ServerPac Installation Using IBM z/OS Management Facility Streamlines Software Management
The offering is now available as an IBM z/OSMF-consumable Portable Software Instance, leading to a streamlined and uniform installation experience.
To enhance IBM z/OS® usability and overall user experience, IBM is collaborating with other leading industry software vendors to create a new common, streamlined software installation process. In doing so, a simple, guided experience within IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) will empower early tenure system programmers to install and maintain their z/OS stack software, regardless of the software vendor. This multivendor effort is necessary to make z/OS platform software easier to package, install, configure, deploy and service, all leading to a more efficient experience for users of all levels.
IBM CICS® Transaction Server for z/OS (and associated CICS products) is the first offering in this new common format for z/OSMF, with the rest of the IBM z/OS platform product catalog (including IMS® and IBM Db2®) planned for the future.
IBM’s ServerPac offering addresses the challenge of z/OS complexity. IBM is creating a common installation strategy by delivering ServerPac as a z/OSMF-consumable portable software instance. An IBM ServerPac is an entitled software delivery package consisting of integrated products and services for which IBM has already performed the SMP/E installation steps and some customization steps. For decades, the pre-installed products contained in ServerPacs have simplified the installation process but have only been available as an IBM deliverable. Now, this simplified effort is available using z/OSMF through portable software instance format for the first time. If you’ve already installed a portable software instance from another vendor, you can expect this to look and install the same way.
By converging on a single-install method within z/OSMF, less experienced z/OS system programmers will be able to manage software consistently and become more productive in a shorter period of time. This single software installation method encompasses both SMP/E and non-SMP/E packaged products in order to ensure wide applicability to the entire industry’s z/OS software stack. As with the IBM ServerPac, the new common installation process has a familiar flow, but with an easier-to-use interface with enhanced capabilities.
The choice to obtain this z/OSMF software management-consumable is made during the ordering process on IBM Shopz (ibm.co/2LMlQW5), the same way it has traditionally been done for CustomPac (the ISPF-consumable). Once you select your desired products, continue through the ordering process until you’re prompted to choose a method to install your package. To proceed with this new packaging format, select “z/OSMF SW Management” from the drop-down menu.
You may be wondering if it’s easier to just stick with the traditional method (even if you know it’s not perfect), but there are many reasons to choose ServerPac installation using z/OSMF:
- A consistent format between vendors makes “unique install skills” less necessary.
Not only is the consistent format easier to install, but it also provides guidance through the necessary steps. Less experienced installers can confidently and correctly deploy products without having to learn the intricacies of each software vendor. Do it once, and then you can use it everywhere.
- Additional capabilities exist in the portable software instance that weren’t possible with the traditional ServerPac.
By leveraging many of the existing capabilities within z/OSMF, the portable software instance can better fit into your existing environment and require less post-processing. For instance, did you know that you can install a portable software instance to replace a prior product set? Or that you can deploy to a remote sysplex instead of just installing on locally connected devices? You can even connect your newly deployed portable software instance to your existing SMP/E global zone to take advantage of consolidated RECEIVEs and cross-zone processing right away.
- A more intuitive z/OSMF guidance path makes installation easier.
As more vendors provide configuration and validation enhancements to make their products faster and simpler to install, these enhancements can be easily integrated into the z/OSMF deployment path for a seamless end-to-end experience.
- Older packaging formats will not be supported indefinitely. Having alternate installation methods to install the same product can result in fewer enhancements overall as those multiple methods are maintained, necessitating convergence onto a single and consistent interface. Over time, you can expect that the less strategic methods will be phased out with ample notification. For IBM, these include the nonportable software instance packages: the ServerPac CustomPac installation dialog (which uses ISPF) and the CBPDO offering.
To learn more about how to configure, order, download and deploy this z/OSMF portable software instance, visit ibm.co/2waSXPb.
As IBM moves forward with driving this industry strategy into our deliverables, it’s recommended that you adopt this new method and exploit its full capability.
Marna Walle is a senior technical staff member within IBM’s Systems and Technology Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lindsay Baer is a content designer for IBM Z® in Poughkeepsie, New York.