Parallel Sysplex Implementation, Customisation & Exploitation

This in-depth, five-day course examines the issues involved in implementing the parallel sysplex environment. It covers hardware configuration issues, setting up the cloned z/OS environment, setting up the sysplex software environment, setting up sysplex datasharing, the system logger and the exploitation of z/OS components.
Extensive, real-world hands-on practical sessions occur throughout the course.

This course is available 'on demand' (minimum 2 students) for public presentations and for exclusive, one-company presentations.

What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • identify the different stages of parallel sysplex implementation, and understand the benefits and implications of implementing each of these stages
  • understand the hardware configuration for a parallel sysplex, including the Coupling Facility, CTC and sysplex timer environments
  • set up a cloned, multi-system, shared SYSRES environment with appropriate SYS1.PARMLIB parameters (and a suitable backup SYSRES!)
  • set up and maintain the controls for the parallel sysplex environment, including the Couple Data Sets, signalling environment, timer, GRS and parmlib member controls
  • set up and maintain the CFRM environment
  • set up and maintain an SFM environment
  • interpret the various RMF reports associated with the sysplex environment
  • set up and configure the following exploiters using the CF Sizer tool:
    JES2 Checkpoint
    GRS Star
    RACF datasharing
    TCP/IP ports and DVIPA
    VTAM generics
    Enhanced Catalog Sharing

Who Should Attend

This course is designed for system programmers and support staff involved in setting up, customising and running a parallel sysplex environment.


To gain maximum benefit from this course, students should first attend the course Parallel Sysplex Concepts and Facilities, or already have a thorough understanding of the principles of the parallel sysplex environment.


5 days

Fee (per attendee)

£2475 (ex VAT)


This includes free online 24/7 access to course notes.


Hard copy course notes are available on request from

at £50.00 plus carriage per set.

Course Code



Implementation Stages

Parallel sysplex history; Why the fuss about continuous availability?; Just a little bit further?; Continuous availability of what?; Workload balancing is essential; So is sysplex data sharing?; Configuration is critical; Planning for a full availability sysplex; Planning and configuring the base sysplex; Stage 1 - systems management; Single system image courtesy of XCF; Do not bring all your old baggage with you!; Cloned images; Naming conventions; IBM's example naming convention; Collections and Groups; For example: CICS APPLIDs and jobnames; Using the SYSNAME in the convention; Controlling the sysplex; Operational issues; The JESplex; Advanced operations and automation; Stage 2 - resource sharing; Mixed environments; GRS ring; GRS star; RACFplex; SMSplex and HSMplex; WLMplex and RMFplex; TWSplex; VTAMplex; Batchplex and Pipeplex; JESplex; 'Tapeplex'; The full availability sysplex; Stage 2 - data sharing; CACHE; LIST; LOCK; Data sharing - a prerequisite for full availability; Data sharing - capacity and growth; Data sharing - the application environment; Setting up data sharing; IBM application data sharing exploiters; Disaster recovery & data sharing applications; Coupling Facility redundancy and capacity; Data Sharing and workload balancing; Workloads and workload balancing; Enclave; WLM application environments; Workload classification; Nested definitions; Non-IBM work units; Workload balancing in reality; Transaction affinities; Analysis tools; Licensing issues; So, I have continuous availability?; Continuous availability?; The network and continuous availability; DASD and data availability; Database availability; Continuous availability - DB applications; CICS (VSAM); IMS/DB; Db2; Continuous availability - DST; Continuous availability - capacity; 'N+1' capacity; GDPS; GDPS configuration; It is a business decision!.

Hardware Configuration

Configuration considerations; Our example system; Example system, logical view; Timer configurations; Server Time Protocol; Clock synchronization techniques; CLOCKxx; Switch concepts and terminology; Chained switches; CTCs; CTCs: connections vs paths; CTCS: connections and XCF paths; XCF paths and Operations; Example naming convention; Setting it up - Switch and CHPIDs; S Setting it up - primary and alternate paths; Setting it up - XCF signalling example; Advantages of the naming convention; Example system, a more logical view; Coupling Facility configuration options; Coupling Facility configuration considerations; Coupling Facility configuration comparison; Coupling Facility performance; CFCC: CFLEVEL and feature support; Coupling Facility connection options; Defining the Coupling Facility environment; Coupling Facility Channels (CFCs); CFC connections; CFCs: Paths vs Subchannels; Create a CF LPAR; Coupling Facility links; Types of Coupling Facility links; Create CF Links; Connect LPARs together; Defining CIB Links; Defining CS5 and CL5 links; XCF signalling via the Coupling Facility; The consoles environment; Console configurations; Console names; CONSOLnn; Command Prefix Facility; OSC/ICC; DASD; Migrating your current configuration files.

Software Configuration

A single image environment; Cloned images; Cloning support; What can and cannot be shared?; Configuration controls; IPL and the LOAD parm; LOADxx placement; LOADxx; Parmlib concatenation; IEASYMnn; Defaults; System symbols, types and rules; Static symbols; Dynamic symbols; Coding rules for these symbols; IEASYSnn concatenation; Specifying the system name (&SYSNAME); IEASYSnn; SMFPRMnn; Setting up dynamic dump datasets; A cloned environment - example; What if the systems are not clones?; A not-quite-cloned environment - example; Using multiple symbols instead of multiple IEASYSs; Using multiple parmlibs; Symbols, started jobs and MSTJCLnn; Started jobs?; MSTJCLnn; The Symbolic Parmlib Parser; SYSRES integrity; What do we mean by SYSRES; Multiple SYSRES volumes; Dual master catalogs; Continuous availability; PROGnn and dynamic exits; Dynamic exits; PROGnn; SMF and dynamic exits; Multiple PROGnn members; The CSVDYNEX macro; Controlling the linklist via PROGnn; Rules regarding the linklist; Dynamic linklist reconfiguration; SETPROG - dynamic linklist and LPA; Manipulating the LPA via PROGnn; Dynamic SSI services; IEFSSNnn; JES and the sysplex.

Setting up the Sysplex

Sysplex definitions; Sysplex configuration parameters; PLEXCFG=; COUPLE00; CLOCKnn; Sysplex Timer setup with 'critical system'; IPLing temporarily in ETRLOCAL; Multiple timezones in a sysplex; Local time, DST and DST changes; Multiple timezones implications; Sysplex Couple Data Sets; Performance issues; Migration issues; Formatting the sysplex Couple Data Sets; XCF groups; Couple Data Sets, allocation and contents; What is in the Couple Data Sets?; Switching Couple Data Sets between IPLs; Other Couple Data Sets; Couple Data Set placement; Defining the XCF signalling paths; Signalling path configurations; Not all messages are equal!; Transport classes; Defining the transport classes; Message buffers; Defining the message buffers; Path reconfiguration; RMF: XCF usage by system; RMF: XCF usage by member; RMF: XCF path statistics; GRS; A GRS Star complex; GRS: Ring or Star considerations; Setting up a GRS ring; Miscellaneous parmlib changes; IBM's Parallel Sysplex Configuration Assistant.

Coupling Facility Management

HCD: defining the CF and CFCs; CFCs: Paths vs Subchannels; Subchannels; SYNCH vs ASYNCH CF requests; SMSG - SYNCH or ASYNCH?; 'Changed' CF requests; CFRM introduction; CFRM Policy in a CFRM Couple Data Set; Formatting the CFRM Couple Data Sets; Creating a CFRM Policy; Restricting access to IXCMIAPU; Coupling Facilities; IXCMIAPU - defining the Coupling Facilities; Structure considerations; Structure considerations - structure rebuild; Different rebuild processes; User-managed structure rebuild; 'User-Managed'; User-managed structure rebuild threshold; User-Managed Duplex rebuild; Limitations, rules, etc.; System-Managed rebuild process; Structure duplexing; IXCMIAPU - defining the structures; Allocating structures - CFRM vs IXLCONN; IBM product structures; IBM's CF Structure Sizer Tool; Activating the Coupling Facility environment; Maintaining CFRM Policy status; RMF: CF usage - structure summary; CF activity - CF Usage Summary - Structure; RMF: CF usage - storage & processor summaries; RMF: CF Structure Activity - list structures; RMF: CF Structure Activity - lock structures; RMF: CF Structure Activity - cache structures; RMF: CF - Subchannel Activity.

The System Logger

Introduction; Who is using it?; Coupling Facility logstreams; Logstreams and list structures; DASD-only logstreams; System Logger environment; Duplexing Coupling Facility logstreams; Duplexing DASD-only logstreams; Offloading logstream data to disk; Log Data Sets; Managing logstream data; LOGR Policy in a LOGR Couple Data Set; LOGR Couple Data Sets - IXCL1DSU; LOGR policy concepts; LOGR policy parameters for a Coupling Facility logstream; LOGR policy parameters for a DASD-only logstream; Activating and updating the LOGR policy; System Logger services; Accessing logstream data; Using the LOGR subsystem; Operations log; D C,HC; SDSF main panel; SDSF OPERLOG or SDSF SYSLOG; CFRM Policy definitions; LOGR Policy definitions; D XCF,STR,STRNAME=OPERLOG; Introduction to LOGREC; DLOGREC; LOGREC CFRM Policy definitions; LOGR Policy definitions; D XCF,STR,STRNAME=LOGREC; System-managed duplexing; System-managed duplexing LOGR Policy; Commands to display the System Logger.


JES2 in a parallel sysplex; JES2 MAS statements; JES2 XCF; JES2 checkpoint reconfiguration; JES2 CKPTDEF statement; JES2 structure size; CFRM Policy definitions; JES2 structure - error messages; JES2 checkpoint reconfiguration dialog; D XCF,STR,STRNAME=JES2CKPT; GRS introduction; GRS terminology; GRS RNLs - no wild cards; GRS RNLs - wild cards; GRS Ring; GRS Star; GRS Star processing; Sysplex Couple Data Set changes; GRS structure size; GRS structure CFRM Policy; Parmlib changes; D GRS; D XCF,STR,STRNAME=ISGLOCK; RACF in a basic sysplex; RACF in a parallel sysplex; RACF sysplex communication & data-sharing; RACF communication; RACF data sharing; RACF data sharing problems; The four sysplex modes; The RACF database name table; Coupling Facility structures; Defining Coupling Facility structures; D XCF,STR,STRNAME=IRRXCF00_P001; Enhanced Catalog Sharing; Catalog sharing process; Implementing ECS; Catalog definitions using IDCAMS; ECS structure - CFRM Policy; D XCF,STR,STRNAME=SYSIGGCAS_ECS; The MODIFY CATALOG commands; F CATALOG,ECSHR(STATUS); VTAM generic resources.

VIPAs and Sysplex

VIPAs: Static VIPA, Dynamic VIPA ; Virtual IP addressing - a reminder; Defining VIPA devices; Specifying the source IP address; Syntax for INTERFACE -- VIRTUAL interfaces statement; Examples of the INTERFACE statement for VIPA; IP solutions in a sysplex; Communication paths in a sysplex; DynamicXCF transport choices; IUTSAMEH; XCF Groups and their usage; Display XCF groups; DYNAMICXCF; DYNAMICXCF & HiperSockets; Dynamic VIPA - introduction; Dynamic VIPA takeover; Stack-managed DVIPA; Non-disruptive dynamic VIPA takeback; Application-specific DVIPA; IOCTL or Command-Activated DVIPA; Dynamic VIPA statements; MODDVIPA (EZBXFDVP) utility; Dynamic VIPA usage; When does the DVIPA move?; Load balancing and availability; Sysplex Distributor; How the Sysplex Distributor works; Backup capability; Recovery; The role of dynamic routing with Sysplex Distributor; Sysplex Distributor and policy; Sysplex Distributor and MNLB; Connection Optimizing DNS; Information flow overview; DNS weights; DNS/WLM registration; Starting the DNS serve; Distributed VIPA - introduction; Distributed VIPA statements; Single system IP perspective of the sysplex; TCPSTACKSOURCEVIPA / SYSPLEXPORTS; CFRM policy example.

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