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I have to confess that it peeves me when I receive an e-mail like the one that arrived in my inbox today. It came from a marketing person for a middle-tier IT vendor who was gloating over a just-released study that demonstrated how his company’s flagship product delivered “a whopping 770 percent ROI in the first year after deployment and 2,130 percent over three years, with payback in just seven weeks.”…

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“No man is an island, entire of itself,” as John Donne famously asserted back in the early 17th century. Yes, even then integration was high on the agenda— though, I suspect, not as high as it is today. He was quite right, of course. People can’t survive for any length of time without communicating, sharing, and interacting, and if he’d been alive in the 21st century, I’m sure Mr. Donne wouldn’t have hesitated to apply the same thinking to IT systems, and mainframes, in particular…

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DB2 V8 offers a useful new feature known as Materialized Query Tables (MQTs). Though not exclusively for data warehousing, MQTs can improve the elegance and efficiency of DB2-based data warehouses. An MQT can be thought of as a view that has been materialized—that is, a view whose data is physically stored instead of virtually accessed when needed. Each MQT is defined as an SQL query, but the MQT actually stores the query results as data. Subsequent user queries that require the data can use the MQT data instead of re-accessing it from the base tables. By materializing complex queries into MQTs and then accessing the materialized results, the cost of materialization is borne only once, when the MQT is refreshed…

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z/Bottom Line: Rules of Engagement

The British philosopher and social critic Bertrand Russell once opined, “The only thing that will redeem mankind is cooperation.” Indeed, all of life’s adventures are made easier through the contributions of friends, partners, and colleagues. The mainframe industry is more complex than ever before for CIOs sorting through the labyrinth of choices of platforms, operating systems, databases, and languages. In our often frenetic world of implementing IT, it should be inviting to think of the contributions of the parts exceeding the whole…

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IBM has been advancing its on-demand strategy for several years now, with capacity on demand (CoD) available on the IBM iSeries and pSeries server lines. The latest development in this strategy, on/off capacity on demand (OOCoD), was unveiled in May 2003. Available only on IBM z990 servers, OOCoD lets customers turn on and off processors to deal with workload peaks and subsequent dips. The technology can be a powerful tool, helping organizations manage temporary spikes in workload without making long-term hardware and software investments…

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For the past several years, open systems storage has dominated the storage industry, with companies focusing on networking their server-attached storage and consolidating storage into SANs. To this end, midrange storage has grabbed the spotlight, as vendors have rushed to introduce midrange products, such as IBM’s FastT and EMC’s CLARiiON systems, which introduce mainframe-like features and storage capacities at a significantly reduced cost. Some industry analysts even observed that other than cost, the distinctions between mainframe and midrange storage were blurring…

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 Autonomic computing features on the zSeries are the culmination of a 40-year heritage that began with the introduction of MVS, and the ability to run mixed workloads on a single server. The S/390 of the ’90s first introduced Workload Manager (WLM) and Parallel Sysplex clustering; these technologies are the basis for many of the autonomic computing enhancements found in zSeries today…

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With 2003 now in the books and 2004 beginning with encouraging signs of economic optimism, what does the New Year hold for the mainframe? For this I had to look no further than the wise prognostications of the soothsaying master himself: Dr. Linus Streetmeyer III, Wizard Emeritus of the Global United Mainframe Society (GUMS) based in Bubblegum, Switzerland.

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