IBM MTM 2019: Part One – Challenge #01

Hello again! I’m back!

This time we’re taking on IBM’s Master the Mainframe 2019 challenge! Let’s start! First of all, I have followed the connection instructions closely, you can find them here.

This blog will not teach you everything about mainframes. I personally see this as my mainframe diary 🙂 But I try to make my diary as helpful as possible.

IBM Master the Mainframe Part One – Challenge #01

A video tutorial covering the first challenge can be found here:

Submit JCL to Allocate Part 1 Data Sets

Let’s start by allocating the data set for part one. This can be done by issuing the primary command tso submit ‘zos.public.jcl(part1)’.

When the system asks for a jobname character just enter ‘a’. When the MAXCC code is 0000 then it means the job has executed successfully.

In the primary command bar, where we just issued the tso submit command I enter =3.4 to navigate to the Data Set List Utility panel.

Verify successful allocation of Part 1 Data Sets

What IBM wants us to learn is the difference between unix files and data sets in the contest challenges.

First we need to navigate to our UNIX directory. We can do this by entering /z/z##### (substitute your IBM id) in the Dsname level input box.

Here we see our directory. We see the type of the file, what permissions our users have, etc. To learn more about the UNIX permissions system check out this documentation.

Now we can go back using F3 or by typing return in the primary command input panel.

Create and Copy Unix File to a Data Set

IBM now wants us to get to know the UNIX side of the mainframe. Instead of having a nice panel we’re going to navigate to a barebones commandline interface. We can do that by entering ‘u’ in the primary command input panel.

When we type in ‘date’, the system gives us the date. When we type in ‘date > p1’ (Here’s a list of some basic Linux commands you can take a look at) we redirect the output the system would give us to a file. The challenge here is to view the contents of the file. When we type in ‘ls -l’ we can see a list view of the contents of the current directory we are in. We see a file called p1. To see the contents of this file we enter cat p1′.  I have highlighted the commands on screen.

Now we see the date again. We need to copy that to our own system. We can do so by issuing the command cp p1 ‘//pds.data(p1)’. CP stands for copy. We tell the system to copy p1 to pds.data(p1). The slashes tell the system it we want it to copy to the ZOS side of the system.

To verify it has copied the contents of p1 to //pds.data(p1) we can issue the command cat ‘//pds.data(p1)’. If you see a date, then you’re good!

Now we exit the UNIX shell by issuing the ‘exit’ command.

Let’s make sure the P1 was copied to the partitioned data set.

We navigate to the DSLIST utility panel using =3.4. Then enter our IBM id, Z#####, in the Dsname level input.

Next to the /#####.PDS.DATA member we enter the line command ‘e’. Primary commands are entered in the most upper command input box, line commands are entered next to data sets.

Now we see the members of this data set. Find P1 and enter the line command ‘s’stands for select.

We are now in edit mode. You should see the date we have copied from UNIX to our ZOS data set.

Looks good! We can return using F3 or by entering return in the primary command bar.

Get credit for completing Part 1

A QUIZ? We need to successfully answer 11 questions about mainframes and they’re not something we could have learned from this part 1 challenge. The questions are more about IBM than the challenge itself. There are engineering questions.

I’m not sure if I’m allowed to give the answers to these questions. I’ll assume the same rules apply as last year, no answer for part three only. These are all multiple choice questions. If IBM wants me to remove these then please message me on Slack.

To start the quiz enter the primary command tso p1quiz.

  1. What size rack does the newest mainframe live in? 19-inch.
  2. What specialty engines will you find on a modern mainframe? IFL, ICF, zIIP.
  3. The mainframe is unique in that it has a large amount of ________ in one place. ALL.
  4. According to Esmeralda, why does the mainframe need another computer within its frame? To give enough buttons to control everything.
  5. In the “The IBM Big Green Server Consolidation” section of the linked Redbook, an effort to migrate 3900 servers onto 30 IBM Z mainframes. By using mainframes instead of servers, they were able to use ____ less energy. 80%.
  6. In the Virtualization video, the unused resources on servers is referred to as: White Space.
  7. In the Schneider Electric electrical calculation tool, start with 1000 servers and no mainframes, and observe the total IT Capacity Rating, keeping all other settings default. Now, replace 500 servers with one mainframe and observe the change. What happens to the total number of kW? To 330KW.
  8. What Operating System does not currently run on the mainframe? MacOS.
  9. z/VM doesn’t need to run on another Operating System to provide virtualization, so it can be referred to as a Type ___ Hypervisor. Type 1 bare metal hypervisor.
  10. Which of the following is not an example of Middleware? Linux Kernel.
  11. Which Transaction Manager did the 17 year-old van der Wal twins use to build their custom end-to-end solution? CICS.

You will know if you have everything correct when you see a Congratulations message.

On to part two!

This first part is very different than 2018’s first part. It’s somewhat harder because of all the video’s we need to watch.

In my opinion and with all respect, the video of Esmeralda is somewhat hard to understand and will be much harder to understand for students that aren’t that proficient in English. Let alone listening to spoken English in a loud environment.

What are your thoughts on this challenge?

7 thoughts on “IBM MTM 2019: Part One – Challenge #01

  1. I’m at last part on Challenge #02 I don’t how to do arithmetic operation REXX. Either that or I’m overthinking this.

    Edit member SLOTS in REXX
    Lines 63 thru 78 calculate the correct key
    If you are able to discipher the REXX arithmetic operations, you have the correct key
    If you really struggle with the REXX arithmetic operations to determine correct key, look at line 81

  2. Hi Kevin,
    Georges here.
    Greetings from France, again as you, I participate in the mtm19 challenge !
    The mtm18 space access is cleared, no access anymore :'(
    I agree, the record of Esmeralda sound is very bad, noisy!
    Going to the 2 part as well!

  3. its awesome to get some clearfication of doubts in some questions like of video by esmeralda,

    when to get al answers of part 2 ???

    1. Hi Rahul

      Thanks for the kind words!

      These blogs take a long time to write, I’m trying to release them as fast as I can. But my time is limited as I work fulltime. I’ll try to release all blogs of part 2 by the end of the week at the latest.

      Kind regards,
      – Kevin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Name, email and website not required.