Monday, March 31, 2008

Basic HyperSwap

Basic HyperSwap is another new availability feature that was announced on February 28, 2008. It was announced with the Preview of z/OS 1.10 but it will also be available on z/OS 1.9 (with APAR OA20658 - april 2008).

You may notice that HyperSwap isn't new and, of course, you are right. We already know the Full Function GDPS/PPRC with its HyperSwap functionalities. There's also a subset of this known as GDPS/PPRC/HyperSwap Manager. These HyperSwap functionalities basically automate the switch of all primary PPRC disk subsystems with the secondary PPRC disk subsystems in case of a planned or unplanned disk outage in one or more sites for z/OS, zVM and zLinux environments.

The "new Basic HyperSwap(TM) capability (to be enabled by TotalStorage(R) Productivity Center for Replication Basic Edition for System z), plans to provide a low-cost, single-site, high-availability disk solution which allows the configuration of disk-replication services using an intuitive GUI from z/OS. The intention is that with Basic HyperSwap function enabled, seamlessly swapping between primary and secondary disk volumes in the event of planned and unplanned outages such as hardware maintenance, testing, or device failure can be accomplished from z/OS". So unlike the earlier functions, Basic HyperSwap is a part of z/OS 1.9+, and it also has some limitations as opposed to the others :
  • It is a single-site solution : source and target disk subsystems are on the same data center floor
  • It only supports IBM storage (ESS 800, DS8000, DS6000).
  • It only supports the z/OS environment
Basic HyperSwap in z/OS 1.9 will be managed by TPC-R (TotalStorage Productivity Center for Replication) software shipped with z/OS. TPC-R Basic Edition v3.4 will come as a no-cost feature of z/OS 1.9+.
How does it work ?
"IBM has done an analysis of all field storage subsystem failures and as a result has created a set of trigger events that are monitored by TPC-R. When one of these HyperSwap trigger events occurs, a ‘PPRC Data Freeze across all LSSs on all storage subsystems’ is invoked. All I/O to all devices is Queued (Extended Long Busy), thus maintaining full data integrity and cross volumes data consistency. z/OS then completes the HyperSwap operation of recovering the PPRC target devices and rebuilding all z/OS internal control blocks to point to the recovered PPRC target devices. When this has completed, all I/O is released and all applications continue to run against the recovered target devices, thus masking or replacing a complete disk subsystem outage, with a dynamic ‘busy’ and a redirection of all Host I/O".

If you want to find out more about Basic HyperSwap, its functionalities, prerequisites and the differences with GDPS/HyperSwap, there's a brand new z/OS Basic HyperSwap & GDPS HyperSwap Overview presentation on TechDocs. Be sure to read the presentor's notes as well as they contain a lot of additional information.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Webcast : z/VSE Application Development

For those who want to attend this webcast ànd the teleconference on z/OS migration and who are not able to multiply themselves, don't worry, there are replays.

The content of this webcast is explained on the IBM VSE site : this webcast "focuses on the IBM WebSphere Developer for System z (WDz) product and shows a live demo of how to use this tool. You will see how you can develop z/VSE CICS and batch applications in COBOL, PL/1 or Assembler using this modern application development framework. WDz provides powerful editing capabilities, including syntax highlighting, outline view, code assist.WDz allows to run a local syntax check using a built in compiler, as well as remote compiles to compile the applications on z/VSE using the standard compiles available on VSE. Compile error feedback is provided in the WDz tool for enhanced productivity".

Date : Thursday March 27, 2008
Time : 10:00 AM Central Daylight Time, London 3:00 PM, Brussels 4:00 PM
Duration : 75 minutes
Speaker : Ingo Franzki, IBM Boeblingen Lab

Registration over here.
You will see that the registration confirmation advises you to run the Centra System Check utility. You can best do this some time before the meeting because it either installs the Centra software or it upgrades it when you haven't used it for some time.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Teleconference : Plan your migration to z/OS V1.9!

As the survey in the Arcati Yearbook indicated that 41% of the respondents was still on z/OS 1.7 by the end of last year, this might actually be an interesting teleconference.

When : Thursday March 27, 2008, 11 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time, 3:00 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time, 4:00 p.m. Brussels.

The content of the teleconference : "Join us for this complimentary teleconference and you’ll learn how to identify migration issues, take advantage of z/OS best practices, and simplify migration to z/OS V1.9."
  • Features that are new, changing and removed in V1.9, along with features that will be removed in the future
  • Ordering and delivery options
  • Coexistence, migration, fall-back and service policies
  • Driving and target system requirements for both software and hardware
  • Communications Server, Distributed File Server (DFS), DFSMS, language environment and z/OS UNIX® System Service
Speakers are the well-known Gita Grube Berg, IBM z/OS Marketing, and Marna Walle, IBM z/OS System Build and Install Team.

Just register and all information will be sent to you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

DS8000 enhancements

When the z10 was announced some three weeks ago, I promised to comment on the related announcements as well. I had some busy weeks so I haven't come around to them yet. But . . . better late than never. As you can see on the poster 'The Future runs on System z' that I posted last week, the subtitle says 'and IBM System Storage'. The z10 goes hand in hand with the DS8000. So what's new for the DS8000 ? In fact there wasn't announced that much as we saw already some major updates last year like e.g. the introduction of Dynamic Volume Expansion, System Storage Productivity Center (SSPC) and Adaptive Multi-stream Pre-fetching (AMP). Still, the novelties are worth mentioning.

First of all the announcement for the DS8000 describes Extended Distance Ficon for IBM System z environments. Due to an enhancement in the FICON architecture standard communication over greater distances is enabled without substantial reduction to the effective data rate. As an example it's said that "it can help keep a 4 Gbps link fully utilized at 50 km". This may "reduce the need for channel extenders in z/OS Global Mirror (2-site) and z/OS Metro/Global Mirror (3-site) configurations". This can mean a substantial cost reduction.

Secondly there's a preview of Extended Address Volumes. This is also explained in the z/OS 1.10 Preview Announcement. As it will require z/OS 1.10 it will only become available in September when z/OS 1.10 becomes available. Today the largest volume counts 65,536 cylinders (54GB). Initially EAV will offer support for up to 262,668 Cylinder Logical Volumes (223GB). At first this will only be for VSAM datasets (including DB2 datasets). But there's an "architectural limit of hundreds of TB per volume". So in the future we may expect to see even larger volumes and more data types supported. At that time the Dynamic Volume Expansion might come in handy. A summary : " This new function is expected to provide substantial, immediate constraint relief for installations with a large number of large VSAM data sets. This is also expected to help improve storage management administration over time, as a relatively small number of large volumes are thought to be simpler to manage than a larger number of smaller ones. IBM recommends the IBM HyperPAV licensed function on the IBM System Storage DS8000 series be leveraged to help manage the number of paths to devices defined as EAV".

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Some more elements on the z10 announcement

I’ve been reading some documents about the announcement of the System z10. So I would like to share some bits of information I came across that might be useful. They’re not related, they just caught my attention for one or other reason. Most come from the FAQ and the System z Functional Matrix.
  • z/OS Global Mirror is enabled for the zIIP. Specifically z/OS DFSMS allows most System Data Mover (SDM) processing associated with z/OS Global Mirror to be eligible to run on the zIIP
  • IBM plans to enhance the XML Toolkit for z/OS (5655-J51) so eligible workloads can use z/OS XML System Services. This allows eligible XML Toolkit processing for non-validating parse requests to exploit the zAAP”.
  • There are no additional software charges for capacity activated by CPE”.
  • On/Off CoD is available for up to twice the ‘purchased’ capacity for a given machine based on the LSPR mixed workload multi-image ITRR (Internal Throughput Rate Ratio)”.
  • Statement of Direction - an IBM z/OS Management Facility plans to provide the infrastructure, services, and user interfaces to support a modern, Web-browser based management console for z/OS. The z/OS Management Facility is intended to enable system programmers, administrators and operators to manage and administer a mainframe system by simplifying day to day operations and administration of a z/OS system. This first release of the z/OS Management Facility will provide job and process management and Parallel Sysplex management support”.
  • Statement of Direction : “IBM intends to further enhance z/VM in a future release to exploit the new System z10 EC support for a logical partition (LPAR) mode ‘z/VM’, exclusively for running z/VM. This new LPAR mode allows z/VM to utilize a wider variety of specialty processors in a single LPAR. For instance, in a z/VM mode LPAR, z/VM can manage Linux on System z guests running on IFL processors while also managing z/VSE and z/OS on central processors (CPs), and to offload z/OS system software overhead, such as DB2 workloads, on zIIPs and zAAPs”.
As you know the System z Functional Matrix indicates some ‘S’tandard and some ‘O’ptional features like e.g. these standard features : Hipersockets Layer 2 Support, Coupling Facility Shared ICF, OOCoD/CBU Automatic deactivation at expiration date, RAS features like Dynamic LCSS add, Dynamic subchannel set add, Dynamic partition add, Add/Remove Logical CP to a logical partition (< FAQ), Add/Remove cryptographic coprocessor (< FAQ), Enable I/O connections (< FAQ). Optional features : Non-Raised Floor option and OOCoD/CBU SAP.

And here’s a last one from the Technical Guide Redbook : “Future FICON features, after FICON Express4, are not intended to support auto-negotiation to 1 Gbps link data rates”.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Make some publicity for the z10

Last week I attended the joint GSE-IBM meeting in Brussels where the new System z10 was presented (The Future runs on System z). At the end we received a cd, so I guess those of you who attend roadshows all over the world, will receive it too. But what about the publicity : well I thought I might share the screensaver and the poster that are on the cd.
Here's a picture of the poster :I uploaded them to rapidshare and I also added a wallpaper I created myself, putting together some of the material from the presentations. Here it is :I actually made two versions of it, one with and one without the text. The quality in the zip file is better than the one presented here.
If you have trouble downloading it, just let me know and we'll find a way to get it to you.

It's been said time and again. We have a great platform but we don't make enough efforts to get the message out to the rest of the world. Well, here's your chance. No one can stop you now : make some publicity for the z10 !

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

System z Price Action

There were lots of other announcements last week and I intend to come back on some of them. Here's a first one : Price Action - Selected System z Products (ZA08-1023).
This one's only for z9 BC customers. But where the term 'price action' is often indicating an increasing price this is actually a price decrease for the 8GB to 64GB memory features. So if you received an offer for a z9 BC or a z9 BC memory upgrade before February 26, 2008, you might want to ask for an update.