Latest Entries

z/ Bottom Line: Avoiding Disaster

Writing this column for z/Journal is always an adventure in creativity. But this month’s column was an inspired exception. Written on a train en route from New York City to Albany, the car I was traveling in started to fill with smoke at a train stop. Looking out the window, we saw Amtrak personnel, working feverishly with fire extinguishers. The problem was there was no one on board to tell the passengers what to do. So, we all asked each other what to do. We knocked on the window to get the employees’ attention, but to no avail. Finally, with smoke threatening and anxiety building, we made the decision to open an emergency exit and file out…

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TCP/ I P Chargebacks

Many companies are curious about billing for TCP/IP usage on the z/OS platform to users or applications based on their use of associated resources. TCP/IP started tasks and the services that rely on TCP/IP—such as File Transfer Protocol (FTP), DB2, Tivoli Service Manager, and WebSphere MQ—use scarce, expensive host CPU time. The purpose of billing is to encourage conservation of CPU usage, network traffic, or other scarce resources…

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Despite the fact that New Year’s Day is a rather arbitrary date on many business calendars, and many companies start their fiscal years in July or October, it’s still a time to reflect on what we have accomplished (or failed to get done) and to set objectives for the coming months. Often, this is more a matter of personal goals—lose weight, call your mother more frequently, take a more active role in your kids’ lives (whether they want you to or not), etc. This New Year, I am advising clients to make some business resolutions, including one in particular…

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Every DB2 customer has been, or will soon be, faced with a decision to make regarding their DB2 utilities. As of DB2 Version 7, IBM decoupled the core utility functionality from the base DB2 engine and is charging customers extra if they choose to use IBM’s utilities. In all past releases of DB2, core utility functionality came free with the DB2 base product. This is causing confusion and angst for many mainframe DB2 customers…

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It’s been a busy past few months for IBM. The company has been out on the road with customers, explaining how central the zSeries is to the whole on-demand computing story, and outlining the investments it plans to make to reinforce the mainframe’s position at the heart of the enterprise. There’s no doubt that the sheer power and scalability of the z990 has opened the door to a wide range of sales opportunities, both in on-demand applications and more widely in data center and server consolidation…

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The Microsoft Mainframe Alliance, a group spearheaded by Microsoft that wishes to help customers migrate workloads from mainframes onto Microsoft platforms, was founded in April 2004. The timing was audacious, to say the least. April, as many of you recall, was also the widely commemorated 40th anniversary of IBM mainframes. It was the time when many of us were publicly gloating as to how very, very wrong the naysayers of the ’90s were with their dire predictions of the eminent demise of mainframes. So, the MMA with their bold charter, which states they are focusing on mainframe workloads and even ignoring AS/400s, came out of the blue. Needless to say, it totally befuddled those of us who thought Big Blue with Linux, the zSeries Application Assist Processor (zAAP), HiperSockets, the z8xxs, Gigabit OSA-Express, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)- acceleration, etc., had been doing all the right things to keep the mainframe value proposition credible…

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