Significant Changes in the z/OS Release Schedule

IBM is moving to a biennial release schedule for z/OS, a good move in my view. Here are some highlights:

  • IBM plans to introduce new z/OS releases every two years. The idea is that z/OS users will have more time to exploit new z/OS functions and spend less time installing and testing release upgrades.
  • IBM is increasing the standard support period for z/OS releases from 3 to 5 years.
  • IBM is also increasing the fee-based extended support period from 2 to 3 years.
  • The next release of z/OS will also be a new version: z/OS 2.1. This new version will require a System z9 or higher since it will exploit newer processor instructions.
  • There are going to be more Web-delivered enhancements between releases, which isn't surprising.
  • As another corollary, there will be more enhancements in each new z/OS release.

As long as z/OS users don't simply "slow down," I like this new release schedule. It should make life simpler for software vendors, too.

by Timothy Sipples April 11, 2012 in z/OS


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