z/OS System Anatomy - Boot Camp

This Boot Camp forms the core course of the z/OS curriculum. By attending, attendees will gain a solid foundation in the fundamental structure of z/OS, enabling further skills development in areas such as debugging, performance, installation and customisation of the z/OS operating system.
The first week concentrates on laying the ground rules of z/OS in terms of architecture, storage management, major z/OS control blocks and how to interpret them, and also introduces the major z/OS components.
In the second week attendees learn the functions of the major z/OS components in considerable detail, and learn how the interaction of job, task, storage and data management provides service to the end user. This is done by following the sequence of events as a unit of work passes through the z/OS system from initial submission to completion.

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.

What you will learn

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

  • describe the architectural principles governing CPU, Storage and I/O
  • identify the state of a CPU and describe potential problem scenerios
  • use IPCS and the debugging guides
  • describe the principles of Virtual Storage
  • describe the purpose of AMODE and RMODE
  • describe a page fault and its consequences
  • set up a flexible paging/swapping subsystem
  • explain how dataspaces and hiperspaces work
  • describe how an IPL works
  • isolate problems during an IPL
  • explain the concept of authorised programs
  • describe the functions of MVS and JES2
  • use GRS effectively
  • exploit program management
  • explain how the dispatcher works
  • describe Cross Memory Services (XMS) and how it works
  • install user SVCs
  • describe how MVS invokes recovery and when to use ESTAE routines
  • explain how WLM works to manage z/OS resources
  • design and setup the DASD subsystem
  • isolate I/O problems.

Who Should Attend

All z/OS Systems Programmers and others who want an in-depth understanding of z/OS systems in order to improve their proficiency in the z/OS environment.


A good understanding of the z/OS environment, including TSO/ISPF and JCL. These skills can be gained by attending the RSM courses TSO/ISPF Users' Workshop, z/OS JCL Workshop Part 1 - Foundation Skills and z/OS Concepts & Facilities.


10 days

Fee (per attendee)



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


Hard copy course notes are available on request from rsmshop@rsm.co.uk

at £50.00 plus carriage per set.

Course Code




The architectural principles of the CPU; PSW, registers; interrupts system states; PSW swapping; multi-processing; central storage; addressing modes; storage keys; parallel & serial channels; pathing; HCD; LCUs; CCWs; I/O operation; SCSW.

z/OS Introduction

The functions of the z/OS operating systems; components required to prepare MVS for work; creating address spaces; Job Entry Subsystem; initiators; resource control; interrupt handlers and status saving; dispatching work; I/O requests; Workload Manager; execute the work; exit the work from the system.

Control Blocks, Dumps & IPCS

Using IPCS and the debugging handbooks to locate and interpret major z/OS control blocks in a dump; finding main control blocks such as PSA, CVT, ASCB, TCB, UCB; main IPCS menus; IPCS FIND command; IPCS subcommands; IPCS labs.

Virtual Storage Concepts

Loading programs; real storage problems; DAT; segments & pages; page stealing & UIC; page faults; demand paging; dispatching address spaces; swapping & paging.

MVS Storage Management

AMODE & RMODE; common storage; private storage; Virtual Storage Manager; subpools; storage keys; RSM; page faults; segment faults; ASM; page data sets; VIO.

Dataspaces and Hiperspaces

Primary & secondary ASC modes; access registers; using dataspaces; VLF; Hiperspaces

System Initialisation

Sysgen and IPL processes; the function of the LOAD parameter and the LOADxx member of PARMLIB; concepts of authorised programs; the subsystem interface.

Job Management

Job processing; SSI; input phase; internal readers; initiators; SWA control blocks; ENQs; allocation; PPT; job termination; output phase.

Subsystem Interface (SSI)

Why Subsystem Interface?; SSI - a universal tool; The Master Subsystem (MSTR); ES services via SSI; Establishing a subsystem; Defining the subsystem to MVS; Setting up SSI; Starting a subsystem; Initialising a subsystem; Asking for subsystem service; SSI at work...; Dynamic SSI; Chapter Review; Subsystem Lab.

Resource Control

Resource serialization and how it is accomplished through the use of ENQ/DEQ sequences; shared DASD; GRS & Sysplex; locking; lock categories; SETLOCK, SPIN & SUSPEND; lock manager processing.

Program Manager

The search sequence used by the program manager when attempting to load a module; performance and load module integrity issues; using LOAD; LINK; XCTL; Linkage Stack; control blocks; JOBLIB/STEPLIB.


Units of work- SRBs & TCBs; dispatching sequence; address space structure; ASCB/ASXB contents; TCB contents.

Inter Address Space Communication

Hiperspaces; data spaces; cross memory services; service request blocks (SRBs); the cross-system coupling facility (XCF).

SVC Processing

Installing SVC routines in a z/OS system; SVC types; SVC FLIH; status saving; SVC coding conventions; SVCUPDTE facility.

Recovery Termination Manager

Recovery routines available to user programs and the Recovery Termination Manager; RMS; program termination types; ESPIE; ESTAE; FRR routines.

Workload Manager

WLM's purpose; WLM's tools; compatibility mode; dispatching priorities; storage isolation; logical swapping; user & system think times; goal mode implications; classification rules; response time goals; velocity goals; discretionary goals.

Direct Access Storage Devices

Track formats; CKD format; RPS; VTOCs; DSCB types; VTOC Index; VTOC listing; Catalogs; opening data sets; SMS.

Data Management

Access methods; DCB concepts; OPEN & TIOT; DEB; DCB merge; open processing; channel programs; ECBs & IOBs; EXCP; QSAM; synchronising the I/O; analysing completed I/O; close processing.

IOS and its Drivers

IOS; IOS drivers & components; building an IOQ; building an ORB; CSS at work; I/O interrupt handler; post status; VSAM; control intervals; linear data sets; PDSEs; the ACB; open processing; Get & Put; VSAM control blocks.

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