My MQ Redbooks retrospective
MattLeming 120000MN5R Visits (6021)
I have just spent the last month writing my first ever IBM Redbooks publication: IBM MQ V8 Features and Enhancements. And an interesting experience it was too!
A group of eight of us assembled from around the world (UK/USA/Mexico) at IBM Hursley in the South of the UK for an intensive four week period of writing, and experimentation. We had done a large amount of preparation beforehand, so we already knew what chapters we were going to write and who was going to write what. We had also had training in the tooling that we were going to be writing in: Adobe FrameMaker.
Time was also spent learning exactly how to write. So no contractions: "don't" becomes "do not", "hasn't" becomes "has not", etc. Also no Latin, so for example "etc" becomes "and so on". Hopefully I remembered all the rules. If not, the editing team who are now reviewing our document will catch anything I missed.
I normally work in Hursley as a member of the MQ for z/OS development team. In fact I had not long finished writing the V8 product before I started writing the book. The main piece of function that I worked on for MQ V8 was the support for 64 bit buffer pools. This subject is contained in the book, but I certainly didn't want to write about it, having spent the last year or two thinking about it, developing it, testing it, breaking it and then fixing it again. So my colleague Lyn Elkins wrote that chapter, and a very good job she did!
Instead, I got to play with some of the recent System z hardware. The IBM zEnterprise EC12 (zEC12), shown to the left, and BC12 (zBC12) include many exciting new technologies, but MQ makes particular use of the new Flash Express and zEnterprise Data Compression (zEDC) Express hardware that is available in these machines.
zEDC can be used by MQ channels for hardware compression, and decompression, of message data. zEDC can reduce the CPU cost of comp
Flash Express makes large amount of flash storage, also known as storage class memory or SCM, available to z/OS. SCM sits between real storage (RAM) and DASD (hard disk) in several of its characteristics. It is much faster than DASD, but not as fast as real storage. However, it is much cheaper than real storage, but not as cheap as DASD. SCM is typically used on z/OS as a fast way of getting data out of real storage, for example when there are paging spikes.
From an MQ standpoint SCM is interesting because it can be allocated to the coupling facility (CF) list structures used by MQ for implementing shared queues. When this is done the SCM acts as an overflow capability for the structure's real storage if and when it starts to fill up. The book describes two use cases for this with MQ:
For more information on these topics please read the book: IBM MQ V8 Features and Enhancements
As for me, it is back to my day job, carrying on developing MQ for z/OS..