Latest Entries

Application programmers have an exciting new tool they can use to make user programs much easier to debug, therefore producing more durable programs. No longer must we depend on the DISPLAY statement in our COBOL programs or the “ready trace replacement” code as our tools of choice! IBM’s Debug Tool for VSE/ ESA brings an effective new resource to the VSE user community. After using and working with the…

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Mainframe SAN Security

Once considered the bastion of securely stored data, mainframe storage may not be as secure in the future as it has been in the past. With IBM’s decision to make FICON the recommended mainframe storage connection, mainframe storage managers can’t be faulted for suddenly feeling a little nervous…

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z/BOTTOM LINE: War and Peace

Both sides believe they’re right. Side 1 has always been charged with safeguarding all that matters and claims, “Our way is the only right way, and we’re going to pursue our ideas whether we have support from others or not.” Side 2 believes Side 1 is outdated, headstrong and too accustomed to doing things their own way. The Sides sit down and try to iron out their differences, but they’re intransigent from the beginning…

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There are those who would argue that the history of distributed computing is a classic illustration of the old saw, “What goes around comes around.” If the 1970s witnessed the movement of computing out from under the protected shelter of the centralized data center and into the decentralized wilds of the cubicle farms and equipment closets of the corporate workplace, then the early 2000s are presenting a logical countertrend as distributed computing takes a course that leads it back into the glass house once more…

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What is Your JCL Really Costing You?

As part of the Y2K effort, migration teams were chartered with ensuring that their operating systems and ancillary vendor software products were properly updated. During this process, they often discovered another hidden and impending problem that needed to be addressed — the task of reviewing, auditing, remediating, and migrating cataloged procedure libraries that contained critical system and application JCL. What the review process often revealed was many generations of legacy system and application cataloged JCL procedures that had collected in these libraries over a period of years. What many teams thought to be just another routine task suddenly turned into an overwhelming research and cleanup effort. In many cases, teams most likely propagated these libraries (with limited inspection) to newly minted systems. Others chose the alternative by treating the JCL contained in these libraries as a corporate asset that required immediate attention as well as periodic maintenance and management. Which team were you on? 

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As the Internet and corporate intranets extend their reach, many companies are searching for ways to integrate the wealth of mission-critical information residing on their existing systems with World Wide Web technologies. At the same time, software vendors are scrambling to meet this need, each company touting its product(s) as a “complete solution.” Business executives trying to choose a clear direction are faced with many conflicting claims. The resultant confusion can lead to either a poor choice or no choice, with many companies putting off the problem awhile longer, waiting for the right solution to become obvious. However, with the rapid evolution of technology, businesses that choose to wait may also risk losing their competitive advantage…

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Ever since open systems platforms began offering performance levels approaching lower-end mainframes more than 12 years ago, we have been involved in numerous projects where mainframe and midrange users of various proprietary platforms were moving some or all of their applications to open systems. Yes, the price/performance value has been there, but at a cost of somewhat lower reliability. Since then, open systems platforms have become more robust and offer performance that equals all but the largest mainframe configurations. However, that continuing reliability question combined with an improving mainframe price/performance profile has slowed the movement of applications off the mainframe, particularly core business-critical applications. Arguably, most of the applications that were appropriate candidates for moving off the mainframe have already been moved. In fact, we have seen a couple of cases of applications moving back to the mainframe.  …

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Mainframe Virtual Security

Enterprises using IBM’s premier Operating System (OS) for S/390 mainframes, z/OS, may have a false sense of confidence regarding the vulnerability of corporate assets. The protection offered by widely used security products can often be circumvented as a result of loopholes in other add-on software. Many such systems are frequently not nearly as resistant to security penetration as corporate management has been led to believe. New inspection, certification, and verification techniques must be implemented before MVS-based systems can be safely used for e-commerce and as a secure repository…

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