Operating Systems

For several years, the IT department has been in a state of transition within large companies and organizations. While back-office systems are as vital as ever—these being what technology consultant Geoffrey Moore calls “systems of record”—IT is supplying more strategic value to businesses as they support new “systems of engagement.”…

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The architecture of modern data centers, which host the computational power, storage, networking, and applications that form the basis of any modern business, have changed profoundly in recent years. Most conventional data center networks were never designed to handle the workloads and applications in highly virtualized cloud data centers. Many years ago, Ethernet was originally conceived to connect dumb terminals through a shared network consisting of repeaters, hubs, and eventually switches. Campus networks evolved into a tree structure; as the network grew, more branches were added until the tree developed an access, aggregation, and core layer. To prevent data packets from getting stuck circulating through infinite loops, Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) was used to divide the network at the access layer and restrict data from taking certain paths. This approach worked so well the industry decided to adopt the same approach when wiring data center networks…

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Power systems virtualization enabled by IBM PowerVM provides a variety of storage virtualization options, including the Virtual I/O Server (VIOS), a special-purpose virtual machine that provides virtual I/O resources to client partitions in the form of virtualized storage or virtual networking. The VIOS owns the physical and logical I/O resources shared with clients. A physical I/O resource assigned to a VIOS can be shared by one or more Virtual Machines (VMs). …

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Where did 2012 go? It seems as if z/VSE 5.1 was just delivered and installed yesterday; it’s hard to imagine it’s already been a year since its release. Expectations for 2013 include a refresh of the current z/VSE, and perhaps in the spring, an announcement of a follow-on release. To help you prepare for 2013, here’s the z/VSE event calendar…

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Wouldn’t it be great if we had a consolidated listing of all z/VSE products, similar to the list IBM makes available of open and closed APARs for CICS Transaction Server 1.1.1 for z/VSE? Having this information for z/VSE and other products would be a tremendous asset. I personally think this is an excellent idea, has merit, and should be considered. I would carry it one step further to say the list should include all z/VSE products, both IBM and aftermarket…

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Looking back at the changes—in terms of personal communication, information sharing, online commerce and transaction management—that have taken place in the way we do business over the last five decades, it seems inconceivable that one IT platform could have evolved to support the most critical business applications throughout the whole period. Yet the mainframe, and the System/360 architecture that still sits at its heart, has evolved continually to ensure the world’s banks, retailers, manufacturing companies, and utilities have sufficient compute power and capacity available to support and exploit the most exacting customer requirements. Such is the flexibility of the architecture that—despite an astronomic growth in data sharing and storage requirements and a completely new “cloud-based” paradigm that was unknown just a few years ago—System z has continued to keep pace and retain its position as the data server of choice for both new and established applications…

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In recent months, many conversations with customers and fellow mainframe professionals have centered on performance management on the mainframe or, to be more precise, the dying art of performance management. Almost all these conversations have ended with the conclusion that something needs to be done to address this problem…

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