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With critical business services for almost any enterprise flowing across multiple platforms—including Windows, UNIX, Linux, IBM mainframe, and Linux on System z—it would seem natural that best practices for systems management of these services would be a cross-platform approach. The business advantages of managing such services with cross-platform systems management include reduced costs, increased availability, reduced service outages, shorter time to diagnose and repair, more efficient systems management (fewer people handling a larger scope of work), and less risk to the business. Nonetheless, there has been significant resistance to implementing cross-platform efforts in most systems management disciplines. …

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All recent indicators show that climate change and energy costs have been crowded off the agendas of most businesses and IT shops. Cost containment, investigating the cloud, and tapping into developing markets and cell phone users have superseded “green” as a primary concern of the typical organization. The consensus seems to be that this is a problem that can wait…

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Earlier this year, IBM posted the latest and greatest version of Hints and Tips for z/VSE 4.2 on the z/VSE Web page. If you haven’t downloaded and read these latest hints and tips, you will be pleasantly surprised. In the last few versions, significant detail and new sections have been added. To view the most current Hints and Tips, go to ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/eserver/zseries/zos/vse/pdf3/zvse42/hintamm2.pdf. For a list of Hints and Tips for earlier versions, scroll to the bottom of this page: http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/z/os/zvse/documentation/#hints. Here you can download Hints and Tips for VSE/ESA Versions 2.6 and 2.7 and z/VSE Versions 3.1. 4.1 and, of course, 4.2. …

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Downtime is a significant issue for a Web services provider that offers cloud computing. This provider is adversely affected when there’s Internet downtime and numerous users can’t communicate or perform work. Worse yet, when this happens, the blogs and media can have a field day with it, and once the outage is publicized, it can have a devastating effect on the organization…

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Bill Ulrich is president of TSG, Inc. (www.tsgconsultinginc.com), a management consulting firm specializing in advising and mentoring businesses on business architecture/architecture alignment. He is also co-author of Information Systems Transformation: Architecture-Driven Modernization Case Studies (Morgan Kaufmann, 2010). We visited with Ulrich to discuss his recent book—along with the case for application modernization—and what sites are doing about it…

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