Operating Systems

Oct 23 ’12

The IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) is quickly gaining acceptance globally across all industries by companies of all sizes; now in its third release, it delivers on IBM’s mainframe simplification strategy, easing system management tasks for new and experienced systems programmers. The latest version of z/OSMF, which comes with z/OS V1R13, offers significant enhancements and functions (see Figure 1).

Software Deployment

The Software Deployment function lets you clone any System Modification Program/Extended (SMP/E)-installed software (including additional non-SMP/E files or data sets) whether it’s an IBM product or not. You can clone the software within the system or sysplex with shared DASD (also called local deployment) or across the sysplexes in an enterprise (also referred to as remote deployment). This capability reduces the complexity of software cloning.

With the z/OSMF Software Deployment task, IBM has provided a codified solution based on best practices that will bring rigor and discipline to the practice of rolling out software on z/OS while also making it easier. It will ensure that all artifacts of the software instance are copied instead of just selected parts; this can reduce problems in the future.

You can adopt this new function gradually, starting with mainframe products that lack appropriate rigor, then move on to service levels, the whole system, and the operating system. This will help your site avoid having to continuously manage the software deployment process.

The Software Deployment function provides a checklist approach with embedded wizards to guide you through the process, starting with selecting or defining the software to be deployed (see Figure 2). The software to be deployed, called a software instance, may contain one or more products based on what you want to manage and deploy as a single entity.

The deployment process allows for identifying missing required PTF service on instances that will share resources with the deployed software in the sysplex and also across sysplexes. Without the z/OSMF Software Deployment function, there’s no method to identify missing required PTF service across different sysplexes in a single action. You must manually generate and compare the software service reports on each sysplex to determine what’s missing. Furthermore, by ensuring all required PTFs are installed, future problems, including a possible system outage, can be avoided. z/OSMF Software Deployment can identify fixes and functions on a prior software level that will be regressed after a deployment operation. It can also identify required HOLD actions that must be reviewed prior to a deployment operation.

Generated reports. The reports generated at the conclusion of the checklist summarize all the planned updates on the target system before any actual updates are made to the target system. The reports can be saved for a later audit or used for problem determination if needed.

Granular authorization. A key software management enhancement in z/OSMF 1.13 with APAR PM40764 is Granular Authorization, which lets security administrators control users' access to certain functions or objects by defining specific System Authorization Facility (SAF) profiles. For example, a DB2 administrator can be authorized to add and modify software instances and deployments for DB2 software only, and a z/OS administrator may be allowed to only work with z/OS and not DB2. The default is that all authorized z/OSMF users will have access to all software instances and deployments.

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