Search Results:

IT Management

Oct 1 ’09

Forrester Consulting’s Research study “The Mainframe Opportunity—IT Strategies for Achieving Breakthrough Value,” which was published on behalf of CA, makes interesting reading. The report was based on detailed interviews with CIOs at large mainframe user organizations in North America and Europe.

In many ways, the results are as expected. The executive summary concludes that the mainframe is the most efficient, reliable, and scalable platform available; the System z’s operation is complex and requires specialized knowledge, provided by an aging and diminishing population of suitably qualified professionals; the perceived skills…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Oct 1 ’09

My friend Bob once told me, “Sometimes when they say jump, I ask ‘How high?’ But sometimes I ask, ‘How high, and in what direction, and do you care if I bump into anything in flight, and am I on leave from my other duties while in flight, or am I expected to serve two masters during the jump, and why can’t you guys get your acts together before you come up with these harebrained ideas?’ ”

I love Bob, but in my humble opinion, he can be conversationally challenged.…

Read Full Article →

Storage

Oct 1 ’09

The phrase “managing storage” used to mean that a team simply managed the storage infrastructure. At that time, DASD storage was managed at a capacity level and pre-RAID mainframe disks spun at the same speed and were the same size in raw disk capacity for each model type. In addition, cooling and power considerations were only bit players when factoring in cost and productivity. In this era, storage was all about capacity and whether there was enough to get through another night of batch processing. There were plenty of skilled storage management personnel to manage the capacity…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Oct 1 ’09

When cooking, good ingredients are critical to the recipe; no matter how good your recipe is, bad ingredients will wreck it. However, by the same token, no matter how good your ingredients are, they’re useless without the right recipe.

Over the past 45 years, the mainframe ecosystem has provided the ideal ingredients for successful enterprise computing. That’s something to be proud of, and not to forget. But the time has come to “cook up” the next generation for the mainframe—because the challenges facing IT continue to change at a rapid…

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Oct 1 ’09

Starting with this issue, this column will include the latest news, hints, and tips directly from the z/VSE development team in Boeblingen, Germany. This information is supplied by the development team members and is in addition to the topics and issues typically addressed here.

We (z/Journal and myself) welcome this opportunity. We see this as a major enhancement in information flow, directly to the z/VSE user. Only time will tell, but we expect that information will reach the user faster, with improved focus and more concise detail.

Thanks in advance to the…

Read Full Article →

Applications & Databases

Oct 1 ’09

Among the many new enhancements that have found their way into DB2 9 for z/OS is the ability to gather histogram statistics with the IBM RUNSTATS utility.

A histogram is a way of summarizing data that’s measured on an interval scale. A histogram is particularly helpful when you want to highlight how data is distributed, to determine if data is symmetrical or skewed, and to indicate whether or not outliers exist.

The histogram is appropriate only for variables whose values are numerical and measured on an interval scale. To be complete, let&rsquo…

Read Full Article →

Applications & Databases

Oct 1 ’09

Language Environment (LE) for z/VSE is the commonly used application run-time component in z/VSE shops worldwide. This mainly comprises run-time support for z/VSE batch and online applications written in C, COBOL, PL/1 and Assembler, or a combination of these languages.

Existing Values and Constant Challenges

No doubt there are many z/VSE applications with a long implementation history or specific requirements for optimum integration into daily operations. Frequently, a complex and customized infrastructure exists to run the overall application set. Such infrastructure encompasses job control, caller hierarchy, and a multitude of routines,…

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Oct 1 ’09

While working on my next column, the prospect of reviewing the SLES 11 release developed into a significantly larger project than I had anticipated. Therefore, instead of my usual “Linux on System z” column in this issue, I present you with this article, which details the many features of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (SLES 11).

Novell launched SLES 11 on March 24, 2009. As is typical of such version updates, close cooperation with IBM and others resulted in numerous specific enhancements for IBM hardware and software. IBM requested approximately 100 features specific to System z. This article examines many of those…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Oct 1 ’09

Just over a century ago, the Marist Brothers arrived in New York’s Hudson River Valley to train young men to continue the brothers’ vocation as great educators. What started as a seminary for training has become a leading college of arts and sciences.

Marist’s proud tradition is the foundation for a state-of-the-art school, providing students with the intellect and character required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century. The Princeton Review lists it in both “Best Colleges” and “Most Connected Campuses.”<…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Oct 1 ’09

Monte Bauman is an IBM-certified System z IT specialist who is applying his more than 25 years of experience in the IT industry to help customers leverage IBM’s new specialty processors. In the following interview, he shares insights on how IBM can help customers choose the optimal consolidation or virtualization platform to reduce IT costs.

Mainframe Executive: Monte, please tell us about the methodology your team has developed to help customers choose platforms more wisely.

Monte Bauman: RACE, an acronym that stands for Right- Fitting Applications into Consolidated Environments, is an IBM-developed analysis methodology…

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Oct 1 ’09

The bulk of today’s information is still kept in Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) files. VSAM endures because of its simplicity, maturity, and to be honest, inertia. However, even with the new technology and techniques available today, it’s important to tune a VSAM data set’s free space attributes for performance. (In this article, which focuses on Key-Sequenced Datasets [KSDS], the words data set and cluster are used interchangeably.)

Records, CI, and CA Free Space

There are several ways to tune VSAM clusters for DASD utilization and performance; the methods…

Read Full Article →

Applications & Databases

Oct 1 ’09

Deduplication has been a buzzword in the storage industry for many years now. All storage vendors agree that it’s valuable and each has versions of the technology available, with roadmaps for additional future products that leverage deduplication capabilities. Mainframe operators have learned to be wary about industry hype and have the discipline to stick to what truly works, is manageable, and solves real business issues.

Deduplication for mainframe data centers has generated a mixed bag of information and perspectives from the leading mainframe vendors. Some of what has been said and heard can be summed…

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Oct 1 ’09

Optimizing Your Code Using the GNU Compiler Collection

The June/July 2009 z/Journal article “Compiling and Debugging Applications on Linux for System z” examined how to compile source code on Linux for System z and how the different tools interact. This article focuses on some advanced optimization issues and security checks and provides insight on how the compiler works internally.

Code Optimization

The previous article mentioned the two most important optimization options specific to System z, namely specifying the target processor using -march and -mtune. There are, however, many additional optimization options; some valuable for fine-tuning application performance.

The…

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Oct 1 ’09

Most data centers today have one of the models of IBM’s System z processor technology. Many customers have been able to take advantage of specialty processors to facilitate their sysplex environments with Integrated Coupling Facilities (ICFs), and consolidate distributed workloads on a mainframe platform with Integrated Facilities for Linux (IFLs). Now, with z9 and z10 processors, there are opportunities to reduce software license costs with System z Integrated Information Processors (zIIPs) and System z Application Assist Processors (zAAPs). This article examines some of the basic concepts of the technology, the considerations for successful implementation, and exploiters of…

Read Full Article →

Security

Oct 1 ’09

Many network security technologies are available these days—from tried and true staples such as network firewalls to newer developments such as Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPSs) and the new anomaly detection and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) technologies. Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) and IPSs are gaining some ground as forces such as regulatory compliance drive end-to-end security requirements. enterprise acceptance for some of the other newcomer technologies varies, but it’s clear that network firewalls are here to stay. They remain among the most important core technologies in the network security arsenal, which makes it important to understand…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Sep 29 ’09

Historically, compliance hasn’t been much of a problem in mainframe environments. The mainframe is a highly mature platform with well-established best practices, and mainframe professionals have generally had a pretty clear picture of what’s taking place in the environments they manage.

However, several factors are now making compliance on the mainframe a significant challenge:

• Increasing regulatory mandates • Increasing mainframe workloads • Decreasing mainframe staff resources.

Combined, these factors increase the likelihood that key compliance tasks will not be performed—or that they will be performed only…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Sep 25 ’09

Brand and product loyalty are increasingly scarce in today’s fast-paced and often fickle culture. Even in industry and business, change is often inflicted for its own sake— sometimes at the encouragement of what’s disparaged as “management by airline magazine.” So, it’s noteworthy when a company builds a steadily growing business that provides innovative, cost-effective, rock-solid data processing on one technology platform for 40 years. Of course, that platform—IBM’s mainframe—has evolved a bit since Antares Management Solutions’ corporate parent adopted it in the ’60s.<…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Sep 25 ’09

Platform wars will continue to be waged, and the voice of reason from seasoned mainframe professionals sometimes still goes unheeded when those who propose dumping the mainframe portray them as “big iron” bigots. One mainframer whose input was falling on his management’s deaf ears lamented, “It’s like I’ve been tainted because of my 20 years working with mainframes.”

As a mainframe executive, you’re wise to question the motives of zealots promoting a move away from the mainframe. Attempts to get off the mainframe are expensive and…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Sep 17 ’09

The story of Miami-Dade County, FL, IT is about customer service in the form of reliable, easy to use applications that address every phase of county business—and careful planning that accounts for all options to deliver premium computing at a cost that optimizes taxpayer dollars. This means continuous assessment of what the strategic applications are, who and what is supporting those applications, how they’re helping customers and employees, and how physical facilities can be acquired and employed to house the technology assets that run the applications.

Miami-Dade County is a typical IT site…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Sep 17 ’09

We continue our discussion of what information you need to do your job well and how to obtain that information. Here we’ll examine a free source of information on basic management tools that also helps you prepare for an audit. This source also describes what information you should be asking your auditors to provide. This will help you turn security audits from checklist-based exercises into demonstrations of the quality of your Information Security (IS).

The Federal Information System Controls Audit Manual (FISCAM) is the Security IS audit approach developed and documented by the Government Accountability…

Read Full Article →