European System z Technical Conference – End of Day 5

(Originally posted 2007-04-20.)

Marna Walle: Recent Installation Enhancements and Directions

Marna gave a very good presentation, covering a wide range of topics in this area. Here are some highlights – at least from MY perspective:

In z/OS R.7:

  • z/OS R.7 UNIX introduced Dynamic Service Activation for SELECTED corrective PTFs. Only works for PTFs marked as “for dynamic activation” with ++HOLD REASON(DYNACT). Not all PTFs are eligible. Not meant for general activation but rather occasional cases and where it’s safe to.
  • z/OS R.7 Language Environment introduced a Run-Time Options PARMLIB member – which replaces the need to create assembler LE defaults modules. One advantage is that for enhancements to LE parameters (where the default is OK for you) you no longer need to modify your assembler options and assemble it again. This means no migration action. Copy the sample member and modify, rather than converting your assembler options modules. (The syntax is different.)

In z/OS R.8:

  • Can copy a DFSMS SCDS into an ACDS without activating it. This helps create an ACDS to be used elsewhere – for example in a disaster recovery situation.
  • The bpxmtext shell command has been enhanced to support zFS to allow you to find the meaning of a zFS reason code.
  • inittab (in /etc/inittab) is now supported, providing a single point of control for starting and restarting daemons and servers. Can have etc/inittab execute etc/rc.

Previewed for z/OS R.9:

  • You’ll be able to use TSO XMIT with DSNTYPE=LARGE data sets (which can contain more than 65,535 tracks). There are other TSO functions (such as LISTDSI in REXX / CLIST) for DSNTYPE=LARGE in R.9.
  • SDSF will expose a lot of its data through REXX variables. There will be some samples. I think this is one I might use myself as some of our code screenscrapes what this would provide properly.
  • Support for Coupling Facility “Maintenance Mode”.

There’s been a lot of work on installation simplification in recent releases. I’m NOT the one to critique these enhancements. There are, though, items for both ServerPac and SystemPac.

The IBM Health Checker for z/OS is going to support migration and exploitation checks. I’ll admit it’s not a tool I get to use but A LOT of effort has gone into it – and the journey continues. For example I’ve just spotted in the R.9 preview that checks will be able to be written in REXX. Now THAT’s something else I might try.

Martina Schmidt and Thomas Schulze: WebSphere Application Server Healthcheck for System z

This is a good general presentation on ensuring the environment and setup is right for WebSphere Application Server (WAS).

I’ve noticed this week that there’s a good German team of younger IBMers working on pre-sales work for the WebSphere brand. This presentation was given by two of them.

Thomas reminded me it takes in the neighbourhood of 20% to 30% more JVM heap to create the equivalent Java garbage collection behaviour (frequency and duration) with a 64-bit heap as was seen with 31-bit.

Thomas suggested that the thread/work pipeline should get thinner (lower limits) at each stage from inital arrival through to eg DB2. I’ll have to think about that one.

There will be free System z Optimised Applications (ZOA) 3-day workshops in Germany throughout 2007.

Jython is replacing JACL as the WebSphere scripting language. Jython is an “open” language, which is why installations are being encouraged to migrate to it.

Martina did a good review of connectivity options to eg CICS and IMS.

Published by Martin Packer

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