Applications & Integrations

I really enjoyed reading Bill Carico’s recent column on Mainframezone.com titled “Sanity Check: Let Me Be Perfectly Vague.” The story he tells about one company’s misguided efforts to save money by moving workloads from the mainframe to a distributed platform (with dire consequences), and one vendor’s determination to help them do this by focusing on all the wrong issues, is all too familiar. Indeed, Bill has collected a number of similar case studies over the years, and they’re available in the Re-Boot Hill archive at www.actscorp.com. It’s remarkable how often companies have made similar mistakes…

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The way we dealt with savings in IT in the past was often more tactical than strategic, with results we didn’t always anticipate. Can you honestly say we really did do proper risk analysis when we were asked to cut another 10 percent? The effects of years of cost-cutting exercises have taken some time, but they’re finally hitting us at exactly the worst possible moment…

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With a network of thousands of independent insurance representatives throughout the U.S. and Canada selling term life insurance, Primerica’s corporate commitment to 24x7 processing with continuous availability and support goes without saying, as does its commitment to zEnterprise technology in its data centers. However, supporting and building upon a sound technology base also includes the ability to grow staff along with the technology and to implement more effective technology monitoring and problem diagnosis and resolution tools…

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How many times have you surfed the Web only to encounter a form that requests a slew of personal information before you can get the information you need? You know what I’m talking about. A company markets a white paper or poll results or something else that intrigues you, so you click on the link, and bang, there you are. You don’t have the information you wanted yet, but if you just fill out this form, then you will be redirected to the information…

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Creating high-quality software without the proper tools is cumbersome. This article concentrates on memory debugging on Linux for System z using the dynamic program analysis framework, Valgrind. A proven technology, Valgrind has been used successfully for more than 10 years on multiple platforms, and is used by developers of the Firefox Web browser and Linux desktop GNOME. The Valgrind package is available under the GNU Public License (GPL). It’s been available for Linux on System z since November 2011…

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It’s interesting to see how the capabilities of the mainframe have evolved dramatically to meet critical business requirements. We’ve gone from machines with one or two CPUs with little storage and fixed partitions to today’s IT environment with scores of central processors and multiple virtual systems that can run simultaneously…

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Mention the word “mainframe,” and you’re apt to conjure up images of monolithic systems humming along reliably and dependably in the background of modern data centers. These days, you don’t hear nearly as much about mainframes as newer, sexier technologies like the iPhone or the iPad. But the vast proliferation of mobile devices and the subsequent surge in mobile Web access is actually making mainframes more relevant than ever, in this new world of “anytime, anywhere” computing where self-service reigns supreme…

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To understand what a cross-platform tool can do for workload scheduling, think in terms of the challenges an air traffic controller faces. Imagine a controller who is trying to direct flights to different terminals but can only see the schedule of one airline and one terminal—Terminal A. So, if conditions change and it’s no longer practical for the controller to direct flights to Terminal A, the logical approach would be to have the planes land at another terminal. But without visibility into the traffic at Terminals B, C, and D, the options are limited. The planes might have to keep flying in circles until it’s safe to land. Planes that need to take off from Terminal A may be delayed on the ground. This lack of visibility impacts the flight schedule, costs, and, perhaps most important, customer satisfaction…

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