An “extraordinary” use of Virtual User for Emulators
S3 VirtualUser for Emulator (VU4e) is the real-time watchdog for the state of critical business transactions executed through CICS or AS/400.
A dashboard with simple and intuitive interfaces enables the verification of the response times of the end users’ applications in an objective and indisputable manner, beyond the perception of your users’ moods.
VU4e is profitably used by important customers at international level as a support to the help desks and the managers of information systems.
We would like to describe a particular, if not “extraordinary” use of VU4e, that goes beyond its customary functions.
A customized request
One of our customers, an important international banking institute, recently requested our consultancy to support its challenging project.
The client has been using our solutions for some years now, and VU4e had become a “de facto” standard. The VU4e probes perform extremely high frequency tests on “availability & response times” for hundreds of various CICS transactions, thus verifying the real services capability to the end users.
In particular, its usual Mainframe Systems Provider proposed to replace the current system installed with one of the new generation systems. The replacement would have implied huge savings and cost-effectiveness to the client itself.
With the new mainframe installation, in case it had been established a worsening of the CICS transaction response times (proven by actual data, without the possibility of errors), the provider would undertake to replace it with a more powerful system for the same cost.
Due to this, our customer requested S3’s support in implementing a new methodology that would allow it to objectively trace the impact of the important infrastructural changes in the quality of services provided.
To satisfy our client’s demands, we developed a new VU4e module dedicated to the statistical calculation of the daily average response time for each CICS transaction (a mean of 320 recordings daily per transaction). Data logs of the past five years and the succeeding daily updates were used. Through an effective graphic interface, the new module is able to assess the trends of the daily response time mean for each CICS transaction monitored, in an interval of dates selectable by the user.
A success story
Upon the explicit request of our customer, the Mainframe Systems Provider agreed to use side by side the statistical data recorded by the VU4e and the classic metrics related to the system’s performance. Our client specified that every decision on the achievement of the preset objectives with the provider would be conditioned by the measurements of the VU4e, deemed to be reliable and precise.
The VU4e statistical module immediately became the instrument to be used in carrying out daily mainframe performance benchmarks for the new system.
After an accurate tuning of the mainframe, which was necessary due to a worsening of the response time of the CICS transactions carefully measured by the graphs’ trends, subsequent satisfaction was achieved in seeing a further improvement that awarded the provider’s commitment and professionalism.
The client confirmed the acquisition of the proposed solution, with objective data that validated the technological choice made and which concretely brought about the expected savings.
S3 takes great pride in the fact that two big institutions in the international field, such as an international banking institute and the Mainframe Systems Provider, have recognized the validity of the methodology it proposed. VU4e was a very useful tool in reaching the positive fulfillment of the respective objectives.