Managing development and test environments with Sandbox

The Sandbox component of Wazi Workspaces (Sandbox) enables enterprises to host an IBM® Z distribution on Red Hat® OpenShift® cloud that uses Intel-based x86 machines. It creates an environment for mainframe application demonstration, development, testing, and education without Z mainframe hardware, enables z/OS®, middleware, and other z/OS software to run on Intel and other compatible computers, and emulates z/Architecture® with virtual I/O and devices.

Sandbox provides the following features:

  • An application development and testing environment that can improve development infrastructure availability and flexibility
  • Current levels of IBM z/OS software that give access to new runtime capabilities for development and testing for enterprises
  • Mixed workload support for enterprises, which can help reduce development costs
  • An approachable and portable environment for education on Z for enterprises
  • A web-based interface to extract, deploy and manage the application images from an existing Z or ADCD packages.
  • Creating and managing application images from various sources.
  • Provisioning application images for developers and testers in a self-service automated way.
  • Monitoring the status and availability of all created assets and target environments.
The following diagram shows the components of Sandbox and how they work together.
Figure 1. The various components of Sandbox
Sandbox architecture
Note: This diagram only shows how a single sandbox instance works. If multiple instances exist in the cluster, everything inside the "Namespace" box will repeat for each instance. Also, the blue parts in the diagram represent the components that are part of Sandbox, but the Sandbox License Server and image storage server are components that interact with Sandbox.

ZD&T Enterprise Edition web server

ZD&T Enterprise Edition web server supports extracting volumes or data sets from your existing LPAR as an image, and provides a self-service capability for provisioning z/OS development and test environments from that image to an OpenShift target environment.

The Enterprise Edition web server provides the following features:
  • Integrating with IBM Application Discovery (AD) to automate the identification of data sets for extraction.
  • Integrating with company LDAP account to enable administrators to set up accounts with minimum efforts.
  • Scheduling the extraction or deployment for another date or time that you want.
  • Flexible functions to select required data sets or volumes from the source machine, and transfer the data sets or volumes to the target machine.
  • Providing REST API support, which enables you to integrate and automate the functions of the web server in your own environment.
  • The deployment process can install ZD&T emulator, and make the system ready. You do not need to remember the ZD&T native commands.

Source Z, ZD&T or ADCD

ZD&T Enterprise Edition can work with your existing Z machine, ZD&T machine or ADCD to extract and deploy the necessary volumes or data sets that are required for the target machine.

To make Sandbox work, you need to install and configure the components below by following the checklist of Checklists.

Extended Application Developers Controlled Distribution (ADCD)

Application Developers Controlled Distribution (ADCD) is a customized bundle of z/OS and related products, and it is not an IBM program product and is not supported as a product. The intent of the ADCD is to allow a user to quickly implement a z/OS system in order to concentrate on application development. The ADCD package enables the enterprise users to use and develop their applications with the newest set of mainframe software packages, such as CICS®, Db2®, IMS, z/OS 2.4, and JES2. For more information, see Configuring Extended ADCD.

Sandbox provides the Extended ADCD package. Extended ADCD is based from the normal ADCD distribution and has no major differences. The main differences are as follows:
  • Extended ADCD provides additional software configuration for IBM Wazi Developer for Eclipse, which includes configuration for debugging CICS, IMS, and Db2 applications.
  • Extended ADCD adds new software products, for example, Rocket GIT, Bash and Perl, Z Open Automation Utilities, and z/OS Explorer Extensions and API.
  • Extended ADCD upgrades or applies maintenance to the existing software products including z/OS Debugger, base z/OS Explorer, and Dependency Based build.

Image storage server

Image storage server is a type of server that can be used to store z/OS images for sandbox instances. Sandbox uses SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) server as the image storage server, and stores the Extended ADCD images on the server. The Sandbox Container transfers the Extended ADCD images to OpenShift storage for usage by the Z hardware emulator. This server needs to be accessible from the OpenShift cloud where Sandbox is running. You can run this server in the cloud to improve performance, but it is not required.

For more information, see Installing Image storage server.

Note: You can configure the image storage server and Sandbox License Server on the same machine as long as the machine is not in the OpenShift cloud. The License Server cannot be run in the cloud. Ensure adequate storage if you are using one machine.

Sandbox License Server

Sandbox License Server is a component that interacts with Sandbox, and it provides a server for centralized management of license keys for one or more instances of Sandbox.

To use Sandbox or any of its components, you must install Sandbox License Server by using the installer wazi-sandbox-install.tgz that is provided with Sandbox. Then, you need to obtain an authenticated license key files, and apply the key files to the server. For more information, see Enabling the Sandbox License Server.

Each Sandbox instance will enable three central processors, which are referred as Central Processors (CPs), and the number of CPs cannot be customized now.

Terminal emulator

As shown in the diagram, you can interact with the sandbox instance by using client programs such as the IDE of your choice and a terminal emulator.

Terminal emulator is a terminal application, or other terminologies that emulate a video terminal within some other display architecture. Although the terminal emulator is typically synonymous with a shell or text terminal, the terminal emulator covers all remote terminals, including graphical interfaces. A graphical user interface that is in the terminal emulator is known as a terminal window.

Various terminal emulators are available in the market, and this software is not supplied with Sandbox. You can download the terminal emulator that you want. Or you can purchase IBM Personal Communication that is known as (IBM PCOMM), and download x3270 on your Linux® machine if you want. Depending on the cluster setup, the port to access terminal emulator screen varies. For more information, see Configuration reference.