The IBM System z10™ mainframe provides an architectural framework for 1-MB virtual pages. With the new support provided in z/OS® 1.9, these large pages can be transparently used by middleware and applications. The use of large virtual memory pages for storage allocated at addresses above 2 GB can deliver significant performance gains. This paper reviews computer architecture trends and describes various implementations of large pages across the industry to explain why large pages are needed in today's operating system environments. It also reports results from innovative work focused on which workloads are subject to the largest performance boost from the use of large pages and how large-page support has been implemented on the System z10 platform and in the z/OS operating system. Results from recent performance tests are presented and analyzed.
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