1. DB2 Red Alert
2. Upcoming Conferences
3. z/OS Software Pricing Strategies Class in Orlando
4. Three Classes Announced for Germany in November
5. An Interesting APAR
6. z/OS 2.2 Announcement
7. Compuware CIO Survey Now Available
1. About Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter 2015 No. 2
The 88-page 2015 No. 2 Tuning Letter was emailed to paid subscribers on July 31, 2015. We sent an 89-page replacement out on August 4 because we were missing two figures. Page 44 has been updated, and page 45 has been added and contains the missing figures. You gotta love that MS Word. J Many thanks to Tom Rankin from IBM for notifying us about this so quickly.
You may visit our website at www.watsonwalker.com to obtain subscription information and the table of contents. The following is our Management Summary from this issue: z13
The latest IBM mainframe, the z13, was announced back in January of this year. There are 231 models, ranging from 250 MIPS, up to 111,556 MIPS. The formal IBM announcement was interesting because it focused nearly entirely on the new applications that the z13 was designed for – Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Social Media, and Security – with very little said about the ‘speeds and feeds’.
Understandably, IBM is trying to position the z13 as the platform of choice for any enterprise that is growing in any of those areas. The fact that it is bigger, faster, and more reliable was almost a given.
However, for our readers, the speeds and feeds are important. With 231 models to choose from, you will need help to select the model that is optimal for you. Naturally, the z13 does everything, and supports all the same applications, that its predecessors did. But there are also some fundamental changes from previous generations that mean that identifying the perfect z13 may not be as straightforward as identifying the perfect z196 or zEC12 was.
To help you understand the changes and the options that are open to you, we have studied the z13s in detail, spoken to our customers that already have them, and the IBMers that are involved in the design and support of the z13, and have distilled all that knowledge into the z13 Processor Performance article on page 39.
If you see a z13 in your future, you should read that article. Even if you think that you might skip z13, and go straight to the next generation, it is still valuable to be familiar with z13. It introduces many new capabilities, and those capabilities will obviously be carried forward to future generations, so this knowledge will help you in the future. It may also be beneficial to you now, because based on the knowledge of what lies in your future, you might want to adjust your current plans or behavior.
Putting Some zIIP in Your Step
If you asked most z Systems customers to tell you one thing about specialty processors, it would probably be that the capacity consumed on those processors does not count towards your monthly IBM software bill. And while that is true, it is only part of the specialty processor story.
The purchase price of a specialty processor is only a fraction of the cost of a general purpose processor. So, if you have a choice between running work on an expensive general purpose processor, or a far less expensive specialty processor, why would you choose the pricier option?
Surprisingly, quite a few installations do just that. Not deliberately, but rather because they apply traditional mainframe thinking to when they should add more specialty processors. The recent addition of SMT support for zIIPs on z13 raises the possibility of getting even more work out of your zIIPs, but also makes capacity planning a little more complex.
To determine the latest thinking on zIIP capacity planning in general, and to understand the impact of SMT in particular, we asked IBM’s capacity planning expert, Kathy Walsh of the Washington Systems Center. Kathy very kindly gave us a load of her time, and access to her huge experience with customers of all sizes. The result is the article about zIIP capacity planning on page 14. We strongly encourage you to get your capacity planning team to read Kathy’s article – it contains information that you might not find elsewhere, and is aimed at helping customers get the maximum value for their money from their z/OS environments.
VSAM RLS Part 2
In the next installment of his series of articles about VSAM RLS, H&W Computer Systems’ Roy Farren provides a wealth of useful information to help you understand the prerequisites for VSAM RLS.
If you have applications that use VSAM data, and those applications have availability targets, you should be interested in VSAM RLS. If you have software that uses VSAM data sets (DFSMShsm, for example), then you should be familiar with the capabilities and benefits of VSAM RLS. And if you have catalogs and want to benefit from future catalog performance enhancements that IBM might deliver, then you should be thinking about including VSAM RLS in your plans now.
Roy’s article is an excellent primer for anyone that wants to understand the infrastructure requirements for VSAM RLS. It is also provides a great introduction to the terminology you will encounter when you tackle the IBM product manuals and Redbooks that address VSAM RLS.
News and Views
In addition to these articles, we have all the normal news and views. Are you interested in keeping CPU consumption under control? The News article starting on page 67 lists over 25 performance-related fixes for products ranging from COBOL to DB2, and from CICS to z/OS. Don’t have time to keep up on the latest blogs, white papers, or Redbooks? We summarize them for you, and provide hot links allowing you to hop directly to the items that are of interest to you. We realize how busy all our readers are – that is why we are here, to do your research for you and help you get more from your day.
Consulting and Classes
We love interacting with our customers, and what better way to do that than by working side by side with them. We have completed a number of classes now, both in the US and Europe. Our most popular, and most-requested class, is on the burning issue of the day – how to reduce your mainframe software costs. The next run of that class will be in Orlando, on October 12th to 14th. And, in the spirit of keeping costs down, that class is going to be in the week immediately after the IBM Technical University, which is also in Orlando. So, for the one plane ticket, you can attend both the Technical University AND our software pricing strategies class.
For customers that would like us to analyze their configuration, and licenses, and identify opportunities to reduce costs, we also offer the software pricing strategies class as part of an on-site workshop where we combine classroom education with a one-on-one deep dive into your options for reducing the Total Cost of Ownership of your z/OS environment. Please see our website at http://www.watsonwalker.com/education.html or send an email to email@example.com for more information.
We love the chance to work with our customers to review their environments for adherence to industry best practice. We help you identify opportunities for improvement, and have the advantage of being completely independent. We are not trying to sell hardware or software, and we are not afraid to be brutally honest or hindered by company politics. One customer said he was going to show our report to other consultants and say “look, LOOK what a real professional deliverable this is!!!”, which, I guess, means that he was pleased with it J.
If you would like to talk to us about some classes or consulting work, please send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are always delighted to hear from our readers.
2. DB2 Red Alert
This is the first Red Alert from IBM since August 2014. That’s almost a year without any really serious problems. Congratulations are due!
2015.07.06 – For DB2 V10 and DB2 V11 users: DB2 log records may be written with invalid control information in certain rare ‘Cancel window’ situations and cause unpredictable results. Both DB2 10 and 11 systems are affected, although, the exposure is higher for DB2 11 systems that have not converted their BSDS data sets to use 10-byte RBA values. DB2 9 and prior releases are not affected. The description recommends the installation of fixes for two APARS: PI41630 (DB2 V11 only) and PI42170 (DB2 V10 and V11 – OPEN).
RECOMMENDATION. Ensure that your DB2 colleagues are aware of this problem AND that they read the red alert. This is very important because in some situations, the problem can stop DB2 from restarting – not a situation you want to find yourself in.
For an up-to-date list of Red Alerts, see: www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/redAlerts/home.html.
3. Upcoming Conferences
August, September, and October have several conferences that we’ll be attending or involved in. We hope to see you there!
- The Summer SHARE will be held in Orlando on August 9th-14th. If those sultry summer days get too much for you, what better place to get away from it all than Orlando? Er, well, anyway, I’m sure there will be loads of interesting sessions at SHARE as customers start getting their hands on z13s and as the availability of z/OS 2.2 gets closer. For more information, refer to http://www.share.org/orlando. Cheryl and I will be presenting three sessions at this SHARE:
- Wed, 11:15 AM – Session 17653 – A Consultant’s View on Recent Software Pricing Options
- Wed, 3:15 PM – Session 18034 – SMFPRMxx Parameters: Which Can Help, Which Can Hurt < Newly added session today!!! Cheryl and I received a Best Session award at the last SHARE for this session.
- Fri, 10:00 AM – Session 17433 – The Cheryl and Frank zRoadshow
This should be an excellent SHARE, and I noticed that many of the popular IBMers that have missed some recent SHAREs are making an appearance again. If you haven’t signed up yet, do so now at http://www.share.org/orlandotypes.
- Cheryl and I will also be presenting two sessions at “z/OS Kundentag und 108. GSE Guide” in Boeblingen, Germany, on September 16th and 17th:
- 16th at 14:00: Mobile Workload Pricing in the Real World
- 17th at 11:10: SMFPRMxx Parameters: Which Can Help, Which Can Hurt
|University event was going to be merged into the Edge conference, the Technical University is actually going to be held this year, in Orlando, from||Orlando is THE place to be for z education|
- Despite earlier indications that IBM’s Technical October 5th to 9th. With so many System z events being held in Orlando this year, expect to see sysprog job applications arriving from Mickey Mouse and his friends. Although the agenda hasn’t been finalized, Cheryl will be presenting two sessions here:
- SMFPRMxx Parameters: Which Can Help, Which Can Hurt
- Parmlib and SMF Recommendations for z/OS V2
And she’s staying over the weekend to help present our z/OS Software Pricing Strategies class (see item #4 below).
- In addition to helping Cheryl with these classes, I am also going to be presenting the Performance and Availability day of some of the ITSO Annual Technical Workshops. If you are a regular attendee of the ITSO workshops, please come along and say hello. You can find more information about content, locations, and dates on the Redbooks web site at http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redbooks.nsf/pages/zsystemstour?Open.
- CMG’s annual performance and capacity conference, 2015 CMG Conference, will be held in San Antonio, Texas on November 2nd-5th.
- We’ll both be in Hamburg, Germany from November 11th through November 20th teaching our three classes. See item #5 for a list of the classes.
- And, last, but by no means least, is the GSE UK conference which will once again take place at the beautiful Whittlebury Hall in the UK on November 3rd and 4th. Cheryl and I had the pleasure of attending this conference last year and we can wholeheartedly recommend it. The agenda was chock full of interesting topics with top class presenters and I’m sure that this year’s event will once again excel. If you are fortunate enough to attend, put some time aside to visit the nearby Bletchley Park and Silverstone, home of British Formula 1.
If you are responsible for a conference and we haven’t listed it here, please send an email to email@example.com and we will happily publicize it here for you in future issues.
4. New z/OS Software Pricing Strategies Class in Orlando
We’re happy to announce that we’ve scheduled a new z/OS Software Pricing Strategies class. This class will be held in Orlando, Florida, on October 12-14. We’ve scheduled the class in the week immediately after the IBM z Systems Technical University in Orlando, so you can double your learning experience with zero additional air fare!
But those savings are just the start. This 3-day class discusses a multitude of ways to reduce your IBM software bill. Because software often accounts for 35% of the cost of running a mainframe, it’s the easiest place to achieve savings. So no matter if you work in a large or a small site, we’re sure you’ll walk away with many ideas for reducing your software costs and increasing the value of your z/OS systems. And of course, we’ll provide all the latest information about IBM’s newest pricing options of WMP (Mobile Workload Pricing), zCAP (z Collocated Application Pricing), and CMP (Country Multiplex Pricing). These have the potential to allow you to add additional workloads to your system at a minimal cost. But you can save even more if you use the information from the class to exploit these in the most cost effective manner. We hope and expect that taking part in this class will help you reduce your monthly software bill by thousands of dollars.
We’ve been getting rave reviews from the students who have taken this class, and it’s really unique. You don’t think that IBM is going to give a class on reducing their software invoices, do you? For more information about the class and how to register, please see www.watsonwalker.com/education.html.
To encourage companies to send both a techie and a software contracts person, we are extending our 50% discount to additional students from the same company. The price for the 3-day class is $2100 for the first student and $1050 for additional students from the same company. As you’ll see in the next item, this class is also being offered in Hamburg, Germany in November, but the 50% discount won’t apply there because we have limited space.
Note: This course is also available as part of an on-site workshop, where we combine classroom education with interactive sessions and analysis of your configuration and your bills to provide specific recommendations for your particular configuration. The cost of the on-site 3-day class will vary from customer to customer, depending on the size and complexity of your configuration. If you are interested, send us an email and we can discuss what we can do for you.
5. Three Classes Announced for Germany in November
We’re excited to announce our newest European classes. Thanks to the many requests we’ve received, we’ve scheduled all three of our classes in Hamburg, Germany in November 2015. Click on the course name to get a full description of each course, or see our Education page at www.watsonwalker.com/education.html.
November 11-13 – z/OS Software Pricing Strategies
November 18-20 – Exploiting New Features of z/OS To Minimize Costs
Because we have limited space for this class, we suggest that you send us an email and tell us whether you might be interested in the class. We know that it takes a long time to get approval for a class, but if we know you’re interested, we can contact you before we close registration for the classes.
Please note that if you want to bring multiple people to just the z/OS Software Pricing class, that you might find the total cost of the class to be less if you take it in Orlando and use the 50% discount.
6. An Interesting APAR
In February 2014, IBM created APAR OA42679 (because it’s a security-related APAR, there isn’t a direct link to it) along with APAR OA43330 (Enhance TSO/E Service Facility Processor for Authorized Callers in Support of Cross Product Usage). The TSO Service Facility (TSF) was enhanced to allow authorized callers invoking programs or commands to also run authorized. Both APARs were applicable to z/OS 1.12, 1.13, and
2.1. By now, most installations have these APARs applied to their systems.
In September 2014, HIPER APAR OA45876 was issued and documented that with
APAR OA42679, IDCAMS changed the way it invokes TSO/E to issue an IDCAMS ALLOCATE command. And finally APAR OA47508, a DOC APAR, was issued on July 1st of this year to document the changes. One of the changes requires that quotes be used to create a specific DSN because TSF and TMP (Terminal Monitor Program) treat prefix names differently. According to IBM this occurs only when the TSO user does not have a RACF segment, which is rare.
The reason we’re including this is for the benefit of ISVs, who didn’t learn about this change until recently. IBM indicates that they only recently determined that there was a change to processing, and thus issued the DOC APAR this month.
RECOMMENDATION: If you start seeing problems with the ALLOCATE command, then take a look at these APARs.
7. z/OS 2.2 Announcement
On July 28, 2015, IBM announced z/OS V2R2 in US Announcement 215–267. As expected, the release will be available on September 30, 2015. You can find all of the z/OS 2.2 PDFs here – http://www–03.ibm.com/systems/z/os/zos/library/bkserv/v2r2pdf/.
Although the announcement letter makes all line items look as if they’re the same importance, we have our own list of favorites. Many of the line items are implementations of SHARE or other user requirements, and some of them are very cool! In our next Tuning Letter 2015 No. 3, we’ll describe those z/OS 2.2 features that are available through PTFs on z/OS 1.13 and 2.1. And in the following Tuning Letter 2015 No. 4, we’ll highlight those features of 2.2 that we think are most important to exploit.
8. Compuware CIO Survey Now Available
We want to pass our thanks to Sam Knutson of Compuware who kindly let us know that their Compuware survey of 350 enterprise CIOs conducted by Vanson Bourne is now available. You may request the survey results here:
We think it’s an extremely interesting paper. As an example of one of the survey questions, the figure below should come as no surprise to anybody, but it’s always important to remember why continuous availability on the mainframe is one of its greatest strengths. Need we remind you that many of the new functions, such as those coming in z/OS 2.2, are designed to improve this reliability even more? But, as we always mention, you need to take action to exploit many of these new functions. tions, the figure below should come as no surprise to anybody, but it’s always important to remember why continuous availability on the mainframe is one of its greatest strengths. Need we remind you that many of the new functions, such as those coming in z/OS 2.2, are designed to improve this reliability even more? But, as we always mention, you need to take action to exploit many of these new functions.
Figure 1 – Cost of Single Major Mainframe Outage (© Compuware)
That’s all for this Cheryl’s List. Don’t forget that we love to hear from our readers, so if you have any interesting (or harrowing!) experiences, or any good Irish jokes, please let us know. You can contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.