VSAM System Software
In the IBM mainframe environment an access method is
required for an application program written in a procedural or low-level
language to access data on a DASD: Direct Access Service Device. The
role of an access method includes setting record size, determining
available disk space for record storage, writing data to disk, locating
data on disk, and retrieving data from the disk. Without a reliable
access method, the programmer would be required to make calculations and
write the code in each program. The VSAM code in legacy programming
languages - primarily COBOL, Assembler, and PL/1 - is a component of
operational infrastructure specific to the client's IBM mainframe
operating system - z/OS, z/VM, or z/VSE.
IBM Mainframe Software Environment
In the late 1970ís IBM introduced VSAM: Virtual
Storage Access as its new access method; replacing ISAM and BDAM. VSAM
added functionality, device independence, and improved performance. It
was also easier to use. There have been numerous improvements made to
VSAM and it is still integral mainframe system software. VSAM is
used extensively in the CICS Transaction Server environment to provide
recoverability, data locking, and integrity to source data. Sharing of
VSAM data among CICS regions is done with VSAM RLS: Record-Level
Sharing; this adds record caching and record locking. Logging and commit
processing remains the responsibility of CICS. This means that sharing
of VSAM data outside a CICS environment will be restricted.
VSAM has been the workhorse access method for IBMís z/OS and z/VSE evolutionary operating system's and system software products: IMS, CICS, and DB2. Although the role of VSAM and its relative
importance has changed with the emergence of DB2 and web enablement technologies, a knowledge of VSAM is important for optimizing performance and balancing the processing of input/output.
VSAM now uses some of the newer hardware technology to improve
performance. In a multi-extent, multi-volume VSAM dataset processed in sequential access, processing does not allow for any type of parallelism for I/O operations among the volumes. This means that when an I/O
operation is executed for an extent in a volume, no other I/O activity from the same task or same dataset is scheduled to the other volumes. In a situation where I/O is the major bottleneck and there are available
resources in the channel subsystem and controllers, it is a waste of these resources.
Data striping addresses this sequential access performance problem by adding two modifications to the traditional data organization:
Enhancements have been made to VSAM with the IBM z/OS V1.10 operating system. The VSAM CA: Control Area Reclaim capability provides applications which use VSAM KSDS: key-sequenced
datasets with improved availability through minimizing outages required for data defragmentation and reorganization. Disk space utilization also is better. CETi technology partners are evaluating IBM product announcements regarding performance, which have been reported to be as high as a 44% improvement for VSAM-based workloads.
VSAM Training by SYS-ED
SYS-ED has been a leader in VSAM training and educational consultancy.
We have a track record for developing the knowledge and skillset
Fortune 1000 companies
specific operational objectives. If
your organization outsourced the optimization of its VSAM coding to
consulting firms in the 1980ís, it more than likely was SYS-ED which
trained the personnel that did the actual work.
The sample programs and
exercises were developed, updated, and tailored to teach VSAM in
evolutionary z/OS and z/VSE environments with legacy programming languages.
Our consultancy derived content and VSAM courses have served as a
framework from which
industry standard textbooks
have been refined - subject matter, sample programs, and exercises - to
ensure that they address work environment operational requirements. In addition
to VSAM, we also provide training on the
IBM and third party mainframe utilities and
inclusive of examples and integrated exercises on
Compuware and Computer Associates software.
When information technology professionals leave a SYS-ED VSAM course, they have the skeleton programs, documentation, training aids, and supervised hands-on experience to efficiently code and maintain programs back on the job. Case and point, we encourage clients to provide us with listcats from their production systems prior to attending a class. We analyze and interpret that information and teach the concepts and techniques required to make VSAM performance optimization a reality.
The value added service to a SYS-ED VSAM course is the educational consultancy we can provide. Case and point, if your organization outsourced its CICS and VSAM coding and program maintenance to consulting companies in the 1980ís, it more
than likely was SYS-ED which trained the consultants who did the actual design and coding!
IBM's information agenda is built on its proprietary operating systems and system software. Its foundation is to simplify, collaborate, reuse, and standardize. SYS-ED's
mainframe course offerings, training programs, and software specific websites have been designed to add value-added service to this strategy and IBM's cloud computing initiatives.
1- Delivery of content through multiple delivery medium as part of a collaborative environment for integrating data at a business level.
2- Student handouts, reference guides, and validation assessment for training human resources that leverage existing investments in software infrastructure.
3- Application development accelerators in the form of industry and client-specific training aids, examples, templates, and data modeling.
4- Support services in the form of technology updates, knowledge base, answers to questions, and tailored documentation in hybrid and interrelated information technology.
The VSAM courseware and training aids that we provide as part of our instructor-led courses are highly respected. The content and diagrams reflect a purposeful examination of program logic, access methods services, and sample programs which have been validated on consulting projects. SYS-ED's VSAM courseware is updated with information from FAQ's frequently asked questions, technology updates, and CETi knowledge base. Given the scarcity of up to date industry standard VSAM textbooks, our courseware serves a valuable function as a reference manual.
Upon completion of a instructor-led course at the client location, it is standard policy to organize content for future utilization in a web-based training infrastructure.
Courseware for Teaching
The courseware used in SYS-ED courses consists of student handouts, training aids, and industry-specific examples and exercises. The CETi knowledge base aggregates and analyzes information in the public domain. It also is a service for reviewing and answering questions. Content is selectively added to courseware. Our long term strategy is to
have our courseware recognized as a NRV: Nationally Recognized Vendor.
Professional Distance-learning Service
SYS-ED's distance-learning training service is 65% lecture with the remaining 35% of the service provided in the form of scheduled interactive question and answer sessions with a subject matter expert, hands-on exercises, optional validation assessment, and submission of questions through our technology exchange websites.
Enrollment is contingent upon the prospective trainee's having been qualified by our Director of Education to have the appropriate background for the training and review of a checklist of items required for transmission of the service to the client location: bandwidth, firewall, base operating system, software requirements, web browser, and set-up of hands-on machine exercises.
Alternative web-based and e-learning training is available: self-paced, or presentation through the client's authoring system. These tailored services are offered selectively.
Industry Standard VSAM Training Service
Over the past year, we have had a number of inquiries regarding whether SYS-ED still offered VSAM training for IT professionals.
|1.||That it is extremely to find VSAM training for specific development and maintenance tasks.
||That there is a scarcity of fast-track VSAM for Programmers and VSAM Performance and Optimization courses, 3 days or fewer in duration, geared to different operating systems and legacy programming languages.
||That a high percentage of VSAM courses are cancelled.
||That travel costs and living expenses in a majority of situations are a significant constraint when it comes to attending a VSAM course.
||That it is important to have a resource for asking VSAM questions once the VSAM training is complete.
In response to these questions:
SYS-ED has been conducting courses in the public domain since 1980; however, there have been changes in the laws and regulations governing computer training in the state of New York. The schedule on our websites reflects a projected time frame for licensure with the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision and submission and approval of curriculum. It will be updated quarterly.
||Yes, SYS-ED offers multiple levels of VSAM training: z/OS and z/VSE.
||Yes, since 1980, SYS-ED has taught standalone VSAM courses and as part of mainframe training programs.
||We have the flexibility and resources to conduct personalized training upon request.
||VSAM courses are available in multiple formats:
distance-learning, blended web-based delivery, and classroom.
||Upon completion of a SYS-ED course, our staff is available to answer VSAM questions.
VSAM Components: Memory, Usage, and Allocation
VSAM tuning consists of providing a satisfactory level of service from a system at an acceptable cost. A satisfactory service is likely to be obtained by providing adequate
buffers to minimize physical I/O and, at the same time, allowing several operations concurrently on the datasets. A knowledge of where the buffers are, how many buffers, size of the buffers, use of multiple index buffers and multiple data buffers are paramount in determining the
best strategy for tuning VSAM database. The costs of assigning additional buffers and providing for concurrent operations on datasets are the additional virtual and real storage that is required for the
buffers and control blocks. Knowledge of the different components and memory allocation associated with VSAM datasets will be important in implementing an efficient optimization of VSAM.
VSAM - z/OS and Compuware File-AID Training
Mainframe Training Programs
SYS-ED offers tailored entry-level and fast-track mainframe training programs.
Standard entry-level training programs consist of z/OS operating system, programming skills, programming language, and system software. These programs have been developed and refined over a quarter century of consultancy and teaching and draw upon the SYS-ED courseware library.
Tailored fast-track programs are comprised of course modules selected by the client organization: topics, examples, workshops, validation assessments, and duration. Many clients also elect to incorporate an educational consulting component which reflects
their standards and implementation strategy for project development.
Evolving IT - Interrelated Technologies
Information technology training for business enterprise is more complex and challenging than ever before. Organizationís have a huge investment in infrastructure and applications specific to their
operations. There are new industry standard protocols, web server and web enabled technologies which require development from scratch and/or integration with the existing system software and enterprise databases. There will be long
term implications regarding the strategic mix of proprietary and open source software which is selected, along with decisions on whether to maintain and upgrade the existing legacy applications, many of which are now thirty or more
years of age; while retrofitting and transitioning to the new technologies. SYS-ED trained a significant portion of the first generation of DP personnel. And looks forward to training their IT successors in the
VSAM Training Services
SYS-ED's VSAM courses are tough, but they're worth it. Our challenging VSAM training provides a foundation and framework for Fortune 1000 companies, government municipalities, healthcare
providers, software houses, and consulting companies to meet their VSAM staffing requirements and acquire specialized VSAM skillsets.1
SYS-ED's VSAM and mainframe courseware is highly respected in information technology. We draw upon our extensive library of courseware, sample programs, and case studies to explain, demonstrate, and teach the real-world VSAM. Our VSAM curriculum include industry standard and consultancy derived content. We have the capability to provide tailored workshops and integrated training programs for the z/OS, z/VM, and z/VSE operating systems.
Teaching is Our Business
Most computer training companies are divisions of large software companies or consulting companies. Not SYS-ED. Our only goal is to provide world
class VSAM training for motivated IT professionals - no more and no less. Because we're independent, we're free to concentrate on teaching - and
since 1980 we have been doing it very well.
Our Teachers Know How to Teach
SYS-ED instructors combine teaching skills with broad practical experience as consultants. Our instructors average 30 years of experience with VSAM in the mainframe environment - operating systems, programming languages, utilities and development aids, and system software. And they know how to teach it. We teach not only "how to", but "why", building a solid
foundation in fundamentals and insights into advanced materials. After a course, they are available to answer questions.
Enrollment - SYS-ED VSAM Courses are Not for Everyone
No one is allowed to enroll in a SYS-ED mainframe course, without a consultation with our Director of Education. We review the operational objectives and project specifications for the organization evaluating
whether to send its employee for the training. The employee only is allowed to register if they have the background corresponding to the appropriate learning path.
VSAM Training - Distance-learning or at Your Office
SYS-ED VSAM courses are provided over the Internet through a distance-learning delivery medium or
classroom instruction on-site at the client location. Client location courses can include the identical workshops, case studies, and hands-on approach as the distance-learning service offered through the
SYS-EDís core VSAM curriculum have been submitted to the New York State Department of Education - Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision for technical review and licensing.