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ICPU for CICS® - Helps Programmers Easily Find Performance Issues That Save on CPU Usage.

ICPU ™ is a real-time tool which is used to identify bottlenecks in application programs performance that can be eliminated by modifying the source code. There are many sampling products on the market but their high, unacceptable overhead and complexity make them a system programming tool rarely used on production and only for a short time. These products are not available to application programmers who can discover performance problems at the early stage of development. These products are postmortem tools used reactively after the problem occurred. They try to solve the problem by recreating it, or turning on sampling automatically, both of which may fail.

ICPU is innovative, user-friendly, effective, real-time CICS software, which was developed to answer these shortcomings. ICPU unique infrastructure results in a low, insignificant overhead and enables its unique functionality. How do you save CPU cycles? You need to find the program that uses the most CPU and tune it. ICPU is the only sampling product that can run for an unlimited time on your production systems and identify this program. ICPU uncovers hidden CPU savings opportunities even for well-performing applications.

CICS Performance And Savings with ICPU ™

Sampling products are used to identify bottlenecks in application programs that can be eliminated by modifying the source code, in order to improve the performance of the CICS applications. There are several sampling products on the market but they all share a major deficiency - their postmortem methodology. When there is a problem a system expert will turn on sampling and try to rerun the same script, or the product itself will turn on sampling when it identifies a problem. After a few minutes of sampling it is stopped and a batch job is run, in the hope that the problem will happen again. However, the problem usually does not return and it will not be resolved.

ICPU is a real time product which was designed to overcome this shortcoming. ICPU will identify the exception when it occurs, notify about it and record the program and the offset within it, which are causing the exception, allowing for immediate investigation and resolution. ICPU's unique functionality stems from its design, which keeps the sampling results in memory buffers, resulting in insignificant, low overhead. All the other sampling products record a machine instruction trace, resulting in high, unacceptable overhead which limits the product applicability and functionality. These sampling products are comprehensive, full-function performance products; in order to achieve their objectives, a huge amount of performance information must be collected. However, most of this information (such as I/O waits) is available from the other commonly used monitors for CICS, DB2 and Z/OS. These products are cumbersome to use and difficult to understand and used therefore only by system experts. As a result, a critical component in an application performance management policy is missing. These limitations are the main reason for the known fact that these products are infrequently used. ICPU, on the other hand, can be used on a daily basis by all personnel involved in the application lifecycle. This ensures that only optimal, highly supervised programs are moved into production. The end result is that when you purchase one of these sampling products, you pay a high price for its powerful capabilities which you usually do not use and you also pay a high price when you use the product, i.e. the high overhead and the cost of the expert analyzing the results. The strength of these powerful products is actually their weakness.

ICPU Finds Issues Before Production

ICPU's very low overhead lets it easily run in Production, QA, or Test. Ideally, no one should wait until an application is in production to discover that it does not run well – not only does it cost more to fix it, your application roll-out is delayed, your customers are not satisfied, and your reputation suffers. It is estimated by some experts that fixing a performance problem at development time costs an eighth of what it costs to fix it at production time. How do you save CPU cycles? You need to find the program that uses the most CPU in a day's work and tune it. ICPU is the only product that gives you this information, presenting CPU saving opportunities that are unknown otherwise. ICPU uncovers hidden CPU savings opportunities even for well-performing applications.

Sample Savings Control

Consider, for example, a program that runs a million times a day and consumes 10 milliseconds of CPU per run, which will add up to almost 3 hours of CPU per day. Reducing the CPU time of this program by third will save one hour of CPU time per day, or more than 15,000 minutes per year. At a rate of $12 per CPU minute, the yearly savings can be as much as $180,000. ICPU is the only sampling product that can identify this unknown tuning opportunity, which will improve response time, postpone upgrades and reduce operational license costs.


ICPU innovative design includes the following features:

  • Real Time – The sampling results are immediatly available and can be viewed at any time during the sampling run and afterwards.
  • Exception Notification - ICPU will notify you about any program that exceeds a predefined CPU usage threshold as soon as it occurs, so you can take a corrective action immediatly.
  • Unlimited - ICPU can be used by any number of users, at any environment, at any time, for any length of time with no impact on the inspected systems.
  • User-friendly – ICPU is easy to use and provides meaningful, easy-to-understand results.
  • Unattended operation – ICPU can be set up to start automatically when CICS comes up or at any future time.
  • Source listing – Matching of sampling data directly to COBOL source code.
  • Standard coding – ICPU uses only standard z/OS/CICS interfaces.
  • Online help – Available from any screen.
  • Filtering – By user/transaction/terminal/program.
  • Batch reports – Can be produced at anytime, even when sampling is still going on.
  • Model inspections Ids – Any previous inspection can be used as a model for a new one.
  • Generic Inspection Ids – A shorthand method of assigning Inspection Ids and referring to them.
  • CPU breakdown – CPU usage and CICS services breakdown to the QR TCB and all the other TCBs, such as L8, L9 and TCB switching statistics.
  • Installs in less than an hour.


CICS applications lifecycle management and quality is made easier and more reliable.

  • Saves on the time required for Performance Analysis and problem finding
  • Enables everyday Applications programmers to improve code and save money
  • Easily analyze code throughout the maintenance lifecycle and review offshore code efficiency
  • Reduce costs and improve service levels
  • Hardware savings by discovering inefficient resources
  • Recover machine capacity
  • Save costly MIPS and avoid CPU upgrades

Our CICS and Db2 performance solutions for z/OS systems improve quality and enable all applications staff to save money and resources throughout the application life cycle.

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