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Previewing IBM z/OS 3.1


IBM has just announced a Preview of z/OS 3.1, a new version of z/OS that IBM expects will mark a new era in operating system intelligence. The new release is planned to provide a framework for infusing AI throughout the system, enabling intelligent systems administration guidance and automation that learns and improves. z/OS 3.1 was designed and built on over 50 years of continuous innovation, research, and development and offers an immense amount of valuable new functions, including some that are also available on previous releases through the z/OS Continuous Delivery model. 

At a glance, z/OS 3.1 helps clients to:

  • Scale the value of data and drive digital transformation powered by AI and intelligent automation

  • Manage and optimize technology infrastructure with industry-popular interfaces for system programmers of all experience levels

  • Protect and thrive with exceptional security and resilience capabilities

  • Build new and modernize existing applications and workloads with a flexible hybrid cloud strategy based on modern APIs and DevOps platforms

  • Nurture their investment in critical core business applications with new and enhanced functions that enforce the availability, scalability, and efficiency of the operating system clients have known and trusted for decades

We’re designing z/OS 3.1 to work best on the latest generation of the IBM zSystems platform: IBM z16. The newest version of z/OS will exploit and enable the AI Acceleration, Quantum Safe, and Flexible Capacity capabilities of the IBM z16 platform.

Be sure to attend the upcoming z/OS 3.1 Preview webinar, which will provide an overview of the new version and review many of the new features and enhancements planned for z/OS 3.1.

    • When: Tuesday, March 21 at 12:00pm EST (registration also grants access to the recording)

    • Register here: https://ibm.biz/zOS-Webinar

What to expect in z/OS 3.1

In addition to numerous improvements to the core functions that clients expect, some key highlights of the next- generation operating system include: 

  • AI and analytics solutions that plan to be infused into the operating system using intelligent automation, such as:

    • Support for a new AI Framework, intended to augment z/OS with intelligence that optimizes IT processes, simplifies management, improves performance, and reduces skill requirement

    • Extension of the AI ecosystem, as z/OS 3.1 intends to support a leading AI portfolio with the ability to deploy AI co-located with z/OS applications, designed for low latency response times

    • AI-Powered WLM, designed to intelligently predict upcoming batch workload and react accordingly for optimized system resources

  • Enhanced management infrastructure for access to consistent and modern browser-based interfaces based on industry standards in order to 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 z/OSMF Desktop enhancements, and Security Configuration Assistant verification abilities. New workflows are designed to perform tasks with less manual effort, and the z/OSMF WLM task is planned to support the new Policy Advisor.

    • New z/OS Management Services Catalog enhancements that allow for a broader range of z/OS management tasks to be performed.

    • 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.

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

    • The new z/OS Authorized Code Monitor, intended to be used as a nondisruptive tool in production systems.

    • ICSF planned exploitation of the new cryptographic capabilities of the IBM z16, simplified crypto interfaces, and additional abilities to distribute the ownership of master key parts.

    • Support for RACF database encryption to allow an installation to encrypt a RACF VSAM data set so that all its information is encrypted while at rest.

  • High-performing resiliency components that intend to reduce or eliminate the impact of disruptions, help achieve heightened levels of service availability, and support business continuity, 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.

  • Data Serving and Storage solutions designed to create a resilient, modern infrastructure that integrates mainframe data, operations, and applications with hybrid cloud environments:

    • Cloud storage abilities, such as a new callable service, Cloud Data Access (CDA), intended to enable access to data in cloud object stores and the ability to incorporate cloud object data into z/OS workloads.

    • NoSQL APIs, with a C-based, key-value interface, designed to simplify the application effort needed to access NoSQL VSAMDB data sets on z/OS.

    • Catalog enhancements, planned to provide simplified ICF Catalog recovery, improved Catalog management and maintenance, and simplified Catalog Address Space (CAS) startup.

  • Foundational support for the performance and optimization of z/OS and supported hardware that enforce the scalability, availability, network efficiency, and general simplification of the operating system:

    • z/OS Parallel Sysplex enhancements for the IBM z16 CFLEVEL 25, which provides a variety of enhancements for improved Parallel Sysplex performance, scalability, and resiliency

    • Support for JES2 job completion notifications and new JES2 Policy functions intended to improve their flexibility and usability

    • System Display and Search Facility (SDSF) enhancements that intend to further expand system monitoring abilities for system programmers