Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Short takes

I'd scribbled down a couple of ideas for a post, but I think I'll just combine them in one of my 'Short Takes'. It's about IBM announcement links, my colleague at IDUG, a z/VSE Live Virtual Class, Raid 5 and 6 are doomed and a zEnterprise FAQ. Here we go.
  • First of all you might have noticed that the IBM announcement page (Offering Information) has somehow undergone a facelift. Nothing that spectacular, but I also noticed that along with this, all my links in previous posts to IBM announcements are no longer valid. Apparently it's a 'ShowDoc.jsp' that has been replaced by 'ShowDoc.wss' in the link. Damn. Damn. Damn. So, any link to an announcement you click on will be invalid. Fortunately I always include the announcement number. But that's a small comfort. So I might be in for some massive updates. Furthermore, many links in the latest newsletter that was sent out last week will no longer work either.
  • I'm proud to tell you that my colleague from RealDolmen Frederik Engelen will be presenting at the EMEA IDUG conference next November in Prague. Subject is 'A DBA's guide to using TSA' (Tivoli System Automation). He's presenting in room Stella on November 16 from 8.30 am to 9.30 am. Abstract of the presentation : "Tightly integrating DB2 with Tivoli System Automation software, IBM added automatic failover capabilities to the trusted HADR database clustering technology. After a quick refresh on HADR, this session will go more in-depth on the inner workings of TSA and its interaction with DB2 to provide you with what you need to know before introducing this in your environment" If you go and see him, give him my regards !
  • I'm a bit too late with this one, but there was a Z/VSE Live Virtual Class today on 'z/VSE V4.3 Support of four-digit device addresses'. You can find all information about z/VSE Live Virtual Classes over here. And of course there will be a replay of this virutal class.
  • Something completely different : check out this interesting blog post from The Storage Buddhist : '3 TB drives signal the end of RAID 5 / RAID 6'. This has everything to do with the growing size of drives, the growing time to rebuild disks and the conclusion is quite simple : " Either way, the days of RAID5 are just about over and the days of RAID6 are numbered also". Just take a look at it, it leaves me puzzled about this. It's really about making future choices.
  • I've written about FAQs before and I think the zEnterprise FAQ is a very nice one. If some one's asking me a question about zEnterprise I always know the answer immediately. Hey, I'm a presales guy, it's my job. Just kidding. So, if you have a question about zEnterprise that's not directly up your alley, this FAQ is the place to go. Or you can ask me of course !

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

IBM Announcement : some more tape related withdrawals

Today, IBM had another two announcements on withdrawal from marketing of certain tape related products.

From the first announcement 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM System Storage Tape and Media models and selected features - Some replacements available (ZG11-0248)' I mainly retain the witdrawal from marketing of the mainframe related TS1120 Tape Controller Model C06. This becomes effective November 25, 2011 as it's replaced by the recently announced C07 Model.

There's a second announcement focusing on the 3494 Tape Library : 'Hardware withdrawal: Selected features for IBM TotalStorage 3494 Tape Library - No replacements available (ZG11-0264)'. These withdrawals become effective February 24, 2012. As you might expect, no replacements. And to be honest, I assumed most of these features were already withdrawn from marketing. So, they are now.

RealDolmen System z e-zine N° 18

The 18th issue of our RealDolmen System z Newsletter is being sent out today. For the moment only the Dutch version is available. Due to some (holiday) delays the French Version will arrive a bit later.

If you don't receive our system z e-zine yet, you can subscribe over here. If you have subscribed, but for some reason no longer receive it, please let me know.

The main topics of this issue are the z114, the latest storage annoucements and some words on the cooperation between RealDolmen and Sogeti.

As usual there are also some hints, tips, links, an overview of recent announcements, EOS dates of software and operating systems and an agenda for mainly Belgian events.

Enjoy the reading !

Monday, August 22, 2011

IBM Announcement : Withdrawal of the 3953 Library Manager

I guess the title of the announcement says it all : 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM TotalStorage 3953 Library Manager Model L05, select features for IBM TotalStorage 3953 Tape Frame, and select features for IBM Virtualization Engines TS7510, TS7520, and TS7530 - Some replacements available (ZG11-0221)'.

Time goes fast, so I'll try to reconstruct some of the history behind this. The IBM 3494 Tape Library had its built-in library managament functions. When the TS3500 (3584) was introduced for the mainframe at around 2005, it didn't have these library functions. So IBM introduced the 3953 Library Manager with its own frame in which also tape controllers could be built in. It was also used to connect to the TS7700 Virtualization engine. By 2009, the TS7700 could have its own library management functions and did no longer need the 3953. Now, a couple of weeks ago IBM introduced the new 3592 C07 Tape Controller that also has its own library management functionality. So . . . exit the 3953 Library Manager.

This became effective August 9, 2011.

Friday, August 19, 2011

IBM Announcement : System z selected products withdrawals

Effective September 30, 2012, October 31, 2012, November 12, 2012, December 31, 2012, April 30, 2013, and September 30, 2013, IBM will discontinue program services for a whole range of software products : 'Software withdrawal and support discontinuance: IBM System z selected products (ZP11-0341)'.

You should really take a look at this list because one can better be prepared. They will of course also pop up on our System z Newsletter. By the way, the new System z newsletter is coming out next week.

Those that drew my attention were z/OS 1.11 and z/OSMF 1.11 (September 30, 2012), CICS VSE 2.3 (October 31, 2012), IMS 10.1 (November 12, 2012) and z/VSE 4.2.2 (October 31, 2012).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

IBM Announcement : DS8000 withdrawals

My next few posts will cover the announcements that were issued during my holiday.

I'll start with a DS8000 announcements with some withdrawals : 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM System Storage DS8000 series select processor memory and microcode features - No replacements available (ZG11-0209)'.

Summarizing all processor memory for the DS8100 and DS8300 models is withdrawn from marketing, effective November 18, 2011.
Next to that 'Microcode Bundle Family - Release 5.1 Bundle Family' is WDFM for the DS8700 and 'DS8000 Licensed Machine Code - DS8000 LMC R6.0' is WDFM for the DS8800. This is effective October 3, 2011.

Replacements : None.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The History of CICS

So I'm back and I'm starting off with a short post on the history of CICS. You can find a brief survey of all CICS releases and some interesting side information over here. I was seven when CICS was first introduced in 1968. Oddly enough CICS was "not expected to last more than a few years". Support, originally in Palo Alto, was moved to Hursley in 1976 in exchange for PL/I. The first version I got to work with was, if I remember correctly, CICS/VS 1.6 dating from 1983. The most current version is CICS Transaction Server (CICS TS) V4.2.

As I always say, just check it out !

(*) Picture comes from a blog post at The Master Terminal.