catalog. Thus leading to confusion for the user and the security administration function.
That is required is for the read only service to read from disk the updated pages. This is exactly the solution provided by EZ-Synchro. The combination of EZ-Synchro and central security means that changes can be made to the security definitions and be IMMEDIATELY reflected across the SECURITY DOMAIN.