As had we last year, in the present edition we will have a very important guest: a Mainframe architecture Data Processing Centre. Last year it provided a great service as central server for Direct-Connect, which beared peaks of over 2500 users with CPU consumption around 5%. Apart from this service, this year we intend to do more machine tiring proofs to quantify its capabilities compared with the latest PC architecture.
A mainframe is a big-sized computer mainly designed for huge data amount treatment. It is used for banking appliances, value market, airlines and air traffic, and also as the very centre in companies with a great deal of invoicing. It is definitely a huge computer, both because of the data amount it can manage and also because of the space it requires.
As every computer does, it has a processor, memoryand its I/O channels to which we can connect any device we need (drives, tapes, terminals, printers, and so on.) In our case, the processor, the memory and the I/O channels system go inside a closet and the rest of devices in different closets all of them connected through ESCON (17 MB/seg) or FICON (2 Gb/Seg)fibre optics channels.
What really makes Mainframe architecture interesting apart from its strength and soundness is its logical partitions management system or LPAR. Each LPAR can bear a different OS, so that it can externally be seen as different machines, with a very high processing power. In our case all of our LPAR will have SuSE.
In this edition there will be two interconnected Mainframe systems: an IBM 2066-0A1 zSeries 800 central processor, with a 80 MIPS power and on the other hand an IBM 2066-0A2 zSeries 800 with a 259 MIPS power, under a Parallel Sysplex configuration, therefore both machines will be working paralelly.
Procesador zSeries 800
Regarding storage, there will be two drives systems: an IBM 2105-F20 “Shark” with 128 36 GB drives under a SSA-RAID5 configuration, and the other system will be an IBM 2105-800 “TotalStorage” with 32 72 GB drives and 16 147 GB drives, under SSA-RAID-5 configurations. Both will be connected through 16 17MB/Seg ESCON channels.
Discos ESS 800 y zSeries
As for tapes, a rack with 4 3590-E1A model drives under a 3590-A60 control unit will be installed. We will also have an IBM 3422 coil tapes system and a IBM 3490E system with 12 drives.
Unidad de cintas 3590
Last but not least, regarding connectiveness, both processors have 4 SX fibre Gigabit Ethernet cards which guarantees connectiveness. There will also be two 10/100 cooper cards but these will remain for the Mainframes inner LAN and to perform some demonstrations.
The Mainframe will provide the 4096 attendants with several services such as a redoundant Direct-Connect server (both Mainframes will be running the service in an active-passive configuration) and a Direct-Connect client sharing information available for public. For that both zSeries machines will have 2 o LPARwith SuSE Linux 10 Enterprise installed.
One of the proofs we want to carry out is to see how an 8-year-old machine can run the Direct-Connect service and above all the client part in which we will include many slots in order to check how much the system can stand (a PC cannot stand more than 6-10 slots without hanging or becoming extremelly inefficient) with the aim of getting machine access statistics and CPU and E/S times.