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Welcome to the House of Chuckie!

Alan Altmark's Home Page

You can reach me at: or 607-429-3323 if you want to discuss any aspect of z/VM.

Blogs, Hints, Tirades, Tricks,and Tips

Oh, Ancient One....

In 1977 I saw VM for the first time. A friend had managed to "find" a VM login at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and we had fun dialing up the system and logging in. Of course, we had no idea what to do next.

Then I went off to college at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (nee University of Missouri - Rolla, UMR) and bumped into VM/370 Release 6 my sophomore year. After that, VM/SP Release 2.

In 1982 I graduated from UMR with a BS in Computer Science and promptly joined IBM as a CMS developer. In the Good Ol' Days I worked on

  • VM/SP R3: CMS 3380 support SPE
  • VM/SP R4: GCS recovery machine and MACHEXITs
  • VM/SP R5: CMS performance improvements in the SVC handler, memory management, and virtual reader I/O, as well as CMS Session Services.
  • VM/SP R6: SFS GRANT and REVOKE AUTHORITY commands and their underlying CSL routines, DMSGRANT and DMSREVOK.

In 1987, I moved into System Evaluation, where I focused on customer-oriented testing of VM. It is there that I developed my expertise in VTAM, APPC, NCP, EP and TCP/IP.

In 2000 I left the test organization and formally returned to a design role, where my primary area of responsibility was z/VM security, including RACF/VM and the first z/VM Common Criteria security certification. However, I kept my hand in virtual networking and VM TCP/IP. After that I was one of the lead architects of z/VM Single System Image.

In the Fall of 2010, I left z/VM Development, joining IBM System z Lab Services as a z/VM and Linux consultant. I now work directly with IBM clients on a variety of z/VM-related topics, including automation, security, busines continuity (HA/DR), performance, networking, directory management, and various hardware issues.

In addition to my technical responsibilities, I have taken on the self-appointed role of z/VM ombudsman. That means that I pay attention to what you, our clients, are saying about z/VM. To that end, I monitor the public communities in which IBM, System z, and z/VM are discussed. These include the IBMVM, LINUX-390, IBMTCP-L, and IBM-MAIN mailing lists. When I detect a pattern or unusual signs of stress caused by IBM, I raise awareness of the issue in the Labs and with our executive team.

I regularly speak at the IBM-sponsored zEnterprise conferences in the United States and Europe, and am an IBM representative to the Linux and VM (LVM) program of SHARE. For nine years I was the z/VM Development representative to the Worldwide Association of VM and VSE (WAVV) user group and a member of its Executive Council.

In addition, I've given many presentations to Bay Bunch, MVMUA, HillGang, NEUVM, and CAVMEN.