Euskal Encounter

Organiza Fundación Euskaltel

2009 activities


As had we last year, in the present edition we will have a very important guest: an IBM Mainframe architecture based Data Processing Centre. Last year it provided a great service as central server for Direct-Connect, which beared peaks of over 2500 users with CPU consumption around 5%. Apart from this service, this year we intend to do more machine tiring proofs to quantify its capabilities compared with the latest PC architecture, as well as providing further services which could be useful for users.


A mainframe is a big-sized computer mainly designed for huge data amount treatment. It is used for banking appliances, value market, airlines and air traffic, and also as the very centre in companies with a great deal of invoicing. It is definitely a huge computer, both because of the data amount it can manage and also because of the space it requires.

As every computer does, it has a processor, memory and its I/O channels to which we can connect any device we need (drives, tapes, terminals, printers, and so on.) In our case, the processor, the memory and the I/O channels system go inside a closet and the rest of devices in different closets all of them connected through ESCON (17 MB/seg) or FICON (2 Gb/Seg)fiber optics channels.


What really makes Mainframe architecture interesting apart from its strength and soundness is its logical partitions management system or LPAR. Each LPAR can bear a different OS, so that it can externally be seen as different machines, with a very high processing power. In our case all of our LPAR will have SuSE.

In this edition there will be two interconnected Mainframe systems: an IBM 2066-0A1 zSeries 800 central processor, with a 80 MIPS power and on the other hand an IBM 2066-0A2 zSeries 800 with a 259 MIPS power, under a Parallel Sysplex configuration, therefore both machines will be working paralely.

Regarding storage, there will be three drives systems: two 2105-800 “TotalStorage” with 32 72 GB drives and 16 147 GB drives, under a SSA-RAID5 configuration. Both will be connected by 17 MB/seg 16 ESCON channels and by FICON, and the other system will be a SAN IBM DS4500 with 12 TB net storage and 2 Gb/seg 8 gates fiber-channel.


Euskal Encounter 2009 connection diagram


As for tapes, a rack with 4 3590-E1A model drives under a 3590-A60 control unit will be installed. We will also have an IBM 3422  coil tapes system and a IBM 3490E system with 12 drives.

Last but not least, regarding connectivity, both processors have 4 SX fiber Gigabit Ethernet cards which assure connectivity. There will also be two 10/100 cooper cards but these will remain for the Mainframes inner LAN and to perform some demonstrations.

The Mainframe will provide the 4096 attendants with several services such as a redundant Direct-Connect server (both Mainframes will be running the service in an active-passive configuration) and a Direct-Connect client sharing information available for public. For that both zSeries machines will have 2 o LPAR with SuSE Linux 10 Enterprise installed.

One of the proofs we want to carry out is to see how an 8-year-old machine can run the Direct-Connect service and above all the client part in which we will include many slots in order to check how much the system can stand (a PC cannot stand more than 6-10 slots without hanging or becoming extremely inefficient) with the aim of getting machine access statistics and CPU and E/S times.

As well as previously commented services, we intend to bring in frame ES/9000 system which is over 25 years old, which used to serve the University of Deusto library before it was replaced with more modern hardware. Therefore, we shall build a fully functional structure so that attendants can see, touch and try these systems from the late 80s.