Thursday, October 28, 2010

Some z/OS 1.12 documentation

As people are starting to migrate to z/OS 1.12 or are just curious about the new functionalities, I thought I might gather some references here to z/OS 1.12 material. Here we go (in no particular order).
  • z/OS Statements of Direction
    Always interesting to check whether there are some Statements of Direction that might have an impact on your shop in the future.
  • z/OS and z/OSMF articles
    Check out the latest z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter for various articles on z/OS, z/OS migration and z/OSMF. There's more on z/OSMF in this IBM Systems Magazine article by Gita Grube Berg and Anuja Deedwaniya, also highlighting the new functionalities in V1R12.
  • IBM Platform Test
    I just want to mention this site again as it's publishing a test report of every z/OS migration simulating a real-life sysplex environment. It's written from the perspective of the system engineer. They "describe the cross-product and integrated testing that we do" and "share our experiences. In short, if any of our experiences turn out to be painful,
    we tell you how to avoid that pain". The latest publication is still on z/OS 1.11 but I expect to see a publication on a z/OS 1.12 migration by december.
Well, that's it for the moment. I'm not going to post next week as I'm on vacation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

IMS New News events

I came across this wonderful summary by Barbara Klein (IBM IMS Product Manager) on the IMS-L Digest List. So all the credits for this post go to Barbara Klein for gathering this information and letting me 'repost' this :

The IMS Operational Best Practices teleconference playback is available at

There is also an upcoming "A Preview of IMS 12" teleconference on November 15 ready for registration at

There is an article on "Enhancing IMS" in the October IBM Systems Magazine Mainframe Extra at

And watch for the upcoming IMS article in the November IMS Systems Magazine Mainframe Extra, when posted, at

Here are upcoming IMS user group meetings found through or websites specified below:

- October 28 Dutch GSE at
- November 2 IMS Users Group Boston
- November 2-3 UK GSE Northamptonshire at
- November 4 IMS Users Group Hartford
- November 9 IMS Users Group Victoria, British Columbia
- November 11 IMS Users Group Seattle
- November 15 SpDug Spain at
- November 17 IMS User Group Phoenix
- November 18, Belgian GSE at

And these big events for IMS:
- Oct 24-29 IBM Information On Demand 2010 in Las Vegas at
- Nov 8-10 IMS Symposium 2010 Darmstadt, Germany at

Thursday, October 21, 2010

z/VSE 4.3 changes to installation and run-time support for CICS/VSE 2.3

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the announcement of z/VSE 4.3 which will become available November 26, 2010. Now, here's an interesting support page that caught my attention via the twitter account of IBM_CICS and IBMzVSE for those who want to prepare an installation of z/VSE 4.3. If you are running CICS/VSE V2.3 and DL/I you surely have to take a look at this page : 'z/VSE 4.3 changes to installation and run-time support for CICS/VSE 2.3'.

The core of the message :
"If you are currently running CICS/VSE V2.3 and DL/I, you will not be able to do so on z/VSE V4.3. The highest supported z/VSE version and release when running both of these products is z/VSE V4.2.

z/VSE V4.3 also no longer provides product installation support for CICS/VSE V2.3. However, providing that DL/I is not required, IBM will not prohibit you from using CICS/VSE V2.3 with z/VSE V4.3. You will be able to install CICS/VSE V2.3 from an extended base tape supplied with a z/VSE V4.2 or earlier system. Alternatively, the CICS/VSE V2.3 sublibraries will remain in place if a Fast Service Upgrade (FSU) is used to upgrade to z/VSE 4.3. All other z/VSE V4.3 changes will be transparent.

z/VSE-supplied support for a CICS coexistence environment will be removed. However, you will still be able to run CICS/VSE V2.3 and CICS Transaction Server for VSE/ESA (CICS TS) V1.1.1 together on z/VSE V4.3."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Announcement : IBM DB2 10 for z/OS improves efficiency and resiliency

Well, that's what all the publicity for the webcast was about during the last weeks. DB2 10 has been announced today : 'IBM DB2 10 for z/OS improves efficiency and resiliency (ZP10-0486)'. I'm not going into too much detail because you know what to do : just attend the webcast this evening at 5 p.m. Brussels Time to get all the details you want and to ask any questions you'd like to.

The announcement is built around four key areas :

Improved operational efficiency for "out-of-the-box" DB2 CPU savings
Just by REBINDing you should obtain out-of-the-box CPU savings ranging from 5% to 10% for traditional workloads up to 20% for some specific workloads.

Unsurpassed resiliency for business-critical information
"Uniquely integrated technology allows DB2 for z/OS and System z to support your efforts of keeping your business running even when things go wrong or you need to make changes. DB2 10 innovations raise the bar on data resiliency through scalability improvements and fewer outages. This release delivers the ability to support up to five to ten times more concurrent active users in a single DB2 subsystem than in DB2 9 (...)"

Rapid application and warehouse deployment for business growth
"Business intelligence (BI) and analytics are more mission-critical than ever as demand for real-time data analysis on operational data increases. DB2 10 delivers significant capabilities to support this need, with better performance and CPU reductions, allowing you to manage and maintain your data in a single platform infrastructure with single audit and security processes, most importantly, which will allow users to obtain a consistent answer based on your core operational data maintained in a centralized location."

Enhanced business analytics and data visualization solutions with QMF
"Query Management Facility™ (QMF) Version 10 allows you to do more with your existing QMF investment than ever before. New analytic and mathematical functions and OLAP support dramatically enhance QMF's ability to deliver new function to business users -- an important option for BI and analytics usage. Providing access to many more data sources via JDBC opens QMF to a wider array of information that can be combined with QMF's known and trusted support for DB2 within the same report."

Prerequisites : you have to be on z/OS v1.10 and it runs on all z/Architecture.

General availability is October 22, 2010.

Some additional comments :

Migration from db2 V8 is also possible, but you might want to read the comments from Willie Favero about this on his blog.

Some related announcements :
'IBM DB2 10 for z/OS Value Unit Edition improves efficiency and resiliency (ZP10-0487)'
'IBM DB2 : New tools help you better manage your environment (ZP10-0349)'

Do attend the webcast in a couple of hours !

Monday, October 18, 2010

Did I miss something

Content removed as kindly requested by Connie K. Beuselinck (IBM System z Hardware Product Planning)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Webcast : DB2 10 for z/OS: Savings right out of the box

I already told you a similar story when I discussed PL/I for z/OS V4.1. And the title of this webcast on DB2 10 is telling you exactly the same message : they both offer more functionalities but at the same time they should consume less resources.

This webcast should give you some good insights on DB2 10 :

"In this session, you’ll learn how DB2 10 for z/OS delivers:

There is also a DB2 10 Beta customer telling his story and there's - what should be - a very interesting Q&A session with some of the most famous DB2 names around.

The Webcast is on Tuesday October 19, 2010, will take about an hour and a half and starts at 5 p.m. CET (Brussels). You can register over here.
You can find more details on Willie Favero's blog. And if you already want to have a better idea of some of the topics that will no doubt be discussed, you can have a look at this z/Journal article : 'Top-10 Features of DB2 10 for z/OS: A Preview'.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Hardware withdrawal: IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX) Model 001 (2458-001)

I guess this is the first product I know of that's already end of marketing before its Planned Availability Date. The zEnterprise Bladecenter Extension Model 001 for z10 was announced along with the zBX for zEnterprise on July 22, 2010. It was to become available on December 17, 2010.

But now it's already been withdrawn. So, in short this means : no zBX for the z10. You can find the reason for this in the announcement : 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension (zBX) Model 001 (2458-001) (ZG10-0397)'.
"Based on the positive feedback surrounding the zEnterprise System launch, IBM has decided to focus on the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer for DB2® for z/OS® with zEnterprise 196 and Unified Resource Manager on the zBX Model 002. This will help clients to simplify and accelerate their time to value using a single approach and focusing on the latest technologies. As a result IBM is withdrawing the zBX Model 001 for System z10®, previously announced on July 22, 2010".
By the way, you might want to view the .pdf of the announcement as the (European) announcement itself is rather illegible.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sampling Techdocs : May 2010 - September 2010

Here we are with some new documents from TechDocs I recently came across or found while browsing through the latest publications.
  • Presentation : A System Programmer Productivity Tool Bag
    Once in a while I just have to mention this one. These presentations from Bette Brody, which are updated regularly are "designed to point to and describe various information to assist in planning, aid in finding pertinent information, tools which are available to make a systems programmer job a bit easier". You will see that the most recent one is from Boston.

  • Presentation : IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer for DB2 for z/OS , V1.1 Beta Experiences
    This is another Share presentation which gives you some insight on how the Smart Analytics optimizer works and it gives lots of information on the implementation "with query workloads constructed to explore query offload, data mart definition, data mart loading, and offloaded query performance" . If you're interested in the ISAOpt, do take a look at this presentation.

  • Technical document : z/OS Positioning Software for the zEnterprise (z196) Server
    This is another 'evergreen' also by Bette Brody which has now been reworked for the zEnterprise. It gives you lots of information on supported Operating Systems, migration considerations, PSP Buckets . . . It also indicates what's supported by which z/OS release plus a lot of other information.
  • Presentation: Accelerate with ATS: Easy Tier Webinar
    This is a presentation (with audio) explaining how Easy Tier works, what benefits you can get from it, how the automatic mode works, how you can use the Storage Tier Advisor Tool and it also very briefly discusses the Manual Mode.
  • FAQ DS8000 : What is the difference between the SW and LW laser transceivers ?
    If you ever wanted to know exactly what's the difference between the two, then just read this FAQ. I warn you, it goes into such detail, I lost track at the third page (first page is the title, second page is the contents). And if you get through the entire document, I've got a suspicion you already knew all this stuff before you started reading.
Well that's it for now. As I always say : just check them out !

Friday, October 8, 2010

IMS 12 (QPP) Quality Partnership Program

Here's the first news on IMS 12 with this announcement : 'IBM IMS 12 Transaction and Database Servers (QPP) deliver extremely high performance and availability at very low cost per transaction (ZP10-0404)'. QPP stands for Quality Partnership Program. It indicates that IMS 12 will be shipped to a selection of customers : "December 10, 2010, is the IMS 12 (5635-A03) Quality Partnership Program (QPP) start date. IBM plans to ship IMS 12 to customers already selected as participants in the Quality Partnership Program (QPP) process". So I gather it will still take some months afterwards before we reach General Availability.

Still, the announcements gives us already a lot of news on this new version. Here are the highlights :

"IMS™ 12 Database Manager enhancements

  • Broadened Java and XML support and tools can ease IMS development and access to IMS data.
  • IMS Fast Path Buffer Manager enhancements utilize 64-bit storage to improve availability and overall system performance.
  • Full Function Dynamic Buffer Pool support, centralized repository support, and enhanced commands simplify operations and improve availability.
  • Extended Address Volume (EAV) support, Database Recovery Control (DBRC), Fast Path and Full Function DB enhancements relieve some capacity constraints.

IMS 12 Transaction Manager enhancements

  • IMS Connect (the TCP/IP gateway to IMS transactions, operations, and data) enhancements offer improved IMS flexibility, availability, resilience, and security.
  • Multiple Systems Coupling (MSC) TCP/IP link enhances bandwidth, improving performance.
  • Broadened Java and XML tooling eases IMS application development and connectivity, and enhances IMS web services to assist developers with business transformation.
  • Enhanced commands, Shared Queues Cross-Coupling Facility (XCF), and centralized repository support simplify operations and improve availability."
I'll keep you informed on any further news about this version.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

IBM System Storage DS8800

Today, IBM made quite some storage announcements on the new Midrange Storwize V7000 with Easy Tier and External Virtualization (ZG10-0340, ZG10-0455), the IBM San Volume Controller V.6.1.0 (ZP10-0449), the DS8700 and the new DS8800. I'm going to focus on the DS8000 family here. But if you're interested in the other announcements as well, I can point you to some very good blogs commenting on them : Storage CH Blog, The Storage Buddhist, Barry White's Blog and Tony Pearson's Inside System Storage. And here's a one-page overview.

What's interesting to notice is that IBM is really integrating components of different systems, taking valuable functionalities of one system and implementing them into the other ones. As you already saw, Easy Tier makes its entrance into the midrange systems. Another example : the (very) easy to use management interface of the XIV is now implemented into the Storwize V7000 and the new SVC.

But now on to the DS8800 and some new functionalities on the DS8700. As you might already've guessed : no more announcements for the DS8100 or DS8300. Here's a picture of the new DS8800 (front view with and without cover).

Click on image to enlarge in new window

As a matter of fact, the DS8800 is the fourth generation of the DS8000 which already dates back to 2004. It's built on proven Power technology and IBM clearly indicates that we should expect more versions to come. It seems clear that customers more value performance, reliability and stability rather than whatever new functions or machines come their way. So it's no coincidence that the DS8800 contains for 85% the same system code as the DS8700.

There were four announcements, just like we've seen in the past, one for each warranty type. It starts with the machine type 2421 with the '1' indicating a one-year warranty up to the 2424 with a four-year warranty (ZG10-0328, ZG10-0329, ZG10-0335, ZG120-0330). The model was 941 for the DS8700 and becomes 951 for the DS8800. To make the announcement overview for the DS8800 complete, there's also an announcement on the Function Authorizations (ZG10-0331).

So What's New ?
IBM POWER6+™ based processors
For the moment we stay with the Power6 but the Power6+ version should deliver a sequential read throughput performance improvement of up to 20% and a sequential write throughput performance improvement of up to 40%.

High-density storage enclosure
High-density frame design improvements
Here's one of the main differences with the DS8700. I've put them next to one another here and you can immediately notice some differences.
Click on image to enlarge in new window

The DS8800 supports only small-form-factor 2.5” SAS drives. The drives offer better performance at the same rotational speeds and since they’re smaller than the 3.5” drives, you can have more drives into a frame. We go from 8 megapacks of 16 drives (128 drives) to 10 gigapacks of 24 drives (240 drives) in the base frame. More drives per frame also means less floor space and since we only need three frames to obtain a 1056 drive configuration, we should also have some 30% of energy savings.

Upgraded I/O adapters
The DS8800 model offers enhanced connectivity with four-port and new eight-port Fibre Channel/FICON host adapters.

More efficient airflow
All disks are now situated at the front of the DS8800. This has the advantage that the hot air is no longer coming out at the top of the system (chimney apporach). With its new Front-to-Back airflow it now fits perfectly into the hot-aisle-cold-aisle data center.

Drive support
We no longer see the FC drives and also the SATA drives are no longer offered on the DS8800. As the announcement says : "The DS8800 offers a selection of disk drives, including Serial Attached SCSI second generation drives (SAS-2) that communicate using a 6 Gbps interface. These drives use a 2.5" form factor for increased density and performance per frame". This leaves us with the following drives :
  • 146 GB 15,000 rpm SAS
  • 450 GB 10,000 rpm SAS
  • 600 GB 10,000 rpm SAS
  • 300 GB SSD drive.
Allthough we see the '10,000 rpm' pop up again, the performance figures I've seen so far look nevertheless promising.

Limited availability
We've seen the same with the DS8700 : some functions that are already implemented on the DS8700 will only become available later on the DS8800. A couple of those are :
  • Quick initialization and thin provisioning support
  • Remote Pair FlashCopy support
  • Easy Tier support
  • z/OS distributed data backup support
General Statement of Direction
There's two interesting statements here and I quote : "It is IBM's current plan and direction to release a single version of machine code that can be used with either the DS8700 or the DS8800. Both products will then support the same functionality and have a common machine code base. IBM is also planning to offer an option for 8Gb host adapters within the DS8700 to support increased host server bandwidth". This should become available in the first half of 2011.

Next to that there was also an announcement for the DS8700 : 'IBM System Storage DS8700 offers new performance options (ZG10-0310)'. Main item here is the announcement of 600GB SSD drives.

Check out the availabilty dates because several dates are mentioned starting at October 22, 2010 up to December 10, 2010 for the SSD drives.

Red Alert : Potential data corruption for IMS or DB2 for z/OS

It's been a while since the last Red Alert. Here's a new one :

Potential data corruption for IMS or DB2 for z/OS following rebuild of lock structure in data sharing mode.


During rebuild of a lock structure in a DB2 V8 or DB2 V9 data sharing environment, two problems may occur when locks are being rebuilt asynchronously into the new structure:

  1. The IRLM may incorrectly conclude that the rebuild is complete before all locks have been rebuilt into the new lock structure. This can cause new lock requests to be granted prematurely, resulting in incompatible locks being held across the data sharing group.
  2. The IRLM may ABEND before all locks have been rebuilt. In this case, locks that were not rebuilt in time will be lost and will not be reacquired on restart.

In both cases potential data loss or data corruption may result either during or following the rebuild event.

Since the problem is in IRLM, all versions of IMS may also be affected.

No recent DB2, IMS or IRLM maintenance has affected the possibility of encountering this issue.

The resolution to the above issues will be provided by IRLM APAR PM23662.

Recommended Action:

Install ++APAR for PM23662 which is now available. If possible, avoid rebuild of IRLM lock structures until the solution for PM23662 is applied to all members of the data sharing group. If rebuild of the lock structure is unavoidable, then consider performing the rebuild with a single active member. This would require quiescing all the other members. If data corruption is detected following a lock structure rebuild, quiesce and restart all members of the group to prevent further problems.

Alternatively,for customers planning to do a Rebuild before the ++APAR can be installed on all members of the data sharing group (e.g. CF upgrade or processor upgrade with ICF in the near term), please contact IBM Support for IRLM to determine if a procedural bypass can be provided in your configuration.

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

z/VSE V4.3 - More capacity for growth

There were already two preview announcements of z/VSE 4.3. The first one already in 2009, the second one was on July 22, 2010 along with lots of other announcements, as you undoubtedly know : 'Preview: IBM z/VSE Version 4 Release 3 offers more capacity and IBM zEnterprise exploitation (ZP10-0380)'. Last Tuesday we saw the 'real' announcement of z/VSE 4.3 : 'IBM z/VSE V4.3 - More capacity for growth (ZP10-0402)'.

The highlights :
  • "Exploitation of innovative IBM® zEnterprise 196 and z10™ technology:
    • Ability to dynamically add logical CPs without preplanning.
    • Large page (1 megabyte page) support for data spaces.
    • Fast Path to Linux® on System z® function in a z/VM® mode LPAR.
    • Use of Adjunct Processor-queue adapter-interruption facility for cryptographic operations.
    • Configurable Crypto Express3 for data encryption and SSL acceleration.
  • Virtual storage constraint relief for CICS® TS workload growth and system consolidation.
  • Four-digit device addresses for ease of use and infrastructure simplification in mixed IT environments consisting of z/VSE, z/VM, Linux on System z, and/or z/OS®.
  • IPv6/VSE V1.1, which provides both an IPv6 and IPv4 solution.
  • Networking, security, and auditability enhancements.
  • DOS/VS RPG II support for CICS TS.
  • DL/I VSE V1.12.
  • Enhanced IBM System Storage® options:
    • IBM XIV® Storage System
    • IBM System Storage TS7680 ProtectTIER Deduplication Gateway for System z"
z/VSE 4.3 will be available on November 26, 2010.

It won't hurt to take a closer look at the details. The announcement e.g. also mentions that z/VSE 4.1 is End ofSupport on April 30, 2011. It also indicates which FSUs (Fast Service Upgrades) are possible. And : "CICS/VSE V2.3 will no longer be offered as part of the z/VSE V4.3 package. The CICS coexistence environment including DL/I DOS/VS V1.10 will be removed".

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Price Changes on Selected System z and zSeries Software Program Products

"IBM announces increases in one-time charges (OTC) and associated Subscription and Support (S&S) recurrent license charges (monthly and annually) and on reseller license charges for selected System z and zSeries Software Program Products.
Increased recurrent licence charges will be effective with the billing period that starts on or after January 1, 2011.
The one-time charge price increases are effective January 1, 2011."
This is a European announcement. For Belgium, this means customers will pay 4% more for new OTC softwares and for associated Subscription and Support (S&S) payments.

Here's the announcement including the list with all the Websphere, IMS, DB2 and other IPLA softwares : 'Price Changes on Selected System z and zSeries Software Program Products (ZA10-1052)'.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Total Solution Event for System z 2010 Presentations

I already talked a few times about the Total Solution Event for System z that took place a couple of weeks ago. For those who attended the event and want to have a closer look at some of the presentations or for those who couldn't make it : you can find them all over here.
Or just click on one of the links below. The presentations are put together per track.
You will find some nice introductory presentations on e.g. the new zEnterprise System (track 3) or on the IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer (track 7). But don't forget to check out the z/VSE and Linux tracks too.

And there's more good news. you can already fill out your agendas with the dates of the next Total Solution Event : September 27-28-29, 2011. Ok, ok, I'll remind you of it some time next year.