Latest Entries

Over a period of five years, IBM’s multi-billion dollar investment substantially increased the value of the zSeries mainframe to businesses. By 2003, the zSeries mainframe offered unrivaled value to organizations of all types through unrivaled Quality of Service (QoS), superior workload capabilities, significantly lower costs, open standards support, and an excellent portfolio of IBM middleware and application development solutions. Today, thousands of organizations throughout the world have rediscovered the values of the mainframe, and are leveraging these systems to lower their transaction costs. The result is the ability to process transactions at a very low cost with superior dependability, thereby delivering organizations with a significant competitive advantage. …

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Aligning IT & Business: XML and Your Business

Are you dazed and confused about the pace of new Web technologies? Have you heard of XML for years, not really grasping its importance for managing Web-based applications? You’re not alone. This column discusses how business applications exploit XML technology now—and later. It explains why PureXML is the next step in merging relational data with what I like to call “Web-structured data.” XML data will ensure that your business can fit into Webbased business applications today and in the future…

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Sooner or later, every systems programmer wants or needs to write a script for the systems they support. In the Linux world, the choices available are much broader than on z/OS or z/VM. Every “shell” that can be installed provides its own scripting language. These differ from each other in the same way the shells themselves do. The one shell scripting language you can count on being installed on any given system is the one that comes with the default shell the root user has specified. On most Linux systems, this is usually Bash (Bourne Again SHell). According to the man page for Bash:…

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Running Linux as a guest of z/VM presents a different set of performance problems from running Linux on a discrete server. One such problem area is in how Linux wants to manage its memory in a guest virtual machine environment. In such environments, multiple guest operating systems are hosted on top of a host operating system or hypervisor—in this case, z/VM’s Control Program (CP). The problem of overcommitting physical memory is solved either by dynamically adjusting the memory sizes of the guests or through transparent host paging. Both approaches can introduce significant overhead in heavily overcommitted memory scenarios due to frequent resize requests or high paging activity. This article discusses the design and implementation of a novel approach to this problem called Cooperative Memory Management (CMM) on Linux for System z and the z/VM hypervisor…

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New Age Performance Monitoring: Concepts and Directions

Historical Perspectives

In the System/360 and System/370 days, uni-processors were extremely slow by today’s standards. A 370/158 was rated at exactly 1 MIP. Multi-processors and attached-processors emerged on several System/370 models; these allowed the workloads to be spread over multiple processors while appearing to run as one system. However, they were expensive. Attached processors weren’t particularly good for I/O-intensive workloads and were rather rare in commercial environments. Memory was expensive and many systems didn’t contain much of it. Depending on the model, the System/370 could have 64KB and up to 8MB of memory. A somewhat robust 370/158 may have had 2MB of storage. Input and output devices were minimal and slow. Virtual operating systems, such as OS/VS1 and VM/370, were in their infancy…

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With $20 billion in assets and more than 7,000 employees, First National of Nebraska (www.fnni.com) is one of the top-50 financial services holding companies in the U.S. Its headquarters is Omaha, NE, where it has been operating for the past 150 years. Today, First National serves more than 6.6 million customers in all 50 states, with more than 90 banking locations in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, and Texas. First National is the ninth largest merchant processor, a top-10 commercial card issuer, the eleventh largest U.S. issuer of bank credit cards, a top-20 electronic funds processor, the ninth largest U.S. agricultural lender with customers in 49 states, and one of the leading providers of project finance to the ethanol industry…

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