Booting an IBM MP 3000 S/390 System

Guy Sotomayor ggs at
Thu Aug 6 22:54:28 CDT 2015

Cool!  I've toyed with the idea of getting a larger mainframe (zSeries) 
but the aspect of trying
to get and configure storage for it is the main stumbling block.

I didn't realize how lucky I was with mine until I started hearing about 
the horror stories from
others.  I think what helped was that mine wasn't "molested" before I 
received it.  In addition
to arriving in the original IBM shipping crate (really?  who keeps 
that?) it also had all of the
"extras" in terms of cables, terminators, etc still unopened.  The only 
thing that I'm missing
is some of the software and diagnostics that were supplied on either 
tape or CD.

I *really* have to figure out a backup solution for this so that I don't 
get stuck but that
supposes that I have a way to re-create the OS/2 image that's already 
there if I do have to
do a full from scratch restore.

TTFN - Guy

On 8/6/15 8:46 PM, Mike Ross wrote:
> Oh it's much bigger. Somewhere I have a photo of them side by side... ah yes:
> That's the Warthog next to an Integrated Server 3006 - which uses the
> same chassis as the MP3K. So it's both - it's a repackaged MP2000,
> *and* it's much bigger than an MP3K! Also much much heavier; built out
> of Real Mainframe gauge steel :-)
> I'm jealous that you have an operational MP3K!!! I've sweated blood
> over mine for weeks, to no avail. If it works, it works for ever. If
> it doesn't work, and it isn't a simple hardware fix, it needs an IBM
> CE with a bunch of super secret software tools to tickle it into life,
> it seems...
> Mike
> On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 3:08 PM, Guy Sotomayor <ggs at> wrote:
>> Is it really "bigger" than the MP3000 or is just a repackaged MP2000 where
>> there
>> is no emulated I/O?
>> My MP3000 in addition to 2 72GB Raid-5 arrays has 2 ethernet interfaces, 2
>> parallel channel
>> attach points and 2 ESCON channel attach points.
>> I'm also jealous that you have a 3279 terminal.  I've been looking for 3278s
>> and/or 3279s
>> and haven't found any (except for the ridiculously priced 3278 on ebay right
>> now).
>> TTFN - Guy
>> On 8/6/15 7:11 PM, Mike Ross wrote:
>>> If you want to see how it works on bigger iron, here's a rare beast
>>> indeed: my Application Starterpak 3000 - internal IBM codename
>>> 'Warthog'. A real S/390 in a half-height chassis. First video is a
>>> power-up; let it play to the end and it segues into the next video,
>>> IPLing the beast!
>>> Cheers
>>> Mike
>>> On Fri, Aug 7, 2015 at 6:43 AM, Guy Sotomayor <ggs at> wrote:
>>>> On 8/6/15 11:05 AM, Eric Christopherson wrote:
>>>>> On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 12:41 PM, Guy Sotomayor <ggs at>
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Back to the MP 3000.  There are a number of CPUs in the box.  Two are
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> most
>>>>>> obvious: the SBC running OS/2 and the actual S/390 CPU.  However, there
>>>>>> is
>>>>>> another
>>>>>> S/390 CPU in the box as well.  It is not visible (at least directly) to
>>>>>> S/W.
>>>>>> It is responsible
>>>>>> for providing the high performance I/O capabilities (like native disk
>>>>>> access
>>>>>> and making
>>>>>> them appear as conventional channel attached devices instead of RAID-5
>>>>>> SSA
>>>>>> drives).
>>>>>> The OS/2 SBC is there to emulate some of the slower devices (card
>>>>>> reader/punch,
>>>>>> direct attached 3270s, etc).
>>>>> So the OS/2 computer is actually a component of the mainframe's
>>>>> control processor, not a separate PC?
>>>> In various other S/390 and z/Series machines, there is a laptop that is
>>>> the
>>>> "service element" with
>>>> special S/W (now I think on Linux).  On the MP3000, it is a single board
>>>> computer that is on what
>>>> looks like a big PCI card.  By it's nature it is hooked into various
>>>> parts
>>>> of the MP3000 system through
>>>> the various other things that sit on the PCI bus.  Note that the PCI bus
>>>> is
>>>> shared between the SBC
>>>> and the other parts of the MP3000.
>>>> If you don't fire up the system element software the OS/2 system would
>>>> appear as a somewhat
>>>> "normal" PC with a bunch of special device drivers.
>>>> There's a great diagram (too complicated to reproduce in ASCII art) that
>>>> illustrates all of the major
>>>> components in the MP3000.  It's located in the IBM Redbook "Multiprise
>>>> 3000
>>>> Technical Introduction".
>>>> It's Figure 1 on page 8 of the redbook.  This is a really great
>>>> introduction
>>>> on the MP3000.
>>>> TTFN - Guy

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