Friday, June 25, 2010

Two white papers on DS8700 and Easy Tier

I wanted to mention these two documents in one post as they are sort of related. The second one however didn't show up on Techdocs until last week.

The first one is titled 'IBM DS8000 Storage Virtualization Overview Including Storage Pool Striping, Thin Provisioning, Easy Tier' and it was already published in 2009. But, now it's been largely enhanced covering subjects like Storage Pool Striping function, Thin Provisioning facility, Quick Initialization function, Easy Tier facility. It really gives you a great introduction and lots of practical information on all of these topics. And do not immediately associate Easy Tier with SSD only. You can also already do great stuff with the Manual Mode.

The second one is 'IBM System Storage DS8700 Performance with Easy Tier'. As you can see, this is specifically concentrating on Easy Tier (unfortunately DS8700 only). It discusses performance with automatic and with manual Easy Tier modes. And it also discusses the use of the Storage Tier Advisor Tool. So, you can already ask yourself the 'What If' question : what if I had SSD installed. What would be the performance boost for me ?

So, two documents definitely worth checking out if you're even only remotely interested in Easy Tier. And while I was browsing through Techdocs, I also found this presentation on Easy Tier which was only added last Tuesday : 'Accelerate with ATS: Easy Tier Webinar'. No audio for the moment, but it will perhaps be added in the coming days.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Reblogging on DB2, zIIP and XIV GUI

I thought I had come up with a new word, when I thought of reblogging. People who are familiar with Twitter, know you can retweet a tweet (message) some one else put on Twitter. I'm just trying not to be too obscure for non-twitter-ers. In fact, you just repeat a message by some one else because you think it might be interesting for your own followers. And if there's some space left, you can even add some comments.

So today I came across a couple of tweets referring to blog posts. As I really liked the blog posts, I retweeted those tweets, but then I thought, wouldn't it be great if I could also reblog the blog posts, referring to the original poster and adding some comments. I'm hoping this doesn't look to much like speech therapy or a poetic alliteration effort for people not familiar with these terms, but do read on, there's following some more familiar content.

So, it turns out that reblogging already exists and you can e.g. use it in between wordpress blogs. It's not supported between several types of blogs. So, here I go, the oldfashioned way.

The first blog post I want to mention is by Willie Favero : 'Improved zIIP redirect'. Willie tells about an APAR on DB2. It should allow you to improve the redirection of DRDA workload over TCP/IP to the zIIP from some 45%-50% to about 60%. If that ain't worth a reblog ?! Just go over there to read all the details. By the way, Willie will also be presenting at the Total Solutions Event in September at the IBM Forum in Brussels.

The second blog post is from Anthony Vandewerdt who works for IBM Australia as a Storage Solutions Specialist and who has a blog on System Storage. His post is about XIV : 'Even more praise for the XIV GUI'. It just gives you another illustration of how easy and how intuitive the User Interface for XIV is. And of how easily you can obtain status information from about any component in the machine, up to the fans. You'll also see that you can download the GUI, even if you don't have an XIV ... yet. So, just give it a try, you'll like it !

By the way, I won't be posting again before the end of next week. The children are doing their last exam today and tomorrow we're off to the city of angels and demons visiting my brother for an extended weekend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New DB2 10 for z/OS Beta White Paper

"Every new software version or release requires more CPU consumption, hence more costs", is what we hear all too often at every customer site. Unfortunately, this is very often the case. So, I hope (for IBM) that they will really be able to deliver on their promise they make for DB2 10 : "Reduce costs with improved performance". If I may quote the late Robert Palmer on this : "The best of both worlds" !

Here's a new White paper about DB2 10 by Dave Beulke, "an internationally recognized DB2 consultant" : 'IBM DB2 10 for z/OS beta Reduce costs with improved performance'. I'll give you just a little teaser :
"DB2 10 leverages the recent advances in chip technology, storage devices and memory capacities through its extensive exploitation of System z 64-bit architecture to reduce CPU requirements, improve performance, and potentially dramatically reduce the total cost of ownership. DB2 10’s CPU reduction features are welcomed around the world as companies analyze every factor to improve the bottom line.

Initial testing of DB2 10 shows that its many enhancements optimize the run-time environment by reducing CPU consumption by up to 5-20%."
The paper is divided into six sections
Section I – Introduction of db2 10 for z/os
Section II – Performance availability
Section III – Scalability, simplification, security
Section IV - Application enablement
Section V – Data warehousing
Section VI – Reduced total cost of ownership (tco)
As I always say, just check it out !

Friday, June 11, 2010

IBM Mainframe Lifecycle

Here's a nice picture about the IBM Mainframe Lifecycle. I don't think it needs any explanation.

Click on picture to enlarge in new window

You can find the file over here. Thanks to Don Clarke and Francois Lord for this nice document.

By the way, keep in mind that the End of Marketing date for the z9 EC and z9 BC is closing in fast now : June 30, 2010.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Big Iron : The Mainframe Story (so far)

Update : updated the links, the video is nog longer found at the Systems Magazine link

It's always easier to watch a movie than to read some or other white paper or redbook that's trying to convince you of all the fantastic aspects of the mainframe and how every other technology is taking over all these aspects. Well, here it is : the history of mainframe in a 30-minute video. Just go and watch it over here.

A brief summary ?
"CA Mainframe Chorus and IBM Systems Magazine co-present the documentary film that chronicles the mainframe's origins and storied history and glimpses its bright future.
Each chronological segment features events, photos, video, and factoids from Stonehenge and Alan Turing to System/360 and virtualization to z10 and beyond, including conversations and reflections from experts, historians and the people who made (and make), the innovation happen."
Just watch it and spread it across your company. Most of the companies have a portal nowadays. You know, where people go and look at your picture to know who you are. Well, I put a link to this movie up there with the words :
Is the mainframe dead ?
Just not your cup of tea ?
Then just have a look at this video :
It'll give you a good idea of what I've been doing for the last 20 years
... And what every one of us is doing now

Monday, June 7, 2010

Webcast : Get Ready, Set and Go with IBM z/OS 1.11

Mark you agendas for this webcast by Gita Grube Berg and Marna Walle on June 17, 2010 at 11:00 am EDT or 5:00 pm Brussels Time. The message is clear : time to migrate to z/OS 1.11 as z/OS 1.9 will be End of Support by the end of September 2010. The content of the webcast ?

"By attending, you will learn:

  • An overview of the new features and capabilities available with z/OS V1.11 and z/OS Management Facility V1.11
  • Highlights of what functions have been removed since z/OS V1.9, and some important removals in the future to prepare for now
  • Coexistence requirements for z/OS V1.11
  • How to use SMP/E FIXCATs and the IBM Health Checker for z/OS for migration assistance.
  • Selected important migration actions from BCP, DFSMS, zFS, JES2, JES3, and z/OS UNIX."

You can register over here.

If you're already on z/OS 1.11 and looking to the future, you can come and attend the next GSE z/OS working Group in Belgium, next Wednesday June 16, 2010 at RealDolmen in Huizingen. Jean-Paul Goemaere (IBM Belgium) will give a Preview on z/OS 1.12. You can always take a look afterwards for a download of the presentation at the gsezos website. Other topics next Wednesday are The Basics of GRS : An overview of GRS ENQ processing, Tivoli for zLinux and IBM Bladecenter for System z fans.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Another zIIP post : VTFM

This skipped my attention too, but apparantly VTFM (Virtual Tape Facility for Mainframe Systems) is now also supporting zIIP "for most of its workload". I won't blame you if you don't know the product. Actually, I wrote about it once before at the end of 2008. It came into the hands of IBM when IBM took over Dilligent. The de-duplication technology has gotten al lot of attention since, but VTFM stayed in the catalogue as well. You can best compare it with CA-VTape. Both are softwares running on z/OS acting as a virtual tape library.

CA-VTape was one of the first ISV softwares to offer zIIP support and the customers I know using it are quite satisfied with the offload it realizes to zIIP. So let's hope that the promise of VTFM to also offload "most of its workload" to zIIP proves to be true.

You can find all necessery information to implement the zIIP support via this APAR PM06523.