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Run a storage dump for SVC: IBM mainframe troubleshooting

An SVC dump is the first step in troubleshooting IBM's virtual storage controller system.

What is an SVC dump? Why would a mainframe operator need to take a dump from SVC storage?

The SVC in IBM's storage virtualization system stands for System Storage SAN Volume Controller. The product is designed to improve administrators' control of storage resources, but when there's a problem, you'll need to troubleshoot with an SVC dump.

The book OS/390 MVS Diagnosis: Tools and Service Aids sums it up nicely: "SVC dump is like a burglar alarm ... It lets you know something's wrong and helps you pinpoint where it started."

An SVC dump provides a representation of the virtual storage for the system at the time the dump is taken. Most commonly, a component requests an SVC dump when an unexpected system error occurs. After the dump has completed, processing can usually continue.

An authorized program can request an SVC dump with the c macro. The operator can also request a dump by using the SLIP or DUMP command. Both are used to obtain diagnostic data to aid in problem resolution.

Manuals with more information on SVC, IBM's SAN volume controller:

OS/390 MVS Diagnosis: Tools and Service Aids

OS/390 MVS Diagnosis Reference

OS/390 MVS Diagnosis Procedures

OS/390 MVS Authorized Assembler Services Reference LLA-SDU

This was first published in October 2001

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