z/VM Continuous Delivery News

News on upcoming and available new function for z/VM

Last Updated: 16 October 2018

Change Summary

Important news

June 14, 2018 - Join the z/VM Council - Learn more about upcoming z/VM changes and be involved in discussions that shape the future of z/VM.

April 24, 2018 - Introducing z/VM 7.1 and Continuous Delivery. Bill Bitner highlights the upcoming z/VM 7.1 release and presents the shift to release SPEs through a continuous delivery model.

Introduction

Not all enhancements to z/VM are part of a new release or even a formal IBM announcement letter. This page is a resource to learn about enhancements going out through continuous delivery for z/VM. It's also different from formal announcements as it shows work in progress. Think of it as a living preview announcement for z/VM.

As significant changes take place, this page will be updated. So check back often or subscribe. We'll go through each item here and describe a number of characteristics, as defined below. Included at the bottom of this page is a link for a spreadsheet of this information.


Small Product Enhancement (SPE) Information
Name The simple name of the project.
Description A brief summary of what changes, who it effects, and why you would care.
Status Along with the current status, this will give indication of key changes since the last iteration of this page.
Target availability Depending on the project, where it is in the cycle, and other factors, this will list TBD, a quarter, a month, or, in cases where it has become available, a date. This is not a commitment and as more is learned about the work and priorities the target availability date will likely be adjusted.
Compatibility This will describe how compatible an item is. In most cases, this will say 'No known incompatibilities'. It is not meant to list all details like a migration guide, but to give some indication of what to expect.
Enablement This will briefly describe how enablement is managed for this Small Product Enhancement. Can it be enabled or disabled? What is the default? Can it be done dynamically? Is it on a virtual machine basis or system wide basis? It is not meant to describe all details of that process, but to give an idea of what's involved. Will also give indication of whether an IPL of the z/VM system is required, or just recycle of virtual machines or new CMS modules.
Effect Describes what effect enabling the code may have beyond the compatibility statement above. Such as may slightly elongate logoff time or CCW translation code paths changed. These are basically meant to be hints as to how the system may respond or behave differently.
ISV impact Indicates any impacts to ISV related products that are known, such as "If using a directory manager product, see vendor for required updates."
Linux or hardware interaction Indicates whether a special level of Linux or hardware is required because of an interaction or dependency.
Release(s) Indicates the releases planned for this enhancement.
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR Information and link to the Authorized Program Analysis Report.
  PTF Information and link to the Program Temporary Fix.
  RSU Information and link to the Recommended Service Upgrade.

 

Small Product Enhancements

SPEs in progress Target date Last updated
4TB Main Memory Support * TBD May 29, 2018
Automatic STANDBY/RESERVED Memory for Guests * 1st Quarter 2019 July 19, 2018
Centralized Service Management TBD September 30, 2017
Dynamic Crypto TBD February 9, 2018
Dynamic Memory Downgrade TBD September 12, 2018
EAV Paging * TBD May 29, 2018
Elliptic Curve Support * December 2018 September 25, 2018
Group Memory Limiting * TBD July 23, 2018
More than 64 Logical Processors * TBD May 16, 2018
MSS Multi-Target PPRC Exploitation * 3rd Quarter 2020 July 23, 2018
Multifactor Authentication for z/VM * TBD April 9, 2018
RSCS Query System Service * December 2018 September 25, 2018
SSI Eight Member Clusters TBD June 21, 2018
VSwitch Priority Queuing TBD February 9, 2018
ZHPM Application * TBD March 8, 2018
* Denotes the z/VM team is seeking Sponsor Users. See related SPE for more information.

 
Available SPEs Date released Last updated
Dump Scalability September 21, 2018 September 25, 2018
ESM Authorization and Auditing of SMAPI Requests September 27, 2018 October 16, 2018
Perfkit Support for HyperPAV Paging April 13, 2018 April 18, 2018
Support for ZHPM CPU Resource Management April 11, 2018 April 11, 2018
FCP Monitor Enhancements April 2, 2018 April 9, 2018
z-Thin Provisioning March 28, 2018 March 30, 2018
Encrypted Paging December 15, 2017 March 19, 2018
VSwitch Link Aggregation Load Balance Enhancements December 15, 2017 December 14, 2017
Guest Exploitation for the Instruction Protection Facility December 11, 2017 February 12, 2018
Guest Support for the Guarded Storage Facility December 11, 2017 February 12, 2018
High PR/SM LPAR Management Time Relief October 23, 2017 November 30, 2017
Extended Address Volume Minidisk Support August 25, 2017 September 30, 2017
Firewall Friendly FTP Client August 23, 2017 September 30, 2017
Processor Scalability Efficiency Enhancements August 23, 2017 September 30, 2017
NICDEF Security Controls August 4, 2017 September 30, 2017

 
 
4TB Main Memory Support
Name Four Terabyte Main Memory Support
Description 4TB Main memory support, would support the definition and use of real memory up to the 4TB line for first level z/VM systems. Over-commitment of total virtual memory across all guests beyond 4TB would be supported. The per guest limit of 1 TB of virtual memory would remain unchanged.
Status Currently in design, soliciting sponsor user feedback.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement LPAR would need 4TB memory defined.
Effect TBD
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux interaction at this time. System needs enough paging DASD to support >4TB paging.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1 SPE or future release
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User for this SPE.

 
Automatic STANDBY/RESERVED Memory for Guests
Name Automatic STANDBY/RESERVED Memory for Guests
Description To dynamically increase the amount of memory a guest can bring online requires two steps:
1. raising the maximum in the directory
2. Issuing a DEFINE STORAGE command to add this to the guest's STANDBY or RESERVED memory.
Often step 2 is issued via a COMMAND statement in the directory or in a PROFILE EXEC. Forgetting to update the DEFINE STORAGE command when the guest's maximum memory is updated can result in an extra IPL of the guest. This item will add a REMAINDER keyword to the DEFINE STORAGE command. This will mean all memory from the AS (configured) amount up to the guest's maximum will be put to STANDBY or RESERVED. Note that this is different than CP SET RESERVED.
Status Currently in design, soliciting sponsor user feedback.
Target availability 1st Quarter 2019
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs and re-IPL z/VM to activate the code.
Effect No effect to current usage of DEFINE STORAGE, current keywords will remain unchanged.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux interaction at this time.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1 SPE
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User for this SPE.

 
Centralized Service Management
Name Centralized Service Management (CSM)
Description Enhances z/VM service process by allowing service to be applied in a multiple z/VM system environment (without SSI) from a centralized system. This initial effort would apply to the z/VM base system and associated priced features.
Status Currently in design with client feedback.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Due to the nature of these changes, expect this to happen at a release boundary.
Effect While it adds more options to service process, if not using the new capability, there should be only minor effects to current usage.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) Future release
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD

 
Dump Scalability
Name Dump Scalability
Description Dump processing will be enhanced to reduce the time required to create, process, and transmit data from SNAPDUMP and Hard Abend dumps. A new system default will generate dump data that is usually considerably smaller in size, requiring less space to store these dumps in the system SPOOL and as CMS files. The increased efficiency of dump processing saves time and resources, and removes an inhibitor to the deployment of z/VM configurations with large amounts of memory.
Status Currently in development.
Target availability September 21, 2018
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement IPL the z/VM system with the dump scalability support to activate.
Effect TBD
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1
Service details Included as part of z/VM 7.1 release
  APAR NA
  PTF NA
  RSU NA

 
Dynamic Crypto
Name Dynamic Crypto
Description Dynamic Crypto support will enable dynamic changes to the AP Cryptographic (crypto) environment on a z/VM system. This will allow the addition or removal of crypto hardware, as well as maintenance and repair of crypto hardware, to be less disruptive to the system and guests running on the system. It will also allow the flexibility to change crypto resources between dedicated and shared use. New commands will be added to provide customers with an interface to make these changes without requiring an IPL of z/VM or an IPL of the guest.
Status Currently in development.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility QUERY CRYPTO and QUERY VIRTUAL CRYPTO output will have incompatible changes.
Enablement Apply PTFs and re-IPL z/VM. Use new crypto commands to execute function.
Effect Allows greater flexibility and less disruption in managing crypto resources.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction For dedicated crypto resources, additional steps may be needed to make a crypto resource offline/online from the guest's perspective (e.g. using Linux commands).
Release(s) TBD
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD

 
Dynamic Memory Downgrade
Name Dynamic Memory Downgrade (DMD)
Description Dynamic Memory Downgrade, AKA Memory Reclamation, would extend the real memory dynamic management characteristics of z/VM to include removing real memory from a running z/VM system. Currently z/VM allows adding memory, but not removing it.
Status Currently in system test.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility Several commands associated with dynamic memory management will have incompatible changes.
Enablement Applying PTFs will enable code, use of new function will be from commands and configuration file settings. Requires an IPL of the z/VM system to activate the code for this PTF.
Effect Most mainline paths are unaffected by these changes, but code paths for initialization and adding memory have significant changes.
ISV impact Some monitor changes are needed. If you have a performance product, please see your vendor.
Linux or hardware interaction Will require z14 or higher. No known Linux interaction at this time.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1 SPE
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM66173
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD

 
EAV Paging
Name EAV Paging
Description Support for Extended Address Volumes (EAV) for z/VM paging space. This SPE enhances the z/VM Control Program (CP) by allowing paging space to be located on Extended Address Volumes. As systems continue to grow, the need for paging space has increased. This SPE will allow allocation and use of paging space on ECKD devices above x'FFF0' cylinders. Support for larger paging devices allows customers to define sufficient paging capacity for z/VM partitions with large memory sizes and reduces the burden of managing a large number of smaller paging devices.
Status Currently in design, soliciting sponsor user feedback.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement System would need to be IPLed to pick up code (both CP and the CPFMTXA utility would be updated), Extended Address Volumes would need to be available and formatted for paging space.
Effect Expect paging subsystem to have significant updates to code, but the paging rate is not expected to change.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux interaction at this time. Extended Address Volumes would need to be available and formatted for paging space.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1 SPE or future release
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User for this SPE.

 
Elliptic Curve Support
Name z/VM TCP/IP Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) Cipher Suite Support for Transport Layer Security (TLS)
Description Enable support for the new cryptographic algorithms that were previously added for use by System SSL through the gskkyman interface. These new cryptographic algorithms provide stronger security ciphers for the TLS/SSL server and brings it closer to TLS 1.2 compliance.
Status Currently in development
Target availability December 2018
Compatibility No known incompatibilities
Enablement ECC Ciphers will be enabled by default for use by TLS/SSL (Table 39 in the z/VM TCPIP Planning and Customization will be updated to indicate the ciphers enabled by protocol and mode). In order to use this support, an ECC certificate must be created in the gskkyman database and specified for use on a secure connection.
Effect There may be a slight performance improvement since ECC is considered to be faster than traditional cryptographic algorithms.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR PI99184
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD

 
Encrypted Paging
Name Encrypted Paging
Description Encrypted Paging will improve system security for z/VM 6.4 by exploiting z14 hardware to encrypt guest page data. Ciphering will occur as data moves from active memory onto a paging volume owned by CP (ECKD, SCSI, or native FBA). This will make customer data defensible from attack or breach of volumes, even in cases where a system administrator has unintended access to those volumes.
Status Available December 11, 2017
Target availability December 15, 2017
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs, re-IPL z/VM, SET ENCRYPT command within CP.
Effect For the workloads studied, total CPU/tx did not increase more than 5% when compared back to an EP disabled configuration. Compared to a z13, the z14 with EP enabled performed better. As paging rate increases, the total amount of CPU used on EP will increase. Detailed performance report
ISV impact Some monitor changes are needed. If you have a performance product, please see your vendor.
Linux or hardware interaction z14 with CPACF license required
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM65993
  PTF UM35257
  RSU TBD

 
ESM Authorization and Auditing of SMAPI Requests
Name ESM Authorization and Auditing of SMAPI Requests
Description When an ESM is present, programs can use the ESM for all SMAPI authorization decisions at the same granularity used with the SMAPI existing authorization mechanism. The ESM logs the decision (or not) that is based on its active policy, without SMAPI knowledge or intervention.
 
When an ESM defers its authorization decision to SMAPI, one of the following actions are taken based on a configuration option:
 
  • SMAPI's authorization decision uses the existing authorization process. SMAPI calls the ESM to log the decision in the ESM-managed security log. SMAPI has no knowledge if the ESM audit logging is enabled or disabled.
  • SMAPI treats the request as unauthorized.
Status Available September 27, 2018
Target availability September 2018
Compatibility Properties in the DMSSICNF COPY file control the ESM authorization setting. If you are migrating from a release prior to z/VM 7.1, the contents of your DMSSICNF COPY file will include duplicates of properties found in the IBMCNF COPY file. You can remove from DMSSICNF COPY any properties that are also found in IBMCNF COPY.
Enablement First, configure your ESM to control system APIs by (a) enabling the FACILITY class and (b) creating new ESM profiles which map to your desired security policy. Your ESM will not need to be restarted; however, a REFRESH may be necessary for updated policy to be detected.
 
Then, update DMSSICNF to indicate either Authorization_Policy = Authorization_Policy_EsmList (default) or Authorization_Policy = Authorization_Policy_EsmOnly.
 
For details, refer to the z/VM 7.1 System Management Application Programming manual at https://ibm.biz/smapi_71
Effect Security policy for control and/or audit of API usage will now be handled by your ESM, if available.
ISV impact This function is available with non-IBM External Security Manager programs; refer to local documentation for instructions on ESM set-up.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1 SPE
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM66167
  PTF UM35358
  RSU TBD

 
Extended Address Volume Minidisk Support
Name EAV Minidisks
Description Enhanced extended address volume (EAV) support for 3390-A DASD devices supporting 28-bit cylinder addresses is provided. This support will allow non-fullpack minidisks to reside anywhere on the volume, including beyond the current restriction of the 64K cylinder boundary (0-65519), and up to the 1 TB limit currently supported.
Status Available August 25, 2017
Target availability August 25, 2017
Compatibility While most common diagnoses and I/O interfaces for ECKD devices were extended, not all were. If you have non-common interfaces in user written programs, please review documentation for restrictions. Minidisks used as mapped dataspaces may not be located above the 64K cylinder boundary.
Enablement Changes in Directory or through a directory manager. Requires an IPL of z/VM to activate the code in CP for this PTF.
Effect Allows larger minidisks and for the minidisks to reside anywhere on the EAV volume. Various common code paths for I/O processing have been changed regardless of whether EAV minidisks are exploited.
ISV impact If you have an ISV product for Directory Management and/or backup and restore please see your vendor for appropriate updates.
Linux or hardware interaction Assumes current Linux implementations that have EAV support. Requires EAV capable hardware. If using GDPS, please consult GDPS PSP buckets for possible service needed.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details CP CMS ICKDSF
  APAR VM65943 VM65945 PI85943
  PTF UM35187 UM35204 UI49579
  RSU TBD

 
FCP Monitor Enhancements
Name FCP Monitor Enhancements
Description The FCP Monitor Enhancements will provide new Monitor records which will contain information related to the usage/utilization of FCP devices (subchannel) and CHPIDs (physical channels) for EDEVICE activity. This will provide the customer information that can be used to determine if their existing EDEVICE configuration is optimal or should be changed for better performance.
Status Available April 2, 2018
Target availability April 2018
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs and re-IPL z/VM. Monitor EVENT, SAMPLE, START, and STOP commands are used to gather the Monitor data.
Effect No known effects.
ISV impact Some monitor changes are needed. If you have a performance product, please see your vendor.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM66095
  PTF UM35297
  RSU TBD

 
Firewall Friendly FTP Client
Name Firewall Friendly FTP Client
Description Updates the z/VM FTP client to improve interaction in configurations which require traversing firewalls.
Status Available August 23, 2017
Target availability August 23, 2017
Compatibility Some incompatibilities: deprecates the PASSIVE subcommand.
Enablement Apply PTFs and use of new LOCSITE options.
Effect Deprecates PASSIVE subcommand. Allows new controls via new operands on the LOCSITE command.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR PI80912
  PTF UI49779
  RSU TBD

 
Group Memory Limiting
Name Group Memory Limiting
Description Group Memory Limiting would allow users to constrain the main memory footprint of certain workloads.
 
This item will allow limiting of real memory resources consumed by members of a resource pool. The limit would be enforced via periodic checks. If the total in-memory frames of the pool are over the limit, frames would be reclaimed from each guest in the pool. This could result in increased paging activity on the system as reclaimed frames must be paged out. There would be a choice of whether the same number of frames are reclaimed from each guest or guests are trimmed proportionally to bring the pool back under the limit.
Status Currently in design, soliciting sponsor user feedback.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs and re-IPL z/VM to activate the code.
Effect No effect to current usage of DEFINE RESPOOL or QUERY RESPOOL, current keywords will remain unchanged.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction at this time.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1 SPE
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User for this SPE.

 
Guest Exploitation for the Instruction Protection Facility
Name Guest Exploitation for the Instruction Protection Facility
Description This PTF provides support for guest exploitation of the IBM z14 Instruction Execution Protection facility. This facility provides functionality to help improve the security of programs running on IBM Z by allowing virtual memory elements to be identified as containing only data. If an attempt is made to fetch an instruction from an address in such an element, or if an address in such an element is the target of an execute-type instruction, a Protection Exception will occur. The support and use of the Instruction Execution Protection facility can prevent erroneously or maliciously modified data in a program stack from being executed on the guest.
Status Available December 11, 2017
Target availability 4th Quarter 2017
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Can be enabled or disabled dynamically by the guest. This is done by the guest setting enablement bits in individual DAT tables that it builds.
Effect No known effects.
ISV impact No known ISV impacts.
Linux or hardware interaction z14 required. Corresponding Linux fix is also needed. IBM is working with its Linux distribution partners to provide support via future distribution releases.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM65986
  PTF UM35255
  RSU TBD

 
Guest Support for the Guarded Storage Facility
Name Guest Support for the Guarded Storage Facility
Description This PTF provides guest support for the guarded storage facility that was introduced with the IBM z14. This facility is designed to improve the performance of garbage-collection processing by various languages, in particular Java.
Status Available December 11, 2017
Target availability 4th Quarter 2017
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Can be enabled or disabled dynamically by the guest. This is done by the guest turning on or off a bit in control register 2.
Effect No known effects.
ISV impact No known ISV impacts.
Linux or hardware interaction z14 required. Corresponding Linux fix is also needed. IBM is working with its Linux distribution partners to provide support via future distribution releases.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM65987
  PTF UM35254
  RSU TBD

 
High PR/SM LPAR Management Time Relief
Name High PR/SM LPAR Management Time Relief
Description This APAR provides support for new unparking heuristics that can help to reduce the number of unparked vertical-low logical cores. To offer relief APAR VM66063 provides two additional unparking heuristics for the case where GPD is on. New support in the command CP SET SRM selects the unparking heuristic to be used. The three GPD-on heuristics are now LARGE, MEDIUM, and SMALL.
Status Available October 27, 2017
Target availability 4th Quarter 2017
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs. IPL z/VM system. Turn on function through CP SET SRM command.
Effect Performance implications. Please see the performance tips for more information.
ISV impact Some monitor changes are needed. If you have a performance product, please see your vendor.
Linux or hardware interaction No Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM66063
  PTF RA64 PSY UM35231
R640 PSY UM35232
  RSU TBD

 
More than 64 Logical Processors
Name More than 64 Logical Processors
Description This enhancement will relieve the limitation of 64 logical processors per LPAR by increasing the limitation to at least 96 logical processors. The objective is to allow customers to run more workload on z/VM by increasing the number of supported logical processors which is especially important when multithreading is enabled. From the customer's viewpoint, this will allow them to define more logical processors for running more workload on each LPAR and possibly use fewer number of LPARs for the same amount of workload.
Status Currently in development.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs and re-IPL z/VM to activate the code.
Effect The z/VM team will be testing the performance implications of >64 logical processors and will adjust the maximum limit appropriately to reduce excessive performance degradation as capacity increases.
ISV impact No known ISV impacts.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User for this SPE.

 
MSS Multi-Target PPRC Exploitation
Name MSS Multi-Target PPRC Exploitation
Description Multi-target PPRC allows both a local and a remote target. One Metro Mirror target could be in the same data center as the local production to protect from a single storage controller failure. A secondary Metro Mirror or Global Mirror target could be in a separate location to protect against a more widespread issue that affects the entire local data center.
 
Multi-Target PPRC is currently supported by z/VM. However, all PPRC target (secondary) devices must reside in subchannel set zero (the default subchannel set). The new z/VM support will add support for up to 3 alternate subchannel sets allowing each PPRC secondary target device of a Multi-Target primary device to exist in a separate alternate subchannel set. This support will also allow Alias devices associated with each secondary target device to reside in the secondary device's corresponding alternate subchannel set. This support will be interlocked with related GDPS xDR support.
Status Currently in design with client feedback.
Target availability 3rd Quarter 2020
Compatibility The concept of logical subchannel set 1, no matter the real subchannel set ID, will be removed in the VM externals. A real device defined in an alternate subchannel set will maintain its real subchannel set ID, even after a Hyperswap. There will however still be the concept of an Active vs. Stand-by set of DASD devices.
Enablement Installation and re-IPL of the z/VM system required.
Effect No effect when not exploiting the new capability, but will impact any client who exploits VMs current alternate subchannel set support.
ISV impact No known ISV impacts.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux interaction. Does require storage server that allows mutli-target PPRC.
Release(s) z/VM 7.2
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User.

 
Multifactor Authentication for z/VM
Name Multifactor Authentication for z/VM
Description Introduces support for a z/VM system with an External Security Manager to authenticate a z/VM userid via a non-password token.
Status Preparing preliminary design
Target availability TBD
Compatibility No change to default authentication behaviors.
Enablement TBD
Effect TBD
ISV impact TBD. If you have an ISV product for ESM, please see your vendor for appropriate updates.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction at this time.
Release(s) TBD
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User for this SPE.

 
NICDEF Security Controls
Name NICDEF Security Controls
Description Introduces Directory Network Authorization (DNA) capability with which each virtual NIC can be configured and authorized entirely within the user directory. Eliminates the need to use SET VSWITCH and COUPLE commands in applicable scenarios.
Status Available August 4, 2017
Target availability August 4, 2017
Compatibility Changes the default behaviour. So Virtual NICs will now be coupled based on directory statement.
Enablement Default behaviour changes, but new CP SET VLAN DNA command can be used to revert to former processing. Requires an IPL of z/VM to activate the code in CP for this PTF.
Effect Turns over control to ESM when available and appropriate. A virtual NIC statement in directory with certain attributes will be coupled automatically. Since the Couple is now implied and automatic, a subsequent Couple command will be rejected. Command output remains the same, however some options will no longer be possible and will not appear.
ISV impact If you have an ISV product for ESM and/or Directory Management, please see your vendor for appropriate updates.
Linux or hardware interaction No Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details CP RACF DirMaint
  APAR VM65925 VM65931 VM65926
  PTF UM35189 UV61339 UV61338
  RSU 1702

 
Perfkit Support for HyperPAV Paging
Name Perfkit Support for HyperPAV Paging
Description This PTF provides new and updated performance reports within the Performance Toolkit Feature in support of HyperPAV Paging. These new reports include new information which will help clients tune the z/VM HyperPAV Paging Subsystem.
Status Available April 13, 2018
Target availability March 2018
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs and recycle PerfKit to pick up HyperPAV changes.
Effect TBD
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM66085
  PTF UM35304
  RSU TBD

 
Processor Scalability Efficiency Enhancements
Name Processor Scalability Efficiency Enhancements
Description Changes provide improvements to reduce system overhead from the Scheduler Lock (SRMSLOCK), TRQBK Queue Lock (HCPTRQLK), and Dispatch Vector Lock (DSVLOCK). Helps for systems with high z/VM System Time."
Status Available August 23, 2017
Target availability August 23, 2017
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Applying PTFs will enable code for the systems. Requires an IPL of the z/VM system to activate the code for this PTF.
Effect Since these changes involve system locks, all systems will exercise the new code.
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction There are no known interactions with Linux code. This applies to all IBM Z and LinuxONE servers that z/VM 6.4 supports. Greater benefit may be seen on the IBM z14 and the LinuxONE Emperor II.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM65988
  PTF UM35214
  RSU TBD

 
RSCS Query System Service
Name RSCS Query System Service
Description This provides a means for querying the latest APAR applied to each part that makes up the RSCS LOADLIB.
Status Currently in design, soliciting sponsor user feedback.
Target availability December 2018
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTF and re-IPL the RSCS server to activate the code.
Effect None
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 7.1 SPE
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM66174
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD

 
SSI Eight Member Clusters
Name SSI Eight Member Clusters
Description This SPE increases the maximum size of a Single System Image (SSI) cluster from four members to eight members. Four-member clusters may be installed initially, and then additional members may be added to the cluster. This will allow customers to grow their SSI clusters to allow for more workload, and more flexibility in using live guest relocation (LGR) for non-disruptive upgrades and workload balancing.
Status Currently in design with client feedback.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility TBD
Enablement TBD
Effect TBD
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) TBD
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD

 
Support for ZHPM CPU Resource Management
Name Support for ZHPM (IBM Z Hypervisor Performance Manager) CPU Resource Management
Description z/VM provides mechanisms for controlling the CPU resources that a virtual machine can consume, which indirectly can affect the amount of other resources it can use. The Support for ZHPM CPU Resource Management line item provides mechanisms for obtaining information required to manage those CPU resources.
Enhancements are provided to the support for resource pools, which were formerly called CPU pools, and additional fields are added to some Monitor records.
Extensions to the Store Hypervisor Information (STHYI) instruction enable guests to obtain hypervisor, pool, and guest information relevant to managing CPU and memory resources. New User Directory settings control a guest's authorization to use these extensions. Several new VM Events are generated to allow ceratin guest state changes to be understood. VM Monitor extensions allow low-frequency monitor data records, which are generally associated with commands that affect performance, to be collected without also requiring the collection of high-frequency records.
Status Available April 11, 2018
Target availability April 2018
Compatibility CPU pools have been renamed to resource pools. The DEFINE, DELETE, QUERY and SET CPUPOOL commands are deprecated, but still function as aliases of the new DEFINE, DELETE, QUERY and SET RESPOOL commands. The QUERY RESPOOL output has incompatible changes. The maximum number of members of a resource pool is now limited to 1000. Prior to this line item there was no limit.
New User Directory OPTION statement operands and new security events.
Enablement Install PTFs and re-IPL z/VM system.
The command changes, STHYI FC=0 changes, and new VMEVENTs occur as soon as the PTF is applied and there is no way to disable them.
The new STHYI function codes require directory and/or ESM authorization to use so that can be viewed as an enablement mechanism.
The collection of Monitor Command events is disabled by default and MONITOR EVENT ENABLE COMMAND must be issued to enable it.
Effect If ZHPM is installed and enabled, CPU resource consumption can be managed and controlled in line with installation policies. The effect is negligible if only the base functions are used.
ISV impact ISV directory maintenance support products may require changes for the new User Directory OPTIONs.
ISV performance monitoring products may require changes for the new Monitor record fields.
New security events associated with the new STHYI functions and there may be audit calls for them.
Linux or hardware interaction z14 will require a millicode update to fix a bug for the MT idle time reporting in STHYI.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details CP DirMaint
  APAR VM66105 VM66109
  PTF UM35303 UV99330
  RSU TBD
Additional information Please see the ZHPM Application listing for details on the separate application. The ZHPM application is not delivered with z/VM.

 
VSwitch Link Aggregation Load Balance Enhancements
Name VSwitch Link Aggregation Load Balance Enhancements
Description Today's VSwitch, even in a Multi-VSwitch Link Aggregation environment, only balances load from an individual z/VM system perspective. This enhancement would extend that across all the z/VM systems involved. Additionally, the balancing algorithms will be improved for single system VSwitches as well.
Status Available December 11, 2017
Target availability December 15, 2017
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs and re-IPL z/VM to activate the code.
Effect This PTF will change the load balancing for VSwitches with Link Aggregation.
ISV impact Some monitor changes are needed. If you have a performance product, please see your vendor.
Linux or hardware interaction Requires hardware that will support Multiple Vswitch Link Aggregation. (i.e. z13 or newer)
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details See below for the IBM service information.
  APAR VM65918
  PTF UM35253
  RSU TBD

 
VSwitch Priority Queuing
Name VSwitch Priority Queuing
Description Currently all VSwitch outbound traffic to the external network is transmitted at the same priority. When VSwitch Priority Queuing is enabled, z/VM will establish multiple OSA QDIO Output queues, and transmit data to the external network at different priorities.
Status Currently in design with client feedback.
Target availability TBD
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Apply PTFs and re-IPL z/VM. Enablement can be handled through DEFINE VSWITCH command. Priorities can be set via NICDEF or SET VSWITCH.
Effect TBD
ISV impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or hardware interaction No known Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) TBD
Service details TBD
  APAR TBD
  PTF TBD
  RSU TBD

 
ZHPM Application
Name ZHPM (IBM Z Hypervisor Performance Manager) Application
Description The ZHPM application is a Java program that is executed within a Linux service virtual machine. ZHPM protects important workloads while maintaining high utilization of IBM z/VM CPU resources.
Status Currently in System Test; seeking Sponsor User beta testers
Target availability TBD
Compatibility ZHPM exploits z/VM CPU Pools but tolerates pools managed separately (e.g., by client functions).
Enablement Assuming the CP APAR (VM66105) is applied (which requires IPL), define guest, install Linux, deploy ZHPM RPMs, configure and start ZHPM.
Effect ZHPM provides policy-based management of CPU resources for workload resource groups (sets of virtual machines that support a particular workload), no effect on system without enabling.
ISV impact External Security Manager (ESM) auditing of STHYI functions enabled; Monitor Application Domain records generated
Linux or hardware interaction Requires customer provided Linux
Release(s) z/VM 6.4 with PTF for APAR VM66105
Download details A link to IBM Fix Central will be provided when ZHPM is released.
Service details CMS (license only)
  APAR VM66128
  PTF TBD
  RSU N/A
Sign up Contact Kerry Wilson - kerryw@us.ibm.com to become a Sponsor User for this SPE.

 
z-Thin Provisioning
Name z-Thin Provisioning
Description To meet customer demand for support of extent space efficient thin provisioned volumes, z-Thin Provisioning will provide guest support and host recognition and exploitation. Disk hardware only supports the pre-allocation of full volume, regular data format volumes (i.e., 0-END cylinders with 4K records, same number of records per cylinder). Therefore, the benefits of Thin Provisioning are realized only when using full volumes under Linux and CMS.
Status Available March 28, 2018
Target availability April 2018
Compatibility No known incompatibilities.
Enablement Thin Provisioned ESE volumes are configured and enabled on the storage hardware. CP, CMS, & Linux self-discover these volumes through discovery information provided by the hardware. Thin provisioned ESE volumes are not compatible with CP-Owned space (Spool, Page, Directory). Thin provisioned ESE volumes can be used for this space but will need to be CP formatted with CPFMTXA. This formatting will allocate all space associated with the volume from the hardware pool, thus defeating the benefit of Thin Provisioning. CMS and Linux will provide mechanisms to "trim" and allocate full volume thin provisioned ESE volumes to make use of the Thin Provisioning hardware function. z/OS also supports Thin Provisioned ESE volumes.
Effect When properly used, Thin Provisioned ESE volumes reduce storage costs by only allocating real disk storage (from the ESE pool) when data records are written; not when a volume is logically allocated for some purpose.
ISV impact ISVs that support directory maintenance products should take note of this SPE.
Linux or hardware interaction DS8880 DASD and higher hardware required. Linux updated with support for ESE devices.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
Service details CP DirMaint
  APAR VM66098 VM66108
  PTF UM35296 UV99329
  RSU TBD

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z/VM Continuous Delivery spreadsheet

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