Tuesday, September 30, 2008

ChannelDB2 and DB2 Online Community Action Day

Hi, if you've been wondering where I've been the last couple of weeks, well I've caught the flu last week. We call it 'stomach flu' but apparently the right expression is 'gastroenteritis'. I didn't get out of bed for about a week and lost some 5 kilos. I'll get them back, don't worry, allthough my wife likes to think otherwise.
As a matter of fact, I'm just in time back to announce the first DB2 'Online Community Action Day' tomorrow on October 1, 2008. It's related to the new 'ChannelDB2' community : "ChannelDB2 is a social network for the DB2 community. It features content such as DB2 related videos, podcasts, blogs, photos, resources, etc. for Linux, UNIX, Windows, System z, and System i". You can subscribe to the community, but Adam Gartenberg asks you to go one step further and "to take just one simple action to demonstrate your participation in the broader community. Just one". Some examples of what you can do :
Some other people commenting on this event are Willie Favero, Susan Visser and Peggy Zagelow.

Just take a look, if you're into DB2, this will defenitely become an interesting community.

Friday, September 19, 2008

DS8000-DS6000 : EOM of 500GB FATA drives

I was a bit surprised to read these announcements last Tuesday about 'Hardware withdrawals of selected features ' for the DS6000 (ZG08-0837) and the DS8000 (ZG08-0836).The announcements are quite short : the 500GB 7.200rpm FATA drives are withdrawn from marketing and are no longer available as of October 17, 2008. But what I still find more suprising is the replacement section : 'None'.
But then it occurred to me that there had been a 'preview' of a 1TB 7.200 rpm SATA disk in the latest DS8000 announcement (ZG08-0394) : "IBM intends to enhance the configuration options of the DS8000 series with support for 1 TB 7,200 RPM SATA disk drives, doubling the raw capacity of existing models up to 1024 TB for DS8300 Turbo Models and up to 384 TB for DS8100 Turbo Models. IBM intends to provide this capability in early 2009". So most likely FATA will be out of the picture but it's a bit strange that the 500GB drives disappear some months before the 1TB drives are likely to be marketed ?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

2 year blogoversary

I didn't even know there was a word for this, but then again, I should have known that some one would come up with a word for it : 'blogoversary'. I even checked whether it shouldn't be 'blogaversary' or 'blogiversary'. Hey, I'm a linguist !

Well, I'm blogging for two years now and I still like it. Surely because I don't have the feeling I'm only writing this for myself. I've had some great responses from people of this little community I really respect. And I'm linked to from some great blogs I like to check out regularly.

So, thanks for stopping by from time to time and don't hesitate to leave some comments if you have any kind of remarks.

As Apu Nahasapeemapetilon (from The Simpsons) would say : "Thank you, Come again".

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

IBM announces IMS V11

It looked like only a couple of months ago to me, but it's been almost a year since I wrote about the announcement of IMS V10. Still, here's already the announcement of IMS V11 (ZP08-0416) : 'IBM IMS V11 Database and Transaction Servers (QPP) deliver unsurpassed application and data serving'. Or perhaps I'd better call it pre-announcement. It only becomes available January 19,2009 for the "Quality Partnership Program (QPP) (...). IBM plans to ship IMS V11 to customers already selected as participants in the QPP process". So, next to the announcement, there's not much information to be found for the moment. But the announcement itself already gives plenty of details. Here are some of the highlights :

IMStm V11 Database Manager enhancements

  • IMS Open Database support offers direct distributed TCP/IP access to IMS data, providing cost efficiency, enabling application growth, and improving resilience.
  • Broadened Javatm and XML tooling eases development and access of IMS data.
  • IMS Fast Path Buffer Manager, Application Control Block library, and Local System Queue Area storage reduction utilize 64-bit storage to improve availability and overall system performance.
  • Enhanced commands and user exits simplify operations and improve availability.

IMS V11 Transaction Manager enhancements

  • IMS Connect (the TCP/IP gateway to IMS transactions, operations, and now data) enhancements offer improved IMS flexibility, availability, resilience, and security.
  • Broadened Java and XML tooling eases IMS application development and connectivity, and enhances IMS Web services to assist developers with business transformation.
  • Enhanced commands and user exits simplify operations and improve availability.
  • IMS Application Control Block library and Local System Queue Area reduction utilize 64-bit storage to improve availability and system performance
When the actual availability date and more information become available, I'm definitely going to come back on this.

Monday, September 15, 2008

PAV vs. HyperPAV

I'm not taking any credit for this post, but if you want a simple and clear explanation of the differences between Static PAV, Dynamic PAV and HyperPAV, just head over to the IBM-Main Discussion list. Bill Fairchild of Rocket Software explains it all in a couple of sentences. I hope he doesn't mind quoting him and if you want some more detail, just get to the thread itself.
"First came static PAVs. You decide where the PAVs are inside each LCU (Logical Control Unit), a collection of up to 256 devices. If you want to change any of them, you have to redo your configuration. Lots of work. Error-prone PITA. Hard to change. You must know your hot devices in advance.

Next came dynamic PAV. The WLM decides within one LCU what should be PAVed for the next WLM interval in order to deliver your requested goals, WLM issues control I/O commands to the controller, PAV array is reset inside the controller, and the new PAV configuration is fixed in concrete (static) until the end of the next WLM interval, maybe 10 minutes later?

Next came HyperPAV. IOS decides on an I/O by I/O basis if a PAV is needed for the next I/O, finds one from a pool of available PAV UCBs, directs the new I/O to a PAVed UCB which the controller knows how to send to the proper device, then IOS returns the PAV UCB to the pool of available PAV UCBs when the I/O ends. You don't have to reconfig. You don't wait until the end of the WLM interval. IOS does no control I/O to tell the controller a new PAV configuration. Instantaneously dynamic as opposed to quasi-static as opposed to seriously static". (Bill Fairchild of Rocket Software)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some z/VM news

z/VM 5.4 was announced (ZP08-0349) last month and for those who want to have some information on this new release there has been a webcast a couple of weeks ago. You can still find the replay of it on the Live Virtual Classes page. The presentation charts are still available too.

The webcast also gave some more information on how to install the evaluation version of z/VM 5.3. As a matter of fact, this is a free trial version of z/VM 5.3, not z/VM 5.4 - though only for z10 customers. It's normally limited to a 90-day trial. As it's not meant for production workload, it comes without support. You can read all about it on the special 'Z/VM 5.3 Evaluation Edition' page. There's an interesting FAQ and there's also a download link.

And it's not only this free version you can download : since January, 2008 "the z/VM base operating system and base options are available for Internet delivery for orders placed using ShopzSeries in countries where it is available". This includes z/VM 5.3 and z/VM 5.4. If you haven't used ShopzSeries before or you're not sure how to do this, there's a specific page : 'How specify Internet Delivery for your z/VM order on ShopzSeries', which gives you step by step instructions.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Full Free Air Cooling

I've never heard about this concept before and since the Green Data Center is at the centre of many people's attention, I thought I might mention this. The news item where I picked this up is in Dutch and you find it over here. It's a cooperation of Belgacom (Belgium's largest Telecom Operator), Sun Microsystems and Cisco. The purpose is to set up a Data Center without the traditional Air Cooling installation in order to obtain large energy savings. "The concept is based on the experience of several European Telecom Operators (eg Swisscom, BT, Belgacom) using Full Free Air cooling to substantially reduce the energy consumption in the Telecom Network". This was put into practice with a small scale data center at the Sun Solution Center in Schotland. Here's a representation of how it works :

You can find more information over here : Free Air Cooling Proof of Concept. There's also a FAQ and you can login to the system where the measurement equipment and the results are accessible. Just follow the instructions.

An interesting concept I'd say. The conclusions from the participants ?
  • Applying Full Free Air Cooling in the data-center is realistic !
  • Compared to an industry average PUE of 2, the potential overall data-center energy saving is 47%

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

NV RealDolmen

As of today, I'm no longer working for Dolmen CA but for NV RealDolmen. RealDolmen is a merger of two major ICT companies in Belgium : Real Software and Dolmen CA. Here's an extract from the press release that was issued yesterday September 1, 2008.

"RealDolmen becomes the reference partner in the local market for its customers, providing integrated ICT-solutionsand supporting the full ICT-lifecycle for its customers with a plan-build-operate approach. RealDolmen’s mission isto enable its clients to achieve their objectives by optimizing their business processes through innovative, effectiveand reliable ICT solutions.

Its single source offering is provided through three complementary solutions portfolios, making it possible to deliverfully integrated ICT-solutions.
  • Business Solutions: these are the ICT-solutions built with own software or on top of 3rd partyplatforms. In this area RealDolmen will sell both services and products.
  • Professional Services: encompasses software development and ICT-infrastructure related services aswell as products such as courseware, development and project management methodologies,reusable software modules and development frameworks.
  • Infrastructure Products: Hardware products and software licensesRealDolmen’s ‘plan-build-operate’ approach allows scalable support for its customers, during any faze of their ICTprojects.
With sites in Huizingen, Kontich, Houthalen, Turnhout, De Pinte, Namur, Zaventem, Brussels, Harelbeke,Luxemburg, Paris and Lille, this combined geographical coverage, spread over the BeLux and France, willsignificantly increase the amount of service points for customers and will give them a partner who speaks both their local as well as their business language. This is an important first step in the RealDolmen Customer Focus Strategy.

With more than 1,900 professionals and partnerships with leading ICT companies such as IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, HP, Cisco, VMware, Cognos, Siebel, NEC Philips, JBoss and Citrix - the ‘Rock-Solid Passion for ICT’ of RealDolmen will put them in an important position in the ICT-market in the BeLux and France, offering its customers the best guarantees for the future

RealDolmen is listed on Euronext Brussels with ticker “REA”. The Gores Technology Group and the Colruyt family remain with 32 % and 16 % respectively the two most important shareholders of the company."

More information : http://www.realdolmen.be/.