Reality check. After more than six months, Fundamental Solutions (FSI) and IBM apparently are having great difficulty resolving the contract issues concerning S/390- zSeries FLEX Emulation running on IBM operating systems.
Users currently running an IBM operating system on a FLEX emulator may continue to do so. However, users that want to upgrade the FLEX system with newer IBM software should submit a request to determine if it’s acceptable. It seems that users wanting to upgrade with more powerful FLEX-capable hardware are being denied.
To upgrade, the user may need to obtain new or used hardware that supports the IBM operating system without emulation. Most users I talked with indicated their major concern was associated with the cost of an upgrade. Is this palatable dollar-wise to the VSE users? If not, let IBM know now.
z/VSE users note that VSE/ESA 2.7, z/VSE 3.x and 4.x have CPU hardware-specific support requirements; see the VSE announcements for that release.
There’s another type of customer also using the emulator. The IBM Partners in Development (Partner World Developers [PWDs]) vendors who develop software solutions that run on IBM operating systems may have a FLEX/IBM hardware/software platform. I’m told those user contracts expire three years from the date of origination with a 30-day grace period. Unfortunately, some of those contracts are starting to expire.
It appears IBM and the PWDs are scrambling (although in some cases, in different directions) to find solutions that will allow them to continue product support and development. PWD developers indicate that IBM has identified some solutions that were acceptable to IBM. Unfortunately, the solutions weren’t acceptable to many of the PWDs I talked with.
So, it appears the FLEX/IBM impasse may be generating another impasse (IBM/PWD).
Should users be concerned about the PWD/IBM issue? Yes, if you have critical software products or solutions that are developed and supported by a PWD on an emulated system and the PWD finds IBM solutions unacceptable. How do you know? Ask your software suppliers.
As always, thanks for reading the column; see you all in the next issue. Z