z/OS Communications Server
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Welcome to the z/OS Communications Server Blog! We have created this blog to provide another avenue for communicating with customers interested in z/OS CS. While we have been on Facebook and Twitter for some time now, we know that some of our customers are not allowed to access either of those sites from their shops due to corporate I/T policies. While we will continue to use Facebook and Twitter for those that prefer that form of communication, we will place most of our hints, tips, announcements, etc. on this blog, with excerpts and links provided to Facebook and Twitter.
The Winter 2012 SHARE Conference is in Atlanta, Georgia next week (March 11th-16th). As always, there will be a good selection of content focused on z/OS Communications Server, including the following sessions from four of our team here in Research Triangle Park, NC:
We hope to see you there! For those that can’t join us, I’ll be tweeting (IBM_Commserver on Twitter) and posting updates to Facebook throughout the week, and possibly posting an update or two here as well.
As we announced at the SHARE conference on Monday, z/OS Communications Server is moving to RFE for the management of external requirements. RFE (Request for Enhancements) is a Rational tool that is accessed through a standard web browser interface, and allows our customers to directly submit requirements. For many years now, external requirements have come into us through a system known as FITS. FITS access is generally limited to IBM employees, which forces the involvement of a “middle man”, such as IBM Level 2 Support or an IBM account team representative, to input requirements or even to obtain status of an existing requirement.
RFE allows any customer to submit a requirement directly, and also provides several other capabilities:
Submitting a requirement against z/OS Communications Server is very straightforward:
That’s it! Unless you unchecked the “Add this RFE to my watch list” box, your requirement will automatically be added to your watchlist for you to easily find later. You can also bookmark your RFE, email it to a colleague, and even follow RFEs via RSS feeds.
A few comments about privacy: RFEs submitted against Communications Server will initially be private (meaning that they will only be visible to the submitter and IBM). However, after an initial screening we will convert the RFE to public unless we believe it represents a security or integrity concern that merits retaining the private status. Converting it to public status allows other customers to find it via searches (which reduces the submission of duplicate requirements), vote on it, and add it to their own watchlists. Note that two fields in the RFE (those marked with the key symbol) will always be private: the “Company” field and the “Business justification” field. So, other customers will not see the company name associated with the requirement, nor will they see any details about your own business that you wish to provide via the “Business justification” field.
The ability to submit z/OS Communications Server requirements via RFE is available now. Bookmark the above link and give it a try the next time you have a requirement you would like us to consider!
Today was the final day of the Winter 2012 SHARE conference in Atlanta. As always, those of us from Communications Server enjoyed the opportunity to speak with many of our customers, and discuss topics such as zEnterprise networking, network security, sysplex technologies, IPv6, and Enterprise Extender. If you were at the conference, we hope that you also enjoyed the experience and learned a few things that will help you back at your shops. Whether you were there or not, we hope you will consider joining us for the Summer 2012 SHARE conference in Anaheim, California (August 5th-10th).
The IBM z/OS Communications Server TCP/IP Implementation Redbook series provides understandable, step-by-step guidance about how to enable the most commonly used and important functions of z/OS Communications Server TCP/IP. Final versions of the four V1R13 volumes are now available for you to download and enjoy:
IBM z/OS V1R13 Communications Server TCP/IP Implementation: Volume 1 Base Functions, Connectivity, and Routing (SG24-7996-00)
IBM z/OS V1R13 Communications Server TCP/IP Implementation: Volume 2 Standard Applications (SG24-7997-00)
IBM z/OS V1R13 Communications Server TCP/IP Implementation: Volume 3 High Availability, Scalability, and Performance (SG24-7998-00)
IBM z/OS V1R13 Communications Server TCP/IP Implementation: Volume 4 Security and Policy-Based Networking (SG24-7999-00)
Are you looking for education related to z/OS Communications Server? We have recently posted several z/OS CS education sessions, with each session including a PDF of the charts plus an MP3 audio file:
z/OS V1R13 Communications Server Overview
This 34-minute overview covers the following topics:
Leveraging z/OS Communications Server Application Transparent Transport Layer Security (AT-TLS) for a Lower Cost and More Rapid TLS Deployment
This 41-minute presentation covers the following topics:
Getting the most out of your OSA adapter with the z/OS Communications Server
This 59-minute presentation covers the following topics:
Using z/OS Communications Server for Optimized Workload Balancing to z/OS
This 69-minute presentation covers the following topics:
Do you still think IPv6 is something you do not need to deal with?
This two-part presentation (a total of 101 minutes) addresses the following topics:
The Summer 2012 SHARE Conference is in Anaheim, California next week (August 5th-10th). As always, there will be a good selection of content focused on z/OS Communications Server, including the following sessions from four of our team here in Research Triangle Park, NC:
We hope to see you there! For those that can’t join us, I’ll be tweeting (IBM_Commserver on Twitter) and posting updates to Facebook (Facebook.com/IBMCommserver) throughout the week.
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Kim Bailey, from the z/OS Communications Server design group, will be at the Guide/Share Europe conference in Whittlebury, UK from November 13th-14th. Kim will be presenting the following sessions:
1) OSA: Optimizing Performance of Your Workloads
2) zEnterprise Networking Overview
3) z/OS Network Security- What Is It and Why Do You Need It?
4) z/OS Communications Server Technical Update
If you will be at the conference, plan on attending Kim's sessions to learn more about z/OS Communications Server!
Did you know that z/OS V1R13 now supports TLS v1.2? This TLS protocol version offers a number of new cipher suites - many of which use the SHA2-based hashing that you've been asking for! APAR OA39422 enables this function in System SSL and APAR PM62905 allows you to access most of the new System SSL function through AT-TLS.
Are you thinking about enabling FIPS140 mode for your AT-TLS connections? If so, check out the new techdoc entitled "Setting up AT-TLS for FIPS 140 mode." This techdoc provides one-stop shopping regarding the components you'll need to configure (and in which order) as well as verification steps along the way.
The Winter 2013 SHARE Conference is in San Francisco, California next week (February 3rd-8th). As always, there will be a good selection of content focused on z/OS Communications Server, including the following sessions from five of our team here in Research Triangle Park, NC:
The Winter 2013 SHARE Conference is now in the history books! Five speakers from the z/OS Communications Server organization presented 16 sessions on various topics, including an overview of the z/OS V2R1 Communications Server release, Enterprise Extender, IPv6, zEnterprise architecture, sysplex technologies, IBM Multi-site Workload Lifeline, OSA, and network security. We would like to thank all of you who attended our sessions for the great feedback and dialogue.
We would also like to thank two presenters for providing user-experience sessions at the SHARE conference. Heinz Kluemper of Finanz Informatik presented the topic "Roadmap to Securing Enterprise Extender Traffic over an APPN Global Connection Network", and Sig Perdomo presented the topic "Getting Started with IPv6 at the DTCC". Both sessions were well-received and much appreciated.
Congratulations to Mike Fitzpatrick for receiving a best session award for the session "Getting the Most Out of Your OSA Adapter with z/OS CS" that he presented at the Summer 2012 SHARE conference in Anaheim.
For those that couldn't be at the conference last week, I will remind you that you can download the charts for the z/OS V2R1 Communications Server Technical Update presentation by going to the following link:
The technical update presentation provides a preview of some of the expected content of the z/OS V2R1 Communications Server release planned for the second half of this year.
Please plan to join us for the Summer 2013 SHARE Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, August 11-16, 2013.
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On Wednesday, June 26th, 2013, several members of the z/OS CS team will be participating in a Reddit AMA from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM (EDT). At that time, you may go to http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/, find the z/OS CS AMA link, and ask your questions on any z/OS CS-related topic. We'll do our best to provide answers!
In case, you are not familiar with Reddit AMAs, here is a description of the concept from Reddit's FAQ page:
We hope to hear from you on June 26th!
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On June 26th, the z/OS Communications Server team held a Reddit AMA session that covered a variety of CS-related topics. Below is an edited summary of most of the discussion points. For each question, you can see the response from our CS team (preceded by "CS:"), as well as any follow-on questions or comments from the Reddit participants (preceded by "R:").
If you wish to read through the complete Reddit AMA transcript, it is available at:
Thanks to all who participated in this session! We think it was a very interesting experience and are going to strongly consider doing similar sessions in the future. Stay tuned to this blog, our Facebook page, and/or our Twitter feed for announcements of future sessions.
Summary of questions and responses for the June 26th Reddit AMA:
1) Where do you see SNA 10 years from now?
2) I been with a company for 17 years and have heard repeatedly the mainframe is dead. Why are we even commenting on this?
3) How do you make your IP stack perform faster than say the stacks on HP-UX or your sister OS, AIX?
4) Sysplex Distributor, what is it and why should it be implemented?
Regards, Big Retail Mainframer
5) What part does your development and support groups play when it comes to "Cloud" computing on the platform that you support? Specifically: 1) Automatic provisioning of resources 2) Browser access to processes like those used for interactive computing 3) True PaaS (Platform as a Service) for web based REST requests More to follow.........
6) When do you think IPv4 will become obsolete (if ever) and IPv6 take over and every device in the world, including appliances have an IPv6 address?
7) I missed the education conference yesterday detailing the new CS features in 2.1. Care to recap?
8) Hipersockets - I don't understand how hipersockets can be deployed if you are have the means to move application to different systems. If I understand hipersockets correctly its creating a virtual lan on a system and then giving ever lpar on that system an ip address. Then an application would have to use that virtual lan ip address to connect to another application if that appliation is bind to 0.0.0.0. If the application that we now change to point to the virtual lan ip address moves to a different system how is it going to be able to use the hipersocket ip address to connect now?
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On July 23, 2013, z/OS announced V2R1, and by now many of you may have looked over the announcement letter: http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?subtype=ca&infotype=an&supplier=897&letternum=ENUS213-292
Since statements of direction (SoDs) are typically placed near the end of the announcement letter, it can be easy to miss them. So, I wanted to point out one SoD included in the announcement that is specific to z/OS CS:
IBM intends for z/OS V2.1 to be the last release to support the GATEWAY configuration statement in the TCP/IP profile. If you are using the GATEWAY statement to define static routes, you should use the BEGINROUTES/ENDROUTES configuration block instead.
Most of you have probably already migrated to BEGINROUTES/ENDROUTES, but for those that have not, this is something to keep in mind that will need to be done at some point in the future.
Also, while we are on the subject of SoDs, I would like to point out that two previously-issued SoDs come to fruition in z/OS V2R1 CS. On February 15, 2011, we issued the following SoD related to our Domain Name Server capability:
z/OS V1.13 is planned to be the last release in which the BIND 9.2.0 function will be available. Customers who currently use or plan to use the z/OS BIND 9.2.0 function as a caching-only name server should use the resolver function, which became generally available in z/OS V1.11, to cache Domain Name Server (DNS) responses. Customers who currently use or plan to use the z/OS BIND 9.2.0 function as a primary or secondary authoritative name server should investigate using BIND on Linux for System z or BIND on an IBM blade in an IBM zEnterprise BladeCenter® Extension (zBX).
As this SoD predicted, z/OS V2R1 no longer includes a DNS as part of z/OS CS.
On July 12, 2011, we issued the following SoD related to the IBM Configuration Assistant for z/OS Communications Server:
z/OS V1.13 is planned to be the final release for which the IBM Configuration Assistant for z/OS Communications Server tool that runs on Microsoft Windows will be provided by IBM. This tool is currently available as an as-is, nonwarranted web download. Customers who currently use Windows-based IBM Configuration Assistant for z/OS Communications Server tool should migrate to the z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) Configuration Assistant application. The IBM Configuration Assistant for z/OS Communications Server that runs within z/OSMF is part of a supported IBM product and contains all functions supported with the Windows tool.
z/OS V2R1 CS provides a completely-rewritten Configuration Assistant that runs within z/OSMF, providing better integration with z/OSMF and improved performance as compared to the previous version. As the SoD stated, the Windows-based Configuration Assistant is no longer being provided.
Please keep these points in mind as you look to migrate to z/OS V2R1 and beyond.