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September 2018

SPARTA President’s Corner

contributed by Randy Springs

September is over, and the dog days of August have carried over to this month in the Raleigh area. College football season has begun, and basketball season is not too far off. Our shop is making some end of year upgrades and maintenance before the Christmas freeze hits us.

Our speaker this month will be our own Ed Webb from SAS, with updates from last month’s SHARE conference. Hopefully, he will include some (or all) of his own presentation there on z/OSMF User Experiences: Performance Implications and Workflows. The handout can be downloaded from the SHARE website at

Your SPARTA group still needs a volunteer to replace Pam Tant as treasurer. This position would involve about two hours per month. Please consider serving and talk to me about the position.

Please plan to join your colleagues for pizza, networking, and education on Tuesday, September 11 at 6:15 p.m. at our usual LabCorp location.

Randy Springs

Future Speakers

(subject to change)

Sept. 11, 2018 (Special Date) - SHARE St. Louis Conference Report by Ed Webb of SAS

Oct. 2, 2018 - Rocket Software by Mitch Hoffman

We need ideas and volunteers for future speakers. Presentations don’t have to be fancy, just informative and interesting. Even a 5 or 10 minute talk can start an interesting interaction. Contact Ron Pimblett by phone as noted below.

2018-2019 SPARTA

Board of Directors

Randy Springs - President

BB&T                  (919) 745-5241

3200 Beechleaf Court, Suite 300

Raleigh, NC 27604

Ron Pimblett - Vice President

MDI Data Systems

Land line 613 599 6970

Mobile 613 981 6919

190 Guelph Private

Kanata, ON K2T 0J7

Chris Blackshire - Secretary

Retired (Dell, Perot Systems, Nortel)  (919) nnn-nnnn


Durham, NC 27713

Randy Springs - (Acting) Treasurer

BB&T                  (919) 745-5241

see Randy

Springs earlier

Ed Webb -  Communications Director

SAS Institute Inc.  919-531-4162

SAS Campus Drive

Cary, NC 27513

Mike Lockey -  Web Master

Guilford Co. Information Services  336-641-6235

201 N. Eugene St.

Greensboro, NC 27401


Meetings are scheduled for the first Tuesday evening of each month (except no meeting in January), with optional dinner at 6:15 p.m. and the meeting beginning at 7:00 p.m.

These monthly meetings usually are held at LabCorp’s Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology (CMBP) near the Research Triangle Park (see last page). Take I-40 to Miami Boulevard and go north. Turn right onto T.W. Alexander Drive. Go about a mile or so. Then turn right into LabCorp complex and turn Left to the CMBP Building (1912 T.W. Alexander Drive). In the lobby, sign in as a visitor to see Bill Johnson. Bill will escort you to the conference room.

Call for Articles

If you have any ideas for speakers, presentations, newsletter articles, or are interested in taking part in a presentation, PLEASE contact one of the Board of Directors with your suggestions.

Newsletter e-Mailings

The SPARTA policy is to e-mail a monthly notice to our SPARTA-RTP Group. The newsletter is posted to the website about five (5) days before each meeting so you can prepare. The SPARTA-RTP Group is maintained by Chris Blackshire; if you have corrections or problems receiving your meeting notice, contact Chris at

January 2018 “CBT Tape” Shareware Online

The directory and files from the latest CBT tape V495 (dated January 15, 2018) are available from

If you need help obtaining one or more files, contact Ed Webb at SAS (see Board of Director’s list for contact info).

Minutes of the August 7, 2018 Meeting

• The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Randy Springs, the SPARTA President.

• The meeting was held at a LabCorp conference room in RTP, N.C.

• Fifteen (15) people were present of which Fourteen (14) are 2017/2018 paid members.

• Everyone introduced themselves, told where they worked, and briefly described their job functions or their job hunting challenges.


• The minutes of the July 10, 2018 meeting as published in the August 2018 Newsletter were approved.

• The July 31, 2018 Treasurer's report was given and approved as published in the August newsletter.

• Call For Articles: Articles are needed for this newsletter. If you would like to write an article for this newsletter, please contact Ed Webb. Keep in mind that you don't really need to write the article, it can be an article that you read that you would like to share with the membership.

• The SPARTA Web page is available. To access the SPARTA Web page, point your Web browser to this site: Please send any comments or suggestions about the Web page to Mike Lockey. Be sure to check the Web page every once in a while to see any new or changed information.

• Randy reminded everyone to leave the LabCorp conference room clean.

• Future Speakers and Topics (subject to change based on internal politics, budget, the weather):





September 11, 2018


Ed Webb

SHARE St. Louis Conference Report

October 2, 2018

Rocket Software

Mitch Hoffman

z/OS Mainframe

November 6, 2018

Watson Walker

Cheryl or Frank

z/OS Performance/Metrics

December 4, 2018


Shalawn King

IBM Z Cloud Portfolio

If you have suggestions about speakers and topics, contact Ron Pimblett.

• The next SPARTA monthly meeting will be on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 at LabCorp in RTP.

• Food for the September 11 meeting will be Pizza.

• The 2018 membership fee was due ($30) starting in February 2018. Please pay Randy Springs.

• Thanks to LabCorp and Bill Johnson for hosting the meeting.

• There are currently 81 people on the SPARTA-RTP e-mail list.

• Send any e-mail address changes to Chris Blackshire so he can update the SPARTA-RTP Listserv. You will be added by the moderator (Chris = sending you an invitation to Join the list.

• No update from Randy Springs on the SPARTA website connection to LinkedIn.

• No update from Chris on the process of putting a package together for Brad Carson, Tommy Thomas, and John Bryan's SPARTA contributions and death information on the web page under a new Emeritus section.

• Randy Springs is looking for a new Treasurer volunteer. He projects about 3 hours per month is needed.

-The treasurer position duties are:
--Collect dues and pay expenses at each monthly meeting.
--Deposit income at the BB&T bank monthly.
--Make an updated monthly excel income-expense list for the monthly newsletter.
--Give a Treasurer report at each meeting.
--One Time: Be added to the checking account authorization.
-Contact Randy Springs if you are interested.

• No update about whether SPARTA needs to change the website to HTTPS access. A security certificate would be $75 per year from GoDaddy. Randy Springs will work with Mike Lockey to research if we need this option and how to change it.

• LabCorp Meeting Place Update: Bill Johnson stated that the LabCorp computers will be moving to the refurbished GSK building computing center. He has yet to determine if we can meet at the current LabCorp conference room or a conference room at the GSK building. The move is scheduled sometime between September and December 2018. Bill is in the process of determining the conference room availability options after the move.


• None.

• The Business portion of the meeting ended about 7:30 PM.


Topic: PerfTechPro Presentation & Demo

By Dr. Bill Shelden of PerfTechPro

• Introduction
• Architecture
• PerfTechPro zAnalytics for z/OS features facilitate:
• Performance and Capacity Reporting
• Performance Problem Resolution
• LPAR Configuration Analysis
• Workload Analysis
• Job Analysis
• DASD IO Subsystem Analysis
• Processor Cache Analysis (SMF 113s)
• Performance/Capacity Planning - Correlation Analysis
• Capacity Planning - Forecasting Tool
• Capacity Planning - CPU SizingTool
• Capacity Planning - CPU Modeling Tool

• Presentation Access - See SPARTA webpage for the complete presentation. Or check out the outline of the presentation later in this newsletter.

Contact Info:
Dr Bill Shelden of PerfTechPro
Co-Founder PerfTechPro
Cell: 609-280-4663

Bill Hart of PerfTechPro
Co-Founder PerfTechPro
Work: (855) 737-3832 - Extension 101

• The August 7, 2018 monthly meeting ended about 8:45 PM.

Treasurer’s Report for August 2018

contributed by Randy Springs

The balance in the account is $993.52 as of August 31, 2018.

SPARTA Financial Report
5/01/2018 through 08/31/2018


Opening Balance 8/1/2018


Total Deposits

Food money donated











Web Site


Petty Cash


Bank Service Charges






PETTY CASH on hand 




Items of Interest

SPARTA Schedule and Menu for 2018

contributed by Chris Blackshire

September 11, 2018 - Pizza (date changed because of the Labor Day holiday)
October 2, 2018 - Fried chicken
November 6, 2018 - Subs
December 4, 2018 - BarBQ

Find Sessions from SHARE in St. Louis with the SHARE Mobile App

Contributed By Ed Webb

Find handouts from sessions at SHARE in St. Louis, Missouri August 12-17, 2018 with the SHARE Mobile App

Or find handouts via the desktop online agenda for access to technical education sessions that span topics such as Pervasive Encryption, Cloud Technology in the Enterprise, Data Privacy, API Economy and IBM Z(r) topics.

Be prepared to participate in 2019 at one of these announced venues:

SHARE Winter 2019:     Phoenix, AZ   March 10-15
SHARE Summer 2019:  Pittsburgh, PA  August 4-9

You can always see the future SHARE schedule here.

Raleigh RACF User Group (RUG) Meets Oct. 4

Contributed By Ed Webb

Joint Meeting on  October 4, 2018 in IBM offices in NYC, Raleigh, NC and Tampa, FL.  To register for RUG meetings or for meeting agenda:  NYRUG TBRUG registration

Handouts from previous RACF User Group meetings: RUG Handouts.

Master the Mainframe Competition 2018 Starts September 10

Contributed By Ron Pimblett

"It’s back! One of the largest student mainframe competition in the world has returned for its 14th year with new prizes and new challenges for students around the world.
Win prizes while gaining unique skills that will land you a job at Fortune 500 companies around the world! No experience needed!!

Watch this space: More Information on the 2018 Competition Coming Soon!

[Begins 9:00 PT September 10th]

This unique, virtual contest is open globally to high school and college students to progressively teach mainframe skills in a real world enterprise computing environment. Employers from around the globe use this contest to seek out potential candidates for mainframe careers.


Industry relies on the mainframe for their speed, reliability, scalability, and unmatched security. Mainframes are critical to the success of a wide range of industries for high-speed cloud computing, real-time analytics, and more, just look at the numbers!
93 of the top 100 banks use the mainframe
Over 3/4 of top WW enterprises across key industries of banking, travel & transportation, retail and insurance run on IBM Z
IBM Z builds on the capabilities of the world’s most powerful transaction engine at the center of global commerce today supporting:
• 87 percent of all credit card transactions and nearly $8 trillion payments a year.
• 29 billion ATM transactions each year, worth nearly $5 billion per day.
• Four billion passenger flights each year.
• More than 30 billion transactions per day – more than the number of Google searches every day.
• 68 percent of the world’s production workloads at only six percent of the total IT cost.


Part 1 “Learn the Basics” Prizes:
• $25 gift card to 300 randomly chosen from first 2,000 completions

Part 2 “Practice” Prizes:
• Cash Prizes
• $100 gift card to first 150 to complete
• QTUM Computer Webinar and Q&A Invite
• Invite to randomly chosen 25 from all those that finish Part 2 correctly

Part 3 “Real World Challenge” Prizes:
• $2750 travel stipend & IBM Master the Mainframe Hoodie to the top 2 individuals from EACH region

Grand Prize:
•The top 3 individuals globally will receive a $1,000 USD prize pack"

DNS Servers, Benchmark Information, and Windows 10 Setup

Contributed By Chris Blackshire

From time to time, there have been multiple articles about Denial-Of-Service attacks (DoS attack) on the internet Domain Name System (DNS) servers. In computing, a denial-of-service attack is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet. Many more details at:

Background: How DNS works

Every URL has a unique numeric address, that is the IP address attached to that site. When you click a URL, it is looked up through the DNS, which translates the words in the URL that make sense to humans into the IP address, or numbers, that computers and routers understand. Your computer then connects to the site with the IP address it found in the DNS lookup.

A List of Public DNS Servers Can be Found At:

A subset DNS list that could be used on your PC, MAC, Linux, or mainframe computer.

IP Address - - - - Public Owner - - DNS Description - - - - - - - Cloudfare - - - - -Private and unfiltered. New player. - - - - - - - Cloudfare - - - - -Alternate Cloudfare DNS Server - OpenDNS - - - - Primary site that blocks malicious domains. - OpenDNS - - - - Alternate OpenDNS DNS Server - - - Spectrum/TWC - Primary - - - Spectrum/TWC - Alternate - - - - - - - Free DNS - - - - Level3 - Primary - - - - - - - Free DNS - - - - Level3 - Alternate - - - - - - - Google - - - - - - Private and unfiltered. Most popular option. - - - - - - - Google - - - - - - Alternate Google DNS Server - - - - - - - Quad9 - - - - - - Private and security aware. New player. - - - - - - Quad9 - - - - - - Alternate Quad9 DNS Server

Why A DNS Benchmark?

The Question Is: With so many DNS choices, which DNS server(s) should you use?
There is some PC software that can evaluate which DNS servers respond the quickest and most reliably from your location.

Again, the first step required before anything can be done on the Internet is to lookup the site's or service's domain name to determine its associated Internet IP address. Since nothing can happen until IP addresses are known, the use of slow, overloaded, or unreliable DNS servers will get in the way, noticeably slowing down virtually all of your use of the Internet.

Most computers will be using the DNS servers that were automatically assigned by your Internet connection provider (your ISP). Since they are likely located close to you on the Internet (since they are provided by your own ISP) they may already be the fastest DNS servers available to you. But they might be in the wrong order (the second one being faster than the first one, and that matters) or, who knows? Many people have discovered that their own ISP's DNS servers are slower than other publicly available alternatives on the Internet, which are faster and/or more reliable.

What is GRC's DNS Benchmark Program?

This DNS Benchmark program will give you visibility into what's going on with your system's currently assigned DNS servers by automatically comparing their performance with many well known publicly available alternatives. GRC's DNS Benchmark performs a detailed analysis and comparison of the operational performance and reliability of any set of up to 200 DNS name servers (sometimes also called resolvers) at once. When the benchmark is run, the performance and apparent reliability of the DNS name servers the system is currently using, plus all of the working name servers on the Benchmark's built-in list of alternative name servers are compared with each other. Once the benchmark finishes, the results are analyzed to present a comprehensive yet simplified and understandable English-language summary of all important findings and conclusions. Based upon these results, users may choose to change the usage order of their system's own resolvers, or, if alternative public name servers offer superior performance or features compared with the name servers currently being used, to switch to one or more alternative name servers.

DNS Benchmark Software And Complete Description Of How To Use The Program

The Windows program downloaded is DNSBench.exe - Version 1.3.6668.0
(I really like this software in that you don't install any program. Just download and click on it to run).

How to change your Windows PC's DNS Settings Using Control Panel

To change the DNS settings on your Windows 10 device using Control Panel, do the following:

1. Open Control Panel.
2. Click on Network and Internet.
3. Click on Network and Sharing Center.
4. On the left pane, click on Change adapter settings.
5. Right-click the network interface connected to the internet, and select Properties.
6. Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) from the list.
7. Click the Properties button
8. Click the Use the following DNS server addresses option.
9. Type your preferred and alternate DNS server addresses. Here you can enter any DNS servers you want, including from free ones such as Google Public DNS or OpenDNS.
    Preferred DNS Server = Quad9 =
    Alternate DNS Server = Google =
10. Click OK.
11. Click Close to apply the new DNS settings to the adapter.

Once you complete these steps, your computer will immediately start using the new DNS settings.

In the rare case that you need to use more than two DNS addresses, on step 9, you can click the Advanced button, and on the DNS tab, you can add, edit, and remove as many DNS IP addresses as you need. You even have buttons on the side to set their priority. (The top is always used first).

I have changed my PCs to use the 4 following DNS servers:,,, and

You can setup more or less entries according to your needs, quickness, and reliability results with the guidance from the GRS program.


Humorous Thoughts

Contributed by Ed Webb

• The key to being a good manager is keeping the people who hate you away from those who are still undecided.
• You can't unsay a cruel thing.
• Live so that your friends can defend you but never have to.

• Meanness doesn't happen overnight.
• Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
• You will begin to succeed with your life when the hurt and problems of others begin to matter to you.


• Introduction
• Architecture
• PerfTechPro zAnalytics for z/OS features facilitate:
• Performance and Capacity Reporting
• Performance Problem Resolution
• LPAR Configuration Analysis
• Workload Analysis
• Job Analysis
• DASD IO Subsystem Analysis
• Processor Cache Analysis (SMF 113s)
• Performance/Capacity Planning - Correlation Analysis
• Capacity Planning - Forecasting Tool
• Capacity Planning - CPU SizingTool
• Capacity Planning - CPU Modeling Tool

- PerfTechPro is a cost effective software product that:
- - Gathers RMF and SMF data from z/OS systems
- - Stores that data in a relational database on a Windows server
- - Provides access to the data, tools, and analysis through a local client or multiple remote clients on the network
- - Contains a complete scripting language so the user can automate all PerfTechPro functionality
- - Built on a Windows service architecture

- z/OS Assembler Programs
- - z/OS FTP
- Windows Server
- - PerfTechPro Service
- - - Perf Logs
- - - Data Manager
- - - Local Visualizer Client
- - - Remote Visualizer Client
- - PerfTechPro Database
- - - Daily PDB
- - - Summary PDBs

Performance and Capacity Reporting
- Enterprise GPP, MIPS usage on 3 CPUs on 2/5/2016
- Enterprise GPP, MIPS usage across 14 months with 2 CPU upgrades
- Enterprise GPP, MSU usage of SYS2 with 4Hr Rolling Avg on 2/5/2016
- IFL MIPS usage on 2097-708 on 2/5/2016

Reporting Flexibility
- 1 Up + 2 Up Windows
- 2 Up + 1 Up Windows
- 4 Up Windows

Performance Problem Resolution
- PROD-1 is missing its goal in this part of the day
- Problem is GPP Delay

LPAR Configuration Analysis
- LPAR SYS2 is using over 200% of its weight
- LPAR MIPS usage over last 14 months. Note upgrade.

Workload Analysis
- Look at MIPS usage by workload across 5 systems
- Drill down to workload PRDONL MIPS usage on each system
- Drill down to workload PRDONL MIPS usage for each of its SCs over 5 systems

Job Analysis
- Job CPU Times Ordered by GPP Time
- Job CPU Times for Job Name=JOB00021

DASD IO Subsystem Analysis
- Complete view of DASD subsystem performance with IO rates, cache hits %, response times, and cache transfers

Processor Cache Analysis
- Processor Cache architecture for Z13/z13s CPUs
- % of instructions not sourced from Level 1 cache (L1 misses)
- RNI is a dimensionless measure of the occupancy in 'The Nest'. It should be < 1
- When RNI is high it is because in this case more L1 misses are sourced from memory

Capacity Planning - CPU Sizing
- Question: What CPU could accommodate all of this work?
- Answer: A 2817-718 with AVG RNI.
- - Note: IBM publishes 3 sets of RITRs for LOW, AVG, and HIGH RNIs

Capacity Planning - Forecasting Demand
- Forecasted GPP MIPS by LPAR on 2097-706
- Forecasted GPP MIPS by Workload on the SYS2 LPAR
- Forecasted DASD IO demand by Workload on SYS2 LPAR
- Forecasted Execution Velocity by Workload in SYS2 LPAR.

Capacity Planning-CPU Modeling
- Question: What would happen if SYS2 work increased by 50% in 10 AM to 11AM time frame?
- Model's Answer: CPU Utilization would increase.
- Model's Answer: Tran response time for Workload PROD would increase due to CPU queueing.

Data Manager
- PerfTechPro Data Manager drop down icon selection process

- Picture of GPP MIPS Used by LPAR
- Stacked Usage Chart

Membership Information

Don’t Forget the Next SPARTA Meeting

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

7 p.m.

Location: LabCorp in RTP

Take I-40 to Miami Boulevard and go north. Turn right onto 1912 T.W. Alexander Drive. Go about a mile or so. Then turn right into LabCorp complex and turn left to the CMBP Building. In the lobby, sign in as a visitor to see Bill Johnson. Bill will escort you to the conference room. Use 1912 TW Alexander Drive, Durham, NC 27703 in your map app.

Free Food before meeting: Pizza, Sodas and Tea, Dessert


SHARE St. Louis Conference Highlights

Speaker: Ed Webb of SAS


P.O. Box 13194

Research Triangle Park, NC  27709-3194

First Class Postage

SPARTA Corporate Sponsors:

DTS Software

Rocket Software

Software Diversified Services