Friday, August 31, 2007

DS8000 : 10.000 RPM disks WDFM

Just a short one : IBM announces that it withdraws its 146GB 10.000 RPM and its 300GB 10.000 RPM from marketing. After Januari 11th, 2008 they are replaced by the 15.000 RPM disks.

And by the way, Prince was just great. We enjoyed every minute of it. Here's a little spy report on 3121.

Friday, August 24, 2007

IBM Systems Magazine

I mentioned Destiation z some time ago and it's via Destination z that I came across this 'IBM Systems Magazine'. Destination z refers to the Mainframe Edition, but the site is larger than just mainframe. There's quite some stuff to read online, but there's also the newsletter you can subscribe to. I must admit I didn't know it at all. Main article in the latest issue is 'DB2 Table Space—Is It Time to Redesign?' on the new index and tablespace options in DB2 9. Another article : 'Ahead of the pack' describes how "z/VSE V4.1 provides a cost-effective mainframe solution to clients of all sizes".
The archive goes back to 2002 and there is a nice 'tips' section with e.g. 'Systems Programmers Tips and Tricks for ISPF', 'Exploring TSO and ISPF' and 'Digging Into the Bag of ISPF Tricks'. And hey, where have we seen this before, there's also a Buyer's Guide.

I won't be posting next week as I'm on holiday for another week.
Tuesday, I'm off to London with my son to see Prince and I'm really looking forward to it !!!

Friday, August 17, 2007


When announcing z9 EC GA3 and z9 BC GA2 there was a statement of direction saying : "IBM plans to enhance the System Storage TS3400 Tape Library by adding autoloader support for the library with System z (z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE and TPF). Additionally, IBM plans to support system-managed encryption in a System z environment with the TS3400".
The TS3400 tape library was first announced in February of this year. On July 10th, 2007 followed the announcement 'IBM System Storage TS1120 Tape Controller supports IBM System Storage TS3400 Tape Library attachment for System z'.

What's the TS3400 ?
"The TS3400 Tape Library is an external 5U stand-alone or rack-mountable unit that incorporates up to two IBM System Storage TS1120 Tape Drives Model E05 (3592), which are ordered separately. It comes with 4-Gbps dual-ported switched fabric Fibre Channel attachment. The TS1120 Tape Drive has a native data transfer rate of up to 100 MB/sec per drive. The TS3400 Tape Library has two removable cartridge magazines, providing 18 data cartridge slots, including a 0 or 3-slot I/O station".

What does this recent announcement mean ?
Up to now the TS3400 could be attached to Open Systems (also zLinux). Now the "TS1120 Tape Drives installed in a TS3400 Tape Library can be attached to System z FICON or ESCON channels by using the TS1120 Tape Controller. The TS3400 Tape Library provides a small library alternative for the System z platform. The TS3400 supports one or two TS1120 Tape Drives, and up to 18 3592 tape cartridges. An enhanced router is required for the TS1120 Tape Controller when it is connected with a TS3400 Tape Library".

Some benefits ?
  • §Provides compact footprint for space constrained environments
  • Allows extension of TS1120 technology from the data center to branch or remote locations
  • Allows flexibility in deployment with removable magazines, standard barcode reader and remote management capability
  • Helps to support data security and data retention (on-board encryption)
You can find more info in the Sales Manual, the Data Sheet and on the IBM TS3400 page.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

z/Journal's latest issues

I've been reading the two latest issues of z/Journal (June-July and August-September), but I'm not going to bother you too much with its contents.

However z/Journal is launching some new initiatives like e.g. the Mainframe Jobs Board. I don't think this will mean a lot for EMEA companies as it's US centered. The second initiative seems more interesting to me. z/Journal starts with a Mainframe Community Forum. It's a forum where you can discuss all kinds of mainframe related topics and where you can also interact with the authors of the articles. There's a 'Sound-Off' button under each article or column directing you to a related topic at the forum. It sounds good. Still, I'm a bit afraid that this forum might not attract that many people. There's also the Destination z initiative from IBM and there are already the various existing Listserv lists. Next initiative will be a Mainframe Buyers Guide : this should become "the most exhaustive resource available for mainframe professionals seeking software solutions, hardware solutions and consultant services". It's not yet online but if you try, you can already have an idea what it's going to look like ;-).

Something, or rather, someone else also drew my attention : it's the 'IT Sense' column by Jon William Toigo. His comments on SOA ('SOA : So What') and on the recent Green initiatives ('Green Rust') are quite fresh and even a bit provocative. I know I'm only stirring things up when quoting some fragments of it : "(...) When it comes right down to it, SOA is just another word for what we should have always been doing in IT (...) SOA is common sense, pure and simple (...)". Another one : "Now, while I'd like to believe the technology vendors and large data centers have suddenly developed an eco-conscience, I'm having a hard time buying that this trend is really all about the green (carbon footprint reduction) and not just about the green (money)". And if you want to know how "Greener People" look like, then you should really read the entire columns.

And if I have to pick out just one article, then it's the one that might prove to be gold in the hands of people starting with z/VM and zLunix. It's "The Z/VM and Linux Virtualization Cookbooks", if only for drawing attention to these cookbooks that detail every step of the way for implementing z/VM and zLinux. Most of these cookbooks (per Linux distribution) are found at the LinuxVM site.

Monday, August 13, 2007

z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #17

Hello, I'm back in Blogland after a three weeks rest. I see I have a lot to catch up with and I'll inform you as I progress through a stack of mails and other info that has come my way during those three weeks.
I'm starting off with a publication I always look forward to. The new issue of the Hot Topics Newsletter came out last Wednesday. If this is the first time you hear about this newsletter, be sure to check out the back issues as well.
This issue counts about 30 pages more (80) than any other previous issue. One of the reasons for this is the addition of 'How-To' articles "that offer practical information for accomplishing common tasks on System z. This issue, our experts provide step-by-step instructions for simplifying your WLM administration, migrating to zFS file systems, viewing your z/OS file systems on Windows, and invoking SDSF through REXX commands".
The main focus this time is on the specialty engines. One article focuses on "the development of specialty processors from the early days of the S/370 Model 3033 through the rise of the RISC and CMOS processors in the 1990s, to the present day with zIIP and zAAP". Another one "describes the exploiters of the zIIP and zAAP and points to future application enhancements that promise to help lower the overall total cost of ownership (TCO)".
But there's so much more in this issue like "many articles on the new functions in z/OS V1R9" and others focusing on "simplifying your work, with articles on using System Logger with SMF recording, z/OS Health Checker, controlling group capacity limits, invoking REXX routines with System REXX, and configuring z/OS Communications Server".

So, as I always say : just check it out !