Wednesday, February 7, 2007

New Announcements with z/OS 1.9, z/VM 5.3 . . .

Three announcements are worth mentioning this week.
Perhaps somewhat hidden into the zNALC and MWLC announcements I discussed earlier, there was already the announcement of the new version 4 of VSE. Now there's two announcements concerning two other major operating systems in System z. First of all there's a preview announcement of z/OS V1.9. As we are on a one-year schedule for z/OS, V1.9 will become available in september 2007. I guess the first paragraph of the overview section pretty much sums up what we may be expecting :
With z/OS (R) V1.9, IBM plans to extend the value of the flagship mainframe operating system with improvements in all of its core competencies, including scalability, availability, and resource optimization. With increased focus on simplifying z/OS for IT professionals, plans for z/OS V1.9 include improvements to the IBM Health Checker for z/OS, the IBM Configuration Assistant for z/OS Communications Server, DFSMSrmm, ISPF, Hardware Configuration Manager (HCM), and Coupling Facility services, as well as a new dbx GUI. Additional enhancements to z/OS are planned to make the operating system more powerful in applying centralized policy-based rules for defining and controlling how your applications behave.

Next one is the effective announcement of z/VM V5.3, which is planned to be available on June 29, 2007. There's really too much to sum up so I just quote the 'At a glance section' :
z/VM V5.3 is designed to offer:

  • Improved memory utilization to help relieve storage constraints
  • Guest support enhancements, including a z/OS testing environment for the simulation of zAAP and zIIP specialty processors
  • Comprehensive security with a new LDAP server and RACF feature, including support for password phrases
  • Delivery of RSCS FL530 as a priced, optional IPLA feature
  • Enhancements to help improve the ease-of-use of virtual networks
  • Further exploitation of IBM System and Tape Storage devices
  • Management enhancements for Linux and other virtual images
What IS obvious is that IBM is putting lots of stress on the Virtualization factor. This is emphasized by a complementary press release of IBM yesterday heading :"IBM Supercharges Mainframe Virtualization. Helping Customers Reduce Server Sprawl, Company Launches New Scalability Enhancements to Support the Industry's Largest Number of Virtual Images on a Single z/VM". IBM has tested that a single copy of z/VM is now capable of hosting more than 1.000 virtual images. Obviously the focal point is on Linux on System z. The example is given of the Marist College which is now running 600 Linux images on z/VM as each student is running its own virtual Linux. Another recurring element (in favor of the mainframe) is that when you can run lots of Linux images on a single mainframe, you can "lower energy consumption and other costs associated with data centers that have large numbers of single-application servers".

The last announcement concerns EOS dates of System z software starting April 6, 2008. You should really check out which ones apply to you but there's still one I want to mention : DB2 UDB Server for z/OS and OS/390 V7.1 will be withdrawn from service June 30, 2008. Another date I'd seen earlier was March 31, 2008, so we got an extra three months to migrate to V8.

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