Operating Systems

Pete Clark on z/VSE:  z/VSE Update

The topic of my February/March column seems to have touched a nerve. Feedback began to arrive via email and phone days before a copy of z/Journal arrived in my mailbox. For someone who writes a column, responses are gratifying, but these scared me.

Are there really that many sites with old, stabilized systems that lack the resources necessary to prevent a disastrous outage and/or loss of company assets (data)? There have always been some, but what drove the column was the increase in sites seen in the last 12 to 15 months, the serious impact observed, and the lack of inter-company knowledge of the platforms.

The common thread from the responses seems to be, “How do we get attention focused on this, since no one seems to want to know? Every time I bring it up, the topic and I are dismissed.”

The answers aren’t easy or without risk, but neither are the consequences. First and foremost, thoroughly document the problem and make the document available to everyone who should be involved. Be aware that this may not be a positive step in the promotion process, but neither is continuing to bring up the topic. Beyond that, move on and take what actions you can to mitigate the disaster without shooting yourself in the foot. If you have other suggestions, share them with me and I will publish them in an upcoming issue.

z/VSE 4.3

z/VSE 4.3, the latest release of z/VSE, became available in late November 2010. This new version promises a great deal of new functionality. In fact, be sure to read in this issue Ingo Franzki and Karsten Graul’s article on the brand new function available with z/VSE 4.3—the Fast Path to Linux on System z.

 
Other new features include virtual storage constraint relief, four-digit device addresses, and System z processor exploitation. z/VSE 4.3 supports the new IBM Storwize V7000 disk system and will soon support the IBM XIV Storage System via its SCSI support. The z/VSE 4.3 announcement or the z/VSE Website has a complete feature list and additional information.

While new features like these provide incentive to move to the newest version, information contained in the announcements of the z10 hardware seems to offer the potential for some z/VSE customers to reduce cost. Some z9 customers are upgrading to a z10 and actually improving their monthly revenue stream, reducing monthly operational cost. Could you be one of those customers? The only way to find out is to do the cost comparison. If you’re a z9 z/VSE user, check it out. The effort is small and at least one customer reports saving thousands of dollars.

Since Jan. 1, there has been a noticeable increase in Internet traffic that focuses on z/VSE and 4.3. A search with those keywords located 30 articles and discussions; four of the 30 entries are IBM sites, 10 of the sites are support announcements from software vendors, and the others are a mix of user and organization sites.

So, it appears that vendor software products are available for 4.3, users are in the process of installing or migrating to 4.3, and some user organizations are planning forthcoming presentations based on their own early experiences.

News From IBM Boeblingen 

BOE is seeing an increase in activity from customers as they become aware of the many new features in z/VSE 4.3 and order the new release. The z/VSE 4.3 announcements included a statement of direction for 64-bit virtual addressing. z/VSE intends to provide APIs to manage 64-bit virtual memory objects, which are “chunks” of virtual storage obtained by an application. This will allow for even more data in memory than previously possible. With the delivery of z/VSE 4.3, new and updated versions of the z/VSE connectors and toolsets are available for download on the z/VSE Website.
 
Just a reminder, but z/VSE 4.1 end of service is planned for April 30, 2011.
 
Please visit the z/VSE Web page at www.ibm.com/vse for more news on z/VSE.
 
If you are looking for education information, visit www.ibm.com/vse and check out the “Education” page. There you will find details of the latest Live Virtual Classes and links to z/VSE-related education offerings.

Thanks for reading this column; see you all in the next issue.