Latest Entries

There seem to be many reasons for moving onto a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) footing. Users hope to achieve lower costs, faster timeto-market, enhanced business agility and visibility, and reduced risk. But as the rosy glow starts to fade, companies are starting to find themselves struggling…

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Database Systems: JDBC, JDBC Drivers and DB2 9.1

De-duplication is the removal of duplicate data, so that you’re storing redundant data only once rather than every time it occurs. You save by reducing the amount of data you transmit and the amount of storage you need. It sounds like something you should be doing, but then there are always questions. Doesn’t de-duplication introduce overhead and require you to replace your software and/or add hardware?…

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Headquartered in Columbus, OH, Nationwide is a Fortune 500 insurance and financial services company with more than $161 billion in assets and more than 36,000 employees, including 6,000 in IT. The company operates in a highly regulated industry, which makes the sophistication, failover and industrial-strength security and processing of the System z integral to its operations and governance. In 2005, Nationwide also discovered that migrating independent Linux server applications to Linux on System z dramatically reduced its total cost of operations for hardware, software, data center space, personnel, and power consumption. …

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Mainframe installations managing multiple RACF databases serving separate z/OS images may find significant advantages in merging them to form a single shared database. Chief among these advantages is establishing consistent security across multiple system images. Another is reducing and simplifying security administration by eliminating multiple executions of the same commands. Furthermore, when a shared database is implemented in a Sysplex, the installation can activate several valuable performance tuning features…

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When IBM launched an internal initiative to consolidate about 3,900 servers onto about 30 System z machines running virtualization, it expected to streamline its IT operations. The resulting energy savings, however, grabbed the big headlines. Anything green makes news. The company calculates the new configuration reduces energy consumption by 80 percent, which adds up to $250 million in energy savings over five years. Although $50 million a year in savings is pretty small for a company of IBM’s size, IBM concludes that consolidation driven by System z virtualization is good for a company’s bottom line and the environment…

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Linux on System z: Green, or Just Recycled Matter?

It’s kind of odd to start out a column (a brand new one, nonetheless) with a discussion of previous work, but it’s interesting to observe that a lot of what’s going on in the IBM community with the latest “green” initiative is, well, not new. Those who’ve heard my rant about prior art and the lack of basic library research in the current practice of IT (if you haven’t, it’s worth the trip to the next HillGang VM users group meeting; to learn more, email info@sinenomine.net) know that the basic premise of data center design is to optimize the utilization of space, environmentals, and location to maximize the benefit of IT to the business it supports. The current buzz over “green” data center design is a strong hint that we at some point have lost track of this goal and allowed it to be buried in the onslaught of the server sprawl encouraged by the rise of the discrete machine culture. The concepts and ideas behind “green” design aren’t new ideas at all; they’re ideas that have been an effective part of good design patterns for decades. We’ve optimized airflow for decades, and the temperature gradient management techniques that are “revolutionary”—yawn. We’ve seen water and silicone coolant techniques before, and I still have my plumber’s key from the last 3081 I had the privilege to work with. What we’re seeing is a new packaging of the techniques, and some new enablers to hand over control of the technique to programmatic control…

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z/VSE: Using DITTO With REXX

REXX for VSE wasn’t as widely used when it was first developed in the early ’90s, but in recent years, users have really taken advantage of its many facilities. Numerous REXX procedures have been written to interface with almost every facility and to accomplish a variety of tasks, including console managers, storage analysis routines, z/VSE library access tools, VSAM list catalog enhanced reports, CICS transaction implementers, POWER command interfaces, and many other REXX procedures. The z/VSE community, including IBM development personnel, has been very helpful in developing, publishing, and sharing REXX procedures…

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