Latest Entries

When IBM discontinued support for 3174 controllers for legacy mainframes, data center managers may have been left wondering where to turn for replacements. However, there seems little reason for concern. Besides IBM’s own replacement upgrade, the 2074, there are several sources for used controllers and new solutions from other vendors…

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Stored procedures have been around since DB2 Version 4 and have seen a few changes since their inception. Version 8 (V8) brings a new requirement to using stored procedures: Workload Manager (WLM). In the past, using WLM to manage stored procedure address spaces was optional. It’s worth taking a quick look at how stored procedures work with WLM so we can understand the benefits. We may want to begin the conversion of our stored procedures from DB2 managed address spaces before we migrate to V8 to take advantage of the WLM environment…

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Information Life Cycle Management

Understanding what happens to data throughout its lifetime is becoming an increasingly important aspect of effective data management. What happens to data as it ages? Does usage decline as data ages? Does the value of data increase or decrease as it ages? Why are we keeping more data longer than ever before? What conditions indicate when data should be retired? Do storage management requirements change as data goes through its life cycle? If data is the most valuable asset of so many businesses, why do we know so little about it? Why doesn’t anyone consider their non-digital information as part of their Information Life Cycle Management (ILM) strategy? These important questions need answers so we can understand how data should be managed and where data should—ideally—reside during its existence.

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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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