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Breaking SOA Price Barrier For Mainframes

October 8, 2009 09:00 AM

DataDirect Shadow Version 7 Establishes New Benchmark for TCO Reduction; Eliminates 99 Percent of Charged Capacity for Mainframe Web Services Processing

Gregg Willhoit
Chief Architect
DataDirect Technologies

DataDirect Technologies, the unparalleled leader in data connectivity and mainframe integration and an operating company of Progress Software Corporation (NASDAQ: PRGS), has announced the results of internal benchmark testing performed at the company’s mainframe development lab in Sugar Land, Texas.  DataDirect benchmark test results show use cases in which greater than 99 percent of mainframe Web services related processing can be diverted to the no-charge System z Integrated Information Processor (zIIP) specialty engine using the DataDirect® Shadow® version 7.1.3 product.  Test results may vary due to environmental factors.

DataDirect Shadow version 7 is a single, unified platform built exclusively for integration with IBM System z mainframes.  It uses patent-pending technology to expand the  utilization of the  zIIP specialty engine to additional workloads beyond DB2, including the non-relational mainframe databases Adabas, IMS/DB, IDMS and VSAM as well SOAP/XML parsing necessary for creating Web services within the mainframe to applications residing within CICS, IMS/TM, IDMS and Natural. With the DataDirect Shadow product’s patent-pending design, processing associated with SOA integration and data queries can be diverted from the mainframe’s General Purpose Processor (GPP) to be handled by the zIIP specialty engine – which does the work without using any of the mainframe licensed MIPs capacity.  Across mainframe middleware vendors, only DataDirect Shadow can provide this level of mainframe MIPs cost savings through its unique exploitation of the zIIP engine for mainframe integration. 

Internal performance tests were run for each of the major mainframe Web services provider integration types supported by the DataDirect Shadow product including business-logic integration, screen-logic integration and data-logic integration.  DataDirect benchmark test results showed DataDirect Shadow is extremely effective in its utilization of the zIIP specialty engines, qualifying an average of 90 percent of Web services processing for business-logic, screen-logic and data-logic integration methods. For business-logic integration, the benefits are even greater with 99.8 percent of the processing performed by DataDirect Shadow being qualified to run on a zIIP engine. 

The DataDirect Shadow product’s technological achievement comes just as Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) are beginning to feel the impact of reduced IT spending.  The transformation of mainframe applications into reusable, Web services and the ability to access data via Web services are elemental requirements for an organization when evolving toward a SOA.  The barrier for entry into SOA is higher with mainframe systems given the processing costs associated with Web services. These costs are expected to increase as mainframe SOA adoption matures and the complexity of Web services on the mainframe grows. Exploitation of the zIIP processor enables organizations to cost-effectively integrate the mainframe into an SOA by conserving GPP MIPS usage, slowing the rate of MIPS consumption and deferring costly mainframe capacity upgrades.

"DataDirect Shadow provides compelling return on investment (ROI) with tremendous savings for processing on the IBM zIIP engine, providing a low-cost alternative to using the GPP on the mainframe," according to Susan Eustis, President of WinterGreen Research based in Lexington, Mass. "The DataDirect Shadow product provides optimized database, business logic and Web services workload transfer.  The DataDirect systems add efficiencies that are superior to competing products."

WinterGreen Research and DataDirect Technologies have recently completed the research and testing on a TCO calculator – a sophisticated, user-friendly tool for analyzing and modeling the impact of Web Services/SOA related processing on mainframe MIPS capacity.  With just a few details from users a report can be assembled to determine the savings in MIPs dollars and MIPs capacity when an organization utilizes a zIIP specialty engine in combination with the DataDirect Shadow mainframe software. The formulas and underlying calculations were developed by experts at DataDirect Technologies' mainframe research lab and a team of analysts with WinterGreen Research.

“I think it is very important that mainframe customers understand the tremendous opportunity that exist for lowering mainframe TCO, while still growing their SOA initiatives,” said Gregg Willhoit, chief architect, DataDirect Technologies. “With DataDirect Shadow, we are talking about real customer benefit that involves offloading up to 99 percent of SOA-related integration processing to the zIIP specialty engine. The end result is extra mainframe capacity to support new business services or gain an extra year before needing to upgrade their mainframe.”

To review the complete mainframe TCO benchmark test results, see the whitepaper “Lowering Mainframe TCO Through zIIP Specialty Engine Exploitation

DataDirect Technologies will be an exhibitor and presenter at Impact 2009 – The Smart SOA Conference, taking place May 3 - 8 in Las Vegas at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. DataDirect Technologies will sponsor the mainframe-focused “zZone” – a dedicated area with mainframe experts, technology demos and the latest IBM System z hardware. In conjunction with the zZone sponsorship, Gregg Willhoit will present on the benefits of zIIP exploitation for lowering mainframe TCO.

DataDirect Technologies is the software industry’s only comprehensive provider of software for connecting the world’s most critical business applications to data and services, running on any platform, using proven and emerging standards. Developers worldwide depend on DataDirect products to connect their applications to an unparalleled range of data sources using standards-based interfaces such as ODBC, JDBC and ADO.NET, XQuery and SOAP. More than 300 leading independent software vendors and thousands of enterprises rely on DataDirect Technologies to simplify and streamline data connectivity for distributed systems and to reduce the complexity of mainframe integration. DataDirect Technologies is an operating company of Progress Software Corporation (Nasdaq: PRGS).








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