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What’s new in IBM Cloud Provisioning & Management for z/OS (01/04/2019)

By Hiren Shah posted Sun November 24, 2019 09:14 PM

With IBM Z Parallel Sysplex technology customers can build cluster of compute environment to provide continuous availability of the business applications. IBM Cloud provisioning and management for z/OS plugin in z/OSMF already supports provisioning software on any system that is in a parallel sysplex. IBM Cloud provisioning and management for z/OS delivered major enhancements with PTFs UI60075, UI60040 (z/OS V2R3) and PTFs UI60077, UI60042 (z/OS V2R2) that enables customers to provision network-clustered software instances in parallel sysplex. To learn about enhancements that were previously delivered, refer to the blog at

Software Cluster Provisioning :
Clustered composite templates enable you to leverage sysplex capability to provision a continuously available middleware environment. With a single provisioning action, you can provision network-clustered instances of a specific middleware in a sysplex. When network resources e.g. DVIPA are provisioned for clustered composite template, Sysplex Distributor configuration is also dynamically updated with new network resources. Similarly, a single deprovision action is planned to release all of the member instances that are associated with the clustered composite template instance.

A new capability is introduced in Composite Template to support creating Cluster Composite template. Middleware system programmer can create a clustered composite template from a single published template or from multiple published templates.The member templates of Cluster Composite template must all be of the same software type; that is, they provision a cluster of the same middleware.

Customer can create clustered composite template in a cloud domain only when cloud domain has more than one z/OS system. Provisioning a clustered composite template result in each instance of the member templates being provisioned on a separate system in the cloud domain. Clustered composite templates have their own resource pools. z/OS resources (e.g. DVIPA, Ports and WLM service class,report class) for all of the member instances are obtained from the same resource pool when the clustered composite template is provisioned.

During the provisioning of clustered composite template, sysplex distributor will be dynamically updated with newly provisioned network resources to define network cluster. Sysplex network attachment needs to be defined via “Network Configuration Assistant” task and network resource pool needs to be configured for the clustered composite template to establish network cluster. For additional information, please refer to Network Configuration Assistant task tutorials provided with online help.

Clustered composite template capability can be used by Db2 and MQ middleware to support provisioning of Db2 data sharing group or MQ queue sharing group in a parallel sysplex.

Memory Metering and Capping:
Similar to CPU metering and capping, you can now also measure memory utilization for a specific tenant and control how much memory can be consumed by a specific tenant. The memory metering function provides data that you can use to charge back a consumer’s usage. The memory capping function can be used to prevent application developers from consuming too much memory and limit the cost for a tenant. To use this function, the following setup needs to be performed:

  1. Ensure that the z/OSMF Resource Monitor and Workload Management plug-in is configured, as described in the z/OSMF Configuration guide.
  2. Ensure that the workflow associated with the template uses the resource pool REST API to classify the software service instance to the WLM service Class and report class.
  3. Configure the tenant to use either metering or capping or both, using the Resource Management task in the z/OSMF Web UI.
  4. Set up the resource pool for the template with WLM resource pool using the z/OSMF Resource Management UI task.
  5. Along with above two main enhancements many new features are introduced with this release of IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS.

Dataset Support:
The files for a template, such as the workflow and actions definition files, can now be in sequential or partitioned data sets. You are no longer required to copy the workflow definition file to z/OS unix files to create a software service template. Workflow editor is also enhanced to edit/view workflow file in sequential or partitioned dataset.

Serviceability Enhancements: Diagnostic information for provisioning an instance is enhanced. When you view an instance, you see new information for instances that are being provisioned or that failed provisioning, including the template owner, the number of steps and current step of the provisioning workflow, and the workflow message text. You can also display additional information by hovering the mouse pointer over the state of an instance on the Instances table.

Usability improvements:
The Resource Management task has been reorganized for better usability. Properties of a domain, including the associated tenants and resource pools, are now displayed on tabs. In order to view tenant associated with the domain, you need to select view action on a specific domain.

Workflow Enhancements:
REST steps in z/OSMF workflow can now specify the HTTPS protocol for secure connections. This will allow workflow author to invoke non z/OSMF REST APIs with HTTPS protocol. z/OSMF workflow is also enhanced to support a new “array” type of variable that you can define for your workflow. Consider using an array variable when you need to map a list of values.

Workflow Editor Enhancements:
The Workflow Editor now includes a “toolbox” of IBM-supplied steps. These steps can be used as model when creating a new workflow. Toolbox provides steps that can invoke JCL, shell script and REST API. Sample steps that show how to create a data set, copy files will help workflow author to learn z/OSMF workflow capabilities.