Friday, June 27, 2008

Short Takes June 2008

It's been more than a week since my last post, but there's a good explanation for that : working for an IBM BP, end of Q2, need I say more ?
So, I've had little time to catch up on anything, but here are some short messages.
  • You've all been warned : DB2 V7 is out of support next Monday. Willie Favero also mentions this and draws our attention to the fact that DB2 V8 is already on the market for more than 4 years. So, you really should be starting to think DB2 9 which also is already out there for more than a year now
  • Up to now I failed to write anything on a great new initiative by Bob Thomas : Mainframe Executive. You might call it zJournal for CIOs and IT Managers. On the one hand, there are regular WebFlashes, which are accumulated in some kind of blog over here. Just browse through recent entries, there's some great stuff over there like e.g. '15 Reasons to stay on the mainframe'. On the other hand, there's the Mainframe Executive Magazine with lots of articles and columns. You can subscribe to both over here.
  • By the way, there's a new issue of zJournal too, with an interesting article on 'Mainframe Tape Technology : Myths and Realities' and many others of course.
  • I also found the time to update the Agenda of Upcoming Events in Belgium and I'd like to mention one event in particular : once again there's another 5-day Introduction to z/OS and the System z Mainframe Environment at the IBM Forum in Brussels. This free Proof of Technology gives a great introduction for people who are relatively new to the mainframe. If you're interested, you can find all information and subscribe over here.
Well, that's it for now. I guess it will turn a bit more quiet from now on and people will start going on holiday. I'm still around for a couple of weeks, though.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dolmen System z Newsletter N° 10

Well, time really flies. We started out with our System z Newsletter some three years ago and we've reached our tenth issue this week. As we target the Belgian market, those who read Dutch or French can find this and previous newsletters on the Dolmen Website : Dutch version and French Version.
Main topics are : Basic HyperSwap for z/OS and the update on the zIIP usage by ISVs I also discussed in an earlier post. Furthermore there's the usual recurring stuff like EOS dates of some IBM softwares, a summary of recent announcements, some hints and tips, EOS dates of operating systems and an agenda.
Enjoy the reading. Or perhaps I should say 'Veel leesplezier' and 'Bonne lecture' !

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Red Alert : DB2 for z/OS V8 and V9 potential loss of data

I hope it's just my impression but are the Red Alerts coming faster the last couple of months ? The full title of this one goes : 'DB2 for z/OS V8 and V9 potential loss of data during update of fixed length rows'.

The description :
A defect was introduced by APAR PK63401. If either PTF UK35464 or UK35465 is applied, then a potential loss of data can occur in a DB2 V8 or DB2 V9 environment. The loss may occur in a fixed length row update where the length of updated data is greater than 256 bytes. A fixed length table is one that does not contain any VARCHAR, LONG VARCHAR or ROWID columns.The exposure exists only if subject table space or partition is not compressed, and no EDIT procedures exists on the table. Apar PK66997 has been created to resolve this problem. Please refer to the APAR text for further details.
Recommended action :
Remove PTFs UK35464 or UK35465 or apply the solution for PK66997.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sampling Techdocs : April - May 2008

Here we go again for our bi-monthly selection of TechDocs documents :

  • Presentation : Implementing TPC for Replication on z/OS and Basic HyperSwap
    We've already talked a few times about Basic HyperSwap. Well, here's an additional, interesting presentation on Basic HyperSwap with the emphasis on TPC-R and how to install and implement it. There's also a Trifold on 'Basic HyperSwap Availability Options'.

  • Technical document : z/OS Positioning Software for the z10 EC Server
    This is such a useful document which is reworked for every new server generation. It describes software and operating system support for the z10. It provides information on the PSP buckets and how to use the Enhanced PSP Tool. Other topics : the change of Hardware memory granularity, new zArchitecture instructions, HiperDispatch, cryptography . . .

  • Technical document : IMS Version 10 Installation and Migration Tips
    Well, just quoting the abstract gives you a good idea about its content : "This document contains planning information for installations migrating to IMS Version 10. It includes a list of prerequisite software and APARs. It describes considerations for compatibility with previous versions of IMS and for use with DB2 and CICS. Migration tasks are explained. Tips for migrating to IMS 10 from either IMS 9 or IMS 8 are provided. The document includes extensive references to other information on IMS Version 10".
  • Flash : z/OS Availability: Blocked Workload Support
    Starting point of this item is a potential threat to application availability. The threat to availability occurs when an address space or enclave (of low importance) is CPU starved while holding a resource needed by other (high importance) transactions.
    The document highlights a new function on z/OS 1.9 called blocked workload support. It is intended to allow small amounts of CPU to be allocated to workloads which are CPU starved in order to prevent this availability problem. It will also be rolled back to z/OS 1.8 and z/OS 1.7.
Well that's it for now. As I always say : just check them out !

Friday, June 6, 2008

DB2 turns 25

As I already told in a previous post I started working with DB2 V2 and I remember DB2 V2.3 vividly as it brought one of its revolutionary changes with the packages. Well, DB2 turns 25 tomorrow as it was first announced on June 7th, 1983. Willie Favero started off a nice series some time ago on the history of DB2. You can find his first post on DB2 V1.1 over here.

And it's pure coincidence, but I can't resist mentioning it. You must know by now, I'm quite a Prince fan and it's also Prince's birthday tomorrow as he turns 50.

I can only say, as the Vulcans do, may they live long and prosper.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

DB2 Accessories Suite for z/OS

yesterday I saw this announcement on DB2 and IMS tools (zp08-0262) that caught my attention. Mainly because it talks about a no-charge suite of DB2 tools called 'DB2 Accessories Suite for z/OS' (5655-R14) I hadn't heard of before. It seems to be a new version of 'Data Studio Administration Console' which up to now only supported health and availability monitoring for DB2 for Linux, UNIX, and Windows V9.5 through a web-based user interface. This has now been extended to DB2 for z/OS, V8 and V9.
What can you do with it ?
  • View selected health and availability information regarding databases and troubleshoot problems using expert recommendations:
    • Monitor the health and availability of databases.
    • Drill down into warnings or alerts for a specific database.
    • Browse alert history.
    • Troubleshoot problems using expert recommendations.
  • View the health of Q replication, troubleshoot problems, and generate reports:
    • View and monitor the health of Q replication configurations.
    • Drill down into the details about the programs, queues, subscriptions, or publications.
    • Generate message, exception, or latency reports.
You need a data collector and agent on z/OS to enable these functions. The Web-based Data Studio Administration Console component is available as a Web-download at

You can find more information on the IBM web site as well.