What does VTOC mean in Software?

This page is about the meanings of the acronym/abbreviation/shorthand VTOC in the Computing field in general and in the Software terminology in particular.

Volume Table Of Contents

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What does VTOC mean?

Volume table of contents
In the IBM mainframe storage architecture, Volume Table Of Contents, or VTOC, is a data structure that provides a way of locating the data sets that reside on a particular disk volume. It can reside within the first 64K tracks on the volume, and lists the names of each data set on the volume as well as size, location, and permissions. Additionally, it contains an entry for every area of contiguous free space on the volume. The third record on the first track of the first cylinder of any volume of DASD is known as the volume label and must contain a pointer to the location of the VTOC. A VTOC is added to a disk when it is initialized using the Device Support Facilities utility program, ICKDSF. VTOC was originally designed for removable disk packs. To locate a data set, a program will generally interrogate a z/OS catalog to find the volume where the data set resides. Having found the correct volume, the VTOC is searched to find out where on the disk the data set is stored. The VTOC comprises records known as Data Set Control Blocks, or DSCBs. There are ten types of DSCB. The first DSCB in the VTOC is always a format 4 DSCB which describes the VTOC itself and attributes of the disk volume on which this VTOC resides. The second DSCB is always a format 5 DSCB which describes free space within the VTOC. Normally, the rest of the VTOC will contain format 0 DSCBs, which are empty entries, and format 1 or format 3 DSCBs, which describe the "extents" of data sets, giving their start address and end address of up to 16 such "extents" on disk. The initial part of a data set is described by a format 1 DSCB. If necessary, format 3 DSCBs are used to describe further "extents" of the data set. When a data set is deleted, its format 1 DSCB is overwritten to become a format 0 DSCB, and the format 3 DSCB, if one exists, is similarly deleted.

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