IBM MTM 2018: Part Three – Challenge #12

We’re in for a short blogpost. I thought those were long gone. Today I’m taking a look at virtualisation with z/VM. Actually the z/OS we’ve been working on was a virtual machine controlled by a single LPAR (logical partition).

I’ve been wondering, there’s so much you can do with a mainframe, how on earth can a man learn everything? Do you get proficient in mainframes once you’re ready to retire?

IBM Z Mainframe Supports 5 Unique Operating Systems

IBM Master the Mainframe Part Three – Challenge #12

I have fiddled around with virtualisation quite a bit. I’ve worked with Virtualbox, VMWare workstation/player and VSphere. But this is probably a whole other level of virtualisation. I’m really curious.

IBM Z supports 5 unique operating systems:

  1. z/OS – flagship operating system used for this contest
  2. Linux – if you know Linux, you know Linux that runs on IBM Z
  3. z/VM – hypervisor operating system
  4. z/TPF – Transaction Processing Facility
  5. z/VSE – similar to z/OS with less features and functions

IBM Z supports 2 types of hypervisors:

  1. LPAR – Logical Partition, a type 1 hypervisor
  2. z/VM – z/Virtual Machine, a type 2 hypervisor

An IBM Z machine can run just about 85 different LPARS at the same time. Running 8,000+ operating systems within a single IBM Z frame with network delay between the operating systems near zero is industrial strength architecture. Impressive! If you’re interested you can request a trial for a Linux virtual machine at

z/VM query command output in preparation for challenge

Let’s head to the ISPF Command shell using =6. Then enter the primary command q cplevel go get more information about the z/VM Operating system hosting the z/OS contest virtual machine.

Entering q n show the number of virtual machines currently active as guests of z/VM.

Hmm, so there are 56 virtual machines? Or 57 including the VSAM – VTAM one. Let’s check which network interface controller I’m using, by issuing q nic.

This is my information. What’s yours? Let me know in the comments below! I also need to issue q 400-402 to see information about device 400 to 402.

Missing text:
0402 OUT + 04 IOCNT = 01245891  ADP = 000 PROG = 000 UNAVAIL = 128
0402          BYTES = 00000000361094D2

I got the information I needed.

Gather z/OS system definitions used to communicate with z/VM hypervisor

Now I exit the ISPF Command Shell and check the vendor.tcpparms data set using dslist ‘vendor.tcpparms’. I need to select the member S0W1.

I need to delete all lines except the 3 lines with the NIC adapter name. So does that mean that I need to delete all lines that don’t have ‘DEVOSA1′ in it? I just did and only have 3 lines left, good.

To be honest, I have no idea how to work with label so I just copied after .zl. So now I’ve copied 99 lines into p3.output(#12) and I should be done.

So that’s it! P3.output(#12) now has 7 lines of z/OS definitions used to connect to z/VM.

Challenge #13 – What about it?

It’s been a very rough week, and challenge #13 is very long and complex so it’ll take much longer for me to complete this challenge and write a blogpost about it. Just a friendly heads-up 🙂

I’m also sad, I thought I was going to learn about virtualisation but to be fair… I’ve learning pretty much nothing from this challenge. What was the point of this? So I would know which NIC I had? No idea.

It was black friday recently, did you buy anything?

6 thoughts on “IBM MTM 2018: Part Three – Challenge #12

  1. Hi Kevin! Thank you for offering such excellent guidance throughout.
    I had an issue with ‘Copy’ step in this challenge. It gives me “Data set not cataloged” whenever I run the copy command.
    What do you think is the issue in this? How can I solve it?

    1. Hi Anonymous, thanks for the kind words 🙂 It depends about which copy step you’re talking. I’ve copied data using the primary command “copy ‘lvl0.vtamlst(osatrl)’ after .zl”, is that the command you’ve used? Or are you trying to use the command ‘rep p3.output(#12)’? If so, don’t forget the line command at 000001 “c99”. It could also be that the allocation failed, I can’t help you with that issue. If you can’t find the issue, then I suggest you contact someone at the Master The Mainframe Slack channel.
      – Kevin

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