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Announcing IBM z/OS 3.1: An AI-infused operating system for the next generation of computing


IBM has just announced z/OS 3.1, a new version of z/OS that marks a new era in operating system intelligence. The new version of z/OS infuses AI into the system, enabling intelligent systems administration guidance and automation that learns and improves. It’s designed to optimize infrastructure with industry-popular interfaces, protect and thrive with exceptional cyber resilience capabilities, and build new and modernize existing applications.

Built on over 50 years of continuous innovation, research, and development, z/OS 3.1 offers an immense amount of valuable new functions, including some that are also available on previous releases through the z/OS Continuous Delivery model. 

By leveraging the strengths of the latest IBM z16’s computing power and resources, z/OS 3.1 plays an important role in providing a highly secure, scalable environment for the underlying transformation process on which organizations are embarking to deliver swift innovation and business continuity.

Be sure to attend the upcoming What’s New in z/OS 3.1’ webinar', which will provide an overview of the new version and review many of the new features and enhancements available on z/OS 3.1.

  • When: Tuesday, August 22nd at 12:00pm EST (registration also grants access to the recording)
  • Register here: https://ibm.biz/zos_0801


In z/OS 3.1, trustworthy AI and analytics solutions such as the following are infused into the operating system, using intelligent automation and accelerated inferencing at scale to extract and leverage valuable data insights that support:AI powered WLM: Proactive AInitiator processing

    • The AI Framework for IBM z/OS, which provides capabilities to infuse AI into z/OS products while simplifying management by clients. The AI functionality consists of a data collection engine, an AI model server, the AI base component, a modern user interface, and providers that can plug into the framework for expandable future use cases. 
    • Extension of the AI Ecosystem, built to lead a prominent AI portfolio with the ability to deploy AI co-located with z/OS applications, designed for low latency response times.
    • The AI-powered Workload Manager (WLM), which intelligently predicts upcoming batch workload and reacts accordingly to optimize system resources in a proactive way. 

Enhanced management infrastructure for access to consistent and modern browser-based interfaces based on industry standards that simplify and automate the management of the operating system, including a certified Ansible collection:

  • A range of new and enhanced z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) functionalities to help system programmers more easily manage and administer z/OS day-to-day operations, such as:
    • The Sysplex Management plugin. Enhancements to the CFRM Policy Editor, which provides a graphic interface to reduce the learning curve for editing CFRM policies and enable higher efficiency with less errors. With the new integrated CF Sizer capability, users can calculate and define their CF structure levels that they already have or do not already have.
    • New z/OS Management Services Catalog enhancements, such as the ability to import and export services from one system to another rather than rebuilt them,  that allow for a broader range of z/OS management tasks to be performed through services.
    • Support for IBM z/OS Change Tracker to be used as a z/OSMF plug-in, providing a graphical user interface for comprehensively tracking changes across software libraries and configuration data, now with a 90-day trial option.

z/OS 3.1 expands the scope of existing application functions and supports new development to consistently build, deploy, and manage workloads, both Linux and z/OS, across a hybrid cloud environment and includes the following:

  • IBM z/OS Container Extensions (zCX) and zCX Foundation for Red Hat OpenShift enhancements designed for improved performance and security, with new features and capabilities to support NFS, HTTPS, IBM WebSphere Hybrid Edition, and IBM Storage Fusion OpenShift Shared Persistent Storage.
  • A new Data Set File System, which serves as a new physical file system designed for z/OS UNIX utilities to provide transparent access to data in a secure and consistent manner.
  • Enhanced COBOL-Java interoperability for 31-bit COBOL applications which has been extended to call 64-bit Java programs using the IBM Semeru Runtime Certified Edition for z/OS, Version 11 (Java).

Security and compliance solutions that provide ever-greater defense-in-depth functionality, focused on mitigating the increased risk to data privacy and protection for overall system hardening, such as:

  • The new z/OS Authorized Code Monitor, designed to be a non-disruptive tool for production systems, examining ABENDs from z/OS recovery processing and reporting on potential vulnerabilities found there for remediation as needed.
  • Validated Boot for z/OS, which uses digital signatures to provide an IPL-time check that the z/OS system is intact, untampered with, and originates from a trusted source from the time at which it was built and signed.
  • Support for the encryption of a RACF database, so a RACF VSAM data set can be shared among z/OS systems in additional specified configurations.
  • Enhanced Compliance support for z/OS, which uses new SMF 1154 record subtypes and modernized reporting to collect additional compliance evidence data. 

High-performing cyber resilience components help to achieve heightened levels of service availability, reduce or eliminate the impact of disruptions, improve capabilities for diagnosing and recovering from anomalous behavior, and support business continuity throughout the enterprise such as:

  • System Recovery Boost solutions expanded with additional recovery process boost use cases to provide value for a new set of z/OS recovery and diagnostic events.
  • IBM z/OS Workload Interaction Correlator support to enable subject matter experts to proactively identify workload anomalies so they have an opportunity to be diagnosed and addressed before workload impacts, critical situations, and outages occur.
  • Resource Measurement Facility (RMF) enhancements to provide a new modern web-based user interface supporting Monitor III Metrics and Reports so users can achieve better metric visualization to get insights into anomalous behavior.

z/OS 3.1 is designed to enable simplified data storage and management that integrate mainframe data, operations, and applications with hybrid cloud environments. This allows them to operate for peak agility, flexibility, and performance to and extract value from mission-critical data in order to optimize the value of mainframe assets for new business innovation and includes the following: 

  • Cloud storage abilities, such as a new callable service, Cloud Data Access (CDA), that enable access to data in cloud object stores and the ability to incorporate cloud object data into z/OS workloads.
  • EzNoSQL APIs, with a Java and C-based key value interface designed to simplify the application effort needed to access NoSQL VSAMDB data sets on z/OS.
  • Catalog enhancements, which provide simplified ICF Catalog recovery, improved Catalog management and maintenance, and simplified Catalog Address Space (CAS) startup.

z/OS 3.1 supports the performance and optimization of z/OS supported hardware, and also supports the following functions that enforce the scalability, availability, network efficiency, and general simplification of the operating system:

  • System Display and Search Facility (SDSF) enhancements that intend to further expand system monitoring abilities for system programmers, including over 20 new primary commands.
  • z/OS Encryption Readiness Technology (zERT) Network Analyzer enhancements, including the use of passphrases as an authentication credentials.
  • JES2 Resiliency Improvements, which include default policies around spool consumption to help avoid resource exhaustion.  

Continuing the success of our continuous delivery strategy, IBM plans to work collaboratively with clients to design, develop, and release new functions in these areas over time. Join us, and let's create a world-leading operating system for the future of business around the globe with z/OS 3.1!