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CICS / WebSphere

Aug 22 ’11

CICS Explorer was first released as a SupportPac nearly three years ago. Since then, it has continued to evolve, giving users a modern, intuitive, consistent interface to configure, administer, and create CICS applications. The first product release, CICS TS V4.1, covered a subset of CICS system administration topologies, providing access to Business Application Services (BAS) and CICS System Definitions (CSDs) for both standalone and CICSPlex System Manager (SM)-managed regions. During development of CICS Transaction Server (TS) V4.2, CICS Explorer was included in the design of each new function, consolidating its role as “the new face of CICS.…

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Blog

Aug 17 ’11

Over the past several weeks I have been following and participating in a very interesting online discussion as part of the MainframeZone LinkedIn group titled, “Mainframe Technology in 2011 and Beyond; Who is Going to Run These Mainframes?”

One of the themes of the discussion has been the lack of employment opportunities for experienced out-of-work veteran mainframers; to the point of frustration with non-responsive employers, to even creeping negativity about the platform itself. However, the vets are not being pushed out because they are thought of as a bad tumor; they are being pushed out because…

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Applications & Integrations

Aug 17 ’11

Keeping up with changes to ISPF can be well worth a little effort. When you encounter a new release of ISPF, the first thing you should do is check out the “Changes for this release” Help option, paying particular attention to the Program Development Facility (PDF) section. The PDF component of ISPF includes general user tools such as data set lists (option 3.4 and the DSLIST command), member lists, the ISPF editor, etc.

You can identify new ISPF releases by looking at the Session Status on the ISPF primary option menu or using the command SAREA…

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IT Management

Aug 17 ’11

Here I will address cloud computing; that is, the ability to move part of your computer workload to a different computer, dynamically and rapidly, on the fly, and often over the Internet.   Imagine a new, urgent application, one that requires a different computing platform and is accessible from anywhere in the world. You might use Amazon’s spare computing power. The hardware is already up and running, connected to the Internet, with support for virtualization and benefits of flexibility, speed, and accessibility.On the other hand, you could host your own cloud on your mainframe.  …

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IT Management

Aug 16 ’11

Your mainframe may be the most secure computing platform in your organization, but did you know it’s also at high risk for security breaches and regulatory non-compliance?

An impressive finding of the 2011 Verizon Data Breach Report is that 89 percent of organizations suffering payment card breaches hadn’t been validated compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) at the time of the breach. (See the report at www.verizonbusiness.com/resources/reports/rp_data-breach-investigations-report-2011_en_xg.pdf.) These…

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News

Aug 16 ’11

The Computer Measurement Group (CMG), a not-for-profit, worldwide organization of IT professionals specializing in performance, capacity and service management, announced today that it has finalized its keynote and distinguished speakers for its 37th International Computer Measurement Group annual conference (CMG'11) taking place from December 5-9 at the Gaylord National Hotel in the Washington DC area.For more information about CMG'11 or to be added to the e-mail list for updates, please contact CMG Headquarters at cmghq@cmg.org or 1-800-4FORCMG or visit www.cmg.org. Registration for CMG’11 is now open.

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News

Aug 16 ’11

Tributary System, Inc. is now offering its Storage Director™ / ViTAL™ Backup Virtualization solution on IBM System x® Servers with IBM DS, DCS, XIV & V7000 Disk Arrays. The benefits of IBM x Servers, IBM disk and tape storage technology, and IBM support have now been added to the Tributary Systems portfolio, which already included virtual storage solutions for IBM iSeries (AS/400, Power i), IBM AIX, HP NonStop (Tandem), HP Open VMS, Linux, UNIX, VMWare and Windows.  Policy-based, Storage Director/ViTAL has an advanced architecture that enables fully automated data backup to disk, data deduplication technology,…

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Operating Systems

Aug 15 ’11

Recently, our engineers and I have been discussing what upcoming technology we need to put into our planning roadmap for new configurations. We’ve talked a lot about the new storage limits and some of the other announced features for the fabled next release of z/VM, but someone posed the question, “What about live guest migration? What’s that going to do for Linux guests that Linux-HA doesn’t already do?” We had to scratch our heads a bit, because on the surface, it isn’t very clear.

First of…

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Security

Aug 15 ’11

Continuing our discussion of security over paths into the system, here we consider UNIX on the mainframe. There are three possible configurations for this, which I will describe before addressing their security. In order of increasing security and overhead, they are:

  1. Native Linux “against the metal” running Linux directly on a CPU or Logical Partition (LPAR)
  2. Linux guests under the VM operating system; instances of Linux, each running in its own virtual machine. (IBM mainframes supported virtualization [in the software with VM and in the hardware with LPARs] long before VMWare.)
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Spotlights

Aug 12 ’11

Everyone is always looking for ways to optimize the performance of CICS to deliver the best possible response time to end-users while minimizing the impact on system resources. Let's examine the three main areas to look for performance issues—I/O, virtual storage and real storage—and address some additional considerations.

Before looking at performance issues in detail, let’s review some background that provides a foundation for understanding CICS.

CICS Overview

More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies use CICS, which, since its debut in 1969, has grown substantially in the…

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IT Management

Aug 12 ’11

This is a sidebar for the article "Data Availability as a Mission-Critical Service" by Lockwood Lyon.  To read the entire article click here.

You’re a DBA supporting IT systems for a provider of medical and surgical services. Your systems are used daily by doctors, nurses, and technicians to provide services to patients. In some cases, these services (e.g., diagnoses) may involve life-or-death decisions. Your supervisor asks you to give a presentation to upper management on the new enhancements your department will make. Your presentation begins…

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CICS / WebSphere

Aug 10 ’11

How can you provide reliable, consistent access to your CICS servers? The High Availability (HA) functionality provided in z/OS, CICS Transaction Gateway (CICS TG), and CICS Transaction Server (CICS TS) supports duplication of services. This duplication removes single points of failure in the system while simultaneously projecting a single system to users. Choosing the topology used to create a highly available system will depend on the technology available and where redundancy is required. Why create a highly available topology?

Most modern enterprise information systems consist of several hardware and software components, each of which performs a…

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News

Aug 9 ’11

Serena Software, the leader in orchestrated application delivery, IT and business processes, today announced a new release of the Serena Development Manager Solution. Serena Development Manager ensures that any software configuration change gets reviewed, approved and implemented for all impacted distributed environments and mainframe platforms, including Java, .NET, z/OS and z/Linux.

Enterprise IT organizations face…

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News

Aug 9 ’11

Serena Software, the leader in orchestrated application delivery, IT and business processes, today announced the immediate availability of a significant new release of Serena Release Manager, the industry’s first end-to-end release management solution. Serena Release Manager provides the best of application lifecycle management technology with industry-leading release automation, combining release control, release vault and release automation. This enables release managers, DevOps and IT operations teams to manage and automate the deployment of application releases and changes in the data…

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News

Aug 8 ’11

Today at SHARE’s bi-annual user conference for enterprise technology professionals, CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) announced an agreement with Velocity Software, a leading Linux performance management company, to include the company’s zVPS™ Performance Suite for IBM System z in its comprehensive Linux on System z management offering.

Velocity Software’s products help IT organizations optimize performance and reduce cost via graphical, real-time access to detailed performance data and analysis of z/VM and Linux on System z performance.

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News

Aug 8 ’11

New Releases and Strategic Partnerships with INNOVATION Data Processing and Velocity Software Help Customers Optimize Linux Management

Today at SHARE’s bi-annual user conference for enterprise technology professionals, CA Technologies (NASDAQ: CA) announced a new release of the CA VM:Manager™ Suite for Linux on System z and a new capability for CA Solve Operations Automation. The company also announced partnerships with INNOVATION Data Processing and Velocity Software that are designed to help customers increase cost savings by optimizing Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Aug 8 ’11

What is Extended Distance FICON? How does it work? What does it require for hardware support? Does it support longer distances than FICON connectivity normally accommodates? What does it mean for my architecture? Can I eliminate channel extension?

Many of the answers to these questions are contradictory; depending on which resource you look at from a storage vendor, the vendors sometimes contradict themselves.

What Is Extended Distance FICON?

Extended Distance FICON is a marketing term, which is part of the problem. IBM coined the term in February 2008, but it really has nothing to…

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Operating Systems

Aug 8 ’11

Recently, there has been quite a bit of discussion on VSE-L (the VSE List) concerning vendor product readiness for new z/VSE software releases. Most of the discussion has revolved around the latest release of z/VSE 4.3.

It’s no secret that any vendor can get access to new z/VSE releases before General Availability (GA) for product testing. Many do exactly that and have their products ready on the z/VSE GA date.

Other vendors don’t, and generally offer one or more reasons: “Our customers don’t usually order…

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Operating Systems

Aug 8 ’11

Too many Linux on System z projects fail for preventable reasons. This article discusses some of those reasons and provides tips on actual Proof of Concept (POC) implementation. We will focus on POC, since most businesses prefer to minimize risk by testing a new technology before completely funding projects. We will explore executive sponsorship, application selection, project scope, cross-organization communication, and crisp success criteria; many of these are general best practices for executing any POC. 

A key ingredient for a successful POC is identifying and engaging an executive sponsor. Since a Linux on System z project…

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News

Aug 8 ’11

In an address at SHARE 2011 in Orlando FL, INNOVATION Data Processing (INNOVATION) today announced a strategic partnership with CA Technologies, an IT management software and solutions company with expertise across all IT environments…The partnership will enable CA to introduce the addition of “UPSTREAM for Linux on Z” and “UPSTREAM for UNIX on Z”; two new, easy-to-use, Data Protection Solutions to their existing portfolio of Systems Management capabilities. This new relationship will help expand CA's business offerings by providing powerful backup, restore and disaster recovery data protection features for businesses consolidating distributed Linux systems…

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