Wednesday, March 28, 2007

General Price Action for MLC software

"As a result of currency fluctuations over the past few years, the prices of some Program Products have become unaligned when compared between EMEA countries, and IBM is adjusting the prices accordingly. Moreover during the Euro introduction IBM committed not to change local prices during the conversion period from local currencies to the Euro. Now IBM's aim is to better harmonize these prices across the Euro countries, the National currency countries and the Dollar currency countries within EMEA.
IBM is therefore announcing price decreases and increases in the Monthly License Charges for selected zSeries and S/390 Program Products and their features."

Oops, that was the 2006 announcement, here's the 2007 announcement :

"As a result of currency fluctuations over the past few years, the prices of some Program Products have become unaligned when compared between countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). In order to better harmonize pricing structures across Euro, National, and Dollar currency countries within EMEA, IBM decided to adjust prices accordingly.
IBM is therefore announcing price decreases and increases in the Monthly License Charges for selected System z, zSeries, and S/390 Program Products and their features."

"The maximum reduction will be 6% in the MLC prices and the maximum increase will be 6% in the MLC prices of selected products."
Effective date : July 1, 2007.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A Practical Introduction to Web Services, SOA and ESB on z/OS

On Techdocs, I found this really interesting Introduction to Web Services, SOA and ESB on z/OS. It's a series of 5 presentations that were originally presented at a Wildfire class. The starting point is the picture you see here.

click on image to enlarge

You might say the blue boxes are the objectives of the presentations and they are worked out one by one, giving a good global overview of what SOA is about and how the mainframe fits in. The presentations all have the speaker's notes included.

The titles :

Monday, March 26, 2007

Red Alert : Media Manager Errors

About a month ago I signaled a Red Alert and how you can subscribe to the 'Red Alerts Subscription Service'. Well, today there's another one for 'Media Manager Errors in z/OS 1.6, 1.7 and 1.8'. Here's a little extract : "The problem may affect users of Media Manager, such as DB2 and Catalog, and can result in abends, hangs or potential loss of data. Data recovery may be required". You can find the entire description and the PTF you should aply over here.

Friday, March 23, 2007

z/Journal : The CICS spotlight

The CICS spotlight is a special issue from z/Journal specifically dedicated to CICS and edited by Phyllis Donofrio. I guess the only thing you have to do is subscribing to the electronic version of z/Journal itself. Some articles in this issue : "Tuning Temporary Storage in CICS/TS", "The IP Monitor Puzzle","White Paper: Integrating CICS Using XML".
I don't plan on mentioning every issue of z/Journal itself, but there's one article related to CICS that might particularly interest all CICS people. It's an answer to the article 'CICS loves fast engines' Bob Thomas wrote years ago in 'Mainframe Journal' (not even 'ESJ Journal', where's the time ?). It's called : "Does CICS still love fast engines ?. The answer ? As I always say : just check it out !

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

GSE z/OS Working Group presentations

Last week there was a GSE z/OS Working Group meeting. Perhaps because I'm not that familiar with the topics any more, I found the presentations on CICS connectivity and IMS connectivity to be very interesting. I'm no longer writing applications myself for the moment, but it keeps surprising me how well 'old' technologies as CICS and IMS keep up the pace with new developments e.g. nearly flawlessly integrating into the whole SOA story. And I cannot resist repeating the quote from Enterprise Systems Journal you must've seen before : "The irony is that host applications are probably better suited for exposure as part of an SOA than many applications based on more modern 4GL objectoriented languages, said Phil Murphy, a principal analyst with consultancy Forrester Research, in an interview last year".
You can dowload the presentations at the Download section of the GSE z/OS Working Group webpage.

Monday, March 19, 2007

IBM GDPS V3.4: Enterprise-wide disaster recovery

Last week (March 13, 2007) IBM announced its Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex V3.4 with GA on March 30, 2007. And as the title suggests, IBM wants to stretch GDPS in order to secure an enterprise-wide disaster recovery. This should also include 'open systems'. The announcement says : "IBM is also announcing Implementation Services for Geographically Dispersed Open Clusters (GDOC) to provide automation, testing, and management capabilities to support world-class high availability and near-transparent application recovery for open systems". This is called Geographically Dispersed Open Clusters (GDOC). As a matter of fact, this looks like a very promising evolution in the GDPS story. You can read more about GDOC in the announcement letter and in another one that was already published last year : "IBM Implementation Services for Geographically Dispersed Open Clusters".
Other highlghts of this new release :
  • Management of Linux images and data, when Linux is running native on a System z server, not limited to Linux images running as a z/VM guest.
  • Enhanced availability for a three-site GDPS Metro/Global Mirror configuration for various disaster and recovery environments.
  • Enhanced GDPS/PPRC system management with a graphical user interface.
  • New GDPS health checks for the z/OS HealthChecker to check for GDPS "best practices."
  • More flexibility with additional automation for IPL messages.

You can find additional information on the IBM GDPS page and there's a very nice white paper called "GDPS: The e-business Availability Solution". This white paper has been reworked and contains already information on V3.4. But it's really a very readable introduction to GDPS and its functionalities.

DB2 V9 Manuals and Information Center

As mentioned earlier, the manuals only become available at GA. As DB2 V9 became generally available on Friday, March 16th 2007, so did the manuals. You can find them at the DB2 'Version 9.1 for z/OS books' page. You find the manuals over there but also the program directories.
If you want the information presented in a more interactive way, you can always check out the DB2 Information Center Home.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

IMS Newsletter

I would like to draw your attention to the IMS Newsletter. It appears every three months and it usually features one or two main articles, some info on upcoming events, a summary of the latest redbooks on IMS related topics and all 'Hot Websites' on IMS. The latest issue e.g. covers 'IMS and IBM's SOA Foundation of Products', 'GRS Performance Observations' and 'Enhancements to the IMS Information Center'. You can e.g. find back issues of the IMS Newsletter in the IMS Information Center. You find the same information on the IMS Newsletter page. Subscribing is possible via an online form or you by sending an e-mail to requesting a subscription.
Next to that there's also a "Receive recent IMS News" button on the IMS page (under Communities on the right side of the page). If you fill out the form you'll receive the latest IMS announcements in your inbox.
Nice personal touch to the IMS newsletter : the Editor-in-Chief hides his children's pictures somewhere in the newsletter. If you email the locations, you receive the one and only IBM IMS pin !

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Arcati Mainframe Yearbook 2007

As a picture tells more than a thousand words, here's a chart from the annual survey Arcati does among mainframe customers :
In fact I added the 2005 chart to compare with the current situation. I know there is some delay between survey and publication, but still, it suprises me that still 33% of the respondents is on z/OS 1.4 (59% in 2005, 48% in 2006), keeping in mind z/OS 1.4 is End of Support by the end of the month.
This is just one of the many charts of the user survey Arcati publishes in its 'Arcati Mainframe yearbook 2007'. There're others on annual MIPS growth, mainframe processors installed (z9EC+BC represent 26%), use of middleware, SOA . . .
But there's a lot more in this 147 page free download than just this survey. There are some 10 articles on various subjects, such as 'Problems with worldwide pricing variations', 'Harnessing the power of legacy systems' and 'Modernize you systems with XML'.
There's a vendor directory listing vendors, consultants and service providers in the z/OS and OS/390 environment. There's a media guide for IBM mainframers listing lots of useful links and information sources, even a few blogs - no not mine ... yet ;-).
It concludes with a glossary, some historical data and technical hardware tables of the z9 (including MSUs, MIPS and MSU/MIPS ratio).

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

IBM DB2 V9.1 officially announced

On my last post almost two weeks ago, I promised to be back today with "some new posts". After more than a week of absence, I must admit I didn't find the time to write any new posts. Still, I have to mention at least this one. It's official, DB2 V9 is announced and GA is on march 16, 2007. For a short description of DB2 V9, I would like to refer to a previous post : DB2 V9 for z/OS : How close to announcement. Of course there's also an announcement on the DB2 tools as e.g. the DB2 Utilities Suite for z/OS, V9.1 (5655-N97).
Here's the URL to the IBM DB2 V9 page. Don't go searching for manuals yet, as Roger Miller (IBM) states in the DB2 discussion list : "The books usually get there only at GA, so we have another 10 days".
Simultaneously today, CA also announced "Support for IBM DB2 9 VIPER for z/OS". Earlier on I already mentioned CA announced broad support for zIIP engines. CA now mentions in their announcement that three of those are in fact DB2 database management tools.