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IT Management

Jul 11 ’11

As you wander through some far away airport during business travel, connecting to your company intranet to check email on your mobile device, here are some things you might think about.

As its name implies, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a private network in a virtual sense; that is, two or more devices can communicate as if they were on the same physical network. Remember that in the early days, a network consisted of computers that were connected by wires. Two computers on the same wire—or in the same physical cluster—were said…

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IT Management

Jul 11 ’11

The IBM zEnterprise System launched in 2010 is arguably the most significant new systems architecture in 20 years. It extended the mainframe’s unique capabilities to workloads running on specialized optimizers and select IBM blades. The hybrid environment allows clients to optimize workloads, deploy enterprise clouds, and take action based on real-time analytics and Big Data.

IBM has just rounded out the zEnterprise System family with the introduction of the entry-level hybrid mainframe, the zEnterprise 114 (z114). The z114 can be used as a standalone development machine, a coupling facility, or as an on-ramp for any growing business looking…

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IT Management

Jul 11 ’11

Continuous availability and disaster recovery solutions aren’t just for disasters. System and application outages can be due to server or disk storage hardware failure, improper maintenance procedures, local building issues, human error, and, yes, disasters. IBM System z and IBM Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) can help protect you from data loss and help ensure application availability from planned and unplanned outages.

IBM GDPS has a successful, 12-year history with providing two- and three-site data protection, application availability, and highly automated disaster recovery solutions for z/OS, z/VM, and Linux on System z environments.…

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IT Management

Jul 11 ’11

Tight business conditions have driven many companies to launch cost reduction programs that typically focus on cutting high-profile, big-ticket items. Unfortunately, these efforts don’t deliver sustained savings because they fail to identify deep-seated, systemic operational problems and wasteful behaviors. The mainframe is a common target. However, mainframe budgets are often inflated by misallocated cost data and wrong assumptions.

A cost optimization program avoids such traps. Cost optimization focuses on assuring that all resources are managed to perform optimally and contribute to meeting service delivery goals. Cost optimization links IT operations such as workload management to…

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Spotlights

Jul 7 ’11

IT executives need to make investments that enable their business to gain competitive advantages. However, after years of reducing budgets and streamlining operations, most IT organizations struggle to fund new investments. Requesting new funding to enable these investments is often either dead on arrival, or a process which consumes the window of time available to complete the project and gain the competitive advantage. So IT executives are left seeking ways to reduce costs and re-allocate those funds to drive new business growth.   Finding even more IT cost reduction opportunities is not easy. The hardships of the recent…

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Spotlights

Jul 5 ’11

When IBM released CICS TS 2.2 in December 2002, which introduced Task-Related User Exits (TRUE) in the Open Transaction Environment (OTE) architecture, a primary selling point was potentially significant CPU savings for CICS/DB2 applications defined as threadsafe. To be threadsafe, a program must be Language Environment- (LE-) conforming and knowledgeable CICS programmers must ensure the application logic adheres to threadsafe coding standards. (For more information, see “DB2 and CICS Are Moving On: Avoiding Potholes on the Yellow Brick Road to an LE Migration,” z/Journal, April/May 2007.) This may require knowledge of Assembler code to follow the many…

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Blog

Jul 5 ’11

Guest Author: Alan Wynne

I am a great fan of the mainframe, however I throw my hands up in despair when I think of some of the limitations that the old architecture still has in force today that I don't believe should be there.When am I going to be able to edit files directly on the mainframe without being limited to 48X80 screen sizes? When am I going to be able to cut and past large blocks of data (more than 48 lines at a time) into a file on the mainframe with the mainframe being able…

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Blog

Jul 1 ’11

Yesterday, CA Technologies announced its next wave of Mainframe 2.0 solutions to help customers reduce costs, simplify management, and increase operational efficiency. According to Dayton Semerjian, the general manager of the mainframe business unit at CA Technologies, "Lowering the total cost of computing is a priority for all IT organizations. The latest Mainframe 2.0 products and programs help them achieve that goal on the Mainframe by simplifying management, exploiting specialty processors and delivering services that drive operational efficiencies.” You can read the CA Technologies press release here at: http://bit…

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News

Jun 30 ’11

CA Technologies announces enhanced products and programs aimed at reducing costs, simplifying management and improving operational efficiency.New Mainframe 2.0 Software DeliveriesAccording to Gartner’s Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2010 report, “based on total software revenue worldwide in 2010”*, CA Technologies ranked first or second in 21 strategic IT management software segments across mainframe and distributed environments.CA Technologies new mainframe deliveries are designed to build on its market leadership by helping customers optimize management so they can control costs, sustain critical skills and increase IT agility. The latest capabilities are delivered with new releases of mainframe…

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News

Jun 24 ’11

H&W Computer Systems (H&W), a preferred enterprise software provider, today announced Day One support for its software running under IBM’s CICS Transaction Server, version 4.2. This support is available for H&W’s SYSB-II®, SYSD®, CPMS®, WebTek®, SYSS®, SYSJ®, and SYSM® software. H&W provides Day One support as part of the ongoing investment in its software portfolio to enhance value for customers and prospects alike.“Day One support shows H&W’s commitment to offer the best quality enterprise software…

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Blog

Jun 20 ’11

Guest Author: Mary Shacklett

For several years now, we have been hearing about “fit for purpose,” return on investment and total cost of ownership. All have been held up as ways to gauge the success of what IT acquires and delivers to the business—and all are “common currency” terms that have been widely accepted.   

But when Rod Atkins, IBM Senior Vice President, IBM Systems and Technology Group, spoke at an industry analysts conference last month, he chose to use new terms. &ldquo…

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News

Jun 17 ’11

BMC Software Continues its Commitment to the Mainframe through the Acquisition of IMS Products from NEON Enterprise Software

  • BMC enhances IMS solution set
  • Creates the industry’s most comprehensive toolset for IMS database management

 BMC Software announces it has acquired the portfolio of IMS (Information Management System) database products and customers from NEON Enterprise Software, a leading mainframe management software company.

With the acquisition of NEON Enterprise Software’s IMS products, BMC further enhances its IMS database management portfolio, providing the most comprehensive solution set to…

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Blog

Jun 15 ’11

On June 16, 1911, the company we now know as IBM was incorporated in the state of New York as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company. Thomas J. Watson, Sr. joined C-T-R in 1914; and in 1924 the company adopted the name, International Business Machine Corporation.

To give you an excellent feel for the impact IBM (and the mainframe computer system) has had on the world in the past 100 years I recommend that you take the time to watch two incredibly well-produced, high-definition films.

The first film features some of the people who were instrumental in the creation of the mainframe.

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Spotlights

Jun 14 ’11

Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell notes that it takes 10,000 hours of practice and training to achieve mastery; many legacy mainframers would agree, having put in far more time than that in their quest to be excellent technicians. With the imminent retirement of many mainframe engineers, programmers and other experts, and a trough of interest in developing mainframe skills over the past decade, companies don’t have 10,000 hours to train the next generation of mainframer. But Gladwell did make it clear that 10,000 hours was only a part of it. Opportunity, timing, and support are also critical differentiators of who makes…

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Blog

Jun 13 ’11

People looking for a mainframe job got a big boost from IBM this month with the introduction of a new System z job website called the System z Job Board. After registering for the site you get to review job postings or post one.

A quick glance at the first few pages of job posts show a range of mainframe jobs from entry-level to advanced. Companies listing System z job openings included: IBM, EMC, state of Colorado, Blue Cross/Blue…

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Spotlights

Jun 10 ’11

When IBM announced support for running application code in the Open Transaction Environment (OTE), among the selling points was a significant reduction in CPU utilization in CICS-DB2 applications. Unfortunately, the possibility of reducing an application’s CPU requirements by 30 percent, without any coding changes, diverted attention from the OTE’s many other benefits. This article discusses those benefits and related OTE issues.

The OTE and threadsafe provide a significant architectural change to CICS. For the first time, CICS provides a true multi-processing environment running application code under multiple Task Control Blocks (TCBs) within the same…

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IT Management

Jun 8 ’11

Recently, I gave a talk on “hybrid mainframing,” which raised a few eyebrows. A few folks were confused regarding my use of the term hybrid. 

Was I borrowing the term from trendy automobile commercials? You know the ones, where electric car owners smugly explain how they’re reducing their carbon footprint by abandoning gasoline in favor of dirty electrical power (40 percent of electricity is generated by dirty coal, after all). Was I talking about some sort of new application for chimeric gene splicing; taking strands of DNA from different plants or animals and…

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IT Management

Jun 8 ’11

It was a turning point in my career. My department had a new director, and he was looking for good ideas to champion during those all-important first 100 days in office. I had a great idea I thought would help us meet contractual compliance requirements with additional positive effects. I told him my idea, and he nodded thoughtfully. “Interesting,” he said. “I have to run to a meeting, but come back tomorrow with your strategy. Email it to me in advance.”

My internal “hip, hip, hooray!” quickly gave way to panic. A…

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