z/VM and Linux support considerations on an IBM Z System migration

Most of my clients are z/OS customers, but quite a few of them also run z/VM and Linux on their mainframes.  When planning for an upgrade to a new processor, be sure you don’t overlook z/VM and Linux in your migration planning.  It’s important to be sure that all of the installed operating systems are at a version and release level that supports the incoming machine type as well as any new functions that are release dependent.

(Part of the systems assurance process is to identify the version and release level of all installed operating systems and compare that to the required versions and releases for the new processor, so this topic should be covered during the pre-install Technical and Delivery Assessment or TDA.  But, that’s really late in the planning process in most cases, often just prior to shipment of the new machine.  Sort of late to discover you need an OS upgrade, right?  Check it out early.)

Here is a link to review z/VM support for Z System servers. (Scroll down a bit when you get there.)

IBM Servers Supported by z/VM

Since Linux is not an IBM product, you must seek guidance from your Linux vendor on recommended release levels.  IBM does have a link that provides information on which environments have been tested.

IBM Tested Linux Platforms

Also, though there’s nothing imminent, here is a link to the “end of service” dates for IBM’s z/VM operating system.

VM End of Service Effective Dates

IBM z/OS V2.2 goes EOM on 01/29/2018

IBM z/OS V2.2 will be withdrawn from marketing this coming Monday, 01/29/2018.  If you are still running z/OS 1.13 and plan to move to z/OS 2.2 but have not yet ordered it, Monday is the last day you can do so.

See IBM ALET 917-078 for details.

Also, if you are running z/OS V2.1, remember that it goes “end of service” on 09/30/2018.



FICON on Z: LX or SX?

I recommend going with LX FICON cards on IBM Z systems.  There are technical vs. financial trade-offs that come into play and I’m not going to debate the issue in my personal blog.  But, as I say, my preference and recommendation is to go with longwave.

I understand the financial argument.  I also understand the technical considerations, the value of not making self-limiting moves, and the longer-term benefits of positioning yourself to better align with certain statements of direction.  I respect those who have a different opinion; I’m just looking at the problem in a different way.  I encourage my clients to go with LX, which most of them already do.


Updated Redbook on ABCs of IBM z/OS

IBM has updated their ABCs of IBM z/OS System Programming Volume 1 Redbook.

This is a good resource for anyone wanting to learn more about z/OS in general or about new z/OS features and functions.

Per IBM:

Volume 1 provides an updated understanding of the software and IBM zSeries architecture, and explains how it is used together with the z/OS operating system. This includes the main components of z/OS needed to customize and install the z/OS operating system. This edition has been significantly updated and revised.

Here’s the link:

Link to IBM ABC’s of z/OS Vol. 1

IBM Redbook on SAN

Whether you’re looking for practical, hands-on technical information or a good introduction to well-established enterprise system architectures and frameworks, the IBM Redbook site has much to offer.   IBM “redbooks” provide very good tutorials and “how to” guides.

As an example, there is a good overview of Storage Area Networks in Redbook SG24-5470.

Link to IBM Introduction to Storage Area Networks

You can download it as a pdf file.

You will see a page in which you can enter your business contact information (if you choose to do so). If you’d rather not, scroll down to where it says “I don’t want to provide any information at this time.”

There’s plenty of useful and interesting documentation on the redbook site.  Check it out sometime.