Thursday, August 28, 2008

Saving money with the zIIP - a sequel

Some time ago I tried to give a summary of ISVs using zIIPs and/or zAAPs in my post 'Saving money with the zIIP'. The ones I found at that moment were : Phoenix Software, Neon Enterprise Software, Computer Associates and Syncsort for z/OS. Follow the links, some are different than the ones before and give interesting additional information.

Why the sequel ? Well I told you I thought there would be more out there. So I was contacted by Greg Stasko of Datadirect Technologies who pointed out to me they too “have begun providing zIIP and zAAP support in the Shadow RTE product”. here's an introduction to the DataDirect Shadow/z products : DataDirect : A single Unified Mainframe Integration Architecture. A little quote : "Shadow 7 opens the zIIP to additional workloads beyond DB2, including mainframe data queries to IMS, VSAM, Adabas and IDMS, as well as SOAP/XML parsing for the transformation of business logic and screen logic (CICS, IMS, Natural, IDMS) into Web services".

Cheryl Watson also intends to make up a list of ISVs using zIIPs and zAAPs. I'll keep you informed when it's published.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New frames for the TS3500

Yesterday IBM made an announcement of two new, driveless frames for the TS3500 or 3584 Tape Library : 'New IBM System Storage TS3500 Tape Library Models S24 and S54 support higher density' (ZG08-0632). These driveless frames offer a higher density and therefore a higher capacity per frame. For the LTO frames there's the S54 frame with up to 1.320 slots offering a 3:1 increase in capacity. Replacing a model D23 by a S24 gives you a 2,5:1 increase with up to a thousand slots instead of 400. 600 slots are ready for use and you need an additional HD (High Density) CoD (Capacity on Demand) feature in order to use the next 400 slots.

Now don't think you can have up to 15.000 slots with all S24 frames. Apparantly it's limited to six frames and the maximum slots is 6.887 slots. I'm not exactly sure how this number is reached and I can't find much additional information for the moment.

The structure seems to be a tiered architecture. Up to now a cartridge cell only contained one cartridge. These cells are 'tiered' and can contain more than one cartridge. How this is actually operated in the TS3500, I'm not sure for the moment, but I guess pretty soon, more information will be coming our way about this.

Planned availability : November 7, 2008 (some additional features will be later).

Monday, August 25, 2008

The New Face of CICS

Here's another announcement from IBM for a product that should come available in Q4 2008 : 'Statement of direction: IBM CICS Explorer, the new face of CICS (ZA08-0185). The function should first become available to current releases of CICS TS as a SupportPac. It should become the new face of CICS or "Integration point for CICS tooling with rich CICS views, data, methods". You can find a brief description of it on the CICS Explorer page :
  • Common, intuitive, Eclipse-based environment for architects, developers, administrators, system programmers, and operators
  • Task-oriented views provide integrated access to broad range of data and control capabilities
  • Powerful, context-sensitive resource editors
  • Also packaged with Rational Developer for System z
  • Integration point for CICS TS, CICS Tools, CICS TG, PD Tools, and Rational Tools
  • Extensible by ISVs, SIs, and customers
  • CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V3.1, V3.2. CICSPlex SM WUI server required for CICS resource views
Of course also The Master Terminal mentions this and there's a reference to the CICS Portfolio e-newsletter.

There's a Webcast on November 5, 2008 at 11am EST or 5pm in Brussels.
You can register over here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

IBM Operating System Announcements

There had been some previews of e.g. z/OS 1.10 and z/VSE 4.2, but here are the actual announcements of the new releases of the three operating systems. As the announcements were already made 2 weeks ago, I'm just going to give you a quick update summary.

First we have z/OS V1.10 : 'IBM z/OS V1.10 offers new scalability, performance, availability, economics, and solutions for enterprise information' (ZP08-0337).
Some of the new capabilities :
  • Storage scalability. Extended Address Volumes (EAVs) enable you to define volumes as large as 223 GB
  • Application and data serving scalability. Up to 64 engines, up to 1.5 TB per server with up to 1.0 TB of real memory per LPAR, and support for large (1 MB) pages on the z10 EC.
  • Low-cost, high-availability disk solution. The Basic HyperSwap capability (enabled by TotalStorage® Productivity Center for Replication Basic Edition for System z)
  • Improved management of temporary processor capacity. A new Capacity Provisioning Manager available on z/OS V1.10, and available on z/OS V1.9 with PTF UA39307, can monitor z/OS systems on z10 EC servers. Activation and deactivation of temporary capacity can be suggested or performed automatically based on user-defined schedules and workload criteria.
  • Improved productivity. z/OS V1.10 provides improvements in or new capabilities for: simplifying diagnosis and problem determination; expanded Health Check Services; network and security management; automatic dump and re-IPL capability; as well as overall z/OS, I/O configuration, sysplex, and storage operations.
Planned availability is September 26, 2008. Take care : if you're still on z/OS 1.7, be sure to order z/OS 1.9 before it's too late, because you cannot go from z/OS 1.7 to z/OS 1.10. And if you're not migrating before september there's a Lifecycle Extension Announcement for z/OS 1.7 (ZA08-0162). It's a fee-based offering providing a corrective service for up to 2 years starting with October 1, 2008.

Then there's z/VM V5.4 : 'IBM z/VM V5.4 - Extending virtualization technology for System z' (ZP08-0349).
The highlights :
  • Increased flexibility with support for new z/VM-mode logical partitions
  • Enhanced physical connectivity by exploiting all OSA-Express3 ports
  • Usability enhancements for network management
  • Creation of LDAP change log entries by the RACF® Security Server to update RACF group and user profiles
  • Dynamic addition of memory to an active z/VM LPAR by exploiting the System ztm dynamic-storage-reconfiguration capabilities
  • Capability to install Linux® on System z from the HMC on a System z10 without requiring an external network setup
  • Enhancements for scalability and constraint relief
  • Operation of the SSL server in a CMS environment
  • Systems management enhancements for Linux and other virtual images
Planned availability is September 12, 2008.

Finally there's z/VSE V4.2 : 'IBM z/VSE Version 4 Release 2 is generally available to help enable growth' (ZP08-0350).
The highlights :
  • Scalability enhancements
    • Up to 512 VSE tasks (two times the 255 limit in z/VSE V4.1)
    • Up to 32 GB of processor storage (four times the 8 GB supported by z/VSE V4.1)
    • Parallel Access Volume (PAV) feature of IBM System Storage DS8000 and DS6000 series
  • Security enhancements
    • Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) sign-on support using a new z/VSE LDAP client
    • IBM System z10 extensions to CP Assist for Cryptographic Function (CPACF)
    • IBM System Storage TS1120 're-keying' function
    • Basic Security Manager (BSM) improvements
    • Encryption Facility for z/VSE V1.1 as an optional priced feature
  • Enhanced storage options
    • IBM System Storage SAN Volume Controller (SVC) access to FCP-attached SCSI disks
    • IBM System Storage TS3400 Tape Library and TS7700 Virtualization Enginetm Release 1.4
Planned availability is October 17, 2008.

As I've already said, there have been lots of announcements in August, so I'll be back with some other in one of my next posts.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

DS8000 Announcements

There have been a couple of announcements concerning the DS8000. First of all there's the predictable withdrawal of the 73GB 15.000 rpm disks (ZG08-0743). The withdrawal will be effective March 27, 2009.They are replaced by 146GB disks.

On the other end of the scale, there's the new 450 GB 15.000 rpm Fibre Channel Disk Drives with the following announcement : 'IBM System Storage DS8000 series delivers new flexibility and data protection options' (ZG08-0394 for the 242x series, ZG08-0369 for the 2107).
Here's an overview of the new features :
  • RAID-6: Allows for additional fault tolerance by using a second independent distributed parity scheme (dual parity).
  • 450 GB 15,000 rpm Fibre Channel Disk Drive - Provides additional capacity and another price/performance option for transaction processing workloads
  • Variable LPAR: Provides the ability for Dual DS8000 images where one image has more processor and cache than the other for increased flexibility.
  • Extended Address Volumes: Extends the addressing capability of System ztm environments to support volumes that can scale up to approximately 223 GB (262,668 cylinders). This capability can help relieve address constraints to support large storage capacity needs.
  • IPv6: The IBM System Storage DS8000 has been certified as meeting the requirements of the IPv6 Ready Logo program, indicating its implementation of IPv6 mandatory core protocols and the ability to interoperate with other IPv6 implementations.
Extended Address Volumes had already been previewed, so what jumps most to my attention is Raid-6 and Variable LPAR. The RAID-6 capability requires new device adapter cards, but there's some good news : "For DS8000 machines already installed, a feature conversion to the new device adapter cards will be available at no additional charge". Variable LPAR adds a 25/75 percent split to the former 50/50 percent split.

IBM also mentions the intention to provide 1 TB 7,200 RPM SATA disk drives at the beginning of 2009.

The Data Sheet has also been updated.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Komkommertijd ?

Well, I'm back and if you wonder what the title of this post means : I always thought the summertime was a quiet season. In Dutch we call this period 'komkommertijd', literally translated 'cucumber time'. The correct English term seems to be 'silly season'. Nothing much happens and the silliest news items, which would never stand a chance otherwise, seem to pop up, as there's nothing else happening. But apparantly not so at IBM : I've been out of the running for four weeks and the IBM announcements seem to have piled up : z/OS 1.10, z/VM 5.4, z/VSE 4.2, new DS8000 functions etc. So I'll try to give an overview in my next posts and I'll also try and catch up on some other interesting items and publications. As for now : "back to life, back to reality".