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z/VM Today

IBM z/VM V7.1 offers a new release delivery and new function support cadence that gives clients an enhanced level of predictability for lifecycle management of their z/VM systems.

  • Integrates the Single System Image (SSI) function into the base, at no additional cost, and withdraws the SSI feature.
  • Increases the level of engagement with the z/VM user community.
  • Enhances the dump process to reduce the time required to create and process dumps.
  • Upgrades to a new Architecture Level Set. This requires an IBM zEnterprise EC12 or BC12, or later
  • Provides the base for additional functionality to be delivered as service after general availability.

Enhancements delivered in z/VM V7.1 include:

  • z/VM Continuous Delivery model

    By adopting this model, IBM helps clients to benefit faster from new functions and capabilities with the z/VM product. With this model, IBM changes the way z/VM function and service are delivered:

    • New z/VM function, as Small Programming Enhancements (SPEs), are delivered in the service stream of the current Version 7 release. When a new release is introduced, SPEs are delivered on that release that goes forward and, with a few exceptions, the earlier release delivers corrective service only and no new function. When z/VM V7.1 becomes available, licensed users of z/VM V6.4 will receive only corrective service.
    • Beginning with Version 7.1, IBM delivers z/VM releases on a fixed, 24-month cycle. These releases are a rollup of:
      • Previously-released SPEs
      • New function that is too disruptive or pervasive to ship in the z/VM service stream
      • Fixes that were shipped in the service stream of the earlier release
    • IBM services each z/VM release for 54 months.
    • A z/VM release remains orderable for 18 months after the general availability of its follow-on release. This enables clients who are running older levels of z/VM the option of:
      • Moving to the most current release, to receive new function SPEs
      • Moving to the service-only release, to receive corrective service only

      Clients are afforded the flexibility of moving from one service- only release to another, if they prefer not to receive new function in the service stream. For example, a z/VM V6.4 client has the option of moving to z/VM V7.1 up to 18 months after the general availability of z/VM V7.2. z/VM V6.4 will be orderable for 18 months after the general availability of z/VM V7.1. For ordering options, see your local IBM representative.

      For planning purposes, z/VM V6.4 users receive corrective service six months after the general availability of z/VM V7.2. The planned release cycle for z/VM V7 means z/VM V6.4 service support overlaps the planned availability of z/VM V7.2 by six months. The same applies for future N releases six months after the N+2 release is generally available

  • z/VM documentation that is enabled for Continuous Delivery capability

    Starting with z/VM V7.1, IBM enabled the z/VM documentation for Continuous Delivery capability to update topics in IBM Knowledge Center and publications in PDF format as the need arises. For more information, see the z/VM General Information manual (GC24-6286-10) on the z/VM Internet Library.

  • Integration of z/VM SSI for continuous operation

    SSI is included in the base of z/VM V7.1 at no additional cost. Previously, it was a priced feature of z/VM V6, and is withdrawn. Integrating and making SSI available at no charge is intended to help more clients reduce or shorten planned outages of their Linux workloads as they adopt the z/VM Continuous Delivery model for their z/VM systems.

    SSI includes Live Guest Relocation and single system maintenance to give clients a mechanism to host Linux virtual server images without suffering interruptions as they apply updates to their z/VM system. For additional information on SSI and setting up an SSI environment, see the IBM Knowledge Center.

    Also, there will be no charge for Subscription and Support (S&S) for SSI with z/VM V7. For clients who are currently paying S&S charges for SSI on an earlier release of z/VM, IBM removes the SSI feature S&S charges for future S&S renewals for clients who have ordered z/VM V7. Client acceptance of the z/VM V7 order is permission for IBM to remove future SSI feature S&S renewals.

    It is the clients' responsibility to verify that this charge has been removed with subsequent S&S renewals as there are no refunds or credits on S&S. Clients with any questions should contact their IBM representative.

  • Improvements to the z/VM Dump process

    Dump processing is enhanced to reduce the time required to create, process, and transmit data from SNAPDUMP and hard Abend dumps. By default, these dumps will be considerably smaller, thus requiring less space in both the system SPOOL and CMS file system. The increased efficiency of dump processing can help save time and resources, and removes an inhibitor to the deployment of z/VM configurations with large amounts of memory. The PTF for APAR VM66176 further reduces the time required to create a SNAPDUMP or HARD Abend dump.

  • New Architecture Level Set

    z/VM V7.1 includes an Architecture Level Set and requires IBM zEnterprise EC12 or BC12 or later systems.

  • Dynamic ESM protection support for CPACCESS, CPTYPE, and CPVLOAD

    Dynamic external security manager (ESM) protection support for the CPACCESS, CPTYPE, and CPVLOAD commands enables these commands to use the current dynamic command protection setting of the LINK command when validating the required LINK authorizations, and ensures the ESM will be called only when it is configured to handle LINK authorization requests.

  • QUERY BYUSER support for class B users

    This support provides privilege class B users the ability to issue the QUERY BYUSER command for other users, similarly to the function granted by privilege class E.

  • SMAPI ESM authorization support

    With the PTF for APAR VM66167, SMAPI provides the following ESM interaction:

    • When an ESM is present, programs can use the ESM for all SMAPI authorization decisions at the same granularity used with the SMAPI existing authorization mechanism. The ESM logs the decision (or not) that is based on its active policy, without SMAPI knowledge or intervention.
    • When an ESM defers its authorization decision to SMAPI, one of the following actions are taken based on a configuration option:
      • SMAPI's authorization decision uses the existing authorization process. SMAPI calls the ESM to log the decision in the ESM-managed security log. SMAPI has no knowledge if the ESM audit logging is enabled or disabled.
      • SMAPI treats the request as unauthorized.

    Additional details that includes PTF availability can be found on the z/VM Continuous Delivery News web page.

  • IBM z/VM Cloud Connector

    The z/VM Cloud Connector is a development toolkit that manages z/VM host and virtual machines. It provides a set of RESTful APIs to operate z/VM resources. Upper layer cloud management solutions can consume these RESTful APIs directly to manage z/VM. For additional information, see the IBM z/VM Cloud Connector webpage.

  • Dynamic Memory Downgrade

    The flexibility to reassign (add and remove) system resources is critical to z/VM clients. Today's workloads are no longer static. Memory configuration requirements for z/VM images are highly variable due to the nature of constant changing demands within guest workloads. z/VM images may regularly require extra memory to handle short term increases in memory demands. Clients require a mechanism to remove this additional memory later once workload memory demands diminish. This action must be accomplished without requiring an IPL.

    With the PTF for APAR VM66173, z/VM memory management enables dynamic removal of real memory from a running z/VM system. Clients can now reclaim unused real memory from an active z/VM partition. This makes it available to other partitions without an outage. Dynamic Memory Downgrade requires an IBM z14 system.

    Additional details that includes PTF availability can be found on the z/VM Continuous Delivery News web page.

  • Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)

    With the PTF for APAR PI99184, the z/VM TLS/SSL server is enhanced to improve security through the enablement of ECC cipher suites. ECC provides a faster, more secure mechanism for asymmetric encryption than standard RSA or DSS algorithms.

    Additional details, which include PTF availability, can be found on the z/VM Continuous Delivery News web page.

  • RSCS Query System Service

    With the PTF for APAR VM66174, the RSCS server is enhanced to provide a means to query the service level of each part that is included within the RSCS LOADLIB. A new RSCS query parameter is provided that will return the highest level PTF that is applied to each part within the running RSCS server. This eliminates ambiguity on whether service was applied.

    For additional details, including PTF availability, see the z/VM Continuous Delivery News web page.

  • Interaction with the z/VM community
    • IBM has a long history of working with clients to deliver capabilities to improve z/VM. IBM takes this interaction to a new level:
      • z/VM clients may be enlisted as "Sponsor Users" to advise IBM throughout the design process for many z/VM development projects. These clients may also test early versions of the new support before its delivery to the marketplace to ensure their expectations are met or exceeded. IBM finds the Sponsor User relationship to be beneficial and is soliciting more z/VM clients to become involved in this process. To learn more about the z/VM Sponsor User program, see the z/VM Sponsor User program web page.
      • IBM publishes information about many of its z/VM development projects to help users decide if they want to volunteer as Sponsor Users and also to help the community at large plan for the introduction of new z/VM function. This new level of communication between IBM and the z/VM user community facilitates discussion regarding implications of the planned support, such as operational incompatibilities, changes to system behavior, and software vendor impacts.

        These plans are posted and updated on the z/VM Continuous Delivery News web page.

  • Deprecation of installation support
    • Installation of z/VM on 3390 Model 3 DASD volumes is no longer supported in z/VM V7.1. Storage devices that are supported for installation include:
      • 3390 volumes with a minimum size of 10016 cylinders
      • SCSI volumes with a minimum size of 6 GB
    • The Open Systems Adapter/Support Facility (OSA/SF) is no longer included with z/VM. To customize the modes of operation of OSA features, clients should use OSA/SF on the Hardware Management Console (HMC).
    • The VMSES/E MIGRATE command and related commands, which was first supplied with z/VM V5.2, are no longer provided or supported in z/VM V7.1. The upgrade installation process that was introduced with z/VM V6.3 can be used to upgrade supported z/VM levels to z/VM V7.1. The migration of customized data for components, features, or products from z/VM levels that are earlier to those supported by the upgrade installation process for z/VM V7.1 now must be performed by using locally developed procedures.
  • National languages support
    • Messages and Help files are no longer translated into Japanese Kanji in z/VM V7.1 and are provided only in English.
    • American English and uppercase English are the supported languages.
    • z/VM 6.4 will no longer translate new or changed message that occur with service into Japanese Kanji. Instead, the messages will be delivered as uppercase English.

The following items are removed from z/VM V7.1 to satisfy the Statements of direction, which were previously announced:

  • z/VM Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) server.
  • z/VM Graphical Data Display Manager (GDDM) interface to the X Window System (GDDMXD/VM).
  • IEEE 802.3 Ethernet frame types for the z/VM Virtual Switch, 802.3 Ethernet frame formats that were removed from CP initiated Layer 2 ARP communications. CP will support only Ethernet II (DIX) frame formats for ARPs and any other initiated communications. This will not prevent Guest VM use of 802.3 Ethernet frame formats. For the TCP/IP server, all TCP/IP initiated ARP requests for OSD devices will use Ethernet II (DIX) frame format. LCS devices will continue to support 802.3 and DIX frame formats.
  • Tape is no longer supported as a media option for stand-alone dumps. The DUMPLOAD, DUMPLD2, and XLINK FORMAT utilities are updated to remove support for tape, and the HCPSADMP utility has been deleted.