IBM System z Conference
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  Posted October 30th, 2011 by Zdenko  in Travel | 2 comments

What’s new in IT technology

By: Zdenko Kahlina

IBM System z Technical University Conference in Miami was a Success!
I recently returned from Miami Beach, Florida, where I was attending the IBM technical conference, a premier System z Enterprise event, featuring zEnterprise, z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE and Linux on System z. The purpose for me was to broaden my knowledge and expertise on System z technology from both hardware and software perspectives, using solutions from IBM.

Hopefully some of you readers also had the opportunity to attend the IBM System z Technical University conference in Miami. Inter skill Learning was there and I had a privilege to meet many of our customers and hopefully many new friends. I didn’t get to see much of the beach or the night life, but had a great time with over 800 IT professionals who were invited to the conference.

Conference registration desk

Every year, IBM brings together leading-edge thinkers, technology gurus and business experts for more than 30 technical universities and seminars worldwide. These events provide a forum where IT professionals can explore current and emerging technical topics, meet respected industry leaders and network with peers from around the globe.
All activities were held at the luxurious Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, easily accessible from Miami International Airport – MIA. The hotel is located in the upscale neighborhood at 4441 Street and Collins Avenue. See more about this hotel on my Miami blog here.

IBM Solution Center

Opening session

With a packed agenda that covered all new mainframe stuff – plus the opportunity to hear technical experts from IBM System z development, IBM System z customers and the community of independent software vendor (ISV) providers share their experience and expertise – I didn’t want to miss this memorable week of technical education. The sessions started early in the morning and were ending by 18:00 PM.

Opening General Session
IBM General Session with key updates from their executives was held as an opening session. They were particularly pleased to have Greg Lotko, Vice President and Business Line Executive, System z and the ever exciting Jeff Jonas, Chief Scientist and IBM Distinguished Engineer, IBM Entity Analytics Group.

Jeff Jonas, IBM Chief Scientist and Distinguished Engineer was a keynote speaker during the general opening session of the 2011 System z Technical University in Miami, Florida, on October 3, 2011. Jeff briefly summarized part of his presentation which included a discussion of real time data stream analysis to allow decision making at the time of a transaction rather than later due to our current abilities to collect, manage, and analyze large amounts of data.

Featured Sessions
In 2011, IBM significantly expand their coverage of System z software, including DB2, CICS, WebSphere, IMS, Cognos and more. Many sessions were available as conference was spread all over the Fontainebleau hotel and their conference center in the Versailles building. The building consisted of “Splash classroom on the main level and “Glimmer” classrooms on the upper level. IBM Solution Center was located for four days in the “Sparkle Ballroom” on the main level.

They offered wireless connectivity in many areas of the Conference (but not in the hotel areas, or hotel rooms!). There was the Cyber Café, located in one of the conference rooms for all the attendees to get connected on internet. Wednesday evening was reserved for the Social event of dining, networking and entertainment at Nikki Beach club. Busses were organized to take more than 800 people to South Miami Beach where this event took place.

At the Nikki Beach, beach club

Nikki Beach is the ultimate beach club concept that brings dining, fashion, music and entertainment together earning itself, as quoted by the London Observer, the undisputed reputation as being the Sexiest Place on Earth. Nikki Beach is world renowned for its surreal beauty and ambiance. It is one of the few places on the planet that champagne & cocktails at noon, accompanied by contemporary European delights & mood enhancing tunes, is a consistent reality.

The rest of the week was reserved to learn how to use IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) to automate data backup and restore functions, and centralize storage management operations. I sat at the session to listen how to reduce cost and complexity through consolidation and virtualization using the new DS8800 enterprise disk subsystem with solid state drives (SSDs). I could test-drive the latest technologies through hands-on labs.

Warning: this is MAINFRAME ZONE!

IBM Solution Center exhibitors’ presentations
The IBM Solution Center was open every day and this is where IBM best Business Partners were presenting their storage products and solutions. The Expo area in the Enterprise Data Center consisted of an IBM zEnterprise 114, zBladeCenter Extension, and DS8800 Storage subsystem. The event was designed to promote an environment for networking, selling and learning new skills. This prospectus detailed the exceptional value for all customers to enjoy. They also served deserts after lunches, so that was additional reason for everybody to go into the Solution Center.

IBM Solution Center

IBM Solution Center

IBM Solution Center

Food was served in the Solution Center

Canadian dinner at the conference
IBM Canada continued their tradition of taking all Canadian customers who attended the conference, out for dinner at the System z Technical University.  This time Jim Elliot was the host. Participants at the evening event were: Jim Elliot (IBM), Alex Colinet (TD Bank, Toronto), Alice Wah (RBC), Bruce Langille (RBC), Harry Shao (ATCO), Ian Roach (GlassHouse Systems), Peter Boldy (WorkSafe BC),  Pak Seto (CDS), Vic Peltz (San Jose IBM) and myself.

Carrabba’s restaurant served fine food

I want to take this opportunity to thank him for the great evening at the Carrabba’s Italian restaurant in Miami Beach. The food was excellent. We all thoroughly enjoyed our meal. The service was great also. The waiter was unbelievable! He was fast, and I still wonder how he remembered all our orders. We enjoyed Carabba’s so much that we ate there a second time during our trip. The best part of it was that for what you get, it’s pretty affordable. We were happy to find a nice restaurant that wasn’t completely out of our price range and was on a walking distance from our (expensive) hotel.

I was happy to meet with all our Canadian friends, especially Peter Boldy from Vancouver. We all had interesting conversations during the evening, sharing our own experiences and knowledge. By chance I met this group one more time during our stay in Miami, but at a different restaurant. Very friendly bunch…

System z Technical University – Highlights and Featured Sessions
Just some of the sessions the 2011 IBM z System Technical University conference was offering this year and their description is listed here:

zBB04 Introducing the IBM zEnterprise System
Brian Hatfield
Servers, servers everywhere. How did we get here, What are we doing now and where are we headed. Introducing the zEnterprise System, it is more than just a mainframe, it is a system of systems. This session provides information to help understand the past, current and future trends of servers in the data center. From many multiple servers to server consolidation, virtualization to the zEnterprise System. We will give an overview of the main components of the zEnterprise System and describe the role it can play beyond server virtualization and consolidation in the next step in the evolution of the data center mainframe.

zZS28 What’s New in z/OS 1.13 ?
Riaz Ahmad
IBM continues to enhance its flagship operating system with new features and functions. z/OS 1.13 will become generally available in September 2011. In this session the speaker will describe new functions and enhancements that are packed in this brand new release.

zZS20 z/OS Parallel Sysplex Update
Mark A. Brooks
In this session, the speaker will provide updates on Parallel Sysplex, including the latest hardware (zEnterprise 196 and 114) and coupling link technology (infiniband), Coupling Facility Control Code (CFCC Level 17), and recent z/OS enhancements (z/OS 1.13).

zST01 What’s New in DFSMShsm
Edward Baker
Every year we update DFSMShsm with a new release and provide new function. We will be covering DFSMShsm V1 R12 as well as the new function that is being introduced by the new release soon to be generally available. Come hear how we continue to improve this flagship z/OS Storage Management product.

zST03 Uncovering the Mysteries of the
Edward Baker

DFSMShsm has hundreds of parameters and sub-parameters that clients can specify to setup their DFSMShsm environment. Many of the parameters like SETSYS RECYCLEDEALLOCATIONFREQUENCY and SETSYS ACCEPTPSCBUSERID have beffuddled client for years. The speaker is going to go over some of the more important parmlib and proclib settings as well as some of the settings that have caused confusion over the years.

zST05 What’s New with IBM Tape – A Portfolio Update
Curtis Neal
This will keep you up to date with the latest tape developments. These include the TS3500 tape library connector Model SC1 (Shuttle). The world’s fastest tape drive, the TS1140 3592-E07, will also be presented. The performance and functionality of the new TS1140 as well as the new 4TB tape media will be discussed. Finally, this will cover the new features and functions being delivered in the TS7700 Release 2.0 code, such as Scratch Allocation Assist and Selective Device Access Control.

zST07 IBM Enterprise Disk – DS8000 Update
Curtis Neal
The IBM System Storage DS8000 family is designed as a high performance, high capacity, and resilient series of enterprise disk storage systems. It offers high availability, reliability, multiplatform support, and simplified management GUI to help provide a cost-effective path to an on demand world. The DS8800 is the IBM fourth generation enterprise disk system and represents the latest in this series. This session will review the DS8800 architecture and recent hardware and software enhancements.

 Luxurious Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel

Luxurious bar at Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel

In 2011, IBM significantly expand their coverage of System z software, including DB2, CICS, MQ, WebSphere, IMS, Cognos and more.

This 4.5 day event was good opportunity to broaden my knowledge and expertise on System z technology from both hardware and software perspectives. In a week time IBM provided the following opportunity:

  • Learn more about how the zEnterprise mainframe solution is making it possible to deploy and intelligently manage workloads across mainframe and distributed technologies.
  • Take a deep dive into the latest updates to z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE and Linux on System z.
  • Explore products, solutions, events and resources for mainframe applications, data management and service management.
  • Discover hot industry trends related to System z, such as cloud computing and virtualization.

With a packed agenda that covers all this – plus the opportunity to hear technical experts from IBM System z development, IBM System z customers and the community of independent software vendor (ISV), providers shared their experience and expertise. They also announced the next conference will be held in Las Vegas from October 1 – 5, 2012.  Make a note as you don’t want to miss this memorable week of technical education.

Videos from the conference:


R.I.P. Steve Jobs… “My model for business is The Beatles. They were four guys who kept each other’s kind of negative tendencies in check. They balanced each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts. That’s how I see business: great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
– Steve Jobs – Interview with 60 Minutes, 2003



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2 comments to “IBM System z Conference”

  1. Comment by Charlize:

    I guess you may want to put a Facebook icon to your site. Just bookmarked the URL, but I had to complete this manually. Simply my suggestion… Cheers!

  2. Comment by Top Travel Destinations:

    Tremendous! This particular article is excellent. This kind of blog is literally the best article post on the blog. You obviously need to know a lot about IT industry. This is amazing. I have not seen anyone writing about their business trips like you do…
    Top Travel Destinations.

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