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z/VM Continuous Delivery News

News on upcoming and available new function for z/VM

Last Updated: December 14, 2017

Change Summary - New SPEs are now available for download. December 14

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.

Name
The simple name for 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 are 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. further research is desired.
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 compatability 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 & 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.

Disclaimer

All statements regarding IBM's future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only. Target dates shared here are not formal commitments, but meant to assist in your planning purposes. Because of the likelihood of changes, we highly recommend subscribing to the notifications for this page.

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Small Product Enahancements

SPE name Target date Last updated
NICDEF Security Controls August 4, 2017  
Extended Address Volume Minidisk Support August 25, 2017  
VSwitch Link Aggregation Load Balance Enhancements December 15, 2017 December 14, 2017
Centralized Service Management TBD  
Dynamic Memory Downgrade TBD  
Processor Scalability Efficiency Enhancements August 23, 2017  
Firewall Friendly FTP Client August 23, 2017  
Encrypted Paging December 15, 2017 December 14, 2017
High PR/SM LPAR Management Time Relief October 23, 2017 November 30, 2017

 
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
Compatability 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 Interacton No Linux or hardware interaction.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
APAR VM65925 CP
VM65931 RACF
VM65926 DIRMAINT
PTF UM35189 CP
UV61339 RACF
UV61338 DIRMAINT
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

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
Compatability 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 Interacton 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
APAR VM65943 CP
VM65945 CMS
PI85943 ICKDSF
PTF UM35187 CP
UM35204 CMS
UI49579 ICKDSF
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

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
Compatability No known incompatibilities at this time.
Enablement Applying the PTFs. Requires an IPL of the z/VM system to activate the code for this PTF.
Effect Will change the load balancing for VSwitches with Link Aggregation.
ISV Impact Some monitor changes are anticipated. If you have a performance product, see your vendor.
Linux or Hardware Interacton Will require hardware required to do Multiple Vswitch Link Aggregation. (i.e. z13 or newer)
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
APAR VM65918
PTF UM35253
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

Centralized Service Management
Name Centralized Service Management
Description Enhances z/VM service process by allow 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
Compatability No known incompatibilities at this time.
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 Interacton No known interactions at this time for Linux or hardware.
Release(s) Future release
APAR TBD
PTF TBD
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

Dynamic Memory Downgrade
Name Dynamic Memory Downgrade
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 design with client feedback.
Target Availability TBD
Compatability 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 Monitor changes are anticipated. If you use a performance product, you'll want to contact vendor.
Linux or Hardware Interacton Will require z14 or higher. No known Linux interaction at this time.
Release(s) TBD
APAR TBD
PTF TBD
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

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
Compatability No known incompatibilites.
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 Interacton 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
APAR VM65988
PTF UM35214
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

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
Compatability Some incompatibilities: deprecates the PASSIVE subcommand.
Enablement Applying PTF 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 Interacton No known interactions at this time for Linux or hardware.
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
APAR PI80912
PTF UI49779
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

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
Compatability z14 required
Enablement 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.
ISV Impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or Hardware Interacton z14 required
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
APAR VM65993
PTF UM35257
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a

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
Compatability TBD
Enablement TBD
Effect TBD
ISV Impact No known impacts at this time.
Linux or Hardware Interacton TBD
Release(s) z/VM 6.4
APAR VM66063
PTF RA64 PSY UM35231
R640 PSY UM35232
RSU TBD
Link to Details n/a



Spreadsheet of Continuous Delivery Items - this spreadsheet has a tab for past updates of this page's information.