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uPDT Technical Information

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zPDT combines several technologies to accomplish it's purpose. Some of these tehnologies will be familiar to users of other emulation based systems, such as FLEX-ES and Hercules, and some are unique to zPDT. This page will introduce some of the technology behind the zPDT and how we exploit it with the uPDT systems. .
  • Base function:

    At it's heart zPDT uses a combination of instruction interpretation and Just In Time compilation of code segments to completely emulate the function of a System Z processor while running on an Intel architecture host. (IBM also has an AIX/System P based version of zPDT but it is not being made available outside IBM at this time, so we will disregard it here.) This software based system (the term IBM prefer to "emulation") provides almost all the functions of a standard System z machine, including memory and I/O devices. Programs referred to as Device Managers provide the mapping of Intel architecture devices to System z devices. This mapping is specified in an ASCII file referred to as the 'Profile" or "Device Map". Readers familiar with the IBM P/390 product line can think of this as being very similar to the P/390, but with a software based processor running in the Intel space rather than a hardware based coprocessor.

  • The Host system:

    zPDT is a Linux based application running in a 64 bit Intel operating system. IBM has tested and recommends the use or either Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) version 5 or OpenSUSE version 11.1. Other Linux distributions may work, but are generally not recommended. IBM strongly recommends the use of 64 bit Intel hardware and Linux operating systems. Using 32 bit systems will limit the function and performance fo the zPDT software. IBM has tested and recommends the use of specific hardware, including Lenovo Thinkpad W500 and W700 models IBM System X 3500 Model 2 and 3650 Model 2. ITC has chosen the Thinkpad W500 and the System X 3500 Model 2 as our platforms of choice. We feel they provide the best combination of performance, functionality, and flexibility. For example, the x3500 M2 can be configured as either tower or rack mount and has excellent expansion capabilities.

    For a look at the features available on the uPDT models, see the uPDT Feature Comparison.

  • uPDT goes even further

    We have taken the uPDT even further, adding more features and capabilities beyond what IBM provides in the basd zPDT. We use technology such as REXX programs with easy to use interfaces and USB devices to provide enhanced operation and administration of the uPDT systems.

  • Taking advantage of technology

    The latest technology does no good if you don't know how to take advantage of it properly. The ITC + HITS team has many years of experience with P/390, FLEX-ES, and now zPDT systems. We know how to configure and build systems to provide maximum performance and functionality. We know what RAID parameters to use to maximize throughput and minimize response times. For example, do you know the optimum stripe size to use for best performance? We do, and it's not the default!

Contact me via mike@hammocktree.us