zIIP ahoy:

                full speed ahead for Dataport's Mainframes

                Meet our customer hero

Dataport is responsible for the telephone and data communication, administrative applications, data security and tax administration for several states and municipalities in Germany, making it a pioneer in providing IT and communication services for government agencies. The service provider has 4,400 employees and manages approximately 90,000 digital workspaces in seven states as well as 70 communities with 5,000 servers and four mainframes with approximately 17,000 TB of data.


  • Digitalizing public administration
  • Ongoing high costs with throttled processors
  • Increased utilization of mainframe capacity
  • Growing demand due to new customers


  • Capacity gains and improved performance
  • Load on main processors reduced by up to 99 percent for Natural applications
  • Reduced CPU consumption by up to 75 percent for Adabas
  • Significantly faster batch runs
  • Purchase of new machines and necessary upgrades - postponed



                    “Our mainframes are a strategic constant. As a data center, we depend on our customers and their application providers, which means we have to be flexible. At the same time, we’re sticking with our mainframe technology and planning a new workload for it including applications such as Artificial Intelligence (AI)/Watson™, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT).“

— Guido Schmidt | Director, Mainframe Operations at Dataport

Dataport has been using Software AG’s Adabas & Natural since 1994. Dieter Urbach, Director of Operations Services and Projects at Dataport, learned about Software AG’s zIIP enablement options through his intensive collaboration in the Adabas & Natural working groups and was quickly won over. “When we were facing the decision of accepting Saxony-Anhalt as a new customer, the IBM® zIIP™ (z Systems® Integrated Information Processor) was just the right thing,” explained Urbach. “Shifting the workload to the zIIP processors would free up the main processors, which could then be used for external clients without upgrading equipment and obtaining IBM licenses: Mainframe capacity problem solved, thanks to zIIP.”

Fast processing times are convincing

zIIP enablement can significantly improve mainframe capacity by shifting the Natural-supported batch and online workload from the general processor to an IBM zIIP. Dataport experienced these results in an initial test phase for the main workload, KIDICAP. KIDICAP is the payroll system that is used by the German states of Bremen and slated for use in Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg.

The initial results astonished Dataport employees: “After the zIIP offload, CPU times for a payroll run dropped in some instances from 90 CPU minutes to just 20 minutes,” said Christina Möllenberg, a system technician with Dataport. “Our decision to deploy the Natural for zIIP for nearly all batch areas was absolutely worth it.” With the added capacity and improved processing times, there was room to bring on Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg.

Today, Dataport runs workload from multiple applications for several states on IBM zIIP. Since starting with Natural batch processes on the zIIP in April 2014, it has added online processes that run as a batch such as the KIDICAP payroll system for several states, including new customers Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg. Other examples include PERMIS, the state financial assistance system that Dataport operates for Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg and Bremen, and PROSA, the welfare system used by Hamburg.

The results speak for themselves. The load on the main processor has decreased massively and for all applications as a whole, freeing up mainframe capacity Reduced batch and online runtimes are an additional benefit that alleviates pressure on staffing and performance monitoring. After reducing the application load on the main processor by up to 99 percent, Dataport added Adabas for zIIP and gained even more savings by shifting up to 75 percent of the database workload form the mainframe processor to zIIP.

All in all, it’s a result that Dataport and Software AG can be proud of. Adabas & Natural for zIIP has helped Dataport serve more customers without having to purchase new machines. The installation and deployment went smoothly, and the collaboration with Software AG was excellent, as was the general tenor among Dataport employees. “Our customers are satisfied, because not only do their processes run faster, they run smoother, too,” said Mr. Urbach. That’s certainly a positive effect considering Dataport’s high customer satisfaction goals.

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