COD?? Sounds .... fishy to me (sorry)

Chris Hoelscher
Technology Architect, Database Infrastructure Services
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-----Original Message-----
From: IBM Mainframe Discussion List [mailto:IBM-MAIN@LISTSERV.UA.EDU] On Behalf 
Of John Eells
Sent: Friday, March 2, 2018 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: [IBM-MAIN] Install z/OS from DVD

Beesley, Paul wrote:
> We are setting up a z/Next mainframe on a greenfield site and want to be able 
> to install z/OS from a DVD.
> Back in 2016, Mark Post said..
> “Coming soon will be the ability to IPL _and_ install directly from the HMC 
> DVD drive.  It'll be a slow as !@$$ but it won't require an installation 
> server somewhere.  You'll still need to connect _into_ the system over the 
> network to complete the install (via SSH or VNC) of course.  Even that could 
> be avoided if you set up a custom DVD that points to an autoinst.xml file on 
> the DVD itself and use VNC as the installation method.  Completely unattended 
> install without a net. :)”
> Has ‘soon’ arrived yet? Or are we still looking at using a Customised 
> Offering Driver?

You will need to use the COD.

Although Linux and z/VM can be IPLed from DVD, z/OS must IPL from attached 
(ECKD) DASD.  It does not now and will likely not any time soon support IPLed 
from anywhere in the HMC file system, including  DVD.

Based on that, the DVD-based installation process involves the Customized 
Offerings Driver (which we affectionately call the COD). 
Standalone DFSMSdss, which can be IPLed from the HMC's DVD drive, was changed a 
while back to support restoring disk volumes from DVD files. 
The COD z/OS system is restored using DFSMSdss and then IPLed.  (You can 
optionally use standalone ICKDSF to verify target volume labels and INIT the 
volumes before restoring them, but we taught DFSMSdss to be a bit smarter a 
while back so this is no longer a required step.)

The restores run reasonably quickly, though I don't have current numbers.  When 
we first planned this support we thought it would take a lot longer than it 
actually does, because we--well, I (blush)--forgot that we dumped the COD 
systems with the COMPRESS keyword, which reduces the HMC-to-DASD data transfer 
time significantly.  If I recall correctly, the entire process from DFSMSdss 
IPL to z/OS IPL only takes a few hours.

In turn, the COD z/OS system supports installing the z/OS you actually want 
from direct download to z/OS (if you have connectivity at the site) or by 
transferring files from a workstation to the z/OS UNIX file system, whether 
they were downloaded or are also on DVD.  You can install a new copy of z/OS 
using ServerPac (if you are sane) or CBPDO (if you aren't); the COD supports 

It might also be possible to use the FTP-based IPL available on z14 and later 
HMCs for DFSMSdss and FTP file access for the restores, with the files on your 
workstation (set up as an FTP server), which I am told should work, but which 
we have not explicitly tested.  That might or might not be faster than 
restoring from DVD, depending on where the bottleneck is in the effective data 
transfer rate.  Speaking for myself, though, restores from DVD would certainly 
have been done for quite a while while I was still fiddling with the FTP 
configuration and physical connections for this IPL path, but YMMV.

John Eells
IBM Poughkeepsie

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