Thursday, March 26, 2009

Red Alert : DB2 9 for z/OS potential data loss following REORG or REBUILD INDEX

I just received this Red Alert : 'DB2 9 for z/OS potential data loss following REORG or REBUILD INDEX in non-data sharing'.

Short description : "Two unrelated defects have been identified that may result in data loss in DB2 9 for z/OS due to the LOG phase of REORG or REBUILD INDEX incorrectly skipping SYSLGRNX entries".
There's a detailed description of the issue when you follow the above link. As usual there's also a recommended action. Do take a look over there if you think you might be involved.

If you want to have en overview of all past Red Alerts, then take a look over here. You can also subscribe on the same page so you'll be notified by mail of any future Red Alert.

The mainframe is responsible for Alien Abductions

This is the slogan on a print advertising which is part of the 'Truth vs Myth' Campaign for the mainframe. There's e.g. also an introductory video on Youtube referring to this campain. The link at the end of the video directs you to the Truth & Myth webpage. There you find some more myths and you can test your knowledge on this topic. Both entertaining and educational.

Here's the video from Youtube :

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

April Teleconferences - Webcasts

Here are some upcoming Teleconferences and Webcasts for the next month :
  • What's new in IMS
    "This presentation reviews the most significant functional enhancements that have been delivered through the service process for IMS 9 and IMS 10".
    When : April 7, 2009 at 3 p.m. GMT or 5 p.m. Brussels time
    Click here for more information and registration.
  • PureXML technology in DB2 9 for z/OS
    How to "directly handle XML data in DB2 with PureXML technology, accelerate application development, develop greater business agility, improve business insight and consolidate system administration"
    When : April 21, 2009 at p.m. GMT or 5 p.m. Brussels time
    Click here for more information and registration.
  • Managing large objects in a DB2 for z/OS environment – tips and techniques
    Topics covered : safely managing DB2 large objects throughout the application lifecycle, methods to create and alter LOB and auxiliary table spaces, navigation of the DB2 catalog, setting up utility jobs, migrating DB2 tables with LOB columns . . .
    When : April 28, 2009 at p.m. GMT or 5 p.m. Brussels time
    Click here for more information and registration.
  • The future of SOA on z/OS built on a smarter foundation of CICS TS V4, WAS V7 and Rational
    "Topics to be covered include composite application development leveraging existing assets and creating new business applications through innovative re-composition, Programming models, Solutions that provide a unified development environment and team infrastructure that promotes collaborative application development"
    When : April 8, 2009 at p.m. GMT or 5 p.m. Brussels time
    Click here for more information and registration.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Softek zDMF 3.2

This is of course the former LDMF product of Softek. IBM now announces an upgrade from zDMF 3.1 to zDMF 3.2 : 'IBM Data Mobility Services - Softek asset license - Softek zDMF enables nondisruptive dataset-level migrations across all vendor storage subsystems (ZS09-0023)'. It's a short announcement. Still, there are some interesting enhancements like e.g. the non-disruptive migration completion for DB2 datasets. here's an overview of the enhancements :
  • Closed data set copy streamlining, helping to enable faster migrations
  • Extent consolidation improvement to provide support across multi-volumes
  • Non-disruptive migration completion for DB2® datasets
  • Pending and schedule divert option, allowing greater user automation
  • Two optional audit trail types to help support regulatory requirements
  • System authorization facility (SAF) authorization implementation for all commands and functions
  • Selective multi-volume extent migration capability when multiple volumes are being migrated

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

IBM Education Assistant

It's always nice to find some replays of presentations on, say, Systems and Servers, Information Management, Lotus software, Rational software, Websphere software and Tivoli software. Well, that's exactly wat Education Assistant has in store for you. Just take a look e.g. at the Systems and Servers part. There are presentations on CICS Transaction Server, CICS Transaction Gateway, Debug Tools for z/OS, z/OS itself and others. For z/OS 1.10, you can e.g. find presenation plus recording of the three part migration presentation of Marna Walle. And there's a lot more.

If you want to switch to the other sections, you find them on the right hand side of the screen. Just click on the link and you get the Education Assistant of that software branch.

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

Thursday, March 12, 2009

RealDolmen System z Newsletter N° 12

The 12th issue of our RealDolmen System z Newsletter for our Belgian customers just got out yesterday. As we target the Belgian market, those who read Dutch or French can find this and previous newsletters on the Dolmen Website : Dutch versions and French Versions.

The main article gives an overview of the new DS8100 announcements and gives an overview of what preceded. 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.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Draft : Parallel Sysplex Operational Scenarios

I remember one of my first posts more than 2 years ago. I really wanted to mention the Redbooks, though I knew every one knows or should know them. What would we do without them ? If not the first, it's definitely one of the first resources you'll turn to when implementing some new technology or software. And you probably all receive the IBM Redbooks Weekly Newsletter.

The latest newsletter mentions a new draft of the Redbook : 'Parallel Sysplex Operational Scenarios' which really is a very helpful document when you start setting up a sysplex. What are the differences between this draft and the original version from 1998. Well, the draft is more elaborate than the original version. The first chapters introducing the sysplex, Sysplex Failure Management, CF Considerations, Couple Data Set and XCF management are similar to the first version. One chapter has gone (Tape sharing operations in a sysplex) and is replaced by the z/OS Health checker. The chapters discussing CICS, DB2 and also IMS are much more elaborate and there are new chapters on Websphere MQ, Resource Recovery Services (RRS) and z/OS Unix.

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

Friday, March 6, 2009

More short takes

Here are some more short notes :
  • Did you know there's a CICS e-newsletter telling you lots of interesting stuff about CICS communication, CICS highlights, CICS events, CICS resources, CICS people, Training and development. I didn't. That's why I mention it now. There are some previous editions over here and you can register over here.
  • Talking about CICS information. I mentioned this before but Andrew Bates has a great newsletter/presentation with lots of CICS Links. The most recent version came out this week and you can find it over here. If you want to receive it personally, you can send Andrew a mail and ask for it.
  • Talking about presentations. When you get a presentation in .pdf format, do you know how to play it as a presentation. Press CTRL+L. Just try it, you'll see.
  • The March/April issue of IBM Systems Magazine is out. I assume the printed version (for US) is very nice, but I must say I just hate the kind of flashy (pun intended) digital version we get presented outside the US. The link's over here. And for those who want to share some mainframe memories, the last page is dedicated to mainframe memories from the good old days. I also liked the article on the 'Performance Toolkit for z/VM'.
  • Will Windows really run on System z ? There's already a buzz on the net about it. Come and see next week, I'd say. Mark Fontecchio e.g. mentions the lecture from Mantissa taking place at Share in Austin where they will present z/VOS, a CMS application, which will support Windows on z/VM. I'll come back on this when we have the facts.
  • For my Dutch speaking readers I would like to make some publicity for another blog I write in my free time. We must admit, though we're mainframe people, we all use PCs nowadays. And it often suprises me that people don't seem to know how to do very simple things with Word, Excel etc. So I'm writing one post a week, giving you all kinds of hints and tips I regulary share with others. Like the CTRL+L tip for .pdf documents I just mentioned. If you understand enough Dutch, just take a look at my 'PC Tip van de Week'.
Well, that's all for this week. Have a nice weekend !

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Short Takes

Here some short messages on publications, events, podcasts . . .
  • If it's not too late. Diane G. Johnson (IBM) reminds me of an event I forgot to mention earlier : The Total Solution Event for System z in Amsterdam next week from March 10, 2009 till March 12, 2009. This is a no charge event for mainframe customers with lots of parallel tracks on DB2, CICS, SOA, IMS, Linux on z, WAS with lots of well-known speakers. You can find more information and register over here. I know there's a program guide but I can't find it online. If you want more information on content, you can contact Patrick Bruinsma (IBM NL).
  • Susan Visser (IBM) blogs about all sorts of publications regarding DB2. She now mentions a very interesting series of podcasts on 'DB2 9 for z/OS pureXML' by Guogen Zhang which you can find over here.
  • Last week, there also was an new issue of zJournal itself with its February-March issue with a Q&A on IMS and SOA, the Exploitation of the Crypto Express2 Accelerator, Introducing Open Solaris for System z and 'How zIIP Processors are Changing the Rules'.
  • Also out today : the z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter. I' ve only had the time to browse through it quickly and it looks like a very promising issue. It starts out with a series of 'memories of a mainframe' starting off with the punch cards. Did you know you still can buy new ones. Other articles 'z/OS support for Solid State Drives on the DS8000', FlashCopy V2, EAV free space information, zFavorites, cutting costs on z/OS with IMS. It closes with '10 Hot Tips for z'. In case you haven't noticed, I just try to lure you into downloading this newsletter. It' s really worth your time. And I just couldn't resist adding this picture :

  • By the way : if you want to see more of these pictures : take a look over here in the IBM mainframe photo album.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Preview : CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V4.1

Last week, IBM also published a preview of CICS TS V4.1 : 'Preview: IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V4.1 will support Event Processing, Web 2.0, and the CICS Explorer (za09-0008)'.

The three major enhancements which are mentioned are :
  • Support for event processing
  • Atom feeds from CICS
  • CICS Explorer
Other important enhancements are grouped around Business Flexibility, Governance and Compliance and IT Simplification.

More information about this preview can be found on the IBM CICS site, the CICS Guy Blog and the I ♥ CICS Facebook page. You can also find some videos on Youtube, next to some other CICS videos.

For those who are eager to start with this release, there will be an Open Beta. You can read all about it on the IBM CICS TS v4.1 Open Beta page. It will become available for download by March 31, 2009. The beta period will stop on July 31, 2009. The code is "designed to stop working at the end of the beta period".

Preview of z/OS V1.11

We all know by now that z/OS is released annually in September and that the n-3 rule has become an n-2 rule. The last three-release step you could take was from z/OS 1.5 to z/OS 1.8. From now on you can only skip one release. People on z/OS 1.8 have to order z/OS 1.10 before September 2009. Actually, it should be installed by then as Z/OS 1.8 will be End of Support in September. From then on only z/OS 1.11 will be available. Next to that, we're also used by now on getting a preview of the new release in February. So here it is : 'Preview: z/OS V1.11 - Smart, adaptive, trusted, efficient (ZA09-0006)'.

I'm not going to go into detail as this would lead us way too far. However, I would like to point out one of the Statements of Directions, which makes me curious . . . once again. There once was the Five Year March to Mainframe Simplification project some 2 to 3 years ago and at the time I was rather sceptic about it. With reason, I guess, as I haven't heard anything about it since. Well, here we go again with a new SOD :
"As part of IBM's commitment to simplify the mainframe environment, IBM intends to introduce the z/OS Management Facility, a separate product which will be designed to enable system programmers to more easily manage and administer a mainframe system by simplifying day to day operations and administration of a z/OS system. The initial release of z/OS Management Facility is planned to provide a problem data management capability which is intended to facilitate problem data management tasks for new or less-skilled system programmers and system administrators."
This seems to be somewhat less ambitious than the previous project, but perhaps just because of this, it might have a better chance in succeeding. Let's give it the benefit of the doubt and just wait and see . . .

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


It was a bit confusing to me : first there was a preview of GDPS V3.6 and only two weeks later there was already the announcement itself : 'IBM GDPS V3.6: Enterprise-wide infrastructure availability and disaster recovery (ZA09-0005)'. This is a very comprehensive matter, so I'll just recapitulate the enhancements you can also find on the IBM GDPS page.

"Improved coordinated disaster recovery across heterogeneous platforms by supporting:

  • Distributed Cluster Management (DCM) support for GDPS/GM
    This is designed to allow the management and coordination of planned and unplanned outages across distributed servers for GDPS/GM together with Veritas Cluster Server managed clusters.
  • GDPS/PPRC Multiplatform Resiliency for System z (xDR) support for LSS Sharing between z/VM LPARs
    This is designed to support mulitple z/VM LPARs sharing the same disk Logical Subsystem with GDPS/PPRC. It also allows multiple z/VM LPARs to share the same disk using the z/VM Cross System Extension (CSE) function.
Increased availability with:
  • Reduced-impact initial copy and resynchronization of Metro Mirror volumes
    This reduces the exposure window where the environment is without Freeze or HyperSwap protection by reducing the need to throttle down the copy process. There is no need to schedule copies to off-shift times to run.
  • Remote Pair FlashCopy support
    This is designed to provide the capability to allow a FlashCopy relationship where the FlashCopy target device is a Metro Mirror primary device. The value of FlashCopy can now be combined with the value of HyperSwap.
  • GDPS/PPRC Timer Support
    This allows the GDPS controlling system (K-sys) to continue processing, even when the server it is running on loses its time source and becomes unsynchronized. The K-sys is will be able to complete any Freeze or HyperSwap processing it may have started instead of being in a disabled WTOR state.
  • Two K-Systems support:
    GDPS/PPRC Multiplatform Resiliency for System z (xDR) allows GDPS to manage Linux guests on z/VM and native Linux on System z LPARs with the same quality of service as for z/OS LPARs. This includes support for HyperSwap for Linux data, and the ability of GDPS to manage Linux and z/VM LPARs, and IPL the Linux and z/VM operating systems. Two controlling system (K-sys) LPARs can now be defined, both with awareness of the non-z/OS environment. The two K-sys support removes the various exposures associated with running with a single K-sys and provides the same level of protection for xDR with two K-sys that z/OS enjoys with two K-sys.

Simplified system management with:

  • New GDPS Health Checks
    Three new GDPS Health Check are being delivered with GDPS 3.6 can be used to inform customers when their configuration differs from IBM-provided best practice values.
  • Query Services
    GDPS V3.6 will introduce a new interface to allow queries on GDPS monitored resources. This is designed to help simplify problem determination."
Not really connected to the announcement, but you might want to check out the FAQ if you have some practical questions concerning GDPS. And I'd also like to remind you I also discussed Basic HyperSwap in our previous System z Newsletter (only Dutch or French).