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IBM System z: Technical Overview of HW and SW Mainframe Evolution

Course Description


This course is designed to provide an understanding of today's complex system mainframe environment on the zEnterprise System and System z servers. It is mainly targeted for operators technical support, system programmers, and any others who need to keep current in this mainframe environment. Through lecture and hands-on exercises, you learn how the hardware and operating systems interact. This course addresses the following topics:


The basic class should consist of lead operators, technical support personnel, system programmers, or anyone in the technical field who requires an understanding of how the current hardware and software interact in the large mainframe environment.


You should have an understanding of:
  • Basic data processing concepts
  • I/O concepts

Key topics

Day 1
  • Welcome
  • Introduction and course overview
  • Unit 1: Mainframe directions and System z servers
  • Unit 2: Server hardware and I/O configuration (part 1)
Day 2
  • Review
  • Unit 2: Server hardware and I/O configuration (part 2)
  • Unit 3: MVS to z/OS overview and processor concepts
  • Unit 4: Hardware Management Console basics
  • Supporting labs:
    • Exercise 1: Remote access set up
    • Exercise 2 HMC web browser and UI set up
    • Exercise 3: HMC familiarization and lab system activation
    • Exercise 4: Hardware Management Console fundamentals (optional)


Describe and categorize the various servers that are commonly found in data centers Identify and describe workloads that are commonly used on mainframes and distributed servers Describe a typical data center with multiple server platforms:
  • Why so many servers
  • Current concerns and considerations
  • Potential future actions
Identify when the first IBM general purpose mainframe was introduced Describe several key IT and mainframe strategies introduced in the 2000s Identify current and future data center trends Describe why smarter systems are required to meet future requirements Introduce the zEnterprise System and describe how it can apply to current and future business requirements Describe the basic functions, characteristics, and terminology of System z servers Identify and list the various System z servers and hardware models, from zSeries server to the latest zEnterprise EC12 Identify the number of CPs and specialty processors available to various System z servers List relative performance of recent System z servers as compared to previous servers Identify and list IBM mainframe servers supporting multiple channel subsystems and z/Architecture Identify key components of the zEnterprise System and their purpose Describe and compare various System z components:
  • Frame layout and cage usage
  • Server models, books, memory, and cache structure
  • Performance and millions of service units (MSUs)
Describe and compare I/O infrastructure and processor usage across zEC12 to z10 mainframes
  • I/O cages, drawers, and technology used
  • PU, cache, and book fan-out connectivity
Describe how and what System z physical components are used when processing instructions and performing an I/O operation Identify System z Capacity on Demand (CoD) options available for planned and unplanned outages Describe the CoD provisioning architecture and which servers can use it Describe how logical partitioning is used, resource assignments and initialization activities Describe mainframe channels, usage, and CHPID assignments Describe the purpose and use of HCD Identify mainframe operating systems and their supported mainframe servers:
  • Describe how the mainframe OS evolved from the System 360 servers to the current zEC12 server
  • List some of the major enhancements provided by the recent z/OS versions and to what servers they apply
  • List z/OS coexistence and release support strategy
  • Describe the various queues that are used to dispatch work
Describe the difference between a base and Parallel Sysplex
  • List Parallel Sysplex main characteristics
  • Describe the purpose and use of the coupling facility
  • Identify the difference between the following sysplex configurations
Identify and describe the major enhancements provided by the System z software and hardware platform:
  • 64-bit architecture, IRD, HiperSockets, MLCSS, MIDAW
  • Multiple subchannel sets, zHPF, CPM, HiperDispatch, zDAC
  • TEF, RI, DAT2, Flash Express, zAware, and autonomic computing
Identify processor architectural modes and their supported addressing implementations:
  • Bimodal, trimodal, address spaces, virtual addressing, and storage usage
Describe the various queues that are used to dispatch work Use system commands to display active address spaces and identify their current status Describe the high level interaction between z/OS, CSS and I/O devices during I/O processing Describe the role of the HMC and SE for System z servers Identify and change the HMC user interface style Identify CPC and image objects usage on the HMC Build and customize user-defined groups Identify profile types, usage and assign profiles to objects Use the Details window to determine object status and assignments Describe how and why unacceptable status conditions and hardware messages are presented to the HMC Identify the HMC activation process for CPCs and images Send messages to the operating system

Course Duration

2 days
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