Posts Tagged systemz

A new adventure: installing z/OS from scratch

From time to time, I’ve run z/OS on the System z machines I have access to.  Originally this was by obtaining the ADCD distribution (which I think stands for Application Development Customised Distribution, and there’s a hyphen or a slash in the name somewhere too), but of late I’ve had access to alternative methods of installation.  However I’ve obtained my z/OS builds though, as I’ve never actually been a z/OS systems programmer they’ve always been pre-built systems.  I’ve never experienced a from-scratch installation of z/OS.
This is about to change.  I’ve set myself a challenge: equipped with my very basic z/OS systems programming knowledge, the z/OS Customised Offering Driver system on DVD, and IBM Shopz, my plan is to build a z/OS Parallel Sysplex.  Importantly, I plan to bring you along with me as I progress.  It won’t be a quick process, as I have to fit this around my day job (which for the next four weeks will be at the ITSO Poughkeepsie Center updating the “Security for Linux on System z” Redbook) but as I achieve milestones or hit major hurdles I’ll let you know what’s happening.
My first couple of milestones have already been achieved.  Firstly, I have managed to get the DVD-based COD system installed and running.  Some would say I’ve cheated a little, as I’ve used z/VM to avoid having to build a customised LPAR to match the IODF shipped with the COD.  I may yet take my working IODF from the running system and install it into the COD system to be able to run the COD in an LPAR natively.
The second milestone was to get TCP/IP connectivity to the COD.  Running under z/VM, I figured the easiest way to do this was to define a virtual OSA to connect to my z/VM VSWITCH.  Consulting the documentation for the COD, I found out what device address to use for an OSA This worked fine, but when I tried to bring up the TCP/IP interface I’d coded I got this nasty response:
EZZ0060I PROCESSING COMMAND: VARY TCPIP,,STA,OSAQDIO600
EZZ0053I COMMAND VARY START COMPLETED SUCCESSFULLY
EZZ4336I ERROR DURING ACTIVATION OF INTERFACE OSAQDIO600 – CODE 8010002A
 DIAGNOSTIC CODE 02
IST1631I OSATRL1E SUBCHANNEL 0601 QDIO DEVICE TYPE NOT OSD
When I displayed the channel paths, I saw all the paths defined as per my real IOCDS!  The “virtual” CHPID that z/VM had chosen for the virtual OSA did not actually exist in the real IOCDS, which I saw when I tried to vary the devices online:
IEE103I UNIT 0600 NOT BROUGHT ONLINE     538
IEE763I NAME= IOSVDSEO CODE= 0000000800000000
IOS576I OSA DEVICES REQUIRE AN OSA CHANNEL PATH BUT TYPE 00 FOUND
        TYPE=UNKNOWN
IEE764I END OF IEE103I    RELATED MESSAGES
The fix to this is to use an option on the z/VM DEFINE NIC command which is almost never used for Linux guests: the CHPID option.  I had to define the virtual OSA to appear at the z/OS guest on a CHPID that in the real IOCDS was an actual OSA.  This solved my problem, and allowed me to bring up TCP/IP and TN3270.

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Now I can look at what to do to start the ServerPac installation.  Before I do that though, I’m pretty sure I have to allocate some DASD.  In fact, the instructions for the COD say I need to add page and spool datasets to the COD before I can do anything productive with the system…
Wish me luck!

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Oracle Database 11gR2 on Linux on System z

Earlier this year (30 March, to be precise) Oracle announced that Oracle Database 11gR2 was available as a fully-supported product for Linux on IBM System z.  A while before that they had announced E-Business Suite as available for Linux on System z, but at the time the database behind it had to be 10g.  Shortly after 30 March, they followed up the 11gR2 announcement with a statement of support for the Oracle 11gR2 database on Linux on System z as a backend for E-Business Suite — the complete, up-to-date Oracle stack was now available on Linux on System z!

In April this year I attended the zSeries Special Interest Group miniconf[1], part of the greater Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) event COLLABORATE 11.  I was amazed to discover that there are actually Oracle employees whose job it is to work on IBM technologies — just like there are IBM employees dedicated to selling and supporting the Oracle stack.  Never have I seen (close-up) a better example of the term “coopetition”.

On my return from the zSeries SIG and IOUG, I’ve become the local Oracle expert.  However, I’ve had no more training than the two days of workshops run at the conference!  The workshops were excellent (held at the Epcot Center at Walt Disney World, no less!) but they could not an expert make.  So I’ve been trying to build some systems and teach myself more about running Oracle.  I thought I’d gotten off to a good start too — I’d installed a standalone system, then went on to build a two-node RAC.  I communicated my success to one of my sales colleagues:

“I’ve got a two-node RAC setup running on the z9 in Brisbane!”

“Great!  Good work,” he said.  “So the two nodes are running in different LPARs, so we can demonstrate high-availability?”

” . . . ”

In my haste I’d built both virtual machines in the same LPAR.  Whoops.  (I’ve fixed that now, by the way.  The two RAC nodes are in different LPARs and seem to be performing better for it.)

Over the coming weeks, I’ll write up some of the things that have caught me out.  I still don’t really know how all this stuff works, but I’m getting better!

Links:

IBM System z: www.ibm.com/systems/z or www.ibm.com/systems/au/z

Linux on System z: www.ibm.com/systems/z/os/linux/index.html

Oracle zSeries SIG: www.zseriesoraclesig.org

Oracle Database: www.oracle.com/us/products/database/index.html

[1] Miniconf is a term I picked up from linux.conf.au — the zSeries SIG didn’t advertise its event as a miniconf, but as a convenient name for a “conference-in-a-conference” I’m using the term here.

 

 

 

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Rebooting my belief system

I’ve been away from SHARE for far too long.  It’s really great to hear positive things about Linux on zSeries again, rather than the crap I have to put up with at home.

In Australia, there is no evangelism of zSeries.  There’s an attitude bordering on arrogance that seems to say “we’re not going to explain zSeries to you; if you don’t know you want it already then you’re not worth it”.  At least that’s what it looks like to me.

I’m surrounded by people who think that all problems can be solved by installing an xSeries or pSeries machine.  Maybe some can be, but IMHO they’ll be replacing one set of problems with another (possibly greater) set.

Anyway, it’s nice to hear different stories — like a company whose IT costs went from 1.7% to 0.9% of sales by migrating their ENTIRE server farm (including about a dozen p690s) to a z990 running Linux.  Like a company that has placed 250 Linux server guests onto z/VM inside a year, freezing acquisition of new discrete servers.

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