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z/OS V2.4 2Q 2021 New Functions and Enhancements

By Fiona King posted Tue June 22, 2021 03:18 PM

As always, through the IBM® z/OS® continuous delivery (CD) model, new and enhanced z/OS capabilities are available quarterly without requiring the effort of a full release upgrade and with no impact to stability, complexity or costs.
This quarter's CD further extends the capabilities of z/OS V2.4 with functions that can benefit clients across areas of systems operation, automation, management, and security. New function APARs are collected here in a convenient reference format. 

z.OS V2.4
----------------------------- What's New -----------------------------

Base Control Program internal interface (BCPii)
z/OS BCPii is the most widely used automation interface for managing System Z hardware and provides a powerful way for z/OS applications to automate and control the hardware operations in multiple languages. 

z/OS BCPii is introducing a new API, HWIREST, for the IBM z15. With the introduction of HWIREST, applications can instantly access numerous additional and previously unavailable attributes of the z15, including CPC storage, storage allocated for LPARs, CPC environmentals, more detailed information about processors and their assignments to an LPAR, and countless other properties. Numerous future attributes introduced with a new HW Level will also be automatically available using this API, without requiring a corresponding z/OS BCPii software update.
This enhancement is available on z/OS V2.4 and later with PTF for APAR OA60351, with additional hardware requirements.

Tailored Fit Pricing (TFP) ease of use
Tailored Fit Pricing for IBM Z® is designed to deliver unmatched simplicity, transparency, and predictability of pricing in this era of hybrid cloud. The technology in z/OS provides the framework to enable Tailored Fit Pricing.
To reduce the effort of reporting on TFP solutions, the option to use a new system parameter has been added to help automatically apply the solution ID to the system. This is designed to be an easier and less error-prone alternative to defining TFP solutions with SCRT control statements.
This function is available on z/OS V2.3 and later with the PTF for APAR OA60198. SCRT 28.2.0, or later, is required to exploit the information provided by the new system parameter and is available on z/OF V2.3 and later with the  PTF for APAR OA60919.

IBM z/OSMF provides a framework for managing various aspects of a z/OS system through a task- oriented, web browser interface. z/OSMF continues to deliver enhancements and new functionality to help drive its effort of automating traditional tasks and simplifying areas of system management to help reduce the level of expertise needed for managing a system. This quarter, z/OSMF has delivered the following:
  • With the PTF for APAR PH34912, the below functions are available for z/OS V2.4 and later:
    • A new REST API has been added to support changing a user’s z/OS password or passphrase.
    • The z/OSMF desktop editor is enhanced to highlight data set names and zFS file paths as hot-linkable URLs which can now be opened simply by clicking on the links.
    • The z/OSMF Incident Log application has standardized the user experience by allowing users to use the z/OSMF desktop editor application to view diagnostic data for a more native browser look and feel. 

  • With the PTF for APAR PH34102, the below support is available for V2.3 and later:
    • The z/OSMF ISPF application is also enhanced to add a global settings configuration, which is intended to improve the user experience by providing system-wide defaults for the ISPF application settings rather than requiring each user to configure those values. Administrator can also set up system global configurations for others. 

ICSF enhancements
ICSF is a software element of z/OS that works with hardware cryptographic features and Security Server (RACF element) to provide secure, high-speed cryptographic services in the z/OS environment. 

This quarter, a new method for encrypting a DES secure key token has been introduced, the first proprietary Triple DES key block to be independently reviewed and confirmed to be compliant with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Security Standard Council (SSC) PIN Security key block requirements.  The new key block is backward compatible with existing applications, can be stored in the Cryptographic Key Data Set (CKDS), and introduces a new wrapping method called WRAPENH3. ICSF offers a utility that can be used to migrate all existing TDES secure keys in a CKDS to the new wrapping method, or it can be done on a key-by-key basis using updated callable services. In addition, a new SAF resource provides a way to override existing applications such that wherever a wrapping method is specified or defaulted, the wrapping method is automatically updated to WRAPENH3.

With the PTF for APAR OA60318, these capabilities are available for V2.2 and later.

z/OS UNIX and POSIX memory-map 64-bit support
Applications using the z/OS UNIX or POSIX memory-map service can now use 64-bit storage and map files of lengths greater than 2 GB. This enhancement helps alleviate below-the-bar memory constraints by enabling applications to use above-the-bar storage for large memory- mapped files. In addition, this new support is designed to improve performance and simplify data access by facilitating access to large amounts of data at once.

With the PTFs for APARs OA60306 and PH32235, this support is available for z/OS V2.4 and later.

Object Access Method (OAM) cloud and additional backup enhancements
With the PTF for APAR OA55700 for z/OS V2.3 and later, a cloud tier is added to the OAM storage hierarchy. With the OAM cloud tier support, the primary copy of an OAM object can be managed and stored as an object to a public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure that supports the S3 API. However, OAM-managed backup copies continue to be supported as they are today to removable media, typically virtual or physical tape.
With the PTF for APAR OA59615 for z/OS V2.3 and later, an OAM-managed backup copy of a primary object is additionally supported in the cloud and in a file system (zFS or NFS). OAM continues to support up to two backup copies of an OAM object.

**Have any questions or comments on this quarter’s enhancements? Leave a comment down below!**

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