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BMC

Northbridge Financial Corporation improves SQL efficiency and performance of its IBM® Db2® environment

2 CPU seconds

and 8 seconds of elapsed time to complete receipt processing

60% reduction

in CPU and elapse time to collect credit card information

Improved response time

by fixing scan degradation

Overview

Northbridge Financial Corporation is the leading commercial property and casualty insurance group in Canada. Northbridge has been serving Canadian businesses for over 90 years and is ranked as a Five-Star Carrier by Insurance Business Canada.

The Challenge

Northbridge needed to upgrade its mainframe application, but its IT staff faced increasing challenges around the declining speed and performance of SQL across their Db2 environment. This presented a number of issues for the team including:

  • Poor employee experiences and a growing number of complaints due to slow response times
  • Non-production IBM® CICS® and Db2 work couldn’t run during peak shifts, lowering productivity
  • Overnight testers couldn’t do their jobs because the overnight batch consumed all available resources, and end-of-month processing consumed 100% of CPU time, running for two days

The Solution

Northbridge’s IT staff used BMC AMI SQL Performance for Db2® to improve two important business functions: processing receipts and collecting credit card information.

The first run processed over 1,500 receipt headers and 4,200 receipt lines that used 2 CPU minutes and 4 minutes of elapse time. The second run processed 5,100 receipt headers, 37,000 receipt lines, and used 27 CPU minutes and 37 minutes of elapse time. Using BMC AMI SQL Performance for Db2® to fine-tune the second run resulted in using only 2 CPU seconds and 8 seconds of elapsed time.

Northbridge has high security measures for collecting credit card information, including continually encrypting and decrypting data, which eventually had a significant impact on overall application performance. The IT team used the BMC solution to identify a tablespace scan, which worked well until it started processing thousands of rows and the performance began declining. By clearly identifying the problem with BMC AMI SQL Performance for Db2, IT changed the view definition to a user-defined function, drastically improving response time. 

Business Impact

Northbridge’s IT team achieved their goals of standardizing their mainframe application at lower costs and improving overall efficiency. Employee satisfaction has improved and productivity has increased. Optimized processing and boosted speed across Northbridge’s Db2 environment has reduced both CPU and elapse time, improving performance and freeing up development time. This also allows for testing overnight without concern about CPU bandwidth or usage issues.

Other benefits include:

  • Improved response time by throughput
  • Increased value for employees as development jobs can run during the prime shift
  • Reduced CPU and elapse time to run receipt processing

“BMC’s Performance for Db2® SQL has added speed to our Db2 environment that we didn’t have before. Now our staff is empowered to perform, making them happier which makes our company that much better as a result.”

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