Latest Entries

Like the mainframe, many people have predicted the death of SNA networking. This article examines the current state of SNA networking and applications, and explores the reasons why many enterprises choose to maintain their investment in SNA applications. We also examine some alternatives for transporting your SNA data across an IP network and help you determine the best way to do this…

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Once upon a time, it was easy. Twenty years ago, there were mainframe computers aimed at either business or scientific computing; there were departmental minicomputers; and there were microcomputers (or PCs) on people’s desktops. Everyone in the IT service organization knew which of these systems was which, which mattered, which needed 24x7 support, and which systems generated phone calls in the middle of the night…

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Are you having trouble making robust legacy applications talk to hot, new Web applications? Trying to manage business transactions with your partners when everyone is running their proprietary software on different platforms? Simple, flexible interoperability is the “Holy Grail” behind Web services. However, simplicity does not come without cost. This article will introduce you to Web services, provide an introduction to the key performance issues that characterize Web services-based applications, and help you begin to explore the possibilities for performance monitoring such complex, distributed applications…

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Building Systems Management Competency

In recent years, it has become more complicated to effectively manage technology. For the most part, improvements in individual hardware and software components have made it easier to very quickly put together large and complex systems. Yet, there are still major challenges with applications and platforms concerning integration, cost, complexity, and scalability. If companies are to achieve real success in meeting these challenges, they must address, or build upon, systems management competencies…

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To quote the oft-quoted Mark Twain, “The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” It is a hackneyed refrain but, nonetheless, describes the current physiology of the bits and bytes of CMOS technology that compose the heart and soul of the S/390 Enterprise System Server—the mainframe. To some, the mainframe may conjure up nostalgic visions of a time long ago when systems programmers roamed a computing landscape of refrigerated, raised-floor, maximum-security rooms with large, tape-whirring, light-flashing computers and ruled through cryptic technological jargon that left mere business managers in awe. To others, the mainframe may represent an outdated monolith; emblematic of a decade dominated by disco, Watergate, and Bob Dylan. These people may feel that the mainframe is old, clunky, and seemingly useless in the hustling, bustling “enterprise” world of Unix, Windows, and Web servers—the so-called real technologies of today…

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The increased pressure to get more value out of IT and to reduce related costs has pushed many companies to deliver business systems and applications by acquiring commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) products and packages. This shift from “build” to “buy” has produced good results for many companies. However, this change has also adversely affected how some organizations make decisions about which products to acquire…

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CICS has undergone many changes since its inception more than 30 years ago. During that time, IBM has continually enhanced the product and enabled it to exploit new features in the underlying operating system and in other subsystems running alongside CICS. IBM has also restructured various components within CICS during its lifetime. Since the days of CICS/ESA Version 3, the internal structure of CICS has been managed by a series of domains. A domain is similar to the concept of a class in object-oriented programming languages, as it has clearly defined interfaces and executable code, and is responsible for managing any data that relates to that particular component. This encapsulation of data and function helps improve the reliability, extendibility, and serviceability of the product as a whole. Since CICS/ESA Version 3, different components of CICS have been restructured into their own domains. The CICS Log Manager is one such component. It was introduced in the first release of CICS Transaction Server Version 1 and replaced the older journal control management programs.

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“PLATUNE”: Taking Back the Data Center

It was the worst ever. Month-end was here and they had laid siege to us. Egad! Now I know how they felt at Dunkirk. We fell back to the machine room. They charged, lobbing jobs at us at horrific rates. “Who is it?” cried management. “It’s the ad hoc users,” we replied, “and a cohort of developers on our flank!” Management turned and ran. “OK, men,” I rallied. “It’s up to us now. We’re going to take back the data center!”…

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IT Sense: Truth in Advertising

About every decade or so, there is a brief flirtation in this country with ideas like “open-door politics,” “government in the sunshine,” and “truth in advertising.” What happens, basically, is that an organization engaged in selling something—whether it be an idea, a political candidate, a product, or an image—discerns a “climate of mistrust” within the buying community. It may not be mistrust of the vendor per se, but of all vendors, or of the system in which they operate…

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