Thursday, March 10, 2011

Preview z/OS 1.13 and z/OSMF 1.13

How interesting are previews ?

I sometimes wonder whether it's a blessing or a punishment when you have to do a presentation on a new z/OS release. It's one of those obligatory things that pop up from time to time at events and you know most of the clients are two or three releases back, they're still implementing version n-2 and don't give a damn about what's new in one of those future releases. Yeah, more functionalities they won't need and surely once again more CPU consumption. Well, we discussed the latter already a couple of times, so I'll skip that one for now. But how about blogging about it, isn't that pretty much the same pain in the neck ? Well I must admit I tend to do some copy/paste work because you at least have to mention it, no ?

Still, I think this time it's a bit different. I wanted to do a short issue on z/OS 1.13 and the according z/OSMF for our next newsletter. But I ended up with a three page article. The (very short) exec summary ? You really should start giving z/OSMF a chance, if you haven't done this so far. It's getting nicer every time. Oh, and as it's an exec summary I should of course add : and it will save you money. For those of you who get the newsletter, it's coming out next week and what I'm going to tell from here on also appears in our newsletter.

So, the preview announcement was already a couple of weeks back : 'Preview: z/OS Version 1 Release 13 and z/OS Management Facility Version 1 Release 13 are planned to offer new availability, batch programming, and usability functions (ZP11-0011)'. Availability will be september 2011. And before I continue : this is a preview, things may change until actual announcement.

z/OS 1.13

Let's first have a look at z/OS 1.13 itself or at least at a couple of the new things. One of them is a new base component, the z/OS Batch Runtime environment. Batch on System z (and particularly with Cobol) remains mission critical to lots of enterprises. On the other hand, a real batch window seems to be more and more a thing of the past. Enters the z/OS Batch Runtime environment. This component provides the framework for Java-to-COBOL interoperability, for transactional updates to DB2, and for sharing database connections between Java and COBOL. In other words, it will "enable COBOL and Java to interoperate for DB2 with transactional integrity so you can enhance and extend existing COBOL batch application programs using Java".

Next to that there are also some JES2 JCL enhancements designed to make programming JCL easier and give you more performance and more control of your batch applications. Two examples :
  • "Support is planned to allow jobs for which journaling is used to be stopped after a currently running step has finished and held for restart in the following step. This is intended to allow less-disruptive system shutdowns.
  • Support is planned for job return codes. This support will be designed to allow you to specify that the job return code be set to the highest return code encountered by any step, the last step, or a specified step in the job. This will help make it simpler to interpret the results of job execution"
There's a lot more of course, but something about ISPF caught my eye because as far as I remember this is something that's always been there in Xedit :
"ISPF is planned to provide support for : Line command level Edit macros, in addition to the existing Edit macro support. This new design is intended to allow you to write macros to be used as line commands, in addition to those you might have already written for use as Edit primary or initial processing commands."
OK, I must admit, when I say 'always', my professional memory does only go back for about a good 20 years.

z/OSMF 1.13 : a small recap

Click on image for larger version in new window

z/OSMF was first introduced together with z/OS 1.11 as a uniform management 'platform' for z/OS system engineers. Usually they have to go through lots of different interfaces for different tasks and this means losing time for experienced system engineers and a high learning curve for new people. z/OSMF has the advantage over former wizzards and stuff that it is really executing on the mainframe. So, people were a bit hesitant, reluctant in the beginning about using it or not and many decided not to use it. Well, I see some change coming and people are reconsidering their choices. And I think they should and z/OSMF 1.13 will only further encourage them to do so. Anyone willing to share their experiences with z/OSMF, I'll be glad to hear from them.

I'll just highlight the three most interesting functionalities that will be added in z/OSMF 1.13 : Software Deployment, Storage DASD Management and Capacity Provisioning. Some are just a start, but they indicate which direction z/OSMF intends to go and this only looks more promising.

z/OSMF 1.13 : Software Deployment

The "software deployment function is designed to provide the functions needed to create and deploy a copy, or clone, of an existing SMP/E-installed software image, including IBM software installed using ServerPac, CBPDO, or fee-based installation offerings, as well as ISV or customer software". Some possibilities :
  • Identify, modify, delete software instances
  • Generate jobs to copy a software instance
  • Verify cross-system and cross-product requisites, verify fixes
  • Copy ALL parts of the software
  • Copy the inventory (SMP/E CSI) along with the software
  • Help identify actions including catalog, configuration, and security updates
It's able to clone software
  • Locally, either on a single system or system-to-system within a sysplex
  • Remotely, system-to-system across a network, even multiple sysplexes
Worth a try ? I do think so !

z/OSMF 1.13 : Storage DASD Management

This looks like a first step for easier DASD Management : it's "a new, simplified process for adding capacity to SMS pool storage groups" via z/OSMF. For this the concept of reserve storage pools is introduced : it refers to containers of pre-defined available volumes. A reserve storage pool refers to a group of volumes which are available for future use. The reserve storage pool resource is designed to replace the need for a storage administrator to manually maintain a list of defined but unused volumes.

With the Storage Management task, users can:
  • Discover reserve storage pools which exist in the current system
  • List volumes in a reserve storage pool
  • Add volumes to a reserve storage pool
  • Maintain metadata for reserve storage pools
Worth a try ? I do think so !

z/OSMF : Capacity Provisioning

I won't go into much detail on On/Off Capacity on Demand (OOCoD), the Capacity Provisioning Manager (CPM) and the stand alone workstation based Capacity Provisioning Control Center (CPCC). There are several possibilities for the CPM that go from warning you about extra resources that are needed up to adding the resources automatically based on predefined schedules or workload requirements. To manage this you need the CPCC tool which runs on windows.

For the moment the "Capacity Provisioning Manager application" on z/OSMF "is designed to support easier monitoring of z/OS Capacity Provisioning Manager (CPM) status. This capability can simplify the work of a z/OS Capacity Provisioning administrator and provides functionality to monitor connections and to view reports for domains, configurations, and policies. Capacity Provisioning Control Center is planned to continue to be available as a separate Microsoft Windows-based stand-alone client". But I have a slight suspicion that we'll see all those components integrated in a future release.

Worth a try ? I do think so !

I can only conclude by saying : the people having to talk about this z/OS 1/13 and z/OSMF 1.13 preview will surely have some interesting material to talk about. So, for our Belgian customers, come and listen to Jan Tits next Wednesday on March 16, 2011 at the GSE z/OS Working Group meeting at the RealDolmen site in Huizingen.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

When using zosmf, Can we create TTLS policy for a existing TCPIP stack ?