z/VM Foundation Skills

This four-day course, designed and developed by highly experienced VM professionals, is the essential foundation for anyone working in today's z/VM environment. The course covers CP, CMS, XEDIT, REXX with zVM, CMS Pipelines, z/VM installation & maintenance, GCS, CP extended services and z/VM networking. This course includes several hands-on practical exercises that are designed to reinforce the classroom sessions. These will assist attendees in developing their ability to use the IBM 3270 interface, the CP and CMS command languages and the major CMS subsystems - XEDIT, REXX and CMS Pipelines.
This course is available for one-company, on-site presentations only.


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

  • describe and summarize the IBM zSeries System Architecture
  • summarize the history and development of z/VM
  • describe the z/VM Architectural Design and identify the z/VM component parts
  • describe the format and use of the z/VM User Directory
  • describe the process of z/VM Control Program initialization
  • describe the normal operating cycle of z/VM Control Program
  • use the IBM 3270 terminal interface to log on and operate z/VM Virtual Machines
  • describe the components of a typical CMS Virtual Machine
  • describe the CMS File System and CMS Initialization
  • use basic CMS commands and procedures, including XEDIT, REXX and CMS Pipelines
  • describe the process of z/VM Installation and Customization
  • describe the z/VM architectural extensions, including Diagnose Functions, VMCF and IUCV
  • describe the origin, history, purpose and structure of z/VM Group Control System
  • describe the z/VM networking capabilities, including VTAM, TCP/IP, guest LANs and Virtual Switches
  • describe the collection and use of z/VM Accounting and Monitor records, and the use of privileged CP commands to display current system and user status.

Who Should Attend

All support technicians, systems programmers, systems administrators and operations personnel.


The course is designed to be accessible for any computing professional with experience of operating system support. An understanding of the IBM mainframe environment and previous experience of z/OS would be an advantage, but is not essential.


4 days

Fee (per attendee)


Course Code



Review of the zSeries System Architecture

The basic parts of a zSeries mainframe; The Central Processing Unit (CPU); The Channel Subsystem; Main Storage; Interrupts; Virtual Storage; zSeries Implementation of Virtual Storage.

Technical Overview of the z/VM Operating System

Origins and history of z/VM; The major components of a z/VM system.

z/VM CP Essentials

The VM User Directory; z/VM CP Initialization; z/VM CP operating cycle: paging, I/O, scheduling.

z/VM CP Practical Exercise
Logging on to a Virtual Machine; Getting information out of z/VM; Modifying the Virtual Configuration; Logging off.

z/VM CMS Essentials

Part 1
The Basic CMS Virtual Machine; The CMS file system; CMS Initialization; Entering and executing CMS commands; Line-Mode CMS commands.

Part 2 - Practical Exercise
Logon and IPL CMS; Display accessed minidisks; Add and format a temporary minidisk; Copy files to the 'K' disk; Rename and erase files on the temporary disk.

Part 3 - XEDIT
The CP Full-Screen Interface; The XEDIT screen; XEDIT prefix commands; XEDIT navigation commands; XEDIT data-manipulating commands; Saving Data and Leaving XEDIT.

Part 4 - XEDIT Practical Exercise
Create a file using XEDIT; Use XEDIT to modify the file; Include the contents of another file.

Part 5 - The CMS Procedure Language
CMS procedure languages - a brief history lesson; REXX - an overview; Passing parameters to a REXX procedure; Addressing the host environment; REXX compound ('Stemmed') variables; The Terminal Input Buffer and Program Stack; CMS commands and the Program Stack; Full screen CMS commands.

Part 6 - REXX Practical Exercise
Create a PROFILE EXEC; Create a PROFILE XEDIT; Read and process a CMS file; Create a CMS file; Check and change machine status; Using SENDFILE, RDRLIST and RECEIVE.

Part 7 - CMS Pipelines
Origins and history of CMS Pipelines; Data in pipes; Device drivers; Popular device drivers; Filters; The SPECs filter.

Part 8 - Pipelines Practical Exercise
Use CMS Pipelines to simplify and enhance your previously-developed REXX EXEC procedures.

z/VM Installation & Maintenance

Part 1 - Planning an Installation
Required hardware; Required decisions.

Part 2 - Installation
Load installation material from tape; IPL z/VM and load the maintenance data; Install recommended service.

Part 3 - Customisation
'Mapping' minidisks; The System Configuration File.

z/VM CP Extended Services

The CP DIAGNOSE Command Interface; Named Saved Systems; Revision; Saved Systems; Shared Systems; Saved Segments; Implementation of Named Saved Systems; Virtual Machine Communications Facility (VMCF); Inter-User Communications Vehicle (IUCV); CP System Services; Using VMCF and IUCV from CMS; Using VMCF and IUCV from CMS.

Practical exercise
Write a server using REXX and IUCV.

z/VM Group Control System (GCS)

z/VM GCS origins; z/VM GCS applications; z/VM GCS groups; z/VM GCS initialisation and operation.

z/VM Networking

z/VM networking capabilities; z/VM and VTAM; z/VM and TCP/IP; z/VM TCP/IP Services; z/VM Guest LANS and Virtual Switches; RSCS.

Discovering System and User Status

z/VM Accounting Records; The z/VM Monitor Facility; z/VM Monitor Data; z/VM CP Status Displays.

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