Thursday, June 26, 2014

Exit Lifecycle Extension - Enter Extended Support

In our last newsletter I already mentioned that after z/OS 1.11 there would no longer be the possibility to get Lifecycle Extension support. And you also know that z/OS 1.12 is Out of Support by the end of September. Up to now we only saw some graphs indicating that after the End of Support, you would immediately get into 'Extended Support', as you can see below.

Click on image for larger version

Now there's an announcement making this official 'IBM Software Support Services - service extension offers defect support for IBM z/OS V1.11 and V1.12 beyond the z/OS end-of-service date (ZS14-0025)'. It's a "fee-based corrective service to users who have not completed their migration to a newer z/OS release" for a period of 3 years. z/OS 1.11 is an exception as it gets only 2 years after the Lifecycle Extension period.

As for the content : "IBM Software Support Services - service extension provides corrective service (a fix, bypass, or restriction to a problem) for your z/OS V1.11 and V1.12 operating systems". The ordering pretty much resembles that of the Lifecycle Extension : "Service extension support for both V1.11 and V1.12 requires a minimum three-month purchase and offers flexibility in support of your individual migration plans, either for single machines or for machines configured within a Parallel Sysplex".

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

BMC Intelligent Capping for zEnterprise and MLC pricing

I don't really have a habit of putting third party software in the spotlights but this one caught my attention, so I thought I might give you the heads up as well. I don't think I have to tell you a lot about the challenges companies are facing when it comes to MLC pricing - on whatever level through the organisation.

There's a nice video about the product but I don't know how to embed a FlashPlayer video, so click here to go and see it. It's actually quite nice with references to some sci-fi series I kind of like. A clue about the series ? If you implement this you'll live long and prosper. But let's get back to the product itself. I quote the description from the datasheet.
"BMC Intelligent Capping for zEnterprise dynamically automates and optimizes defined capacity settings to help lower mainframe MLC costs by 2 percent to 5 percent or more, while mitigating risk to the business. The solution analyzes, simulates, and automatically manages changes to defined capacity settings based on workload profiles, enabling IT staff to confidently lower costs. BMC Intelligent Capping for zEnterprise removes the manual effort from managing capping limits, while optimizing capacity usage across LPARs. The solution dynamically aligns workload allocations based on utilization needs, workload importance, and customer policy profiles".
Some features to make it a bit clearer ?
  • "Capacity management – Adjusts capacity across LPARs and WLM capacity groups intelligently and automatically
  • Zero balancing – Balances any increase in a capping threshold necessitated by a high-priority workload with an equivalent decrease in other LPARs or WLM groups with excess capacity
  • Minimal implementation risk – Offers gradual automation and control of capacity settings with three modes: Observe, Message, and Manage
  • Audit logs – Enable you to see exactly what changes are recommended and actions that are implemented over time"
Looks like an interesting product to me. If you want more information you can start over here or contact your local BMC representative. And before you ask, no, I have no commercial links to BMC. Just passing on information of which I think might be interesting to System z shops . . .

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tapeless initial installation of z/VSE

If I'm not blogging that much about z/VSE, then there's a good reason for that. There's some one doing such a great job in this area I barely or rather I cannot add anything useful to it. I said this before, you have the retweet function in Twitter but there should be something like a reblog function too. I'd reblog quite a few of Ingolf's z/VSE Blog. If you haven't discovered this one yet, add it to your must follow blogs now.

This is how I came across this next Live Virtual Class or Webcast on z/VSE. It's on June 24, 2014 at 9AM Brussels time.
"This LVC provides an overview on how to perform tapeless initial installation of z/VSE - a feature introduced with z/VSE 5.2. It covers how to create a z/VSE installation disk in LPAR and under z/VM and how to perform initial installation from such a installation disk in both environments".
I'm mentioning this nonetheless because you should also take a look at the future Live Virtual Classes. There's a 'Z/VSE for beginners' planned at a later date, so be sure to stay tuned.

And while I'm at it, I would also like to mention another event : the 8th European GSE/IBM Technical University for z/VSE, z/VM and Linux on System z which is taking place in Dresden, Germany from October 20 until October 22, 2014. You can find more information over here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sampling Techdocs - up to May 2014

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.
  • FAQ : z/OS 2.1 Frequently Asked Question
    This FAQ is a collection of questions that were raised by customers during several presentations on z/OS 2.1 that have been answered by subject matter experts. Too many diverse topics to sum them all up, so just have a look.
  • Technical Document : IBM drives to Storage Systems cheat sheet
    I'm sure I mentioned this one before but here's an update on this one-pager showing the currently offered drive types for current IBM Storage Systems including of course DS8000 and XIV.
    • Tool : IBM Storage Tier Advisory Tool Charting Utility
      You surely know about the DS8000 Storage Tier Advisor Tool (STAT). Data from the monitoring process by Easy Tier  is included in a summary report that you can download to a Windows system. The STAT application allows you to view the data when you point your browser to that file. Now - on top of this - the Charting Utility does exactly what its name says. This Utility will format some of the data provided and create charts like
      • Skew Chart - Workload activity by percentage of capacity
      • Movement Chart - Easy Tier data movement activity
      • Workload Chart - Capacity utilization by extent pool 
    • Technical Document : IBM System Storage Easy Tier Quick Start
      Ok, ok, I'm cheating a bit here, this one is not on Techdocs but I came across it while following a link on the charting utility. "This publication introduces the IBM® System Storage Easy Tier Quick Start, which helps you get started with Easy Tier functions using the IBM System Storage DS Storage Manager". If you have to set up Easy Tier, this is a document you're surely going to like.
    Well that's it for now. And, as I always say : just check them out !

    Friday, June 6, 2014

    Upcoming GSE meetings Belgium

    You know it's difficult to report on each and every interesting meeting that passes by, so I sureley missed some in the past but here are three upcoming GSE meetings with very promising agendas :

    • Weddnesday June 11, 2014 :  z/OS Working Group Meeting at RealDolmen Huizingen
      This is an all day event with also a couple of customer testimonials and that we always like of course. Topics are OMEGAMON @ Colruyt by Geert Lips (Colruyt), Access the Mainframe: Anywhere, Anytime, Any Device by SysperTec with customer testimonial from P&V Verzekeringen, Fulfilling Retail Expectations with Mobile - a UK costomer case by Bart Gyselinck (IBM), The Evolution of Analytics and Big Data Integration on System z by Eric Michiels (IBM)
      Information and registration
    • Thursday June 12, 2014 : DB2 Working Group Meeting at IBM Forum Brussels
      This is also an all day event with a track for DB2 on z/OS and one for DB2 LUW.
      "During the DB2 for z/OS break-out sessions  we explore some of the topics that DB2 11 is bringing. Some of  the changes with the biggest impact will be thoroughly explained by DB2 expert Timm Zimmermann, and our own Bart Steegmans.
      In the DB2 for LUW break-out sessions, Dirk Coppieters and Frederik Engelen present on migrating from Orable to DB2 and using Ansible for DB2 configuration management. You also have the opportunity to get answers to all your burning questions from the DB2 for LUW Experts panel.
      Is the next stage of Information Technology one without SQL? Kris Van Thillo lets you take the first plunge into NOSQL databases during our closing session."
      Registration here or here.
    • Friday June 20, 2014 : Enterprise Systems Security z/OS meeting at KBC Brussels
      Several sessions about/by The Rocket Software Company, Improving the Integration between Distributed Security and CICS (Nigel Williams - IBM), Secrets of IMS Security and Surviving an IMS Security Audit (Maida Snapper - IBM). Scroll down to the end of the registration page to find the agenda in .pdf.
      Information and registration