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Set up IBM Z Development and Test Environment 12.0 in Azure

Authored by Steve Read

One of the biggest cost benefits of the Azure platform is running development and test (dev/test) environments.  For mainframe workloads on their Z Systems, IBM has a dev/test environment for the x86 platform called IBM Z Development and Test Environment (IBM zD&T for short).  This solution helps customers take advantage of the cost savings of the x86 platform for their less critical dev/test environments, and then push the updates back to the more expensive Z System Production environment.  For more information, see the IBM ZD&T installation instructions.

You can run any of the three IBM zD&T versions on Azure and Azure Stack:

  1. zD&T Personal Edition
  2. zD&T Parallel Sysplex
  3. zD&T Enterprise Edition

Note the following prerequisites and notes:

  • IBM allows zD&T Enterprise Edition to be installed in development and test environments only—not production.
  • You need access to the media, which is available only to IBM customers and partners.  For more information, contact your IBM representative or see the contact information on the zD&T website.
  • You must stand up a licensing server to have access to the environments.  I will cover this in a future post.
  • All editions of zD&T run only on x86 Linux systems, not Windows Server.  Enterprise Edition is supported on either Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or Ubuntu/Debian.  Both RHEL and Debian VM images are available in Azure.
  • Something to be aware of is that once zD&T is installed, no environments are installed with it.  You must create these separately as installation packages. Application Developers Controlled Distributions (ADCD) are volume images of test environments.  They are contained in zip images on the media distribution.  In another post, I will show how to set up one of these environments.
  • Creation and Management is done through the zD&T Enterprise Edition web server.  This is what we will setup in this blog post.
  • For more information from IBM about zD&T gheck out this link https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSTQBD_12.0.0/com.ibm.zdt.overview.gs.doc/topics/c_product_overview.html
  • You will obviously need an Azure subscription.  If you don't have one, create a free account before you begin.

Create Base Image and Connect

Now that we have the prerequisites and context squared away, let’s get started.

  1. Create a virtual machine. From the Azure Portal Marketplace, select the virtual machine and operating system configuration you want.  I chose B4ms SKU (with 4 vCPUs and 16 GB of memory) running Ubuntu 16.04.
  2. Once the virtual machine is created, open inbound ports 22 for SSH, 21 for FTP and  9443 for the web server.
  3. Once the VM has been created, open a Bash shell and login via the SSH credentials.  This is available from the Overview blade for the VM in the Azure Portal via the "Connect" button.  Select the SSH tab and copy the SSH login command to the clipboard.
  4. Open up a bash shell from your local PC and paste the command.  It will be in the form "ssh@".  You will be prompted for you credentials and then you should establish a connect to your Home directory.

Copy the installation file to the server

The installation file for the web Server is ZDT_Install_EE_V12.0.0.1.tgz.  It is included in the media supplied by IBM.   You will need to upload this file to your Ubuntu VM.  From the command line enter the following commands.

  • First, let's make sure everything is up to date.  I always do for newly created images.
    • sudo apt-get update
  • Next, lets make a directory to install into
    • mkdir ZDT
  • Now lets copy the file from our local machine to the VM
    • scp ZDT_Install_EE_V12.0.0.1.tgz  [email protected]   =>Note:  This will copy the installation file to the ZDT directory in your Home directory.  This may vary if you client is a Windows or Linux machine.

Install the Enterprise Server

  • Go to the ZDT directory and decompress the ZDT_Install_EE_V12.0.0.1.tgz file by typing in the following commands
    • cd ZDT
    • chmod 755 ZDT_Install_EE_V12.0.0.0.tgz
  • Now run the installer
    • ./ZDT_Install_EE_V12.0.0.0.x86_64
  • Select 1 to install the Enterprise Server.
  • Press Enter and read the license agreements carefully. At the end of the license, enter Yes to accept or No to decline the terms.
  • When prompted to change the password for the newly created user, ibmsys1, use the command sudo passwd ibmsys1 and enter the password.
  • To verify if the installation was successful enter
    • dpkg -l | grep zdtapp
  • If the package is installed successfully, the output contains the string zdtapp 12.0.0.0.

Starting the Enterprise Server

Keep in mind that when the web server starts, it will run under the zdt user id that was created during the installation process.

In order to start the web server you must use the root User ID to run the following command

  • sudo /opt/ibm/zDT/bin/startServer
  • Next, open a browser and enter the URL that you are presented with after running the script.  It will be similar to https://:9443/ZDTMC/login.htm

    Next

    Congratulations, if everything went smoothly, you should have the management component for IBM zD&T installed.  Next,  I’ll provide the steps for setting up a test envionment in a future blog post.

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    Set up IBM Z Development and Test Environment 12.0 in Azure

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