Thursday, November 17, 2011

Red Alert : Fix for APAR PM51655 is needed on DB2 10 for z/OS data sharing environments

Here's a new Red Alert:

Fix for APAR PM51655 is needed on DB2 10 for z/OS data sharing environments as a prevention of potential data loss

BM has become aware of potential data loss when running data sharing under any mode of DB2 10 for z/OS.

DB2 10 for z/OS takes advantage of a CFCC/XES performance enhancement by allowing repeated READ CASTOUT CLASS requests to the CF to utilize a restart token and retrieve from the queue where the previous read left off . A defect has been identified in this implementation of the enhanced READ CASTOUT CLASS in DB2 10 for z/OS.

APAR PM51655 will revert the DB2 10 behavior of the READ CASTOUT CLASS to the DB2 V9, and prior releases, behavior.

Recommended Actions:

It is strongly encouraged that all DB2 10 for z/OS data sharing customers apply the fix for the APAR PM51655 as soon as possible. The corrective maintenance can be applied incrementally across the members of a data sharing group. A group wide restart is not required.

The ++APAR correction for PM51655 has been placed on the FTP server and will remain there until that time that the DB2 10 for z/OS PTF (UK73864) can be ordered via the normal service delivery channels. Access to the FTP server is as follows:

FTP Server:
Directory: /fromibm/im/
Filename: PM51655.HDBAA10 Note:
The file is binary, not tersed.
Adding a comment : it's not a straightforward link because you first have to login to the ftp server. If you don't remember your userid : anonymous without password works as well.

If you want to have an 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.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tivoli Storage Manager for z/OS Media 6.3

I mentioned this one already in a previous post as part of the October 12 annouInfocncements. So, I thought I'll take a look at the IBM site for some more information on this, but I must say it was a bit disappointing. When you go to the Tivoli Storage Manager page, there's not even a reference to TSM for z/OS Media.

But when you want some more content, there's the InfoCenter with a couple of entries ('What's New' and 'TSM for z/OS Media Overview'). And for those of you who prefer a .pdf there's the 'Installation and Configuration guide' which you can find over here. But if you want a good introduction, you can take a look at this presentation Bart Claeys (IBM Belgium) gave at the Total Solutions Event in September in Brussels. Mind you, it was still a preview at the time, but I haven't found any more recent, public presentations about this.

For the lazy ones, I mean, for those with limited time, let me summarize some of it. The deal was that TSM V6 was never announced for z/OS leaving many people with sometimes quite large investments in FICON attached material like Tape Libraries and Virtualisation Engines in the cold. So you had to convert to another platform that was not able to connect to your FICON attached equipment.

Well now, TSM for z/OS Media is the missing link between both. You can now migrate to V6 but you can still write your data via z/OS to your FICON attached equipment. The concept is also "designed to allow the tape volume and stored data that was previously inventoried by the Tivoli Storage Manager for z/OS V5.5 server remain accessible on the z/OS system by the Tivoli Storage Manager V6.3 server on AIX or Linux for System z without having to move the tape volume from the z/OS managed tape library" (quote from the announcement letter).

This is a representation of how TSM for z/OS 5.5 operates

Click on image for larger version in new window

TSM for z/OS V5 takes care of
  • Database functions: nodes, administrators, policy, tracking of data
  • Communication with clients, Admin Center, other TSM servers
  • Performs the I/O to FICON (and other) tape and disk

Click on image for larger version in new window

And above is the new situation, with TSM V6 server on AIX or Linux on z taking over most or all of the functionalities of TSM for z/OS V5. But instead of attaching to storage devices, it can also communicate with the TSM for z/OS Media. So you can preserve your previous FICON investments. There are more details in the presentation, for those who are interested.

I'll just give you a quick overview of the migration path
  • Install TSM 6.3 server on AIX or zSeries Linux
  • Install z/OS media server
  • TSM for z/OS 5.5 server move all storage to TAPE
  • Extract and Load : TSM utility extracts records from TSM 5.5 z/OS database and loads into TSM v6 database on AIX or zLinux. There is no need to migrate data already written to tape by TSM on z/OS. So you can preserve stored archive (and backup) data avoiding time-consuming migration of data from existing storage pools.
  • Begin backups with new distributed server
  • Take TSM for z/OS 5.x server off line
Last but not least : pricing. Well, the goal seems to be to make this a cost neutral operation from a licensing perspective. I know, pretty vague, but I have no experience with it for the moment. So, do contact IBM or your local BP to sort this out with you, because it also seems to depend on the type of licensing you have now.

Planned availability date : November 11, 2011.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

ITSO System z World Tour coming to Belgium

I received this mail a couple of weeks ago from Jan Tits from IBM Belgium. So, here's the contents :
"The ITSO system z Tour consists of 5 workshops completely devoted to the latest IBM System z Platform technology, taught by several ‘guru’ members of the IBM ITSO Department of Poughkeepsie. These workshops are for anyone involved in the setting up of infrastructure hardware and software, necessary for the optimal use of the most recent mainframe models of the IBM System z
As always, the ITSO tour also stops in Belgium. Don't miss this opportunity!"

IBM z/OS Latest Version Technical Update (1.13)28/11WRZ002BE
IBM latest enhancements to sysplex, performance, and availability in z/OS29/11WRZ003BE
IBM zEnterprise System Technical Update30/11WRZ001BE
IBM zEnterprise Unified Resource Manager Overview1/12WRZ015BE
Building a service-oriented cloud architecture using Linux on IBM System z2/12WRZ004BE

Don't panic when you live in another part of the world. If you're lucky, it might still be coming your way, too. Check it out over here.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sampling Techdocs - September-October 2011

Here I am again with my bi-monthly review of interesting TechDocs documents I came across while browsing through the latest publications.
  • FAQ : Running Oracle Database 11gR2 on Linux® on IBM System z™ Servers
    This is a nice addition to the FAQ I referred to last time focusing on theOracle support for Oracle Database 11g Release 2 running on IBM System z. It also talks about upgrade paths, new features and planning for future patch set updates.

  • Flash : DS8000 HyperPAV - Why is there IOSQ time with HyperPAVs
    Interesting flash on HyperPAV, why you can still have IOSQ time and how you can detect it from your RMF reports.

  • Presentation : IBM z/OS + DS8800 Synergy
    This is a very recent prezsentation on System z and DS8800 synergy focusing on three key areas : Performance (zHPF, zWLM and DS8000 I/O priority Manager ...), Business Continuity (HyperPAV, HyperSwap improvements ...) and Management&Growth (1 TB EAVs, Quick Init for CKD Volumes, Dynamic Volume Expansion ...). And ... it comes with the replay of the presentation.
  • Workshop materials : zEnterprise zManager Workshop
    This is the material from one of the Wildfire Workshops on System z Unified Resource Manager. It's mainly the presentations of course (with or without the speaker notes). Topics covered are : Introduction&Overview, Platform Performance Management and usage scenarios.
  • FAQ : zHPF
    I think anything you want to know about the High Performance FICON feature is in there : functions, features, prereqs, monitoring . . .
  • Presentation : TS1140 Tape Drive and Control Unit DFSMSdss Performance results
    This test shows performance results from a "DFSMSdss Full Volume Dump and Restore from disk, with the same amount of data per tape drive, to 3592 E06/C06 vs 3592 E07/C07". It also has a nice 1-page slide comparing the two controllers. The results ? Somewhat predictable ? Yes. The details ? Go and have have a look !
Well that's it for now. And, as I always say : just check them out !

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Red Alert : Fix for XES APAR OA37264 needed for z196 GA2 or z114

Here's a new Red Alert:

Fix for APAR OA37264 needed on z/OS 1.10 and higher for exploitation of greater than 64 subchannels to a Coupling Facility when running on z196 GA2 or z114 at Driver 93G

A dynamic activate to add a coupling facility control unit configured with greater than 64 subchannels using HCD z196 GA2 and z114 support (OA32576) may lead to system or sysplex outage when the z/OS images reside on z196 GA2 or z114.

z/OS images on a z196 or z114 at Driver 93G connected to a coupling facility on a z196 or z114 at Driver 93G using 3 or more infiniband links that are defined with 32 subchannels per CHPID will exceed 64 subchannels to the CF and may experience the problem described by XES APAR OA37264. The default for IFB links changed from 7 to 32 subchannels per CHPID with HCD APAR OA32576 installed for greater than 7 subchannel support.

When configured as noted above, any dynamic HCD activate which generates a new control unit accessing the coupling facility may lead to the problem. Please see APAR OA37264 which is applicable to z/OS 1.10, 1.11, 1.12 and 1.13 releases for more details.

Recommended Actions:
For installations migrating to z196 GA2 (DR93) level machine or z114, please take one of the following actions:
  1. At I/O definition time, do not take the default in HCD of 32 subchannels for IFB links introduced in OA32576. Explicitly specify 7 subchannels per CHPID before proceeding with dynamic activation.
  2. Only define and configure online 2 CF links with 32 subchannels for each coupling facility control unit. Note: 32 subchannels per CHPID will be set by default.
  3. Apply ++APAR for OA37264 to all z/OS images before exploiting the use of 32 subchannels per CHPID when 3 or more CHPIDs are defined for a CF control unit.

For installations currently configured with greater than 64 subchannels to the CF, please consider all of the following actions:

  1. Do not perform a dynamic activate to add a CF control unit to z/OS images to use more than 64 coupling facility subchannels per CF control unit.
  2. If a dynamic activate was performed which created a new CF control unit, do not attempt to bring online more than 64 subchannels (2 CHPIDs). Note: If the z/OS image has been IPLd since the dynamic activate was done the system can successfully exploit the greater than 64 subchannel support.
  3. Roll ++APAR OA37264 ASAP if greater than 64 subchannel support is needed.

If 64 or fewer coupling facility subchannels are currently defined to each coupling facility control unit, no action is required.

If you want to have an 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.