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IBM z/OS V2.3 Is an Engine for Digital Transformation

z/OS 2.3

IBM z/OS V2.3 provides new functions that continue to enhance the role of IBM Z, with support for the IBM z14 and its role in helping provide solutions for a trusted digital economy. z/OS V2.3 continues to support the highest levels of scalability and availability to meet service requirements for traditional workload growth as well as new computing initiatives. These include:

  • z/OS V2.3 with z14 processors supports up to 4 TB of available Redundant Array of Independent Memory (RAIM) real memory per server to help improve transaction response times, lower CPU costs, simplify capacity planning and enlarge in-memory buffer pools; helping you improve performance of DB2, WebSphere MQ, batch, SAP and other workloads
  • Economies of scale with next-generation simultaneous multithreading for zIIP-eligible workloads, new support for the I/O System Assist Processor (SAP), 2x Advanced Encryption Standard performance over IBM z13, a True Random Number Generator, SHA3 support and RSA/ECC acceleration
  • Java performance: support for reducing program pauses during Java Garbage Collection (GC):
    • Delivers more consistent response times for large heap, response-time sensitive applications, by reducing GC stop-the-world pause times through exploitation of z14’s Guarded Storage Facility. This new mode is an extension to existing GenCon GC policy, enabled through Xgc:concurrentScavenge and requires a z14 processor
    • IBM Java for z/OS will exploit RMODE64 to place JIT code cache above the bar, enabled by default in IBM SDK for z/OS, Java Technology Edition, V8.0.5 (IBM Java for z/OS V8 SR5)
  • IBM Virtual Flash Memory is the replacement for the Flash Express features, offering up to 6.0 TB of virtual flash memory in 1.5 TB increments for improved application availability and to handle paging workload spikes
  • IBM zHyperLink Express uses a direct connect short distance link (i.e., zHyperLink) to deliver low latency connectivity between z14 and FICON storage systems. Working in conjunction with your existing FICON SAN infrastructure, zHyperLink Express delivers the next generation of I/O for IBM Z storage.

Security and Resiliency to Help Reduce Risk

With today’s more-complex supply chains and the proliferation of mobile devices, data security is under more scrutiny than ever. Cloud and mobile computing models strengthen the need for data custody and resilience. z/OS V2.3 and IBM Z form the ideal hub for securing and auditing your data and transactions through the use of secured authentication, audit, secured access, cryptography, secured networking and more.

The use of strong encryption is one of the most impactful ways to reduce risk and financial loss arising from unauthorized access to data. It helps organizations meet complex compliance mandates by creating a fortified perimeter around core business data. z/OS V2.3 is designed to provide new policy-based pervasive encryption options that take full advantage of the improvements in the z14 platform and can help you build that intrinsic, fortified perimeter around your critical business data. These new capabilities include:

  • Enhanced data protection for many z/OS data sets, zFS file systems and Coupling Facility list structures give users the ability to encrypt data without needing to make costly changes to applications to imbed encryption APIs within applications
  • New z/OS policy controls make it possible to use pervasive encryption to protect user data and simplify the task of compliance
  • z/OS Communications Server includes encryption-readiness technology to enable z/OS administrators to determine which TCP and Enterprise Extender traffic patterns to and from their z/OS systems meet approved encryption criteria and which don’t
  • z14 provides cryptographic performance improvements with the Crypto Express6S (#0893) and the IBM Z processor based cryptography with the CP Assist for Cryptographic Functions that help enable the protection of data in flight or at rest. The Crypto Express6S coprocessor with CCA 6.0 is designed to comply with the Payment Card Industry) Pin Transaction Security Hardware Security Module Standard.

Excellence in Workload Management and Resource Optimization

With the ability to intelligently manage workloads, allocate system resources to applications quickly and efficiently and dynamically provision additional server capacity according to policy, z/OS V2.3 and IBM Z can handle workload spikes to allow you to better meet business needs. With IBM z/OS Workload Manager (WLM) you can manage the processing of mixed diverse workloads to meet business response time goals. WLM can be used to manage service across the entire Parallel Sysplex to provide a single point of control and is designed to eliminate the need for individual image management, including:

  • z/OS V2.3 allows shorter workload management response time goals. WLM is designed to allow goal definitions for average and percentile response time goals down to 1 ms. z/OSMF RMF is designed to report these shorter response times.
  • z/OS V2.3 will enhance WLM to support Tenant Resource Groups (TRG) as a way to group work, with the ability to independently measure and cap such groups. For example, customers can classify a group of address spaces and instruct WLM to limit (i.e., ‘cap’) CPU consumption related to that group, to a limit also specified in the WLM service definition. Similarly, the cap can be removed, allowing CPU consumption for that workload to continue unrestrained.
  • WLM will also be designed to record CPU consumption for each TRG, leading to enhanced RMF reporting for the specified workload
  • z/OS Workload Management provides a control that allows service classes to be defined such that their specialty processor eligible work will not execute on general purpose processors. In addition, WLM resource groups are enhanced to limit the amount of real storage that may be used by the associated service classes. In particular for workloads that exploit this function (e.g., Apache Spark workloads), this capability provides the ability to specify that all the applications or jobs submitted to a particular Spark cluster don’t exceed a specified real memory limit and that they do not receive help from standard processors when the zIIP capacity is exceeded.

Making z/OS Easy to Manage

Clients are faced with a mixed-skills workforce composed of professionals who are new and those who are already skilled in z/OS. z/OS V2.3 will simplify and modernize the user experience and help make pertinent information readily available and easily accessible, including:

  • z/OSMF will be started during the z/OS IPL process. This helps to ensure that z/OSMF services, such as notification services, are present for exploiters of z/OSMF
  • Continuing to lay the foundation for installation improvements through enhancements to the software packaging and installation capabilities in z/OSMF that provide the basis for a common installer
  • z/OS continues to simplify diagnosis and problem determination, network and security management, as well as overall configuration and operations. These improvements can help shorten time to value through simpler systems management, improved productivity and more intuitive management using functions that are easier to understand and use. Examples of this functionality are:

▫ Updating the System Display and Search Facility (SDSF) browser-based UI to align with the 3270 user interface (UI)

▫ SDSF now provides a new user's guide that is designed to provide detailed information for the end user on how to get started with SDSF and how to use the various functions provided as part of SDSF. The new user's guide is available with the rest of the z/OS product documentation. This makes user information easy to search and bookmark, which should improve the user experience with SDSF.

▫ SDSF supports new enhancements in JES2, particularly in the areas of resiliency, providing visibility to reserved space as well as measurements of spool and control block consumption.

▫ z/OSMF, the web browser-based z/OS management interface, is now a required component of z/OS and is expected to be installed and configured on at least one system in every sysplex. z/OSMF is designed to help you more easily manage a mainframe by simplifying day-to-day configuration, administration and management of z/OS software. This helps extend skills and maximize productivity allowing you to create a repeatable and more standardized management approach.

▫ z/OSMF automation is designed to help reduce the learning curve and extend skills using modern capabilities like workflows, REST services, graphical interfaces, support for management of non-z/OS software and more. Its active user assistance helps guide you through tasks, simplifying operations.

▫ A new z/OSMF plug-in, Sysplex Management, provides detailed views of sysplex infrastructure resources such as Parallel Sysplexes and z/OS systems, CFs and CF structures, CF structure connectors, couple data sets and policies and coupling links

▫ The z/OSMF WEBISPF plug-in is enhanced in z/OS V2.3 to allow single sign on within a sysplex. This eliminates the need to continuously log on and off as you navigate system to system.

▫ z/OS V2.3 z/OSMF contains a new function called Operator Consoles. This function provides an improved visualization of the z/OS operator consoles, including support for multiple systems in a sysplex.

▫ z/OS V2.3 adds a new Workflow Editor to z/OSMF to enable editing workflows in the UI instead of directly editing XML files

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Transform to a Value-Generating Service Provider

As the API economy develops, customers are incented to move their IT operations from a cost center model to a revenue-generating profit center model. The z/OS platform, known for its outstanding vertical scalability and speed, coupled with leading-edge security and reliability, provides the foundational capabilities that are ideal for private cloud service delivery because:

  • z/OSMF will support workflow extensions for IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS
  • z/OS V2.3 delivers real-time SMF Analytics infrastructure support, which will enable faster processing for high-volume SMF data, providing the response time required for real-time analysis of SMF data in analytics and cloud applications

Enabling the z/OS platform with these cloud capabilities delivers innovations not only in certain infrastructure elements and components of z/OS, but also in selected levels of various z/OS software subsystems such as IBM CICS Transaction Server for z/OS, IBM IMS for z/OS, IBM DB2 for z/OS, IBM MQ for z/OS and IBM WebSphere Application Server for z/OS.

Delivering Innovations to Build the Next-Generation Infrastructure

Today's economy requires organizations to quickly consume, manipulate and deliver vast amounts of information, extracting business insight while leveraging the capabilities of cloud services. The information must be securely managed, processed and delivered across the globe. Such a fundamental shift away from traditional information processing calls for a highly responsive, secure and reliable platform that can support new workloads without impacting service levels of mission-critical work. The enhancements delivered in z/OS V2.3 provide the infrastructure to smoothly transition businesses for this new IT environment.

Bill Meinhardt is the offering marketing manager for IBM z/OS, the OS that runs IBM Z. In this position he oversees the worldwide go-to-market planning and execution for z/OS.

Gary Puchkoff is a Senior Technical Staff Member at IBM where he is responsible for z/OS product technical content including modernization and simplification of the z/OS platform. He has been with IBM for over 34 years and holds more than 14 patents.



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