Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Europe : 15% increase on all IBM System Storage hardware products

I overlooked this one as it was announced last Thursday instead of the regular Tuesday announcements. Perhaps Friday 13 would've been a better date for this announcement : 'Price changes: IBM System Storage hardware products (ZA15-1104)'. It's a short one, so I can keep it short too as I have no additional information about it either.
"IBM announces a 15% increase on all IBM System Storage hardware products."
This is applicable to Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia and effective as of February 12, 2015.
For the UK it is only 10%.

I haven't found a similar announcement for other parts of the world so I guess it has mainly to do with the dollar - euro rate.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Upcoming events

Here's a selection of upcoming events that might be of interest to you

BeNeLux : March 30 2015 - IBM z13 Technical Workshop

"The course participant will learn how to exploit the IBM z13 hardware and software infrastructure to effectively run modern mainframe workloads/solutions. The 1-day workshop will provide a detailed description of the new features and functions of the z13 and the IBM z Systems BladeCenter Extension (zBX) Model 004, thereby enabling clients, BPs, and IBMers to plan, implement, and operate the system environment in an expedited manner."
I already mentioned this workshop, so you can find the contents over there, but I wasn't aware there was a session held in Amsterdam as well. The price is 600€ but these sessions are usually well worth their money. You can enroll over here.

EMEA : May 18-22, 2015 - System z Technical University

The System z Technical University is taking place in Dublin for EMEA. You can find all information about attending, agenda, registration etc. over here. There's an early bird reduction until April 3, 2015. There's also an extra reduction code when you're a GSE member. While registering, check the box “I have received an IBM rep code” on the tab “Track info & activities” and fill in the code you received together with the GSE invitation.

Belgium: March 9, 2015 - Get More from your Storage, the new Era
at DOLCE La Hulpe (afternoon event with lunch)
"In order to help you get more from your Storage we will present several solutions around Software Defined Storage(SDS), FlashSystem, VersaStack and Tivoli
We will demonstrate
Info and registration over here.

(GSE) Meetings in Belgium

March 3, 2015 - GSE Architecture Working Group about 'Business Analytics'
IBM Client Center in Brussels
You can find the agenda as well as register over here. "Business Analytics is “The systematic leverage of cross functional business information and the resulting optimization of business decisions and processes”. It is one of the five big ICT paradigms (Cloud, Analytics, Mobile, Security, and Social Media) that many organizations are exploring and adopting as part of their business strategy, in order to stay competitive or even in order to survive!"

March 26, 2015 - GSE DB2 Working Group meeting
Volvo Gent
You can register over here. The agenda covers SYSLGRNX - From Darkness to Light, Autonomic Utility Processing for DBA Maintenance Activities, Discussion panel on Utility database maintenance operations. And if you can spare the time in the morning, you're in for a real treat as Volvo Gent invites you for a guided tour in the Truck assembly Factory !

Online events

February 18, 2015 - z/VM Live virtual class at 5:00PM Brussels Time
How z/VM Live Guest Relocation is used by GDPS - Introduction and Demo

"With z/VM 6.2, z/VM supports Single System Image (SSI) and Live Guest Relocation (LGR). With GDPS 3.10, GDPS can handle and control such setups. The presentation covers:
  • a short introduction to LGR, GDPS and xDR
  • GDPS maintenance scenarios which make use of LGR
  • introduction to LGR concepts and how GDPS can control LGR
  • a short demo
  • best practices"
You can find all info and a registration link over here.

February 24, 2015 - z/VSE Live virtual class at 5:00PM Brussels Time
Mobile access to the existing z/VSE application

"The first z/VSE webcast in 2015 will demonstrate how to create a mobile application with access to existing applications running under z/VSE. We will start with a short overview of the IBM MobileFirst practice, followed by the necessary tools and knowledge to start mobile development for z/VSE and the step-by-step process of creating mobile applications. "

You can find all info and a registration link over here.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Security Bulletin: GNU C library (glibc) vulnerability affects DS8000 and XIV

IBM issued some security bulletins referring to all models of the DS8000 and the Gen2 and Gen3 of the XIV.

In general, here's what it's about :


GNU C library (glibc) vulnerability that has been referred to as GHOST affects DS8000


The gethostbyname functions of the GNU C Library (glibc) are vulnerable to a buffer overflow. By sending a specially crafted, but valid hostname argument, a remote attacker could overflow a buffer and execute arbitrary code on the system with the privileges of the targeted process or cause the process to crash. The impact of an attack depends on the implementation details of the targeted application or operating system. This issue is being referred to as the "Ghost" vulnerability."

For more information and fixes, please refer to the appropriate flashes.
For DS8000 : link.
For XIV Gen2 : link.
For XIV Gen3 : link.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Redbook : IBM z13 Configuration Setup

When introducing the new IBM z13 I also listed out some documentation including some redbooks. At that time one of them, the Configuration Setup redbook, wasn't available yet. You can now download a first draft from the 'deploy' section of the page specifically dedicated to IBM z13 I also mentioned previously.

The abstract of the Redbook :
"This IBM® Redbooks® publication helps you install, configure, and maintain the IBM z13. The z13 offers new functions that require a comprehensive understanding of the available configuration options. This book presents configuration setup scenarios, and describes implementation examples in detail.

This publication is intended for systems engineers, hardware planners, and anyone who needs to understand IBM z Systems configuration and implementation".
The table of contents :
Chapter 1. Introducing the IBM z13
Chapter 2. Channel subsystem
Chapter 3. Configuration planning
Chapter 4. Upgrading from an IBM zEC12 to IBM z13
Chapter 5. Replacing an IBM zEC12 with IBM z13
Chapter 6. Installing a new IBM z13
Chapter 7. Installing an extra IBM z13
Chapter 8. Server Time Protocol (STP)
Chapter 9. Crypto Express5S and Crypto Express4S configuration
Chapter 10. Logical partitions
Chapter 11. Preparing IBM z13 for zBX Model 004
Chapter 12. Flash Express
Chapter 13. Configure Open System Adaptor (OSA) and RoCE Express
Appendix A. Additional features and functions
I don't think it needs any more recommendations. If you're going to install a new IBM z13, this is a good place to start.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Webcast : Bob Rogers on Simultaneous Multithreading (SMT)

I'm not exactly sure anymore how I came across this webcast from Bob Rogers, but it's definitely worth mentioning it. It's on the zExchange page of the New Era site. I didn't know New Era but apparantly its "an industry leader in the repair, recovery, data erasure and integrity of z/OS systems".

If you want to know each and every detail on how SMT works and how it's implemented on the new IBM z13, the advantages and disadvantages of it and you don't mind to spend an hour of your time listening to the flamboyant Bob Rogers style, we all know, then just go over here. I, for one, certainly don't. I'm not pretending I understand every detail of it, but I got a pretty good picture of what it's about and what it means for your z shop.

Have a look at the rest of the page as well. I see there are two lectures from Marna Walle on 'Migrating to V2R1 with "look ahead" information on V2R2' on March 10 and March 12.

So, definitely worth a little visit if you want to grasp the value of SMT for the IBM z13.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

IBM XIV Storage System support for vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVOL)

I already told you some time ago that my action radius has become a bit larger than just mainframe. So, as a technical presales I'm also covering the entire IBM System Storage spectrum. Hey, we're not that big ! Of course, I'm mainly focusing on the high end market and so XIV and e.g. Flash are likely candidates to have my full attention.

So, about a week ago I wrote about a new XIV announcement and about the support for vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVOL). And now here's a video by IBM Redbooks specifically about this. If you're even slightly interested, have a look. It not only shows the ease of use of the XIV but also what VVOLs are and how they are supported by XIV.

And as I told you last time, at RealDolmen we will have a firm focus on XIV in the coming months. So, stay tuned for more communications, news and events from our part in the near future . . .

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

z Systems Software withdrawals

It's still some getting used to : z Systems instead of System z but we'll get used to it. Yesterday IBM announced some End of Service dates for z Systems software : 'Software withdrawal and support discontinuance: IBM z Systems platform selected products (ZP15-0054)'.

I guess you'd best browse through the list to see whether any of your software products are still present. Some of the softwares get no replacement.

I just want to point out one : z/VM 6.3 (5741-A07) will be be withdrawn from service on December 31, 2017. This is good news, I guess, since it's more than half a year later than what was first communicated. The z/VM End of Service Chart still mentions April 30, 2017. Obviously, no replacement is mentioned for the moment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

DS8800 expansion frame withdrawn from marketing

Today IBM announces the withdrawal from marketing of the expansion frame of the DS8800 : 'Hardware withdrawal: IBM System Storage DS8800 Expansion Unit Model 95E and select features - Some replacements available (ZG15-0056)'.

If you still want to order any expansion frames or most of the other features still available on the DS8800, then do it before September 16, 2015. You still have some time left and of course you can always move on to the next generation : the DS8870. But keep in mind you cannot add a DS8870 expansion frame to a DS8800 base unit.