Subscribers to Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter can find the latest 121-page issue, 2021 No. 3, on our publications website (https://watsonwalkerpublications.com/). The last quarter has been really hectic on many fronts – IBM released the formal announcement of z/OS 2.5, details about the chip in IBM’s next mainframe were discussed at the Hot Chips conference, we’ve delivered a set of customer workshops in Europe with our friends in IntelliMagic, Mario and I presented at the GSE UK conference, and we completed a sysplex health check for a very large customer – no wonder it feels like the quarter flew! On top of all this, we made some changes to the Tuning Letter to make it more consumable by our always-busy readers – please let us know what you think. In this issue we have:
- Interesting insights from IntelliMagic’s Todd Havekost about the metrics changes that result from IBM moving the zEDC function from a PCIE card to an on-chip accelerator. The zEDC Accelerator promises increased throughput and an enlarged set of exploiters that can use the zEDC function without requiring the chargeable zEDC feature code. However, a side effect of the technology change is that the SMF type 30 records might contain less information available about zEDC use at the individual job level. Additionally, RMF’s system-level information about zEDC usage has moved to a new SMF subtype. Check out Todd’s article for all the details.
- What’s really new in z/OS 2.5? If you read the IBM announcement letter for z/OS 2.5, you could be forgiven for getting the impression that most of the enhancements have already been delivered in the Continuous Delivery service stream. However, as we dug into the announcement material, conference presentations, and the z/OS 2.5 manuals, we found that this new release delivers many more enhancements than we initially thought. In fact, there are so many enhancements that we had to split this article across two issues of the Tuning Letter. This issue covers z/OS base, JES2, z/OSMF, and general support considerations. The next Tuning Letter issue will address DFSMS enhancements, SDSF, and Communication Server.
- For JES3 customers, z/OS 2.5 marks the end of an era – this is the last z/OS release that will support an IBM-provided JES3. To mark the occasion, we had another Question and Answer session with Phoenix Software International’s Donna Hudi and Ed Jaffe about their progress and plans for JES3plus. If you are a JES3 customer and you still haven’t committed to a strategy for how you are going to address your JES needs after z/OS 2.5, we urge you to review JES3plus Status and Roadmap for the information you need to make a fully-informed decision.
- Perhaps the most hotly-discussed item related to z/OS 2.5 is IBM’s move to using z/OSMF to drive future ServerPac installs. The topic has been passionately discussed in public fora by lovers of the idea and others that are somewhat less enthusiastic about the idea. We hope that most of our readers are in the former camp – Cheryl has been an ardent supporter of z/OSMF since its early days, and we have been pointing out to readers for the last two years that this change was just a matter of time. To make the new z/OSMF ServerPac install experience as positive as possible, we are delighted to provide an article by IBM’s Marna Walle. No one knows more about the new install process, and customers’ experience with it, than Marna, so we hope you will carefully review Marna’s z/OS Software Installs Take a Great Leap Forward article – we can’t think of a better investment of your time.
- While on the topic of the future of z/OS, you might be interested in our Are You Open to Open Source for z/OS? article. Whether your reaction to the idea of using open source software on your beloved z/OS system is ‘It is about time’ or ‘Over my dead body’, there is no avoiding the fact that open source software is coming to a z/OS near you soon. In fact, you might be amazed (or horrified!) to discover how much open source software is already in your z/OS system. We highly recommend reviewing this article to help you prepare for the introduction of yet-more open source software in your z/OS environment.
- Our User Experiences and Tips article is always one of the most popular in any Tuning Letter. This issue has five real world experiences and time-saving tips, ranging from a request for information about RLS-managed catalogs, an alternative to the MODIFY CATALOG command for gathering catalog performance information, a free tool from Trident Services to help gather information about your use of system exits, a suggested way to protect yourself from nasty software bill surprises, and some insights about an LPA-like facility for USS.
- And, last but not least, this issue’s News article is greatly slimmed down, focusing just on Performance and New Function APARs, and new and updated Techdocs. Our objective is to make it easier for you to quickly find the information you need to keep your systems up to date and humming along as efficiently as possible.
You can find the full Table of Contents here. We hope that you will be as excited about the contents and the new slimmed-down format as we are.