Thursday, September 30, 2010

Webcast : Taming the Information Explosion with IBM Ssystem Storage

IBM is announcing this Virtual Event on storage for October 7, 2010. The Virtual Center is open at 11.45h a.m. EDT (which is 17.45h CET in Brussels). The presentation + Q&A is at 12.00h a.m. EDT. Afterwards you can meet the experts (online) and at 2.00h p.m. there's the live broadcast of the IBM announcement event from New York on October 7.
I mention it because I guess there will also be some mainframe related content.

What's it all about ? I'm just quoting the announcement of the event :
"Today's IT departments are being asked to meet tomorrow's storage challenges with yesterday's solutions. In this special announcement webcast, an IBM storage executive and a recognized storage analyst will discuss a host of new offerings in our storage portfolio.

You'll learn about innovative technologies that are fully integrated and optimized to help tame the information explosion by improving storage efficiency, reducing cost, and minimizing risk. Our webcast will also include the announcement of a new offering that provides the scalability, manageability and enterprise-level capabilities that meet both your business needs and IT budgets.

  • Increase capacity while reducing complexity with a world-class easy-to-use interface.
  • Improve storage utilization and system availability with integrated software functionality.
  • Reduce space and energy requirements with compact packaging."
Registration over here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fourth Blogoversary

"It's been seven hours and fifteen days" (*) , or perhaps even longer since my last post. I admit, I just stopped. Nothing seemed to be interesting enough to blog about or perhaps I encountered my first writers block !!?? Who will tell ? So, I'm going to make a fresh start.

As you can see, I even missed my fourth blogoversary, but hey, better late than never. I already started out blogging four years ago and it appears that even in the entire company (1800 people) I'm one of the pioneers or at least one the more prolific bloggers. What do you think : not bad for an 'oldfashioned' mainframe guy, no ?

So I'm just going to end this post this with the same words I posted last year (and the year before) : thanks for stopping by from time to time and don't hesitate to leave some comments if you have any kind of remarks.

As Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (from The Simpsons) would say : "Thank you, Come again".

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(*) Yes, a quote from Prince of course. He's coming to Belgium in a couple of weeks, so I couldn't resist that one. My inspiration must be coming back, I guess :-)

Monday, September 13, 2010

IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS V4.1

Here's another July 22 announcement : 'IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS , V4.1 delivers performance improvements and usability enhancements (ZP10-0299)'.

I think this PL/I announcement is a bit exemplary for a 'new' approach by IBM. You know what I mean : every new release or version of a particular software (be it DB2, z/OS or other) gives you more functionality but also demands more resources. IBM wants to get rid of this particular image and is apparently going through great lengths to achieve this. Look at presentations / announcements of z/OS 1.12 or of DB2 10, they both have the same message : they should offer more functionality, still demand less resources.

The same goes for this new PL/I compiler. As you know IBM has added some 100 new instructions on the IBM zEnterprise 196. And the new PL/I compiler is making good use of them. Or, as the announcement states it :
"zEnterprise 196 hardware exploitation has been implemented in the Enterprise PL/I for z/OS compiler through the addition of the ARCHITECTURE(9) option. This option enables the use of new instructions from the load/store-on-condition and the distinct-operands facilities to be exploited in the compiler-generated code. This is designed to provide better performing applications tuned for the zEnterprise 196 server. Additional optimization and tuning help to improve the floating-point performance. These changes can improve the performance of generated code without the need for changes to the source code. A performance improvement of over 3% was observed using code generated by Enterprise PL/I for z/OS Version 4 using ARCH(9) when compared to code generated using the Enterprise PL/I for z/OS V3.9."
IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS V4.1 becomes available on September 24, 2010.

You can find some more information on the IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS page and in the Data Sheet.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No more delivery on 3480 and 3490 tapes

I told you earlier about this, but the date has changed a few months. Last time there was a modification to the z/OS 1.12 preview announcement saying that product delivery on 3480 and 3490 tapes would be discontinued on October 26, 2010. Now there's a specific announcement about this : 'Software withdrawal: Selected media types for IBM programs (ZP10-0263)'.

Effective February 22, 2011, IBM® will withdraw the following tape media types for IBM programs:

  • 3480 Tape Cartridge - compressed format
  • 3480 Tape Cartridge - uncompressed format
  • 3490E Tape Cartridge
People still using these tape formats bought some extra time, but do look out for another solution.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

DS8700 : z/OS Distributed Data Backup

As it's quite busy over here, I have a hard time catching up with everything. It's the first time after my holidays it's taking me so long. I'm still looking at all the announcements on various topics that were issued since July and I'm also behind on my reading of magazines like zJournal, Data Management Magazine, IBM Systems magazine and Hot Topics. I'll keep you informed if, no, as soon as I've come across any useful articles. Of course this could be a good thing : apparently there's lòts of new stuff to be discussed. Or perhaps ... it's me who's getting slow ;-) .

Well, here's a first of the announcements on storage : z/OS Distributed Data Backup on the DS8700. As a picture tells more than words. This is what we know now :

We have multiple separate backup environments/servers for mainframe data and distributed data and data is moving across TCP/IP links. And this is what Distributed Data for Backup is offering us :

The Distributed Data Backup feature makes it possible that you can now take backups of open system volumes with a single mainframe backup server. You see immediately some advantages : traffic now goes over FICON instead of TCP/IP, you no longer need open systems backup servers nor open systems tape systems. You just keep one centralized backup system for mainframe and distributed data. At least one company, which is mentioned in the announcement, can already provide this : Innovation Data Processing with FDRSOS.

Some information :
The feature is available on the DS8700 since August 6, 2010 and you know what : as far as I can figure out for the moment, it's free (just like Easy Tier).