Thursday, October 31, 2013

IBM Health Checker for z/OS futures -- what do you think?

This morning I saw this new blog post by Marna Walle on her Share blog Marna's Musings. So, I thought I might share it with you as Marna wants as many participants to this survey as possible. And as she didn't mind my suggestion, consider this the first guest post on my blog. Here we go. Or rather, here she goes.
At SHARE in Boston, it was pretty hectic.  So hectic, in fact, that I forgot to bring a survey to my Migrating to z/OS V2.1 sessions, and to Peter Relson's Health Checker sessions.  After it was too late, I realized that I could ask you here, and all was not lost.  We've got a list of some ideas that we would like your feedback on for the Health Checker:  Java, C/C++, sharing them on a website???  These are just a couple of things we'd like to know if you are interested in.
The survey is only one page, and can be completed in less than 5 minutes.  Send it to us anyway you'd like, we are just interested in what you say!  The survey can be found here:
Thanks in advance.

Feel free to send back to anyway you'd like (email, attachment, ...)
If you have any trouble getting the survey, just let me know and I'll send you a copy. Fill it out ! Just do it !

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator Loader for z/OS

Today IBM announces the IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator Loader for z/OS V1.1 to help improve application availability (ZP13-0596). I'm not sure whether there was also a V1.0 of this loader but it's the first time I see this passing by.

There's a really interesing data sheet that sums up all the qualities of this software. The IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator Loader (DB2 Loader) for z/OS is a separately available DB2 tool. It "can reduce the time and cost incurred when loading data into the DB2 Analytics Accelerator. It minimizes the data load process by simultaneously loading data into DB2 Analytics Accelerator and DB2 for z/OS in one step. This can reduce data movement, time and CPU costs over an existing two-step process".

It can also load non-DB2 data from other sources. I'm taking over the text from the data sheet as it really explains the whole lot : "Sources include data from other DB2 for z/OS systems, VSAM, IMS, and non-mainframe data to enhance enterprise business analytics on System z. When data has been extracted from another source into a format that is compatible with IBM DB2 load utility, it can then be loaded into DB2 for z/OS and also into DB2 Analytics Accelerator. This type of load operation may be performed in parallel, which may improve availability and reduce system resources, such as CPU. DB2 Loader also allows the option of loading directly into DB2 Analytics Accelerator, thereby eliminating loading data into DB2 for z/OS which reduces resources such as DASD and CPU".

This is IPLA software with program number 5639-OLA. The S&S has program number 5639-OLB. You need at least z/OS V1.12, DB2 10 and IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS V3.1.
Planned availability is December 6, 2013.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Red Alert : Unable to partition systems from the sysplex on z/OS 1.12 with PTF UA69636 (APAR OA41661) applied

Here's a new Red Alert. I'm just taking over the content.

Unable to partition systems from the sysplex on z/OS 1.12 with PTF UA69636 (APAR OA41661) applied


Unable to partition systems from the sysplex on z/OS 1.12 with PTF UA69636 (APAR OA41661) applied


When attempting to partition a system (system 1) from the sysplex, the partitioning process on the monitor system which is managing the removal (system 2) may hang.
System 1 cannot be removed from the sysplex. System 2 remains functional, but cannot continue with the removal of system 1.

Affected Environments:

Monitor system (system 2): z/OS running at z/OS V1R12 (HBB7770) with PTF UA69636 (APAR OA41661) applied.
Outgoing system (system 1): Any supported z/OS level with the SYSSTATDETECT function enabled.
Please see APAR OA43435 for more details.

Recommended Actions:

  1. Disable the SYSTATDETECT function on all systems in the sysplex via SETXCF FUNCTIONS,DISABLE=SYSSTATDETECT
  2. Please retrieve PTF package - PTF.UA71120 from: under fromibm/mvs with FB, 80 3200 in binary. Apply this PTF to all applicable systems.
  3. The SYSSTATDETECT function should remain disabled on all systems until all affected systems are running with UA71120.
  4. If the reported problem has already occurred, contact Level 2 to determine best action.

If you haven't signed up to the Red Alerts by now, you really should do it. Just go over here.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

CICS : 1.157.407 transactions per second

From time to time you have to have an eye catcher to draw the attention. Well, this was one at the bottom of the CICSbuzz - the IBM CICS Newsletter.

And there's also a short video that accompanies this. It puts the power of CICS into perspective, comparing it with e.g. Facebook and Twitter. Just have a look at it.


By the way, if you aren't subscribed to the CICSbuzz newsletter yet, just go over here to do it. You also find all previous issues over there.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

ITSO System z World Tour 2013

It's that time of year again : "The IBM ITSO System z World Tour 2013 offers five one-day technical workshops to help you plan, design for and use the new features and upgrades available in IBM System z software and hardware. For over 20 years, ITSO has delivered these exclusive, one-day technical update seminars for IT professionals".

You can find more information on the tour on this page. At the right hand side you can also check whether the tour also stops in your country. Below I'm listing out the sessions and dates for Belgium.

IBM zEnterprise System Technical Update (zEC12, zBC12, zBX)09/12Info&Registration
IBM z/OS Technical Update 10/12Info&Registration
IBM Parallel Sysplex and High Availability11/12Info&Registration
IBM DB2 for z/OS and Query Accelerator12/12Info&Registration
Using IBM z/VM Latest Version and IBM Linux on System z Advanced Topics13/12Info&Registration

Mind you, but you know this of course, these are not for free.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Announcement of IMS 13 and some extra info

Yesterday IBM announced IMS 13 : 'IBM Information Management System (IMS) 13 Transaction and Database Servers delivers high performance and low total cost of ownership (ZP13-0485)' and various IMS Tools like e.g. IMS Enterprise Suite for z/OS , V3.1 : 'IBM IMS Tools enhanced to help better manage your IMS database environments (ZP13-0478)'.

The one thing that gets a lot of attention is the 100,000 transactions per second benchmarked for Fast Path processing. And if you want a short summary of all what's new, then take a look at the 'What's New' tab over here at the IBM IMS pages. Do take a look at the features tab too, because there's some interesting news on pricing as well :
IMS 13 helps lower the Total Cost of Ownership. With IMS, you can expect:
As I already told you in my previous post, IMS claims to step up in the same way as DB2 did already. It should consume less resources/mips (out of the box) and still deliver a much better performance. By the way, I mentioned that DB2 was celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, but did you also know that IMS turned 45 (!) this year.

IMS 13 becomes available on October 25, 2013 and requires at least z/OS 1.13.

While I was browsing around I also came across some interesting IMS resources.
I mentioned the IMS Newsletter quite some time ago, but the latest issue came out yesterday and also focuses of course on the new IMS 13 release. You can find it over here. One article gives more detail on how IMS 13 efficiency is improved to reduce MIPS usage. You can subscribe to the newsletter at this page.
And if you're on twitter, you can also follow @IBM_IMS to get all the breaking news on IMS. And while you're at it, just start following Helene Lyon as well : @HeleneLyon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Announcements on price changes for IPLA and MLC softwares on z/OS

Today IBM announced DB2 11, IMS 13 and the DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS V4.1 and I'll surely return to (some of) these in later posts. But there were also a couple of announcements regarding software pricing. And don't turn away yet assuming there's another round of price increases. No there's actually good news too, this time. So, keep on reading.

About the IPLA software there's a list of Websphere products that will see an increase in Belgium of 3% starting on January 1, 2014 : 'Price Changes on Selected System z and zSeries Software Program Products (ZA13-1127)'. As you know I mainly give the details for my own country but do check out the announcement itself to see what will happen in your country.

About the MLC software there's a limited list of softwares that get the same pricing as later versions : 'Price Changes in monthly license charges (MLC) on selected IBM System z Software Products (ZA13-1128)'. We've seen this mechanism before. "With these increases, DB2 for z/OS versions 8 and 9 will cost the same as version 10, IMS versions 10 and 11 will cost the same as version 12, and Enterprise COBOL for z/OS versions 3 and 4 will cost the same as version 5".

But how about the good news then ? Well, Ray Jones (IBM) mentioned it in his keynote speech at the Total Solutions Event last week in Brussels, but here it is in this same announcement : "IBM intends to price the next upcoming version of DB2 and the next upcoming version of IMS equal to the prices of DB2 10 and IMS 12 respectively". This is actually two times good news. First of all, there's no price increase between the two releases. But there's more. When DB2 10 was announced IBM did a large effort to improve the efficiency of DB2, so that the new release not only offered new functionalities but actually consumed less resources. If this happens again with DB2 11, you actually win twice ! And, I refer to Ray Jones once again, the same will now also apply to IMS 13 where the same efforts were now also delivered by the IMS development team.
All in all, this gives you a couple of good reasons to move forward to newer versions of these software products.