Mar 1 ’07

Pete Clark on z/VSE: z/VSE 4.1

by Editor in z/Journal

On Jan. 9, 2007, IBM announced that March 16, 2007 is the official availability date for the latest and greatest z/VSE—z/VSE 4.1. Although there isn’t sufficient space here to cover all the details of the new functions and facilities contained in z/VSE 4.1, I will present some of the highlights. For more details on z/VSE 4.1, as well as the new software pricing options, visit the z/VSE Website at

z/VSE 4.1 Highlights

What is in z/VSE 4.1, why is it important, and what is its impact?

While z/VSE 4.1 should impact the pundits that have continually predicted z/VSE’s demise, it probably won’t affect them, as they may not view 4.1’s enhancements as being noteworthy. However, we know differently, and can appreciate support for the latest and greatest CPUs, disk drives, tape libraries, connection architecture, and communications facilities.

z/VSE 4.1 provides 64-bit real storage addressing, with up to 8GB real storage for a single z/VSE image. Now every z/VSE user I know can run z/VSE in real storage, doing away with the overhead and performance issues of paging.

Certainly hardware/software support for the Crypto facilities, including tape, remote communications, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), etc. means that z/VSE is a current viable modern processing platform? Yes, I think so.

Well, if that’s not enough, how about Large Volume Support (LVS) 3390s with 64KB worth of cylinders, think 54GB (approximately) each and the ability to use the Tivoli Storage Manager to back up and restore data via a network. I sure hope that’s a broadband network, using Open Systems Adapter-Express2 1000BASE-T Ethernet and the new encryption support as well as the new VSAM Capture Exit for data synchronization.

If FTP is preferred, then support for Secure FTP (think SSL FTP) and AES for 128-bit keys will enhance transmission data security.

To further confuse the death pundits, z/VSE 4.1 delivers more than 35 user requirements for POWER enhancements, client authentication, IUI enhancements, VTAM 31 bit I/O buffer support, etc.

Enough already; we’ve confused the pundits beyond reason. How about some important details for current z/VSE users?

z/VSE Details

Delivery of the 31-bit VTAM support for I/O buffers means a lot to z/VSE users with large VTAM-based communications networks. In earlier releases, those buffers were in 24-bit System GETVIS, so moving them is a big deal for many users.

POWER support for automatic spool deletions, POFFLOAD enhancements, and spool entry duplication with different attributes and a common data deliver significant functional benefit to numerous users.

The aforementioned 64-bit real memory support is transparent to your applications and requires nothing other than installing z/VSE Version 4.1. To run without paging (think Page Data Set), the NOPDS IPL option must be enabled and the DPD IPL statement deleted.

The Open System Adapter (OSA) for NCP enables a Linux-supported NCP using an OSA Express2 adapter to appear to z/VSE as if it were a channel-attached 3745 Communication Controller.

Migration Details

The easiest migration will be from VSE/ESA 2.7 (non- FBA) or z/VSE 3.1 via the FSU. If you aren’t on these releases, then a base install with tailoring and a user migration will be necessary. Nothing really new here, just business as usual.

z/VSE 4.1 will be available on tape (3480 compressed, 3590, or 3592), CD, or download (via ShopzSeries). Documentation is available on CD or DVD in PDF and Book Manager formats.

z/VSE 4.1. requires z/VM 5.2 to run as a VM guest. To use the newer z/VSE 4.1/Linux facilities, you will need a new Linux release.

Software Cost

There are several new software pricing options and it will pay you to investigate them. This will require some effort on your part, but could prove very worthwhile by providing you the insight to reduce your software costs.

The new z/VSE 4.1 sub-capacity pricing option should be investigated to see if it is to your advantage to use it. It appears that some third-party software companies also are investigating offering a sub-capacity pricing option. The typical software pricing options also are still available. Software cost options deserve a z/Journal article just to investigate and acquaint users with all the options. Hopefully, we will see that in the next issue.

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