Gregory Dunlap, z/OS BCPii Manager
Hey, that was fun! Okay, so getting BCPii out the door and into the hands of our clients is no easy task, but it's still fun. Why? Well, two key reasons come to mind - the gratifying customer uptake of BCPii and the great team working behind the scenes of BCPii.
As you know, BCPii's journey began many years ago with the thought that it would be valuable to give hardware access to base z/OS components. The phrase “automation in the base” was often used. One of BCPii's key design points was to have interfaces and a programming model that would fit well in the z/OS experience. When we began working on this project, we thought that base z/OS components would be the main users of BCPii services, along with some Independent Software Vendor (ISV) systems management products. Now, the use of BCPii is firmly established across several components and products. A prime example of BCPii implementation by a z/OS base component is System Status Detection (SSD) partitioning protocol. Not to brag, but we think that we have definitely hit the mark! BCPii provides a seamless integration of z/OS software functions and hardware management.
I think our biggest – and most pleasant – surprise of all was the eagerness with which BCPii was embraced by our clients' system programmers. As we rolled out each BCPii release, we watched the PMR activity to see “who was doing what” with it. Early on, we saw indications that made it clear that there were many client applications utilizing BCPii. The list of clients exploiting BCPii grew quickly and now represents a large segment of today's z/OS clients.
Are you curious about what our creative clients are doing with BCPii? Some of the implementations we know about include querying the Hardware Management Console (HMC) network topology, monitoring changes in local and remote systems, quick provisioning of logical partitions for student use, and monitoring and changing partition resources to boost job performance.
We know that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg of the many creative BCPii implementations that are out there. Some of these are business critical and cannot readily be shared. But if you have a BCPii use that you can share with the team, we'd love to hear about it. In fact, we have recently begun exploring partnerships with IBM Academic Initiative colleges to develop sample BCPii programs for general availability. Let us know if you have any suggestions for BCPii programs that might be helpful to you.
In closing, it has been my pleasure to manage the BCPii team through the years and across multiple z/OS releases. We are a close-knit team that has been together since the beginning of the project – not only the development team for design, code, and function test, but also the extended team for information development, system test, and service. We have focused on working with BCPii users and providing updates and enhancements that are requested. Rolling out a new function like BCPii had some real challenges – new code, new publications, new test and support processes – and the team did an excellent job meeting those challenges. We look forward to enhancing your z/OS BCPii experience, as well as working directly with you on BCPii usage and requirements. The bottom line is that BCPii is filling a need and is quickly becoming an integral part of the zEnterprise environment.
Check out other BCPii posts on the Mainframe Insights blog:
Greg Dunlap has been with IBM for 33 years. He began his career in usability, supporting both software and hardware products. Greg has been a manager for over ten years. His team's projects include z/OS BCPii and APPC, IBM zAware, and firmware development for the z series processors.