Thursday, January 19, 2012



IPv6 news is everywhere these days. The availability of z/VSE 4.2.2 (and newer releases) provides the foundation of z/VSE's IPv6 support. Combine this with IBM's new TCP/IP solution, IPv6/VSE, which provides a single product solution for both IPv4 and IPv6 TCP/IP communications and you have a powerful way to take z/VSE into the future.

You are probably already hearing about IPv6 on z/VSE. Why? Your ISP is converting to IPv6 and makes it available to you. With the IPv4 address block exhaustion, new blocks of IPv4 addresses are now almost impossible to get. Your customers or business partners require IPv6 connections. Government organizations may only allow IPv6 capable devices and applications to participate in bidding. The US Department of Defense (DoD), for example, only allows products that are on theUnified Capabilities Approved Products List(UC APL) for its advertised bidding. This list is used by procurement offices in the DoD and the U.S. Federal agencies for ongoing purchases and acquisitions of IT equipment. Also, keep this in mind, as new standards are developed IPv6 is usually mandated. For example, 4G mobile devices are mandated to use IPv6 and IPv4 support is deprecated.

IPv6 support in z/VSE began with z/VSE 4.2.2.

IBM IPv6/VSE Version 1 Release 1

IBM licensed IPv6/VSE from Barnard Software, Inc.for worldwide distribution as their TCP/IP product solution for the future (IPv6/VSE is a registered trademark of Barnard Software, Inc.). IBM's IPv6/VSE announcement (210-066) was made on April 6, 2010. The availability of IBM's IPv6/VSE allows z/VSE users to participate in an IPv6 network and bring the benefits of IPv6 functionality to z/VSE users.

While the product is named IPv6/VSE, the product supports both IPv4 and IPv6 communications. IPv6/VSE provides a full-function IPv4 stack and applications as well as a full-function IPv6 stack and applications. Both TCP/IP stacks (IPv4 and IPv6) can be run together, individually or even stand alone. IBM's IPv6/VSE supports both IPv4 and IPv6 protocols and has been available since May 28, 2010.

IPv6/VSE IPv4 and IPv6 Support
IPv6/VSE Application IPv4 Support IPv6-Enabled Description
BSTTVNET Yes Yes TN3270E Server with DIRECT/LPR printing
BSTTNTPS Yes Yes Network Time Protocol Server
BSTTNTPC Yes Yes Network Time Protocol Client
BSTTSLOG Yes Yes System Logger Client
BSTTMTPC Yes Yes Mail Transport Protocol Client
BSTTREXC Yes Yes Remote Execution Client
BSTTPING Yes Yes Batch PING Utility
BSTTGZIP Yes Yes GZIP Data Compression
REXX Automation Yes Yes REXX Automation Support

IPv6/VSE Support for IBM Applications
Application Supported by IPv6/VSE
CICS TS Web Services Yes
CICS TS Listener Yes
Connector Server Yes
DB2 Server and DB2 Client Yes
MQSeries Yes
MQ Client Yes
Linux Fast Path Yes
VSAM Redirector Yes
VSE Health Checker Yes
VSE Script Server Yes
VSE Navigator Yes

Virtually all 3rd party software vendors are now working with IPv6/VSE and support their customers using IPv6/VSE with their products.

IPv6 Programming Interfaces

Existing APIs have been extended. The Assembler SOCKET macro API has been extended to support IPv6 addressing and 64-bit virtual storage addresses. The EZASOKET and EZASMI API have also been extended. EZASOKET/EZASMI support for GETADDRINFO, FREEADDRINFO, NTOP and PTON with the new address family of AF_INET6 is available. Of course, the LE/C Socket API has been IPv6-enabled too.

The IBM IPv6/VSE Programming Guide has all the details on the IPv6-enablement features in these API's.

SSL and IPSec

During the 2011 GSE conference (October 2011 in Berlin Germany) Barnard Software, Inc. (BSI) issued a Statement of Direction that indicated BSI would make available both SSL and IPSec solutions for IPv6/VSE in a future release. At the time of the writing of this article the SSL support was undergoing beta test. Availability of these additions to IPv6/VSE is expected to become generally available (GA) during 2012.

Summing it up

There you have it. z/VSE is IPv6 ready with IBM's IPv6/VSE. IBM's IPv6/VSE provides both a full-function IPv4 stack and applications as well as a full-function IPv6 stack and applications. IPv6/VSE is a single product providing a complete solution, TCP/IP stacks, IPv6-enabled applications and programming interfaces. With IPv6/VSE your z/VSE system is IPv4 and IPv6 ready to go.