Mainframe Data Storage Management - Boot Camp

This comprehensive course provides an accelerated learning approach to the broad subject of z/OS data storage management. The boot camp is ideal for anyone new to storage administration, or for those who require a clear and solid understanding of the z/OS data storage discipline for their particular role within technical support. This course ensures that attendees gain an in-depth understanding of the concepts and methodologies that comprise storage management in today's z/OS-based data centre.
The regular, hands-on lab exercises give students the opportunity to try out their newly-gained skills immediately. On successfully completing this boot camp, attendees will have reached the skill level needed to enable them to efficiently and effectively manage their data storage environment.

This course is available for exclusive, one-companyThis course is available for exclusive, one-company presentations either on-site at your location or live over the Internet, via RSM's Virtual Classroom Environment service.

When run as a Virtual Classroom Environment course the course can be run in two parts, with a one-week break between the two parts.

What you will learn

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

  • explain how a DASD I/O works in z/OS
  • explain IBM's storage management concept as implemented through SMS
  • exploit the I/O hardware features with regards to SMS and performance
  • describe how to define I/O devices and get them recognised by z/OS
  • define and maintain data classes, storage classes, management classes and storage groups
  • write and maintain optimised ACS routines
  • audit and optimise the SMS environment
  • implement HSM migration, recall and backup/recovery
  • describe HSM performance issues and tune HSM
  • issue (and understand) HSM commands
  • describe and explain the concepts of the z/OS access methods
  • analyse the structure of the RRDS, ESDS, KSDS and LDS data sets
  • use Access Method Services utility program IDCAMS to define, load, backup
  • monitor and manipulate VSAM data sets with particular emphasis on the KSDS file type
  • describe the components comprising an ICF Catalog
  • explain the relationship between the data related components
  • perform appropriate catalog recovery procedures
  • describe the factors that affect catalog performance.

Who Should Attend

Anyone taking up a new role as a storage administration, or anyone who requires a comprehensive understanding of the z/OS data storage discipline for their particular role within technical support.


A good understanding of the z/OS environment and practical skills in using TSO/ISPF.


10 days

Fee (per attendee)



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



I/O Processing

Why I/O processing?; what is I/O?; MVS support for I/O processing software; MVS and I/O processing; Application I/O; the application program; the DD statement; going to the Access Method; the Access Method; getting the channel program started; EXCP - an IOS Driver; IOS 'Front End'; actually starting the I/O; the I/O engine at work; the Channel Sub-System (CSS); Hardware System Area (HSA); "The I/O Farm"; the I/O Interrupt; IOS Post processing; back to the Access Method; the I/O process from A to Z; starting the I/O; going back from starting the I/O; I/O complete; caching concepts; Read Hit; Write commands; Write Hit; Read Miss; Write Miss; cache modes; review questions - Input/Output processing.

Focus on Storage Management

What is storage management?; Space management roles; DFSMS products; DFSMS Optimizer; NaviQuest feature; advantages of an SMS environment; availability management; performance management.

Data Storage Hardware

Direct Access Storage Devices (DASD): I/O operations on disks; RMF reports; DASD controllers; Caching concepts; Read Hit; Write commands; Write Hit; Read Miss; Write Miss; Cache modes; Record level caching; Peer to Peer Remote Copy (PPRC); Concurrent Copy; Extended Format Data Sets; Sequential Data Striping; RAID technology; RAID categories 0, 1, 2 & 3; RAID categories 4, 5 and 6; IBM's Flashcopy; Extended Address Volumes; Tape devices; Virtual Tape Server; Virtual Tape configurations.

Introduction to HCD

I/O configuration principles; I/O configuration practicalities; I/O configuration addressing; HCD definition process; Objects managed by HCD; Load member of parmlib; IODF processing at IPL; HCD primary panel; Creating a new work IODF; Defining the new configuration menu; Defining a Channel; Defining a Control Unit; Defining an I/O Device; Pull-down menu action bar; Goto pull down menu; Filter pull down menu; Backup pull down menu; Query pull down menu; Help pull down menu; Context menus; PF keys; Keyboard navigation.

The HCD Dialogs

HCD and ISPF; HCD Primary Option Menu; Creating a new work IODF; Sizing the work IODF; Defining the new configuration menu; Pull-down menu action bar; GOTO pull-down menu; Filter pull-down menu; Backup pull-down menu; Query pull-down menu; Help pull-down menu; Context menus; PF keys; Keyboard navigation.

Creating a New Configuration

Getting started; Configuration structure; Sample configuration; Operating system definition; Operating system configuration list; Add an operating system; Add a Processor; Processors & LCSSs; Logical Channel Subsystems; Multiple Logical Channel Subsystems; Define Processor support level; Updated processor list; LPAR definition Flow; Actions on selected processors (LPARs); Channel Subsystem List; Partition List; Add Partition; Updated Partition List; Channel Path definition; Actions on selected Channel Subsystems (CHPIDs); Channel Path Lists; Connect CHPID to LPAR; Control Unit definition; Control Units; Connect CU to Processor; Actions on selected processors; Logical Control Units; Device definition; I/O Devices; Define Processor Device Parameter; Define OS Device parameters; Parallel Access Volumes (PAVs); HiperPav; Define Eligible Device Tables; Esoteric definition; Action on EDTs; Esoteric List; Assign Devices to Esoteric; NIP console definition; Actions on Operating System consoles; NIP Console List; Creating a Validated Work IODF; IODF Activation Menu; IODF build messages: errors, error actions, error explanation; Validated Work IODF name.

Defining Directors

The FICON Director; Switch configurations; Switch definition; Sample configurations; Switch List (no switches defined); Basic Fibre Channel Topology; Switch List (switches defined); Actions on Switches; Actions on Processors; Add a Switch Channel Path; Connect CHPID to LPAR; Switch Control Unit definition; Define Control Units; Define I/O Devices; Actions on Devices; Connect Switch Device to Operating System; Cascaded FICON Switches.

Auditing SMS

Working with users; identify general requirements; how to gather user data; Negotiate service levels with users; Space requirements; Meeting space requirements; Other space issues; Availability issues; Recovery; Backup/Recovery; Other service level issues; Monitor service levels; DCOLLECT; Running DCOLLECT; DCOLLECT output records; Managing data sets; PDSE processing; PDSE load libraries; Access Methods enhancements; VSAM Record Level Sharing; VSAM greater than 4 GB; What is Pooling?; Why pooling?; How many pools?; Positioning for SMS - review questions.

VSAM Overview

MVS and I/O processing; The access methods; The IOS Drivers; The I/O Supervisor (IOS); The Back-End process; MVS access methods; Queued Sequential Access Method; Basic Direct Access Method; Basic Partitioned Access Method; PDSE processing; And now to VSAM; VSAM features; Entry Sequenced Data Set (ESDS); Key Sequenced Data Set (KSDS); Relative Record Data Set (RRDS); Catalog concepts; ICF catalogs and VTOCS; ICF catalogs (BCS); VSAM Volume Data Set (VVDS); Cluster Catalog (BCS) entries; Alternate indexes and paths.

VSAM Dataset Structure

Control Areas; Control Intervals; Control Interval structure; CI structure of fixed length records; CI structure of variable length records; Control Area structure; Relative Byte Address; Spanned records; Storage of data on DASD volumes; Entry Sequenced; Key Sequenced; Index component; Free space; RRDS characteristics; KSDS processing example; The Control Interval is rewritten; Deleting a record; Record insertion; CI split; CA split.

Using Access Method Services

Access Method Services (AMS); AMS command format; Example - define an ESDS; Example - define a KSDS; Modal commands; Modal commands example; Cancelling IDCAMS steps; Using the ELSE and SET commands; Comments; Error messages; Data set already exists.

Defining VSAM Datasets

IDCAMS commands; DEFINE command - main parameters; Defining a cluster; Cluster sub-parameters; IDCAMS required parameters; Space allocation and reuse; SHAREOPTIONs (x region, y system); Control interval Size; More IDCAMS parameters; DATA and INDEX sub-parameters; Defining an ESDS; Defining an RRDS; Defining a KSDS; FREESPACE; DELETE MASK | NOMASK.

Listing Catalog Information

Listing catalog information - LISTCAT; Catalog information; LISTCAT; LISTCAT parameters; LISTCAT examples; LISTCAT output.

VSAM Dataset Management

VSAM data management commands; Loading data sets; REPRO: REPRO parameters, Copy ESDS to KSDS, Copy partial RRDS to RRDS, Copy keyrange from KSDS to KSDS, Merge two KSDSs, Copy KSDS to tape; Printing data sets: PRINT parameters, PRINT examples, PRINT output example - CHARACTER, PRINT output example - HEX; Altering catalog entries; Deleting catalog entries: DELETE parameters, DELETE examples.

DFSMS Constructs

Service levels for data; SCDS Base Definition Panel; Data Class; defining a Data Class; defining Data Class Attributes; data set compression; data set compression information; Data Class control; Data Class implementation; JCL keywords; JCL changes; Generation Data Sets; new JCL requirements; non-VSAM Data Classes; VSAM Data Classes; Management Class; Management Class characteristics; defining Management Class Introduction Menu; defining Management Class Panel; Storage Class; Storage Class characteristics; cache attribute determination (simplified); Storage Class application selection; Storage Class define; Storage Class maintenance; Storage Groups; Storage Group major activities; isolate non-SMS data: defining a Storage Group; defining VIO Storage Group attributes; defining Pool Storage Group attributes; Storage Group rules; Device selection; Defining a Copy Pool.

Writing ACS Routines

ACS routines - what are they?; Automatic Class Selection - how many?; an ACS example; ACS routine rules; ACS mask rules; ACS Read/Write variables; ACS Read-only variables; ACS special purpose variables; other ACS variables; OAM & tape ACS variables; ACS operations; ACS statements ( PROC, END, SET, FILTLIST); ACS statements (SELECT, END); coding ACS routines; ACS application selection; ACS translation panel; ACS validation panel; testing ACS routines; defining test cases; ACS coding tips; ACS exit routines; ACS exit steps; programming ACS exits; ACS exit parameter structure; actions in ACS exits; ACS routines - hands-on exercises.

DFSMS Set-up & Control

Control Data Sets; sizing SMS Control Data Sets; defining Control Data Sets; Control Data Set application selection; SCDS base definition panel; IGDSMSxx; IEFSSNxx; activating SMS; SETSMS command; SMS-related commands; displaying SMS information; displaying Storage Group information; displaying SMS volume information; displaying device information; Start/Restart SMS address space; recovering ACDS; recovering COMMDS; enhanced ISMF.

The HSM Strategy

DFSMS/MVS manuals; HSM functional overview; HSM as part of SMS; Management Class; Management Class attributes; Storage Group attributes.

HSM Migration/Recall

Key commands; Migration types; Defining migration; Defining Primary volumes; Defining ML1 volumes; Small data set packing; Defining ML2 volumes; Controlling daily migration; Secondary migration - cleanup of ML1 & MCDS; Migration from ML0; Interval migration; Command migration; Command migration - SMS; Freevol command; Recalling data sets; Recall process; Common Recall Queue (CRQ); Enabling CRQ; Activating CRQ - SETSYS COMMONQUEUE; Controlling Recall non-SMS; Delete by Age - an alternative to migration for non-SMS; Delete if Backed Up - an alternative to migration for non-SMS; Supported data sets; Migration/Recall performance summary; SDSP performance summary.


Back-up flow; Back-up events; Back-up volume definitions; Back-up control; CDS back-up; CDS recovery utility; Back-up data set naming; Back-up to DASD; Command back-up - volume; BACKVOL examples; Back-up command; Controlling command back-up - SETSYS DSBACKUP; Controlling command back-up - ML1 overflow; Command back-up - data set; Back-up support; Inline back-up; Data set recovery; Back-up performance summary; Deleting unwanted back-ups; EXPIREBV DISPLAY.

HSM Miscellaneous Functions

DSS Cross Memory Mode; Multi-host considerations; Serialization logic overview; CDS serialization; User serialization; Multiple HSMplexes; Secondary host promotion (failover) for DFSMShsm; HSM's five activity logs; Logging; Log contents; ARCPRLOG output; ARCPEDIT output; Controlling tape mounts; Tape selection/seletion options; Controlling tape usage; Recycling tapes; Command authorization; Problem Determination Aid Facility (PDA).

HSM Commands

How HSM commands are used; Operator commands; Query command; QUERY ACTIVE; QUERY for available tapes and space; QUERY AUTOPROGRESS; Storage administration commands; Original AUDIT command; Enhanced AUDIT command; Enhanced versus original AUDIT; List command; List back-up volumes; List data set information from MCDS; List data set Information from BCDS; List data set information from both MCDS and BCDS; List migration or primary volume information; LIST ML2(tape) MCDS; LIST PRIMARYVOLUME(volser) BCDS; HOST (hostid) LIST TTOC SELECT(..........); LIST TTOC (volser) DATASETINFORMATION; LIST spanning excessive volumes; LIST FAILEDRECYCLE and FAILEDCREATE; LIST user; REPORT command; REPORT daily statistics; REPORT volume statistics; System Programmer commands; Commands for end-users.

Availability Management

Managing Volume Backups with Fast Replication; Defining a Copy Pool; Invoking Fast Replication Backup; Fast Replication Backup Options; Autodump; Autodump controlling commands; Recovery from dump data; Recovery commands; LIST PRIMARYVOLUME(volser) ALLDUMPS BCDS; LIST PVOL() BACKUPCONTENTS BCDS; LIST DUMPCLASS(class); LIST DUMPVOLUME....; LIST DUMPVOLUME(volser) BCDS DUMPCONTENTS; Volume dump performance summary; Enhanced Backup/Recovery features; Copying tapes; TAPEREPL in Disaster Recovery; Duplex tape; Duplex tape flow; Duplex tape support; Disaster backup overview; Disaster Recovery process; Recovering ML1 or ML2; Recovering lost backups on ML1; Damaged CDS, Journal Full; Damaged Journal, undamaged; CDS; Overwritten migration tape.

HSM Startup & Monitoring

HSM start-up procedure; HSM start-up options; Defining Control Data Sets; Multicluster Control Data Sets; VSAM Record Level Sharing (RLS); Requirements for CDS RLS serialisation; Implementing RLS mode; Control Data Set performance summary; General HSM performance summary; Monitoring HSM; Controlling HSM.

ICF Environment

Catalog overview; Catalog search order; Catalog environment; Multi-level aliases; Catalog address space; VTOC and VTOCIX; ICF environment review.

Catalog Component Structure

Catalog environment; Basic Catalog Structure (BCS); VSAM Volume Data Set (VVDS); BCS record structure; BCS record types; BCS record cells; Sphere records - cluster; 3.9 Cluster name cell; Ownership cell; Security cell; Data/index name cell; Volume cell; Class exercise - BCS cluster record; Sphere records; Alternate Index name cell; Association cell; Relation cell; Path record; Pass name cell; Truename record; Truename cell; Class exercise - KSDS cluster record; Sphere records - GDG; GDG base name cell; Generating Aging Table (GAT) cell; GDS name cell; Volume cell; Extension name cell; Non-VSAM record and name cell; Alias record and name cell; Catalog connector record and name cell; Class exercise - user catalogs; BCS/VVDS relationship; VVDS record types; VVDS record cells; VVDS record structure; VVCR and extensions; VSAM Volume Record (VVR); VVR header cell; VVR data set info cell; VVR AMDSB cell; VVR volume info cell; Class exercise - VVCRs and VVRs; Non-VSAM Volume Record (NVR) and header cell; NVR data set info cell; Volume Table Of Contents (VTOC); VTOC structure; Describing a data set; Managing the volume; VTOC usage; Solving VTOC performance problems: VTOCIX; VTOC index structure; How the index works; VTOC index entry record.

Problem Diagnosis

Problem analysis; Data set processing flow; Allocation; OPEN; I/O processing; File extensions; CLOSE; DEALLOC/CATLG; Problem severity; Diagnostic tools; IDCAMS EXAMINE; IDCAMS DIAGNOSE (VVDS); IDCAMS DIAGNOSE (ICFCATALOG).

Backup Techniques and Considerations

User catalog backup; Export/import; Export/Import advantages; Backup frequency; User catalog strategy; Validation; User catalog backup recap; Master catalogs; Alternate master catalogs; Master Catalog specification; IGGCATxx parameters; VVDS backup; REPRO NOMERGECAT; REPRO MERGECAT; EXPORT DISCONNECT; IMPORT CONNECT with ALIAS; IMPORT CONNECT.

Recovery, Repair and Maintenance

Recovery vs. repair; Entries; Recovery/repair outline; VTOC and VTOCIX; VVDS catalog utility; VVDS; VVDS entry - VVCR; VVDS entry - delete VVR/NVR; BCS recovery import; Import BCS; Delete a user catalog; Delete a user catalog with NOFORCE; Delete a user catalog with FORCE; Uncatalog a data set; Catalog an existing VSAM object; Delete TRUENAME; Deleting VSAM data sets from a volume; Forward recovery; ICF SMF records; Recovery tips.

Performance and Integrity Considerations

Sizing the BCS; Sizing the VVDS; Sizing the VTOC and index; Catalog performance; Performance - BCS data component ; Performance - BCS index component; Performance - CAS; Sharing catalogs with other systems; Catalog SHROPTS; Performance - CDSC; Activating CDSC; Sharing catalogs in a CDSC environment (VVDS); Sharing catalogs in a CDSC environment (ECS); Monitoring and controlling CDSC; CDSC report information; Monitoring catalog performance; VVDS performance.

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