Operating Systems

The effective end of service date for the following is Oct. 31, 2012: CICS/VSE V2.3, DL/I 1.10, DL/I 1.11, and z/VSE 4.2. This comes as no real surprise, as all these products have newer release levels that have been available for months or years.

A new release for DL/I 1.12 is now available for z/VSE 4.3 and provides a service refresh and virtual storage constraint relief for CICS TS environments.

A new service and PTF refresh for z/VSE 4.3 became available in August—z/VSE 4.3.1.

Also, don’t forget that before year-end 2011, z/VSE Version 5.1 will be available. For the latest information on this, watch this column and the z/VSE Website.

The only release that perhaps deserves special consideration in the end of service announcements is CICS/VSE V2.3. The last z/VSE release to contain CICS/VSE V2.3 was z/VSE 4.2. Beginning with z/VSE 4.3, CICS/VSE coexistence and configuration support was removed.

For users who have an ongoing requirement for CICS/VSE 2.3 and intend to install z/VSE releases beyond V4.2, it’s time to consider a few issues.

After Oct. 31, 2012, no new problems will be accepted and resolved by the support team. The IBM support team will still accept requests for and ship fixes for problems discovered and resolved before Oct. 31, 2012. For any and all new problems, you must resolve, fix, or formulate a bypass.

That may or may not be a major concern for you. If you haven’t discovered a new problem in CICS/VSE in years, then it’s unlikely you will in the future. This is especially true if you aren’t adding new applications or using new (to you) features of CICS/VSE.

Conversely, if you’re adding new applications and using new features, it could be very important to have that in production well before the end of service date, in case problems occur. An even better plan would be to place that application on CICS TS.

In addition to the support issues, for all future releases of z/VSE, you will need to supply your own install facility for CICS/VSE V2.3. The appropriate Maintain System History Program (MSHP) job stream will build an install tape from your CICS/VSE libraries and the MSHP retrace file. There are other copy and merge techniques that will also work, but the install tape is the most foolproof and is usable without access to the older z/VSE system.

Coupled with the install tape, you will need to tailor a partition on the new z/VSE system for CICS/VSE, make decisions and establish procedures for CICS system files, SVA usage, and furnish the CICS/VSE start-up JCL.

After doing this several times for several new z/VSE releases, it may supply additional emphasis and justification for expending the resources to migrate those applications to CICS TS. Another justification might be the enhanced Virtual Storage Constraint Relief (VSCR) for 24-bit storage that occurs in each new release of z/VSE for CICS TS, if CICS/VSE storage issues are occurring with increased frequency.

If lack of RPG II support is preventing migration to CICS TS, that migration support has been available since z/VSE 4.2.

If there are “road blocks” in functionality or resource access that would prevent an application from migrating to CICS TS, that information needs to be supplied to IBM via a requirement process as soon as possible. If you don’t know where to send it, send it to me and I will make sure the appropriate team receives it.

A new mainframe was announced in July—the IBM zEnterprise 114 (z114) for both small and midsize enterprises. It provides more processor capacity and performance for z/VSE. My expectation is that the new processor support will be included in z/VSE Version 5.1.

Two interesting things in the z114 announcement—processor support for more off-platform operating systems and the z/VSE support in the announcement. For more information on the z114, reference the hardware announcement.

Thanks for reading this column, and see you all in the next issue!