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Spotlights

Sep 9 ’11

Having helped major enterprises across the world for more than 40 years, CICS continues to innovate in the field of transaction processing, delivering new capabilities that address users’ needs. CICS Transaction Server for z/OS V4.2, announced April 5, 2011, with delivery slated for June, will help users compete in the marketplace, comply with standards and regulations, and control their business.

This new release addresses more than 50 customer requirements and will help:

  • Architects looking to build systems to meet present and future line of business needs
  • CIOs and IT managers looking to reduce costs…
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News

Sep 8 ’11

VitalSigns for Network Automation and Control (VNAC) and VitalSigns for IP (VIP) can automate and monitor an entire z/OS infrastructure for substantially less than the cost of the legacy programs they replace.

VitalSigns provides a full-spectrum tool set for automating, monitoring, and troubleshooting applications, sessions, and networks�on SNA and TCP/IP. VitalSigns delivers the most-used functions of NetView™ and NetMaster™ with easier use, higher performance, and lower cost.

For automation, any z/OS console message can be incorporated into VitalSigns alerts. In response to specified messages, VitalSigns can invoke console commands…

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News

Sep 8 ’11

Collaboration between Software Diversified Services and Tectia Corp. provides access control, data encryption, and complete monitoring of file transfer work for z/OS mainframe systems. Customers get those benefits without changes to job control (JCL) or scripts, to data files, or to existing application infrastructure.

The VitalSigns for FTP (VFTP) product from SDS, coupled with Tectia™ clients and servers, is a complete, cost-effective, and easily implemented security solution for all file transfer work in multi-platform environments.

VitalSigns for FTP provides monitoring, reporting, and security controls for file transfers by z/OS FTP, IBM Ported…

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News

Sep 8 ’11

PGP® data encryption, a widely accepted standard in industry and government, is now available for IBM z/OS systems through Software Diversified Services.

PGP Command Line 9 for IBM Mainframes easily integrates into existing mainframe processes and provides compression and encryption for data at rest, in transmission, and in archival backups--thus helping enterprises achieve compliance with regulatory and business-partner standards.

Implementing PGP for data security on z/OS mainframes provides the confidence of employing an integrated security system across multiple platforms: IBM z/OS, iSeries, and AIX; Sun Solaris; and Unix, Linux, Windows, and Macintosh…

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News

Sep 7 ’11

Compuware Corporation, the technology performance company, today announced a major upgrade to its leading test data management solution. Test Data Privacy 3.1 greatly simplifies the creation and disguising of test data in non-production environments, significantly lowering the total cost of an enterprise-wide data privacy implementation.

Businesses have access to very sensitive, personally identifiable information such as social security numbers, credit card numbers and birth dates. This sensitive information can be exposed to internal and outsourced development and QA teams responsible for …

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Blog

Sep 7 ’11

Storage will become increasingly important in mainframe shops, especially as they carve out a role in virtualized, private clouds, and August will go down as a hot month for mainframe storage.  EMC kicked off August by announcing a new virtual tape library for IBM z/OS environments followed a few days later by announcing new virtual storage capabilities for its Symmetrix VMAX for z/VM environments.

IBM jumped in just this past week by revealing various storage-related research initiatives for archiving, scale out file systems, storage clouds, SSD-based systems, and…

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News

Sep 6 ’11

The Inside Products annual Network Technical Conference brings together experts in the fields of IPv6.  The conference is web-based, and will feature presentations on how many aspects of IPv6, including presentations on planning and implementation and User Experience presentations from organizations which have already started working with IPv6.   Chief Operating Officer of Inside Products, Bill Jouris, says “There were announcements this past spring in the press that IPv4 addresses have run out.  That has helped focus management attention on the need to get started preparing for IPv6.  But information on what is…

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IT Management

Sep 2 ’11

It has been fun watching the brand name server and storage manufacturers in the distributed world issue announcement after announcement concerning their new “unified computing” platforms. Actually, this started last year, when different vendors began crowing about their new “cloud computing stacks” that combined their own software and hardware—or in some cases, the products of a few partners—to create what I saw at the time as “mainframe mini-me’s.”  

To the pop culture-challenged, Mini-Me was the diminutive villain created by cloning Dr. Evil in the …

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IT Management

Sep 2 ’11

In the March/April 2011 Mainframe Executive article, “Efficient Business Processing With Batch Modernization,” we explained the term “modern batch” and offered insights into why there’s a growing need to modernize batch processing. This article builds on that and explores IBM's Java batch product offering: WebSphere Compute Grid (WCG).

A batch container solution, WCG builds on the foundation of WebSphere Application Server (WAS). Like WAS, WCG is offered across many hardware platforms and operating systems. Figure 1 provides a high-level conceptual overview of WCG that we’ll expand upon throughout this article.<…

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IT Management

Sep 2 ’11

Management Insights

CAPEX and OPEX. These are terms we often hear from corporate managers, Wall Street analysts, and others. “CAPEX is bad, OPEX is better” seems to be the current thinking. Why own when you can rent, right? 

I’m not sure how much the sub-prime mortgage crisis added to this thinking, but getting out of the “owning” business and into the “renting” or OPEX business is all the rage these days. Having the freedom to put those “buy” dollars to better use driving growth,…

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IT Management

Sep 2 ’11

Every day, millions of us use mobile devices—such as a BlackBerry, Android, iPhone, or iPad—to access applications. It’s fast, convenient, and simple. But behind the speed, convenience, and simplicity is a huge amount of complexity. A major part of that complexity is middleware.

Think of middleware as the connectivity fabric or the glue between applications. It’s a key infrastructure component required to make today’s complex business applications actually work.

Applications today are highly distributed in design and architecture; almost every application actually touches a user…

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IT Management

Sep 2 ’11

Applications that cross computing platforms or share processes and data with other applications communicate through a complex middleware layer. This middleware layer has traditionally been a software component, with IBM WebSphere MQ as the dominant platform. Now the IBM DataPower XI50 appliance provides middleware services as hardware. As DataPower appliances become more popular, IT organizations are supplementing their middleware structure with the functionality available in the DataPower boxes.

DataPower appliances provide a fixed set of functions. They enable a fast return on investment because they don’t need much maintenance. While IBM distributes three models, only…

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IT Management

Sep 2 ’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…

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News

Sep 1 ’11

This week, we have released the new version of PASSPORT Host Integration Objects 2011-826 (HIO); this software is available for immediate download here.

Along with the release of this version of HIO, we are providing open access to a sample z/OS application running under our CICS environment. Access to this host application will enable users to more quickly familiarize themselves with the HIO core functions and methods as well as gain a full understanding of the sample applications provided with PASSPORT HIO.

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IT Management

Sep 1 ’11

With more than 3,500 lodging properties in the U.S. and 69 other countries and territories, revenue of nearly $12 billion for 2010 and a daily workload of more than 750,000 new reservations, Marriott is one of the largest hospitality companies in the world. The demands on its hotel reservation system are enormous. Transaction throughput must be rapid and unfailing, non-stop, from anywhere. If problems arise, failover must be swift and absolute. The customer experience and Business Intelligence (BI) systems must be able to “right fit” pricing and accommodations for customers because they’re integral to achieving and maintaining competitive advantage.…

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IT Management

Aug 31 ’11

This is a sidebar to the article "Driving E+H: System z Supports the Swiss Industrial Conglomerate’s Worldwide Business."  To read the entire article, click here.

InfoServe's data center operates non-stop and delivers subsecond response times to 50 companies and 134 distinct locations. The data center supports 5,600 SAP users with 99.9 percent online availability. More than 300TB of storage is available on some 35 disks and a virtual tape subsystem with 256 logical drives. Data center services are protected against disaster through Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) synchronous mirroring of production data in the…

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IT Management

Aug 31 ’11

Running a complex worldwide industrial conglomerate—with annual revenue of more than a billion euros—from a single data center violates the “all eggs in one basket rule.” But one such System z installation supports Switzerland-based Endress+Hauser’s network of 89 companies in 42 countries.

Now operating with more than 8,400 employees worldwide, E+H began humbly in 1953 as what would today be called a “garage business,” though its first home was, in fact, a converted bedroom. After initially selling an innovative electronic-level sensor imported from England, growing business led the founders…

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IT Management

Aug 31 ’11

IT executives at Al Rajhi Bank fully understand the concept of “workload optimization,” the practice of examining workloads and assigning them to servers best suited to run those workloads. That’s good because enterprises that understand this concept stand to save a lot of money in operational costs and cost of acquisition (particularly the cost to acquire software licenses) compared to enterprises that run all workloads on a single architecture. Workload optimization is also important for Al Rajhi Bank because there’s a lot of work to manage. The bank is:

• …

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IT Management

Aug 30 ’11

Ochsner Health System uses mainframe technology to process medical records and support its revenue cycle activities: billing, collection, and follow up. They also use it for their phone directory, registration, and to schedule appointments. CIO Chris Belmont thinks the mainframe is still the best transaction processor available. “It’s very dependable,” he says. “It just runs. It’s the workhorse of our organization.”

With a staff of more than 12,000, Ochsner is Louisiana’s largest private employer. Given the size of the organization and the way it’s run, CEO…

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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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