Jun 1 ’05

Pete Clark on VSE: z/VSE Lite Reading Material

by Editor in z/Journal

There’s a new beacon in the VSE sky, z/VSE, and it began shipping the first week in March. It will be interesting to see how rapidly current VSE users move to z/VSE. For many of us, we must first justify to management moving to the new release before we can order and install it.

A document that can help with the justification task is the z/VSE Release Guide Version 3 Release 1. The Release Guide can be downloaded in PDF format from the z/VSE Website.

The Release Guide contains the latest updated information about z/VSE software and the supported hardware platform. Numerous items have been changed, updated, and added since the initial z/VSE announcement. Some of the z/VSE topics concerned users were discussing prior to z/VSE availability have actually been announced/included in the Release Guide.

One example of a major change is the description of FCP-attached SCSI disk support. Users will note a significant functional improvement over what was expected based on earlier announcements.

There’s also a very detailed description on supported and non-supported hardware. This should assist users in assessing their current hardware status to decide if hardware upgrades are needed or if their current hardware is sufficient.

The Release Guide also contains current information on how z/VSE supports the latest hardware and hardware assist features, including statements on extended OSA support, FICON support, HiperSockets, LPARs, and numerous other facilities. This certainly is valuable information on how z/VSE supports these functions and features.

The expectation for the coming months is that many users will start migrating/complete migrating to z/VSE. By the fall IBM zSeries Expo, there should be some excellent user experience information available. This isn’t to imply that you should wait to order and install z/VSE; with the excellent quality of the latest releases, the so-called “wait until the bleeding edge finds the arrows, then install” scenario really no longer has much merit.

Yes, we know all about being an early install site and have heard the war/horror stories. The reality is that all those war/ horror early install stories occurred many years ago on older releases.

Having done numerous installs and upgrades using VSE/ESA 2.5.1 through VSE/ESA 2.7.3, I have no war/horror stories to report. Gee, what are we going to tell the next generation of systems programmers? They’re going to think we have had it too easy! So be it; we can all use lowered stress levels and extra time to do something productive. Right?

If you want or need z/VSE, check to make sure your other vendors are ready and then proceed. Waiting just means doing without z/VSE facilities and function.

WAVV 2005 was full of information on z/VSE. In fact, IBM and its user base answered numerous attendee questions pertaining to z/VSE, and discussed reports via a user forum from attendees who have had some preliminary experiences with z/VSE. Session handouts from WAVV will be available on the WAVV Website in a couple of weeks.

VSE 40th

Speaking of WAVV, IBM, VSE vendors and approximately 300 of our closest friends just celebrated the 40th anniversary of VSE in Colorado Springs, May 20 - 24. It’s impossible to adequately convey the excitement, pride, joy, fun, and friendship that we experienced. This was absolutely the best WAVV ever. If you missed it, talk to someone who was there and perhaps they can convey the spirit of the event.

WAVV and IBM sponsored a special SPLASH event on Saturday night, with honored guests, special presentations, photos, a 40th anniversary cake, and a video. Special guest speakers included Justin McMurry, Thurman Pylant, Klaus Goebel, Jerry Johnston, Bernd Schimmile, and z/Journal Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Bob Thomas. Included in the video presentation was a tribute to Ben Moyle.

On Sunday night, WAVV and T3 Technologies continued the 40th celebration with food and a cake at SPLASH.

Barnard Software honored the VSE 40th with a special issue pin; Connectivity Systems supplied attendees with a custom backpack; and WAVV issued a special 40th anniversary shirt.

In the coming weeks, the more than 300 pictures taken at WAVV 2005 will be made available on the Website so everyone can see them. I will post more information on this in the next issue.

Everyone had an absolutely great time; sorry that some missed it.

For my next column, I expect to have several z/VSE user experiences to share. If you have installed z/VSE or will install it prior to July 15, let me hear from you about your experience at pclark@cprsystems.com.

Thanks for reading the column and good luck with z/VSE.