European System z Technical Conference – End of Day 2

(Originally posted 2007-04-17.)

Paul Rogers: z/OS Releases 8, 9 and Beyond

This is very much an overview presentation. Other sessions go into more detail.

Paul provided a salutary reminder that z/OS Release 6 goes out of service at the end of September. We’re now supporting only the current release and the 2 previous ones.

APAR OA20314 (in support of zNALC) allows you to IPL with LICENSE=ZNALC rather than hardcoding the LPAR’s name according to the old NALC licencing convention (ZNALxxxx). zNALC is a big step forward in licencing, among other things allowing any modern System z server to participate.

Multiple subchannel sets (z9-109 only) is interesting in that it allows PAV aliases to be defined in the second subchannel set (SS0), freeing up addresses in SS0 (given the 64K limit). HyperPAV also (pardon the pun) addresses this. So the two functions together help greatly for large installations. (They work well together.)

Paul also presented on IBM’s programme of simplification for z/OS System Management. One could argue this takes all the fun out of it. 🙂 But seriously I think it’s an important strand going forward.

The Health Checker appears to be a big success story: When it was owned by the ITSO (the Red Books people) there were more than 3000 downloads. Now in z/OS Release 8 it’s fully integrated into the base operating system.

The writing is clearly on the wall for HFS. zFS is obviously the way to go. Note: This can be a migration worthy of serious planning. Major helpers became available in z/OS Release 7. I’d not noticed, by the way, that RMF had support for zFS.

Paul mentioned briefly an enhancement to WLM-Managed JES2 Initiators in z/OS Release 8. I’m going to have to do more research before commenting further on this one.

Bob Rogers: z/OS R.8 and R.9 System Programmer Goody Bag

About 10% of his audience are already on z/OS Release 8. (He didn’t need to ask who’s on Release 9.)

On Release 8 some things struck me:

  • Page Frame Table entries (PFTEs) are not included in SVC Dump. This helps with Release 8’s support of more than 128GB in an LPAR as the PFTEs can be huge. SVC Dump records real and virtual addresses to support this. The net effect is that SVC Dump is quicker.
  • PDSE Buffer Manager and Index Manager use 64-bit addressed buffers. There’s also an option to retain buffers after close – which helps with frequently-closed members (such as those read at logon).
  • XML parsing is part of the operating system. It is non-validating, with support for C, C++ and Assembler, and parses in segments (to support big XML files). It supports 31- and 64-bit, SRB and TCB modes, and cross-memory. The plan is to produce other kinds of XML parsers in due course. DB2 Version 9 exploits this.
  • JES2 is introducing a function to balance initiators across the JESplex (without involving WLM). There are also improvements for duplicate job names.

And on Release 9 (which has only been previewed at this point):

  • z990, z890 and z9 BC and EC support the “ASID and LX Reuse Facility”. z/OS Release 6 supported Linkage Index (LX) reuse. Now R.9 supports ASID reuse. This could prolong the period between IPLs. Bob made the comment this helps certain MQ customers.
  • SMF can now use the System Logger – potentially for performance. You use the new IFASMFDL program to unload from the logstream. IFASMFDL has OUTDD filtering to reduce the need for multi-pass processing.
  • TRSMAIN (Terse) is now supported as AMATERSE. (It’s also available for R.7 and R.8 with OA19194.) The DDs used are different – SYSUT1 and SYSUT2. There are some functional requirements.

Kay Adams: What’s New In zSubCapacity Pricing

Group Capacity Limits supported by z/OS Release 8 – on z9 EC and BC only. You can have multiple groups in the one machine. You can set individual LPAR limits as well as a group limit for the group it’s in.

Kay also talked about zNALC, which became available a month ago. NALC and z/OS.e are withdrawn from marketing at the end of September 2007. I questioned whether Linux applications could be considered for certification, as well as UNIX and Windows. The good news is they can. This IS good news because lots of new applications are being built on the LAMP stack (where L stands for Linux). I’m thinking of eg blogging and wiki software.

It’s not my area but z/VSE 4.1 introduces Subcapacity Licensing for VSE.

Pat Artis – MIDAWs

An excellent explanation that, though difficult material for most, gave a good explanation of what MIDAWs are and why they help when they do.

Me – Much Ado About CPU

I was very pleased to have around 50 people in my audience. And I got some good questions – mostly afterwards.

Published by Martin Packer

I'm a mainframe performance guy and have been for the past 35 years. But I play with lots of other technologies as well.

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