Monday, November 25, 2013

Announcement : DS8870 V7.2

In case you've wondered why I didn't blog on the new DS8870 announcements last week, well there's a very practical reason : I was ill. But here we go now, with some delay. Actually there were two announcements last week. The first one introduces release 7.2 and some other new features : 'IBM DS8870 offers exceptional performance with new processors, microcode, drive options, and advanced functions to enhance data protection (ZG13-0298)'. The second one announces some withdrawals from marketing : 'Hardware withdrawal: Select features for IBM DS8870 (machine types 2421, 2422, 2423, and 2424) - Replacements available (ZG13-0266)'.

First, let's have a look at the new features. The DS8870 ships from now on with the Power7+ processor. As we all now, the DS8870 follows the evolution of the Power processor with some delay due to testing. Nevertheless this provides the DS8000 once again with a significant performance enhancement. With release 7.2 we also see the introduction of an all flash drive configuration.Combining these elements "helps the DS8870 to deliver up to 20% improvement in maximum IOPS in random I/O workload environments".

There are some enhancements to the Business Class systems. These systems target smaller customers who do not need the top notch performance of the Enterprise Class systems. The BC systems can now also go beyond a single frame and up to 16 core processors offering more flexibility for these customers.

There's also the introduction of 2 more disk models : the 1.2TB 10k rpm SAS drives and the 4TB 7.2k rpm nearline SAS drives. The new 1.2TB SAS drives differ from the former 1TB SATA drives in that they can be configured in a RAID-5 setup. No need for RAID-6 as is the case for the SATA and nearline SAS drives. This gives you a better raw capacity - usable capacity ratio.

At the same time the second announcement indicates that these disks are the replacements for the 900GB and the 3TB disks which will be withdrawn from marketing.

Availability (and withdrawal) date is December 6, 2013.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sampling TechDocs - September-October 2013

Here I am again with an 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.
  • Flash : DS8000 Costomization Worksheets
    These might come in very handy. It's a PDF with all the worksheets you need to customize a DS8000. It contains a.o. Management console network settings work sheet, Remote support work sheets, Notification work sheets (SNMP trap, e-mail), Power control work sheet ...
    • White paper : z/OS Version 2 Release 1 Installation Plan Checklist
      I've got a couple of documents on z/OS 2.1 and z/OSMF. The first one is an 'installation plan checklist for z/OS V2R1 that should be used as a supplement to available publications. It is not intended to replace publications for planning your installation and migration". So do have a look at it when you're installing z/OS 2.1. It might prove to be a good guideline.
    • White papers : z/OS Management Facility Resource Requirements
      "This Techdoc has two white papers: one provides performance and resource usage information about z/OSMF for z/OS V1.12 and z/OS V1.13; the other provides performance and resource usage information about z/OSMF for z/OS V2.1". Contents are : z/OSMF Hardware Requirements, Laboratory Performance Measurement Results, Resources for Specific z/OSMF Scenarios, Browser Considerations, Recommendations for Improving z/OSMF Startup Time, Using the New z/OS Jobs REST Interface, WLM Classification For z/OSMF
    • Tool : IBM System z Batch Network Analyzer (zBNA) Tool
      "zBNA is a PC-based productivity tool designed to provide a means of estimating the elapsed time for batch jobs solely based on the differences in CPU speeds for a base processor and a target processor, the number of engines on each system, and system capacities; data sharing is not considered. zBNA provides powerful, graphic demonstration of the z/OS batch window". zBNA is also used to identify zEDC Compression Candidates. How to use it : the User's Guide explains it all.
    Well that's it for now. And, as I always say : just check them out !