Technical Documents

Providing value-added technical documentation

At Vicom Infinity, we view technical documentation as a value-added component to many of our most successful implementations. For us, it's not just about providing technical documentation on the equipment you install, it's also about using advanced tools to document what you need and how you can best utilize technology to consolidate resources, improve workflows and enhance productivity.

For example, we conduct capacity planning studies and capacity planning health checks so that our customers – and potential customers – can understand utilization of their current mainframes to determine if they need an upgrade and how that upgrade will impact productivity. We also conduct server consolidation studies using IBM's SURF/SCON (Server Consolidation/Server Utilization Reduction Facility) and RACE (Right-Sizing Applications to a Consolidated Environment) tools to help enterprises determine when and if it makes sense to consolidate their distributed servers onto a mainframe.

These studies are offered free to customers and potential customers and can be of tremendous value in helping to determine total cost of ownership, while making analytical comparisons between your existing solutions and potential go-forward scenarios.

Customers find it particularly valuable to work with Vicom Infinity on these studies. Our team has deep expertise and experience conducting all of these studies: In fact, the tool for the capacity planning study was developed by one of our people when he worked at IBM. This expertise and experience means we can work closely with customers and prospects not just to conduct the studies, but to also interpret the results to ensure the most successful business outcomes.

Setting a new standard in technical documentation

If you look at the standard industry definition for technical documentation, it describes "providing enough information for the user to understand the inner and outer dependencies of the product at hand." Traditional technical documentation doesn't typically provide "what-if" scenarios or help you to understand the impact that increased capacity may have on overall costs or workflows.

Technical documentation can, however, incorporate studies, test methodologies and test results. Vicom Infinity combines the benefits of traditional technical documentation and studies with specific tools that provide added value to help organizations understand some of the deeper issues involved in systems deployment, such as capacity planning, server utilization, application performance and total cost of ownership.

Most organizations using mainframes, for example, will be asking certain questions at various stages of their lifecycyle: What is the impact of certain workloads on utilization, what does overall utilization look like, when is it time to upgrade to a new model, among others. At Vicom Infinity, we offer both capacity planning studies and capacity planning health checks for IBM mainframe environments. These studies are both available free to customers and prospective customers.

With both studies we use sophisticated tools to analyze RMF (Resource Measurement Facility) reports generated by the customer. Our tools show the utilization rate of the current machine broken out by LPARs (logical partitions). The tools also drill down and show utilization within an individual LPAR and utilization based on individual workloads. Beyond that, we are able to use "what-if" scenarios to estimate future utilization based on specific growth expectations.

Using these studies, along with our expert-based interpretation of the results, organizations can plan for new configurations and do cost and workflow models that can compare results based on staying with their current system or moving to a new model.

For customers that are utilizing distributed platforms and may have a lot of Unix or Linux servers, there may be big opportunity to save money and improve productivity by consolidating their IFL (Integrated Facility for Linux) engines onto an IBM zEnterprise mainframe.

Vicom Infinity is a leader in providing SCON and SURF studies to help organizations understand the impact of consolidating IFL engines onto z/IFLs, which are IBM mainframes. In addition, Vicom Infinity will conduct RACE studies to help develop a TCO (total cost of ownership) analysis of moving to a mainframe. These studies are also available free to customers and prospective customers.

The key with these tools is to understand how to use them and how to interpret the results to make the best decision for your organization. By working with Vicom Infinity, organizations have access to industry leading experts who have been pioneers in developing these tools and in knowing how to use them successfully in real-world environments. It’s taken us many, many years to develop that expertise. We are happy to share it with our customers and potential future customers.

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