Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Short takes on DB2 resources, IBM PureSystems, IDAA, Destination z and IBM Tape turning 60

It's been a while since I had some short takes. Sometimes I'm making a bookmark thinking 'I'm going to blog about this'. But then, it's often too short, too little, just a link, but still, interesting enough to mention. So here we go.
  • Susan Visser (also on Twitter as @susvis) writes an excellent blog on DB2 resources. The focus : "Build your Skill on Information Management : books, certifications, tutorials, and more". And here's an very interesting post on Skills Resources for DB2 for z/OS Enthusiasts containing magazines, books, eBooks, Twitter, Redbooks, blogs, events, certification material, communities . . .  
  • Just some pictures this one : Roger Luethy with his Storage CH Blog directs us towards a peek inside the new IBM PureApplication System. Go have a look over here and . . . watch your step !
  • On a somewhat more serious note is a blog post on Dancing Dinosaur about the relation between the newly announced PureSystems and zEnterprise : 'PureSystems Joins zEnterprise Hybrid Family'. When to use zBX, when to use PureSystems, how are they related, do I not end up with 2 separated hybrid worlds, indeed all very interesting questions that Alan Radding is trying to answer. Just one small quote : "Looking ahead, IBM already is planning zBX support for the next generation z and promises to more tightly integrate the zEnterprise with PureSystems".
  • What about IDAA ? Well, Willie Favero blogs about enhancements to the IDAA (IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator) in this post. The enhancements are due for this summer and they are quite interesting : IDAA will e.g. be updated to allow an incremental update. Now I find that great news since "this also means that the data in the Accelerator can be continuously updated, giving queries an almost real time copy of the data". Also the capacity of the IDAA is raised from 128TB up to 1.280TB. you can find more information over here in an article of Alan Meyer in the IBM Data Management Magazine.
  • I mentioned the tips and techniques contest on the Destination z site earlier. Well, here are the finalists. Have a look at them and decide which one is your favourite. Then go over to the voting page where you can cast your vote until next Friday. You should do it, because for the moment it's a head to head race between two of the contestants. You might cast the decisive vote.
  • Last but not least we have a special anniversary this month : IBM tape has turned 60 ! Here's a brief history of it. Or you can have a look at several storage blogs or at the IBM site itself. To me the titles up there summarize it very well : "Tape is an essential component of today’s storage infrastructure" and "60 years of innovation – and counting".
    I still know what was the first tape I ever came across in my career, about 25 years ago. You know why : I kept one of those when they disposed of them in favour of some shiny, brand new 3480s. So here it is ! (I'm not even sure it's IBM material. Anyone ?).
    So, happy anniversary to IBM tape !

And . . . as I always say, do check them out !

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

DS8000 - Hardware Withdrawal of older expansion frames and some

Yesterday IBM made the following announcement : 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM System Storage DS8000 Expansion Unit Model 92E and 9AE, and selected feature and model conversions - No replacements available (ZG12-0117)'.

You know what, the DS8000 has had so many model and features numbers since it was first announced in, what was it, 2004 that it's not always easy to see whether this applies to your system(s) or not. So, what does it say ?

Effective immediately, the following feature will be withdrawn:
                           Machine      Model        Feature
Description                type         number       number
DS8000 LMC R6.0 indicator  2421, 2422,  95E          1821
                           2423, 2424
Effective September 28, 2012, the following products will be withdrawn:
                                 Machine Model
Description                      number  number

DS8000 Expansion Unit            2421    92E
DS8000 Expansion Unit            2422    92E
DS8000 Expansion Unit            2423    92E
DS8000 Expansion Unit            2424    92E
DS8000 Expansion Unit            2421    9AE
DS8000 Expansion Unit            2422    9AE
DS8000 Expansion Unit            2423    9AE
DS8000 Expansion Unit            2424    9AE
Model conversions
Effective October 1, 2012, the following model conversions will be withdrawn:
From             To
machine  From    machine   To
type     model   type      model

2421     931     2421      941
2421     932     2421      941
2422     931     2422      941
2422     932     2422      941
2423     931     2423      941
2423     932     2423      941
2424     931     2424      941
2424     932     2424      941
That should be clear to you, no ? You know, there's a site that's called 'Let me google that for you'. Check it out, it's nice, you can use it the next time someone asks you a stupid question : Unfortunately there's no site or app that goes : Let me translate that for you in plain understandable English. So I'll help you out a bit.

The first part tells you that the LCM (Licensed Machine Code, but that, of course, you knew) R6.0 will no longer be available for the DS8800 Expansion Frame. This strikes me as a bit odd, withdrawing LMC for an expansion frame, but there it is. If someone can clarify this for me, be my guest.

The second part indicates that you will no longer be able to order expansion frames for a DS8100 nor for a DS8300 as of September 28, 2012.

And finally a model conversion from  a DS8100 or a DS8300 towards a DS8700 will no longer be possible from October 1, 2012 onwards.

I don't think that will really affect a lot of people. So, large post, little news.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sampling Techdocs - February-April 2012

It's been a while, but here I am again with another overview of interesting TechDocs documents I came across while browsing through the latest publications. If you're completely unfamiliar to Techdocs, here's an introduction to it. I've tried to group them a bit.

Let's start with XIV
Here are some documents on Oracle and Oracle consolidation
  • Presentation : Oracle Technology List of Redbooks
    Nice list of RedBooks on Oracle consolidation. Examples : Experiences with Oracle Database 10g on Linux for zSeries, Experiences with Oracle 10gR2 Solutions on Linux for System z, but there are more. Do have a look ! And very similar to this, there's also a List of White Papers on Oracle.
But there's more
  • Presentations : z/OS Performance HOT Topics Presentation
    This is a share presentation from the Share Winter 2012 Conference in Atlanta. "This session at the Atlanta SHARE covered the latest performance and capacity planning information for System z and z/OS". There are of course a lot more Share presentations, but you know where to find those.
  • Workshop materials : zEnterprise zManager Workshop
    I've mentioned this one before, but apparantly the materials have been updated : This is the material from one of the WildfireWorkshops 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.
Well that's it for now. And, as I always say : just check them out !

Thursday, May 3, 2012

DB2 10 for z/OS - Free eBooks

Here's some more DB2 for z/OS news. As you all know, last Monday (April 30, 2012) DB2 V8 for z/OS went End of Support. So, no wonder that there's lots of information to be found on DB2 10 for the moment. Here's two eBooks about DB2 10, you might find interesting.

The first one has been circulating for some time now : 'DB2 10 for z/OS - Cost Savings . . . Right Out of the Box' can be found over here. it's a very good introduction to DB2 10 focusing on three areas : cost savings, simplifying database management with more automation and providing proven technology. The objective of this book is to give you an update on the latest functions, features, and benefits. I must say it succeeds very well in doing so. Nice introduction.

The second one is new, I think, and it concentrates on upgrading to DB2 10. 'DB2 10 for z/OS - The Smarter Faster Way to Upgrade' can be found over here.
"The objective of this book is to help customers plan their migration strategy effectively and efficiently by providing the right information, facts, and guidance.
This book is segmented into two parts:
I. Planning for DB2 10 for z/OS upgrade
II. Gaining the financial benefits of DB2 10 for z/OS"
 If you're upgrading to DB2 10 be sure to have a look at this document from John Campbell, Cristian Molaro and Surekha Parekh. If I'm correct, John Campbell has recently given a series of webcasts and presentations on the subject. If you have a look at the download section of the GSE Belux DB2 Working group, you can also find the two presentations he gave for that workgroup : 'DB2 10 Migration Planning and Very Early Experiences'.

So, as I always say, just check them out.
And, if you didn't know it yet, End of Support date for DB2 9 for z/OS is June 27, 2014.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hey, What Are You Calling a “Legacy System”?

I received a mail about a couple of weeks ago with the question if I could add a link to the IBM Data Management Magazine page on my blog. Well, I must say I'm rather hesitant to add links as most of the requests I get are pure publicity and adds. And I'm not interested in those ones.

So I had a look at it and of course, this is the former DB2 Magazine of which I somehow lost track. Shame on me. In my 'former' life as a DBA I really learned a lot from that magazine. Have a look at it, you'll (still) like it. It now has a broader scope as the scope of the IBM Information Management product family has also broadened since. So, of course, as you can see on the right hand side I added the link.

But what about the title of your post, you might say. Well, let me call it another teaser to go and have a look. As I saw some familiar contributors like e.g. Bonnie Baker, I also noticed this contribution by Robert Catterall on legacy systems. How do you go about when an IT executive dismisses the system z servers as just "legacy systems" ? How do you convince someone that system z servers are more than just that stereotyped image a lot of people have of them. You might say :
“Legacy system, you say? Would that be the system that runs the applications that keep your factories humming, your trucks rolling, and your customer invoices flowing? You know, the applications that make you money and keep your business alive? You mean that legacy system?”
“Speaking of that System z server of yours, you must be aware that DB2 on that platform is a great data provider for those modern, multitiered, service-oriented applications on which you’re focused, right? If you’re not convinced of that, see what your own development teams are up to these days.”
Go find out yourself how Robert Catterall tackles the issue. You might get some additional ideas on how to defend that old-fashioned, legacy system next time.