Thursday, February 27, 2014

The new IBM Redbooks Mobile App

I was going to write a blog post about this new mobile App for Redbooks but the introducing video is so self explaining I won't bother you with my texts. So, here it goes

And if you're really a dummy, here's the App explained for dummies allthough they prefer to call it 'Hands-on with the new IBM Redbooks mobile app'

Where to get it ? Here for iOS and here for Android.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

IBM Hardware Maintenance Services - System z On/Off Capacity Usage

Yesterday IBM made the following announcement : 'IBM Hardware Maintenance Services - System z On/Off Capacity Usage (ZS14-0012)'. Up to now there was no extra hardware maintenance for the additional capacity when activating On/Off Capacity on Demand (On/Off CoD) on a System z. "On/Off CoD provides the capability to temporarily increase Central Processor, Integrated Facility for Linux, Internal Coupling Facility, System z Application Assist Processor, or System z Integrated Information Processor capacity on System z servers to help address peak workload requirements".

"As a part of IBM maintenance services, maintenance charges will now apply for processing capacity activated through On/Off CoD, provided the activated capacity is not under warranty and the machine is under an IBM hardware maintenance service agreement".

There had already been a similar EMEA announcement about a month ago, but then most Western European countries were not included (like e.g. Belgium). But now they are.

General availability is May 30. 2014.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

IBM Wave for z/VM - Nice introductory video

Well, yesterday a couple of links weren't working, but the Data Sheet and the Redbook (draft) on installation, implementation and exploitation of IBM Wave for z/VM are available by now. And I must say, the redbook looks pretty impressive covering every thinkable topic on IBM Wave. Here's a small summary of its contents
  • Part 1. Architecture and installation
    • Chapter 1. Introduction to IBM Wave for z/VM
    • Chapter 2. IBM Wave for z/VM architecture
    • Chapter 3. Planning and design
    • Chapter 4. Installation and configuration
  • Part 2. Using IBM Wave for z/VM
    • Chapter 5. How to manage and operate the user interface environment
    • Chapter 6. How to manage z/VM
    • Chapter 7. How to manage the Linux virtual machines
There's also a great introductory video on IBM Wave on that same page. I don't think the authors will mind my embedding it here.

So, lots of good materials to give you an introduction or to get you started on IBM Wave for z/VM.

Monday, February 24, 2014

IBM Wave for z/VM - Empowered Virtualization Management

Today IBM announces IBM Wave for z/VM with the following announcement : 'IBM Wave for z/VM Version 1.1 simplifies management of z/VM and Linux guests with intelligent visualization (ZP14-0036)'. Actually IBM Wave comes from the acquisition IBM did last year of CSL International with its product CSL-Wave. "IBM Wave for z/VM is an intuitive virtualization management software product that provides management, administration, provisioning, and enables automation of Linux virtual servers in a z/VM environment". The scope of IBM Wave can span multiple logical partitions (LPARs), SSI clusters, and servers.
It should help lowering the threshold for companies who see the benefits of Linux on System z but do not have the necessary skills in that area. Wave makes a complete analysis of an existing environment or it helps to setup a new environment with its interactive GUI.
The following video gives you a good idea of what you can do with IBM Wave for z/VM.

You can find several resources about IBM Wave
  • IBM page for IBM Wave for z/VM
  • Another IBM page directing you to several resources
  • A redbook : IBM Wave for z/VM - An introduction
  • The FAQ. In this FAQ you also find some references to demos on the CSI International webpage on Automatic Detection, Automation and Simplification, Enhanced Server Farm Administration, Network Management, Provisioning . . .
  • Here's a nice brochure also from the CSL site : 'CSL-Wave - Get z Power without z Learning Curve'.
  • The Datasheet
  • A second redbook : IBM Wave for z/VM- Installation, Implementation and Exploitation

The key prerequisites : you need an IBM System z server (starting from a z10) using a currently supported release of z/VM (5.4, 6.2 or 6.3).
General availability is February 28, 2014.
IBM Wave is IPLA software with Subscription and Support (S&S). And as far as I can see, it follows the same logic for its Value Units as z/VM. It's determined by number of cores and the Value Units needed decrease when you have more cores. E.g. for 1 to 3 cores you need 10 Value Units per core, for cores 4 to 6 you need 9 Value Units per core. So for 4 cores you'll need 39 Value Units.

I can't resist by closing with one example of what's the difference between using IBM Wave or not. How to clone a virtual machine.

Without IBM Wave
  1. Determine if required resources exist
  2. Create clone VM definition
  3. Define clone VM resources
  4. Create copies of private VM resources (server)
  5. Create copies of private VM resources (disk)
  6. Customize clone VM
  7. Authorize clone VM access / VSwitch Access
  8. Add clone to management groups
  9. Activate clone
  10. Configure the network
  11. Run middleware configuration scripts
  12. Monitor and report on cloning operation.
With IBM Wave
  1. Open the “Clone” form
  2. Fill in the needed information
  3. Press the “Go” Button

Thursday, February 20, 2014

List of withdrawn storage products

I was browsing through the Redbook 'IBM System Storage Solutions Handbook' today. You can download it over here. Well, actually I was kind of reading it and it gives you a really good overview of all IBM storage products. And if you want to know why some one is reading a redbook of about 800 pages. Well, I have to renew my Midrange Storage certificate tomorrow.

And so I stumbled across this interesting list in Appendix C. It's a "list of the most recent System Storage withdrawals (...). This list considers a time period of a year back from the moment of writing this book". And the latest version of the book is from May 2013. So, just to let you know it's a quick find to see if any product has been recently withdrawn from marketing.

And by the way, this redbook IS great if you're looking for any kind of introduction in the IBM storage portfolio, be it hardware or software.

As I always say, just check it out !

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Software withdrawal and support discontinuance: IBM System z platform selected products

It's always interesting to browse through the list of softwares that will no longer be supported. Here's a new IBM announcement with a whole list of products : 'Software withdrawal and support discontinuance: IBM System z platform selected products (ZP14-0024)'. Take a look at it, it might point out some softwares you're using.

Let me just indicate some of them that drew my attention.

IBM Smart Analytics Optimizer for DB2® for z/OS, V1.1 will no longer be supported after April 30, 2015. It'll be replaced by IBM DB2 Analytics Accelerator for z/OS, V4.1 (5697-DAB).

About operating systems : IBM z/VM 6.2 is an interesting one. There was already an End of Service date fixed on April 30, 2015. This has now been extended until December 31, 2016. IBM z/VSE 4.3.1 will be withdrawn from service on October 31, 2014. So, just a couple of months to go for this one.

Then there's IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V3.4 (5655-G53). This one is End of Support on April 30, 2015 and it will be replaced by IBM Enterprise COBOL for z/OS V5.1 (5655-W32). The same goes for IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS V3.9 (5655-H31) that will be replaced by IBM Enterprise PL/I for z/OS V4.4 (5655-W67).

There are more of course. Just take a look for yourself.