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More Remarkable z15 Resources to Review

Redbooks publications and other resources you can turn to for information on the IBM z15.

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This week, I’m finishing up my exploration of the IBM z15, which was announced by IBM on Sept. 12. My goal in this series was to give you some background and analysis on the new product and to set you off on your own “journey of discovery.” My first post with a list of resources was published last week. This post, the second of two resource summaries, contains additional useful resources for you to use to explore for yourself.

A Sampling of What Else Is Available

Last week, I wrote to you about five resources—a demo, technical specification, an IBM Redbooks publication and two trade articles. This week, I want to feature the five other useful Redbooks publications other than the IBM z15 Technical Guide that I wrote about last week. The five additional Redbooks publications that feature z15 content are discussed below:
 
“IBM z15 Technical Introduction,” SG24-8850-00 
 
A new publication, this one includes information about the IBM Z environment and how it helps integrate data and transactions more securely. This book also explains how the z15 uses new innovations and traditional Z strengths to satisfy growing demand for cloud, analytics and open-source technologies. z15 has something powerful for current clients (more speed, capacity and security) and something for clients embracing hybrid cloud. This publication does a good job of reflecting this balance that the IBM designers and developers put into this new product. This 212-page book was written by Octavian Lascu, John Troy, Jannie Houlbjerg, Frank Packheiser, Paul Schouten, Kazuhiro Nakajima, Anna Shugol, Hervey Kamga and Bo XU.
 
The book has five chapters:
 
Chapter 1: “Designed to Take on Today's IT Demands”
Chapter 2: “IBM z15 Hardware Overview”
Chapter 3: “Supported Features and Functions”
Chapter 4: “IBM z15 System Design Strengths”
Chapter 5: “OS Support”
 
“IBM Z Connectivity Handbook,” SG24-5444-20 
 
This publication describes the connectivity options that are available for use within and beyond the data center for the IBM Z family of mainframes. In addition to IBM z15, the book covers IBM z14, IBM z14 Model ZR1, IBM z13 and IBM z13s. This 212-page book was written by Octavian Lascu, John Troy, Jannie Houlbjerg, Frank Packheiser, Paul Schouten, Kazuhiro Nakajima, Anna Shugol, Hervey Kamga and Bo XU.
 
The key chapters to read to understand what’s meant by “IBM Z connectivity” include:
 
Chapter 3: “Fibre Channel Connectivity (FICON)” 
Chapter 4: “IBM Z HyperLink Express” 
Chapter 5: “Open Systems Adapter (OSA) Express” 
Chapter 6: “Console Communications (OSA-ICC)”
Chapter 7: “Shared Memory Communications” 
Chapter 8: “HiperSockets” 
Chapter 9: “Coupling Links and Common Time” 
Chapter 10: “Extended Distance Solutions”
 
“IBM Z Functional Matrix,” REDP-5157-05 

This 30-page document was written by Octavian Lascu. This publication provides a list of features and functions that are supported on IBM Z, with topics including:
 
Application programming interfaces
Cryptographic features
I/O characteristics
On-demand functions
IBM Parallel Sysplex
Performance
Processor Resource/Systems Manager
Reliability, availability and serviceability
 
This book is useful because it contains narrative on the eight topics listed above, followed by helpful summary tables. For example, the book notes that IBM Z allows independent system management software vendors and customers to develop system management applications by using the console programming interfaces.
 
“IBM z15 (8561) Configuration Setup,” SG24-8860-00 

Octavian Lascu, Franco Pinto, Ryotaroh Sawada, Martin Söllig and Nelson Oliveira wrote this 384-page document. This publication helps you install, configure and maintain the IBM z15. The z15 offers new functions that require a comprehensive understanding of the available configuration options.
 
Here is a list of the chapter headings:
 
Chapter 1: “Introduction”
Chapter 2: “Planning Considerations for CPC in PR/SM Mode”
Chapter 3: “Preparing for a New z15”
Chapter 4: “Preparing IOCP for Using the CMT”
Chapter 5: “Production IODF and Setting up the CPC”
Chapter 6: “Configuring Network Features”
Chapter 7: “Defining Console Communication”
Chapter 8: “Preparing for Sysplex and Configuring Server Time Protocol”
Chapter 9: “Defining Coupling Facility Links”
Chapter 10: “Specialized Features”
Chapter 11: “Adding LPARs and OSCONFIGs”
Chapter 12: “Adding Storage Devices”
Chapter 13: “Adding Network Devices”
Chapter 14: “Adding Coupling Connectivity”
Chapter 15: “Adding PCIe Devices”
 
The target audience for this book is systems engineers, hardware planners and anyone who
needs to understand IBM Z configuration and implementation.
 
“Introducing IBM Z System Recovery Boost,” REDP-5563-00 
 
The purpose of this document is to introduce System Recovery Boost, which is a new function of the IBM z15. System Recovery Boost delivers substantially faster system shutdown and restart. This 10-page document was written by Octavian Lascu, Paul Schouten and Kazuhiro Nakajima.
 
Don’t let the small size of this document make you think this is not detailed and useful. On page 2, the book explains very clearly that, “IBM Z Recovery Boost is a new feature introduced with IBM z15 firmware (Driver 41) which is designed to provide higher temporary processing capacity to LPARs for speeding up shutdown, IPL, and standalone dump operations, without increasing IBM software costs.” 

2 Items From the IBM Knowledge Center

I’m also including some resources in addition to the publications mentioned above. Here are two articles from IBM knowledge Center that are focused on z15:
 
“Take a Look Inside the New IBM z15” 
 
Use this article to take a tour of the new IBM z15 system, including details and photos of the machine's key components. It’s written by Elizabeth K. Joseph.
 
“Enterprise COBOL v6.3 and Automatic Binary Optimizer v2.1 Take Business-Critical Applications to the Next Level on IBM’s z15” 

This article answers the question--What’s new and important in Enterprise COBOL v6.3 and Automatic Binary Optimizer v2.1? The main significance comes from the fact that both offerings fully exploit the new Vector Packed Decimal Enhancement Facility and significantly boost the performance of business-critical COBOL applications running on z15.
 
Compared to the same applications compiled with COBOL v4.2 (or below), compute intensive applications compiled and optimized by COBOL v6.3 reduce CPU usage by an average of 58%. In addition, binaries optimized by Automatic Binary Optimizer v2.1 reduce CPU usage by an average of 57% on z15. There’s more to this article, but these performance improvements do a good job of starting the discussion of why this software on z15 makes a lot of sense.

Next Week  

Next week, I’ll start a new series on innovation and IT. I’ll begin with an exploration into emerging subject areas and technologies.
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