Click here to close now.




Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Bob Gourley, Kevin Benedict, David Bermingham, Dana Gardner, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Blog Post

Cousins of Cobol in Big Data Analytics

How DFSORT, REXX Support Big Data Analytics

In this  article  I would  like to look at a few tools which are overlooked when it comes to Big Data analytics. Organizations that  have  already  heavy investment  on Mainframe  and  would like to continue  with the utilization of Mainframe can consider these  tools for further  expanding their Big Data Analytics reach.

DFSORT-  Sorting & Merging Large Data Sets :

  • Much before RDBMS have taken their place, Cobol programs have 2 major file manipulation operations namely:
  • SORT operation accepts un-sequenced input and produces output in specified sequence
  • The Merge operation compares records from two or more files and combines them in order
  • DFSORT adds the ability to do faster and easier sorting, merging, copying, reporting and analysis of your business information, as well as versatile data handling at the record, fixed position/length or variable position/length field, and bit level.
  • DFSORT is designed to optimize the efficiency and speed with which operations are completed through synergy with processor, device, and system features
  • A Cobol program will typically act as a intermediary in handling the FILE inputs and passing them to DFSORT
  • After all the input records have been passed to DFSORT, the sorting operation is executed. This operation arranges the entire set of records in the sequence specified by keys.
  • Much like a SORT , MERGE statement is also called from a COBOL job
  • The MERGE statement execution begins the MERGE processing. This operation compares keys with the records of the input files, and passes the sequenced records to create a MERGED output file
  • As per the documentation from the vendor , there is no maximum number of keys which can support the needs for Big Data Analytics processing
  • Some of the advanced options of DFSORT also facilitates parallel sort processing which goes well with needs of Big Data Analytics
  • With the work loads of Big Data Analytical jobs can span multiple physical and virtual servers including mainframe, it is good to see that DFSORT has the option to sort records either in EBCDIC or ASCII or another collating sequence. This can result in uniformity of massively parallel sorting jobs if they run on heterogeneous systems
  • The Job Control Language (JCL), which gives Hadoop like management of large file processing jobs in Mainframe have good features to specify multiple input and output file options for SORT and MERGE jobs
  • As evident this article does not aim as a tutorial for DFSORT and various performance features can be looked from Mainframe manuals or can ask Mainframe Gurus in your organization.

REXX :

  • REXX (Restructured eXtended eXecutor) is another programming language that is used in the same eco system of Cobol and DFSORT and can considerably contribute to the Big Data Analytical needs of the enterprises
  • REXX has advantages in string manipulation, Dynamic data typing, Storage Management and is generally considered to be very reliable and robust
  • One of the most important strengths of REXX that is of relevance to Bigdata Analytics is its ‘'character string" handling ability.
  • There are some useful string manipulation functions like COPIES (), WORDS(), STRIP(), TRANSLATE(), which can go a long way in the Map Reduce functionality needs of typical big data analytical jobs
  • PARSE instruction is also used frequently in REXX programs. It is able to take strings from a number of sources and break them apart into constituent parts using a fairly natural notation
  • Probably PARSE could be one of the highly useful feature of REXX in its positioning as a Big Data Analytical tool
  • The REXX parse statement divides a source string into constituent parts and assigns these to symbols as directed by the governing parsing template
  • REXX, DFSORT and Cobol programs can be inter operable such that we could call a REXX program from Cobol , and all these can be tied together with JCL
  • Again this note is meant as a tutorial for REXX and lot of good documentation is available on utilizing the String manipulation features of REXX.

Summary : There is  a strong  need for enterprises  to  adopt Big Data  Analytics  and start mining the  huge sets  of  unstructured data which has been ignored so far to arrive at meaningful business decisions.  While  newer  frameworks like Hadoop  or  the new breed of  analytical databases are going to satisfy  this need,  however   enterprises  should not be spending their time on picking up the tools and languages when it comes to Big Data Analytics.

If there is a significant  investment  and organization direction is to use the legacy  platforms like Cobol, JCL, REXX, DFSORT  it is only prudent  to utilize best  of their capabilities  in arriving  at options for Big Data Analytics.

We are seeing   that  Big Data Analytics  is mainly dependent on Map / Reduce algorithms,  these  functions are aimed  at  crunching  large data sets, like reading the input files  and  create key/value pair   and map functions take these  key/value pairs  and generates  another  key/value pair.  Further Reducer function  also depends on  sorted  key/value pairs  and iterate them and reduce the output further.

If we look at the way this logic works,  there is a  heavy need for sorting, merging, string  manipulation and parsing all the way. Hence  the tools mentioned  above like DFSORT,  REXX  along with Cobol  will likely to satisfy  the Big Data needs  of large enterprises  if  they  have already invested  on Mainframe compute capacity.

 

More Stories By Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

Srinivasan is passionate about ownership and driving things on his own, with his breadth and depth on Enterprise Technology he could run any aspect of IT Industry and make it a success.

He is a seasoned Enterprise IT Expert, mainly in the areas of Solution, Integration and Architecture, across Structured, Unstructured data sources, especially in manufacturing domain.

He currently works as Technology Head For GAVS Technologies.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies adopt disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advanced analytics, and DevO...
With microservices, SOA and distributed architectures becoming more popular, it is becoming increasingly harder to keep track of where time is spent in a distributed application when trying to diagnose performance problems. Distributed tracing systems attempt to address this problem by following application requests across service boundaries, persisting metadata along the way that provide context for fine-grained performance monitoring.
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Men & Mice, the leading global provider of DNS, DHCP and IP address management overlay solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. The Men & Mice Suite overlay solution is already known for its powerful application in heterogeneous operating environments, enabling enterprises to scale without fuss. Building on a solid range of diverse platform support,...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The maker of automated server migration software reports sales bookings increased 460 percent year-over-year and last week IDC forecast spending on public cloud services will grow to more than $141 billion in 2019. Seems (at last) we are at the tipping point where enterprises are adopting cloud in a big way opening opportunities for those who can help with the transition.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 7-9, 2016 at Javits Center, New York City, and Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 18th International @CloudExpo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
Father business cycles and digital consumers are forcing enterprises to respond faster to customer needs and competitive demands. Successful integration of DevOps and Agile development will be key for business success in today’s digital economy. In his session at DevOps Summit, Pradeep Prabhu, Co-Founder & CEO of Cloudmunch, covered the critical practices that enterprises should consider to seamlessly integrate Agile and DevOps processes, barriers to implementing this in the enterprise, and pr...
It's easy to assume that your app will run on a fast and reliable network. The reality for your app's users, though, is often a slow, unreliable network with spotty coverage. What happens when the network doesn't work, or when the device is in airplane mode? You get unhappy, frustrated users. An offline-first app is an app that works, without error, when there is no network connection.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint Systems, Inc., a provider of innovative web and infrastructure monitoring solutions, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's DevOps Summit at 18th Cloud Expo New York, which will take place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into customer-critical services to help consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed...
As someone who has been dedicated to automation and Application Release Automation (ARA) technology for almost six years now, one of the most common questions I get asked regards Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Specifically, people want to know whether release automation is still needed when a PaaS is in place, and why. Isn't that what a PaaS provides? A solution to the deployment and runtime challenges of an application? Why would anyone using a PaaS then need an automation engine with workflow ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
In most cases, it is convenient to have some human interaction with a web (micro-)service, no matter how small it is. A traditional approach would be to create an HTTP interface, where user requests will be dispatched and HTML/CSS pages must be served. This approach is indeed very traditional for a web site, but not really convenient for a web service, which is not intended to be good looking, 24x7 up and running and UX-optimized. Instead, talking to a web service in a chat-bot mode would be muc...