Subscribers to Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter can find the latest 112-page issue, 2023 No.2, on our publications website (https://watsonwalkerpublications.com/). In this issue, you will find the following articles:
- “We considered that by using disk replication and GDPS we were safe. But when I try to answer all the questions you make in the Loss of Volume(s) section I feel powerless.” and “I thought we were in good shape, but I’m less than half way through your list of recovery considerations and I’m on my second Prozac already.” These are some of the comments we received reviewers of an early draft of our Recovery at Scale article. The section of that article that lists the considerations if you were to lose a disk volume is six pages long. In the words of another reviewer, “This topic HAS TO BE every shop’s biggest headache today.” Recovery at Scale Part 1 is a must read for anyone in a z/OS infrastructure support role.
- IBM Previewed the next version of z/OS, z/OS V3.1, in February this year. The preview contained so many enhancements that we split our analysis of it across two Tuning Letter issues. The second installment (What’s New in z/OS 3.1 Preview – Part 2) is included in Tuning Letter 2023 No. 2 and covers DFSMS and its components, z/OS Communication Server, z/OSMF, RMF, RACF, and other z/OS components. If you are working on your plans for 2024, this is the ideal time to review our z/OS 3.1 analysis articles and decide if you want to include upgrading to z/OS 3.1 in your plans for next year.
- From a performance perspective, the most intriguing aspect of IBM’s z16 processors is the radical redesign of the CPC cache. We have been eager to see how the z16 performs with real world, constantly-varying, workloads, so we were delighted when our friend Todd Havekost from IntelliMagic kindly offered to share the conclusions of his analysis of seven z14 and z15 upgrades to z16. We believe you will find the results very interesting. Todd also shares his findings about changes in RNI calculations and CPU MF data between the z16 and previous generations. Todd’s Real World Experiences with z16 Upgrades article will be invaluable for anyone planning for an upgrade to z16.
- More and more z/OS sites are experiencing the impact of losing their most experienced staff, and realizing just how challenging it is to attract experienced staff to replace them. As they cast their net wider, IBM’s zSystems Apprenticeship Accelerator program, offered by Franklin Apprenticeships, is attracting more attention. As long predicted, the departure of senior technical staff increases their colleagues workload to the point they have little time left to train new staff. The Apprenticeship program can’t provide institutional knowledge, but it can dramatically reduce the staff time required to get new mainframers up to speed from a technical perspective. The Apprenticeship program was discussed in Building the Next Gen, One Apprentice At a Time in Tuning Letter 2022 No. 3. In this Tuning Letter issue, Experiences With IBM’s zSystems Apprenticeship Program describes one customer’s experience with the program and offers invaluable insights for anyone considering using it to find and train the next generation of mainframers.
- This issue’s User Experiences and Tips article is sure to have at least one article of interest to you. We start with a discussion of how the z/OS Communication Server Sysplex Distributor function can be used to provide more comprehensive testing of upgraded subsystems, while at the same time limiting the risk of load-related problems that frequently go unnoticed until the worst possible moment. That is followed by a reminder of how the DFSMS Catalog Search Interface can be used to gather valuable performance information, but without the hassle and exposure of providing SAF access to the MODIFY CATALOG console command. Then we have a time-saving tip about the ISPF ISRDDN command, using the example of easily finding and displaying members in the Parmlib concatenation. Next up is a list of (and links to) nearly 30 articles by IBM’s Dave Follis about WebSphere and WebSphere Liberty – if you are the guy or gal responsible for WebSphere on z/OS in your installation, you are sure to find interesting and valuable information in Dave’s treasure chest of WebSphere information. Finally, we have a reminder about the recently-announced Python support for zIIP processors, and links to a series of very interesting zIIP posts by Craig Mullins.
- Of course, we also have our review of IBM z/OS-related APARs from the last quarter. The News article provides our list of the APARs we believe warrant your attention. It also includes a review of changes to the handling of IBM announcement materials, new and updated IBM Techdocs materials, links to helpful websites, and information about upcoming conferences.
You can find the full Table of Contents here. We hope you find this information helpful and timely. Please let us know if there are specific topics you would like to see in a future Tuning Letter article.
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The Team at Watson & Walker