IBM United States
Software Announcement 202-038
February 19, 2002

Preview: IBM VSE/ESA V2.7 Will Enhance Interoperability with Linux on IBM e(logo)server zSeries

 ENUS202-038.PDF (28KB)

At a Glance

VSE/ESA V2.7 will enhance interoperability between VSE and Linux on zSeries. Designed for growth, V2.7 helps enable integrated hybrid solutions featuring the best of VSE and Linux.

New support in VSE/ESA V2.7 is planned to include:

  • IBM e(logo)server zSeries 800 in 31-bit mode
  • HiperSockets, enabling high-speed memory-to-memory TCP/IP communication
  • IBM PCI Cryptographic Accelerator

VSE/ESA V2.7 will also support zSeries 900 (31-bit mode), as well as S/390 Multiprise 3000, S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server™ Generation 5 and 6, or equivalent.


Many VSE customers have a hybrid environment that often includes several different hardware and software platforms. In such environments, interoperability is a key requirement. IBM VSE/ESA™ V2.7 will extend the focus on interoperability begun with VSE/ESA V2.5 and continued with VSE/ESA V2.6, and plans to provide additional support and enhancements as follows:

  • VSE/ESA V2.7 will be designed to support IBM e(logo)server zSeries 800 and IBM e(logo)server zSeries 900 (31-bit mode), as well as S/390 Multiprise® 3000, and S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server™ Generation 5 and 6. Fast Service Upgrade (FSU) is allowed from VSE/ESA V2.6, and VSE/ESA V2.5.

  • HiperSockets, as a kind of "network-in-the-box," enables fast internal TCP/IP traffic between VSE/ESA and Linux on zSeries environments at memory-to-memory speeds rather than network speeds. High-speed communication between these two environments enables integrated hybrid solutions that offer the best of both VSE and Linux.

  • Internet security will be enhanced with an encryption assist for increased Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) throughput. V2.7 will exploit the PCI Cryptographic Accelerator (PCICA) card available on zSeries servers. The assist is designed to be transparent to applications using SSL.

  • Large 32 K cylinder 3390 volumes now available on IBM TotalStorage™ Enterprise Storage Server™ are planned to be supported by V2.7.

  • OSA Express support is planned to include non-QDIO support for SNA in addition to TCP/IP.

With Linux on zSeries, VSE customers can exploit the Linux operating system on the same zSeries or S/390® server that runs their core VSE applications. By consolidating VSE and Linux (both under z/VM™ or LPAR) on the same server, customers gain advantages in affordability, flexibility, scalability, and manageability.

Previews provide insight into IBM current plans and direction. IBM development plans are subject to change or withdrawal without further notice. Any reliance on this Preview is at the relying party's sole risk and will not create any liability or obligation for IBM. Availability, prices, ordering information, and terms and conditions will be provided when the product is announced.

Key Prerequisites

Some S/390 servers supported by VSE/ESA V2.6 are planned not to be supported by VSE/ESA V2.7. Refer to the following sections for details:


VSE/ESA V2.7 addresses the needs of VSE customers with growing traditional S/390 workloads and/or those exploiting Linux on zSeries for new applications or server consolidation. New support in V2.7 includes the following:

Support for HiperSockets

VSE/ESA V2.7 is designed to support high-speed TCP/IP communication among logical partitions (LPAR) and virtual machines under z/VM V4.2, or later, within the same zSeries 800 or 900 server using HiperSockets.

VSE/ESA V2.7 will be able to communicate with other HiperSockets-capable operating systems. For example, HiperSockets enhances VSE interoperability by allowing high-speed, memory-to-memory connections between VSE/ESA V2.7 and Linux on zSeries without physical cabling. Providing a "network-in-the-box," HiperSockets helps minimize network latency and maximize bandwidth capabilities.

The zArchitecture™ HiperSockets function uses an adaptation of the Queued Direct I/O (QDIO) high-speed I/O protocol introduced with OSA-Express support. HiperSockets allows virtual machines and/or LPARs to communicate internally over the memory bus using the new internal-queued-direct I/O (IQD) channel type.

In addition, VSE/ESA V2.7 will utilize the "guest LAN" support provided by z/VM V4.2, or later. z/VM simulates the HiperSockets function for communication among virtual machines without real IQD channels. Using z/VM, HiperSockets can be exploited by customers with S/390 Multiprise 3000, S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server Generation 5 and 6 (or equivalent servers), as well as zSeries servers.

Support for Cryptographic Assist

VSE/ESA V2.7 will be designed to support IBM PCI Cryptographic Accelerator (PCICA) cards on zSeries servers. The support will provide RSA assist for increased Secure Socket Layer (SSL) throughput.

SSL support for TCP/IP for VSE/ESA V1.4 was first introduced with VSE/ESA V2.6. However, that support is based on software encryption only. With VSE/ESA V2.7, SSL will transparently use PCICA cards if available. There will be no need to change any applications already using SSL. For example, existing applications that use the SSL such as CICS® Web Support (CWS), and VSE e-business connectors will automatically benefit.

IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS) Large Volumes

With Software Announcement 101-341 , dated November 13, 2001, IBM announced a new 32,760 (32 K) cylinder 3390 volume on the IBM TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server (ESS). VSE/ESA V2.7 will be designed to support the larger 3390 volume. Larger DASD volumes help relieve address constraints (note that VSE supports only three digit addresses) and improve disk utilization by allowing customers to consolidate multiple smaller disk volumes into a single larger volume. The large DASD volume support is also planned to be available with VSE/ESA V2.6 in second quarter 2002.

OSA Express in non-QDIO mode

With VSE/ESA V2.7, OSA Express will be usable in non-QDIO mode by TCP/IP or SNA environments. In non-QDIO mode the OSA Express behaves like an OSA-2 adapter. The non-QDIO mode is helpful if the OSA Express Adapter needs to be shared by TCP/IP and SNA. This support is already available in VSE/ESA V2.6.

Customer Financing

IBM Global Financing offers attractive financing to credit-qualified commercial and government customers and Business Partners in more than 40 countries around the world. IBM Global Financing is provided by the IBM Credit Corporation in the United States. Offerings, rates, terms, and availability may vary by country. Contact your local IBM Global Financing organization. Country organizations are listed on the Web at:

Product Positioning

Beginning with VSE/ESA V2.5, a key element of the VSE strategy has been helping VSE customers protect their extensive investment in core S/390 applications, data, and processes even as they implement new applications in a 3-tier, hybrid environment. Many recent VSE enhancements were designed to improve interoperability between VSE/ESA and any Java™-capable platform. Interoperability helps customers reduce cost, disruption, and risk. At the same time, interoperability helps increase productivity and lessen time-to-market.

For example, target environments may be integrated hybrid solutions based on S/390 or zSeries servers running VSE plus the user's choice of zSeries (the same or a different server with z/OS™ or Linux), IBM e(logo)server pSeries (AIX® or Linux), IBM e(logo)server xSeries (Windows® or Linux), or IBM e(logo)server iSeries (OS/400® or Linux) servers.

VSE/ESA V2.7 is designed for VSE customers with aggressive growth opportunities. "Growth" may be generated by some combination of:

  • VSE workload

    • Added volumes, new users, and extensions of core business applications

    • Associated activity (test, backup, printing, file transfer, and so forth)

  • Linux workload

    • New infrastructure (file/print server, mail, firewalls, DNS, and so forth)

    • New e-business applications (web serving, database, and so forth)

    • New business applications (ERP, CRM, and so forth)

    • New application development

    • Consolidation of existing distributed server workload

Responding to growth opportunities, VSE/ESA V2.7 will focus on the zSeries 800 and advanced features such as HiperSockets to enhance the combination of VSE and Linux for zSeries.

For example, target environments may consist of VSE/ESA V2.7 (running on standard engines), linked via HiperSockets to Linux on zSeries (running on IFL engines), or both running under z/VM V4.2, or later. This powerful model, implemented on an zSeries 800 server and together with an IBM TotalStorage ESS, provides a compelling solution for growth-oriented VSE customers.

Linux on zSeries is central to the VSE strategy and vision. VSE/ESA V2.7 will not support 64-bit addressing. Although protection of customer investments in existing core VSE applications is a key objective for VSE/ESA V2.7, there is no need for 64-bit addressing in VSE itself. Instead, new applications which require very large address spaces are more appropriate for Linux. Therefore, the combination of VSE/ESA V2.7, Linux on zSeries, z/VM V4.2, or later, and zSeries 800 is strategically significant.

VSE/ESA V2.7, along with Linux on zSeries and z/VM V4.2, or later, may be an attractive solution for larger VSE customers who may not be clear candidates for z/OS in the short term.


zSeries, zArchitecture, iSeries, pSeries, and xSeries are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation.
VSE/ESA, S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server, TotalStorage, Enterprise Storage Server, z/VM, S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server, z/OS, and the e-business logo are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Multiprise, S/390, CICS, AIX, and OS/400 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Java is a trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

Planning Information

The Fast Service Upgrade (FSU) process will be available migrating from VSE/ESA™ V2.6, or VSE/ESA V2.5, to VSE/ESA V2.7.

The current release of VSE/ESA, VSE/ESA V2.6, will be the last VSE release to support the following servers:

  • S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server™ Generation 3 and 4
  • S/390® Multiprise® 2000
  • S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server™ Models Rx1, Rx2, and Rx3
  • The ES/9000® Family including all 9221, 9121, and 9021 Models 
  • S/390 Integrated Server
  • PC Server System/390®
  • RS/6000® with System/390 Server-on-Board

Customers should be aware that marketing of VSE/ESA V2.6 will stop once VSE/ESA V2.7 becomes available. Specifically, one consequence is that VSE/ESA V2.6 will no longer be orderable after the General Availability (GA) of VSE/ESA V2.7.

Customers who intend to retain any of the older S/390 servers may want to order the "then current" refresh of VSE/ESA V2.6 once the GA of VSE/ESA V2.7 is announced, whether or not their production VSE system is based on VSE/ESA V2.6 at that time.

Information on the status of VSE/ESA and related programs can be found at:

Hardware Requirements

VSE/ESA V2.7 will operate on:

  • zSeries 900
  • zSeries 800
  • S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server Generation 5 and 6
  • S/390 Multiprise 3000
  • Equivalent server

Support for zSeries 800, zSeries 900, or equivalent 64-bit servers will be in 31-bit mode, LPAR, or under z/VM™ V4.1, or later.

Specifically, VSE/ESA V2.7 does not run in 64-bit mode and does not support 64-bit real or virtual addresses. That makes z/VM appropriate for most VSE customers using the larger zSeries servers.

Support for S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server Generation 5 and 6, S/390 Multiprise 3000, or equivalent 31-bit server is in basic mode, LPAR, or under z/VM V4.1, or later.

VSE/ESA V2.7 HiperSockets support requires zSeries 800, zSeries 900, or equivalent server, if using z/VM, z/VM V4.2, or later, is required. In addition, z/VM simulates the HiperSockets function for VSE/ESA V2.7 customers running under z/VM V4.2, or later, on S/390 Multiprise 3000, S/390 G5 and G6 servers, or equivalent.

VSE/ESA V2.7 hardware encryption assist requires a Peripheral Component Interconnect Cryptographic Accelerator (PCICA), or equivalent. Those customers with z/VM require z/VM V4.2, or later.

Software Requirements

For VSE/ESA V2.7 customers using z/VM, z/VM V4.1, or later, is required to exploit state-of-the-art IBM virtualization technology for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Multiple VSE production, development, or test images
  • Both VSE and Linux on zSeries
  • Both VSE and z/OS™ during a z/OS migration transition period
  • Both VSE and z/OS on a permanent basis

VSE/ESA V2.7 customers (running under z/VM) exploiting HiperSockets or hardware encryption assist require z/VM V4.2, or later.

To use HiperSockets for high-speed interoperability between VSE/ESA V2.7 and Linux on zSeries, corresponding Linux exploitation is required. Linux on zSeries is not provided by IBM. Linux must be obtained from distributors. For the most current information on Linux distributors, refer to:

Customized Offerings: Most product media is shipped only via Customized Offerings (that is, CBPDO, ServerPac, Systempac®). Non-customized items (CDs, diskettes, source media, media kits) will continue to be shipped via the stand-alone product.


zSeries is a trademark of International Business Machines Corporation.
VSE/ESA, S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server, S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server, z/VM, and z/OS are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Multiprise, S/390, ES/9000, System/390, RS/6000, Systempac, and the e-business logo are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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