Jun 1 ’11

Pete Clark on z/VSE: z/VSE Version 5.1

by Editor in z/Journal

On April 12, 2011, IBM provided a preview announcement of z/VSE Version 5.1. This announcement, which is available at http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/os/zvse/, outlines the major items that will be available in the next version.

It was interesting this announcement came just four and a half months after delivery of z/VSE 4.3, which also contained significant functionality. The announced delivery date for z/VSE 5.1 is fall 2011—just one year after z/VSE 4.3 became available.

New functions, new facilities, and major extensions within a year of each other—“throw me in the briar patch again.” Understand that no one is complaining, but z/VSE systems programmers certainly will have their hands full, absorbing and implementing the new releases and new functions. Someone, somewhere surely must have said, “better a challenge than stagnation.” No danger of that; maybe it was someone in the z/VSE development arena? It has been awhile since we’ve installed or FSUed new releases so rapidly. Again, not complaining; just noting, celebrating or both, whichever is appropriate.

 Here are some highlights of the announcement:   

z/VSE 5.1 will exploit IBM zEnterprise 196 technology by offering support for the Intraensemble Data Network (IEDN). IEDN is a private data network that connects elements of a zEnterprise System ensemble. z/VSE can connect as a z/VM guest through the z/VM VSWITCH to the IEDN or in LPAR mode through the OSA Express3 device configured as CHIPID type OSX.

z/VSE 5.1 is designed to offer enhanced IBM System Storage options, including FCP-attached SCSI devices, the IBM Storwize V7000 Midrange Disk System and the IBM XIV Storage System, and support the Copy Export function of the TS7700 Virtualization Engine for disaster recovery.

IPv6 support will be added to the Linux Fast Path (LFP) function. LFP allows selected TCP/IP applications to communicate with the TCP/IP stack on Linux on System z without requiring a TCP/IP stack on z/VSE. Both z/VSE and Linux on System z must run as guests on the same z/VM system because they connect to each other via the z/VM communication interface, IUCV.

Adding to the 64-bit real support that was delivered in z/VSE Version 4.3 is the inclusion in z/VSE 5.1 of 64-bit virtual storage addressing support. This will increase the virtual storage of an address space beyond 2GB. That is, it allows the address space to use virtual storage above the 2GB address (above the bar). In addition, 64-bit virtual support will help applications keep more data in memory and easily addressable by simply switching the addressing mode. The area above the bar can be used only for data. Instructions need to be executed below the bar.

z/VSE 5.1 will provide a new Application Programming Interface (API) to manage the virtual storage above the bar, the IARV64 macro, which will be ported from z/OS. IARV64 functionality supported by z/VSE will be fully compatible with z/OS.

IARV64 creates memory objects—chunks of virtual storage—for use within a single address space (private memory objects) or for shared use among multiple address spaces (shared memory objects). The virtual storage for memory objects can be restricted via configuration commands, if needed.

IPv6/VSE will also exploit 64-bit virtual with its new, large TCP window support. Large TCP windows can help reduce TCP window congestion.

IBM also provided a statement of general direction for CICS TS for VSE/ESA enhancements:

IBM intends to provide the CICS Explorer capabilities for CICS TS for VSE/ESA. The CICS Explorer is the new face of CICS and provides an integration point for CICS tooling, enabling you to monitor CICS terminals, files, and transactions. The CICS Explorer consists of a client
and CICS TS server component. The client component is based on an Eclipse environment.

z/VSE 5.1 will implement a hardware architecture-level set, meaning that it will support only IBM System z9, z10, and IBM zEnterprise 196 servers. 

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