Last Updated: 4 August 2020

z/VM 7.2 Announcement

The following is a summary of the z/VM 7.2 announcement. For more information, please reference the full z/VM 7.2 announcement for your geography.


z/VM 7.2 provides organizations with the premier hypervisor for hosting enterprise-class virtual servers to exploit the IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE advantages in scalability, performance, high availability, and security.

While cloud computing has become the standard use model for IT services, an IT infrastructure continues to be the foundation for every IT service. Realizing the benefits of cloud computing requires an infrastructure that delivers availability, reliability, security, and performance, while also providing strong virtualization technology, such as z/VM.

Virtualization is fundamental to delivering infrastructure as a service (IaaS), the basic building block for cloud. IBM continues to invest in z/VM technology to provide leading-edge virtualization capabilities for enterprises using IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE platforms, while evolving to meet the needs of IT organizations to deliver the foundation for user satisfaction. This progress can meet the needs of IT organizations to deliver the foundation for user satisfaction on traditional and modern workloads, including:

  • New container implementations using Red Hat® OpenShift® Container Platform and IBM Cloud® Paks for Linux® on IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE
  • Traditional monolithic workloads

With z/VM 7.2, IBM continues to deliver product enhancements to its z/VM advanced virtualization technology on IBM Z and LinuxONE servers using the z/VM continuous delivery (CD) model. This CD model for new functions offers organizations timely support for new technology throughout the life of a z/VM release using a delivery mechanism that is familiar to clients and time tested. Because the z/VM CD model is not centered around a release date, it enables schedule flexibility as IBM partners with the z/VM community in the design, development, and delivery of new functions.

Key requirements

Operating environment

z/VM 7.2 supports the following IBM Z and LinuxONE servers:

  • IBM z15™ Models T01 and T02
  • LinuxONE III Models LT1 and LT2
  • IBM z14® Models M01, M02, M03, M04, M05, and ZR1
  • LinuxONE Emperor II
  • LinuxONE Rockhopper II
  • z13®
  • z13s®
  • LinuxONE Emperor
  • LinuxONE Rockhopper

Planned availability date

September 18, 2020


The objective of z/VM 7.2 is to enhance the capabilities that support digital transformation, specifically those associated with scalability and efficiency. z/VM 7.2 is designed to enable the deployment of up to thousands of Linux servers on a single IBM Z or LinuxONE server, including z15™ Models T01 and T02 and LinuxONE III Models LT1 and LT2 servers.

Enhancements in z/VM 7.2 include:

  • Centralized Service Management for non-SSI environments:
    This function provides support to deploy service to multiple systems, regardless of geographic location, from a centralized primary location that manages distinct levels of service for a select group of traditional z/VM systems. One system is designated as a principal system and uses the z/VM Shared File System (SFS) to manage service levels for a set of defined-managed systems, regardless of their geographic location. The principal system builds service levels using the new service management command, SERVMGR, and existing VMSES/E SERVICE commands. This centralized service process keeps track of available service levels and manages whatever files are needed to supply a client-defined service level to a managed system. Centralized Service Management supports servicing base z/VM and preinstalled features.
  • Multiple Subchannel Set (MSS) MT-PPRC support for the GDPS environment:
    This function enables a disk device to be the primary disk for up to three secondary devices in each of up to three alternate subchannel sets. MSS MT-PPRC requires support for multiple subchannel sets that reflect the actual hardware configuration, specifically subchannel sets 0, 1, 2, and 3. The devices currently in use by z/VM are referred to as the ACTIVE configuration. Devices not in the ACTIVE configuration are referred to as the STANDBY configuration.
  • Support for the z/VM ADJUNCT environment:
    z/VM ADJUNCT support provides an environment that enables the manipulation of a guest operating system running in a primary configuration. The companion ADJUNCT environment can display and modify the primary's memory, making it useful for observing and manipulating a guest system that is running there.
  • Removal of line edit support during LOGON:
    When a z/VM External Security Manager (ESM) is not configured and active, z/VM 7.2 no longer performs line editing of data entered during LOGON, such as user ID, password, or command. However, it continues to honor the use of the system default line-end character to identify guest console input data in a LOGON command entered on the LOGON panel or in responses to prompts issued before LOGON completes. When an ESM is configured, it will control these aspects of system behavior.
  • System default changes:
    • TDISK clearing default has changed to Enabled. The default can be turned off with the FEATURES DISABLE CLEAR_TDISK configuration statement. This change causes any residual data that might be otherwise left on a temporary disk after use to be purged by default, enabling z/VM to be more in line with modern security guidelines.
    • z/VM Directory Maintenance (DirMaint) NEEDPASS default value has changed to No. Based on client feedback and guest service machine requirements, there no longer is a need for an extra layer of authentication. This change enables users and service machines to enter DirMaint commands without supplying passwords and eliminates the need to update specific configuration options.
    • z/VM DirMaint default DVHWAIT BATCH and CLUSTER INTERVAL values have been updated to improve DirMaint's overall processing time in response to directory change requests.
    • The default unparking model has changed from LARGE to MEDIUM. This reduces the tendency to use vertical-low (VL) logical cores and has the potential to reduce the overhead induced in the Processor Resource/Systems Manager (PR/SM) hypervisor and improve the use of processor cache.
    • System Recovery Boost has been enabled by default, allowing z/VM to automatically take advantage of boosting sub-capacity processors to full capacity for a limited duration during startup and shutdown when running on the IBM z15.
    • The PAGING63 IPL parameter and associated external interfaces have been removed. z/VM paging subsystem improvements include support for IBM High Performance Fibre Connection (FICON®), IBM HyperParallel Access Volumes (HyperPAV), encryption, and IBM Extended Address Volume (EAV), which are not available when the PAGING63 IPL parameter is specified.
      This satisfies the statement of direction from Hardware Announcement 119-027, dated September 12, 2019.
    • The Environmental Record Editing and Printing Program (EREP) licensed program is no longer preinstalled with z/VM. Instead, EREP functional executables are preinstalled and delivered as part of the z/VM 7.2 product and serviced through the Control Program (CP) component, simplifying the process for applying EREP service.
      This satisfies the statement of direction from Software Announcement 218-310, dated August 7, 2018.
  • Foundational support for future enhancements:
    z/VM exploitation of the CPU Measurement Facility sampler function is intened to provide a means for a client to collect hardware samples, instead of requiring an IBM customer engineer to use the client's Support Element to collect field-mode samples.
  • z/VM 7.2 new function APARs:
    The z/VM Continuous Delivery News web page is the primary vehicle used by IBM to describe new functions that are planned for z/VM. It is the recommended way to stay abreast of future development and support plans for z/VM. IBM recommends subscribing to this page to be notified of changes. To subscribe, click the Notify Me link in the left-side navigation bar. Additional instructions are included on the VM Site File Change Notification web page.
    Information on the following items IBM intends to deliver as z/VM 7.2 New Function APARs can be found on the z/VM Continuous Delivery News web page:
  • Support for z15 (Models T01 and T02) and LinuxONE III (Models LT1 and LT2) servers:
    • Guest enablement to exploit the following functions:
      • IBM Miscellaneous-Instruction-Extensions Facility 3
      • IBM Vector Enhancements Facility 2
      • IBM Vector Packed Decimal Enhancement Facility
      • Synchronous execution for on-chip data compression and deflate-conversion
      • Enhanced sort acceleration and optimization
      • IBM Message-Security-Assist extension 9
      • IBM Crypto Express7S adapter shared and dedicated guest support
      This support is available for z/VM 6.4 and 7.1 with the Program temporary fixes or Product temporary fixes (PTFs) for authorized program analysis report (APARs) VM66248, VM66321, VM66332, and VM66325.
    • Infrastructure support that must be installed on all members within an SSI cluster before any member of the cluster is IPLed on a z15 or LinuxONE III server:
      • z/VM 7.2
      • z/VM 7.1 with the PTF for APAR VM66206
      • z/VM 6.4 with the PTFs for APARs VM65976 and VM66206
    • Enhancements to the TCP/IP stack and NETSTAT OSAINFO command to provide support for:
      • OSA-Express7S GbE
      • OSA-Express7S 10 GbE
      • OSA-Express7S 25 GbE
      • OSA-Express7S 1000BASE-T
      This support is available for z/VM 6.4 and 7.1 with the PTF for APAR PI99085.
    • Installation of z/VM using a USB flash drive
    • Support for the System Recovery Boost feature of the z15 Models T01 and T02
      This support enables z/VM to boost general-purpose processors running at subcapacity to full capacity for up to 60 minutes during z/VM system initialization and workload bring-up and for up to 30 minutes during workload quiesce, system shutdown, and system abend processing. z/VM System Recovery Boost support primarily benefits z/VSE. and z/TPF guest environments, although it also increases the processor resources available to the z/VM Control Program.
      This support is available for z/VM 7.1 with the PTF for APAR VM66283.
    • IBM Fibre Channel Endpoint Security between an z15 Model T01 or LinuxONE III Model LT1 and the DS8900F by providing the following functions:
      • Display the encryption status of target worldwide port names (WWPNs) associated with a Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) device via the QUERY FCP command
      • Display the encryption and authentication capability of a channel path via the QUERY PATHS command
      • Track encryption state changes by recognizing Store Event Information channel report data
      • Create an event monitor record for each state change
      This support is available for z/VM 6.4 and 7.1 with the PTF for APAR VM66242. Fibre Channel Endpoint Security requires a minimum driver D41C bundle level. For further details, see the IBM Support - Preventive Service Planning bucket: For further information on z/VM support of the IBM z15 and LinuxONE III servers, see the z/VM service required for the IBM z15 and LinuxONE III servers web page and the following IBM Support - Preventive Service Planning buckets:
    • z/VM Continuous Delivery model:
      IBM delivers most new z/VM 7.2 functions as Small Programming Enhancements (SPEs) in the service stream. With the availability of z/VM 7.2, z/VM 7.1 will, with a few exceptions, receive only corrective service. Similarly, when a new release is introduced after z/VM 7.2, SPEs will be delivered on that release going forward and 7.2 will receive mostly corrective service only. For additional information on the z/VM Continuous Delivery model, see the z/VM 7.1 Software Announcement 218- 310, dated August 7, 2018.
    • New Architecture Level Set (ALS):
      VM 7.2 includes an ALS and requires an IBM Z server listed in the Key requirements section. This satisfies the statement of direction from Software Announcement 218-310, dated August 7, 2018.
    • Interaction with the z/VM community:
      IBM has a long history of working with clients to deliver capabilities to improve z/VM. IBM continues this interaction by:
      • Enlisting z/VM clients as Sponsor Users to advise IBM throughout the design process for many z/VM development projects. These clients may also test early versions of the new support prior to its delivery to the marketplace to help ensure that the user experience matches their expectations.
      • Soliciting clients to become involved with the z/VM Continuous Delivery process. IBM finds the Sponsor User relationship beneficial to delivering new functionality for z/VM and continues to encourage z/VM clients to participate in the continuous delivery process. To learn more about the z/VM Sponsor User program, see the z/VM Sponsor User program web page. For details about z/VM client communication and collaboration, see the z/VM Council web page.
      • Publishing information about many of its z/VM development projects as they unfold to help users decide whether they want to volunteer as Sponsor Users for selected development projects and help the community at large plan for the introduction of new z/VM functions. This level of communication between IBM and the z/VM user community facilitates discussion regarding implications of the planned support, such as operational incompatibilities, software vendor impacts, and changes to system behavior.
      These plans are posted and updated on the z/VM Continuous Delivery News website.

For more information, please view the complete z/VM 7.2 Announcement for your specific geography.

z/VM 7.2 Announcement by Geography