It’s been a while since our last blog post, so we thought that we would pass along some recent news to brighten your mid-week for you.
First, in case, you missed it, IBM announced their mid-life update for the z14 and ZR1 CPCs. IBM US Announcement Letter 118-075, issued on October 2nd, lists a number of new and enhanced functions. First up is a new CFCC Level (23) with a new function that should be especially popular with anyone that has a sysplex that spans many kilometers. Also of interest to anyone with standalone Coupling Facilities is the ability to dynamically update the coupling link configuration without requiring a power-on-reset of the CF CPC – this basically delivers a z/OS-like dynamic I/O reconfiguration capability, but without having to have a z/OS system on the CF CPC – very nice. OSA Express 7S and RoCE Express 2 have been upgraded from 10Gb to 25Gb. There are a load of usability enhancements to the HMC. And STP usability has been improved with new support for spitting and merging Coordinated Timing Networks. There is also hardware support for Db2 V12 to use zHyperLinks for log writes. For more information, refer to the announcement letter and the IBM Redbooks z14 Technical Introduction, SG24-8450-01, and z14 Technical Guide, SG24-8451-01 (this one is on the way).
Next up – a new version of SCRT – V26.1.0. If you have z/OS 2.3, you move to the new version by installing the PTF for APAR OA56092. If you are still on an older release, you can download the new SCRT version from here. This new version was made available on October 10th, and (VERY IMPORTANT) this is the version that you must use to create the SCRT reports for your October usage. If you were not aware, the IBM terms and conditions state that you must always use the latest available version of SCRT. You can find a list of the changes in this new version here.
Related to the new SCRT version is a new flavor of the New Application Solution that was announced as part of the Container Pricing announcement in 2017. This offering (called Solution Capacity Licensing Charge (SCLC)) breaks the mold (or maybe brings us back to the 1970s) in that it offers billing for qualifying applications that is based on total accumulated CPU consumption for the application, rather than on the peak Rolling 4-Hour Average. We will have an article about this option, and an update on the DevTest Container option in the next issue of the Tuning Letter (coming soon).
Containers, containers, containers! They’re on everyone’s minds these days. So much so, that we’ve been presenting several sessions at conferences lately on containers and software licensing options in general. We’ve just uploaded six new presentations we gave at the SHARE St Louis conference in August and the zTech University conference in Hollywood Florida last week. You can download them all here.
Next – this is a very important one. As long as I can remember (which isn’t very long!), z customers have been griping about Knowledge Center. Well now you no longer have an excuse – IBM has had a survey available since August, asking customers about what improvements they would like to see in Knowledge Center, and asking you to prioritize your wishlist items. Given people’s comments about Knowledge Center, it is very disappointing to hear that very few people have actually responded to the survey. It literally takes 5 minutes to complete, and IBM is already hard at work on a number of the enhancements that are mentioned in the survey. If you rely on IBM manuals to do your job effectively, PLEASE take a few minutes to complete the survey and send IBM your comments. In today’s business environment, the things that get fixed are those that generate the most noise. If you want IBM to improve Knowledge Center, you have to let IBM know that there are more than just a handful of customers that care about this. This is just like elections – if you don’t get out and vote, you are in no position to complain if you don’t like the result.