Thursday, October 22, 2009

IBM Announcement : z10 EC GA3 and z10 BC GA2

As I told you in my last post, IBM made a huge amount of announcements last Tuesday. Here's a first one on improvements for the z10 : 'IBM System z10 - Delivering security-rich offerings to protect your data (ZG09-0798)'. In the past, we sometimes saw huge amounts of new features at a new GA, but this time I think it's rather limited. Still, there are some interesting new things. I'll give you three of them. You can explore the rest of them in the announcement itself. It's a.o. about STP Enhancements and z/OS Alerts for error conditions, HMC/SE Digitally Signed Firmware . . .
  • Next generation of cryptographic feature with new Crypto-Express3 card
    I'm not that familiar with encryption and stuff, so I'm not going to divert on the new functions. But I do want to mention a statement of direction regarding Crypto-Express2 : "The IBM System z10 EC and z10 BC will be the last servers to offer Crypto Express2 (#0863) as a feature, either as part of a new-build order, or carried forward on an upgrade".
  • Capacity for Planned Events (CPE) enhancement
    As you know 'Capacity for Planned Events' was announced along with the z10 and functions as a kind of equivalent to CBU for planned events. Up to now you could turn on the full available capacity for the machine for a three-day planned period. Now you are able to limit this to the capacity you actually need and this should imply a cost reduction for your CPE activation.
  • Configuration flexibility for OSA-ICC cards
    "You can now exploit the four ports on an OSA-Express3 1000BASE-T Ethernet feature on the z10 EC and z10 BC, or the two ports on an OSA-Express3-2P 1000BASE-T on a z10 BC, when defining the feature as an Integrated Console Controller (OSA-ICC)" with CHPID type OSC. This means e.g. on a four-port card there are two PCI-E adapters with each two ports. But until now you lost one of the two ports when defining one of them with CHPID type OSC. This limitation has now been removed !
There's one other Statement of Direction I would like to mention : "On future System z servers, IBM intends to support optional overhead cabling. (...). Overhead cabling is designed to provide an additional option and increased flexibility, to help remove floor hazards in a non-raised-floor environment, and to help increase air flow in a raised-floor environment".

If you're interested in specific features, watch out for the availability dates. Most of the features, like the Crypto Express3 card, will be available on November 20, 2009. The Improved Capacity for Planned Events options become available on December 31, 2009 and the OSA multi-port support for CHPID type OSC is scheduled somewhere in the first quarter of 2010.

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