Search Results:

IT Management

Dec 18 ’08

Due to poor architectural design practices, data centers all around the world have become highly inefficient and fragmented. Distributed systems architectures proliferate network access points, creating tens, hundreds, or even thousands of ports that need to be protected from security intrusions. Distributed servers are notoriously inefficient from a resource utilization perspective, often being used at less than 20 percent of capacity. Underutilized distributed servers waste power and energy due to inefficient power supplies, a proliferation of network interface cards, and an overabundance of supporting network switches, hubs, and routers. Further, distributed systems architectures are rife with program-to-program interoperability issues&mdash…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 18 ’08

The service levels of the past, although well-defined and monitored, were specified in terms of availability and response time. By the time the millennium arrived, computers had become so powerful that very few transactional systems presented workloads that were difficult to manage. Yes, there were exceptions, but the mainstream IT departments had ceased to pore over the “CPU accounts” and agonize over the cost of upgrading the mainframes. Moore’s Law had changed the landscape.

When new applications were implemented, IT shops tended to over-configure the hardware, install it in the glass house, and…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 16 ’08

Small, we are often told, is beautiful. Attractive as this idea sounds, we don’t always see evidence of it in the business world. Big business interests rule, and constant mergers and acquisitions ensure the behemoths maintain their position of influence and strength.

An interesting article by Frederic Paul titled “Small is the New Large” on the bmighty.com Website makes the point that IT has historically been instrumental in maintaining a firm dividing line between large enterprises and Small-to- Medium Size Businesses (SMBs). While leading-edge systems and the army of technicians required to…

Read Full Article →

Dec 16 ’08

One of the knocks on the mainframe recently has been the lack of college grads entering the IT workforce with a focus on the IBM mainframe.  Well the strong resurgence of the mainframe has been attracting interest in a number of colleges and universities around the country including; the University of Arkansas, Marist College,  North Carolina Central University,  Illinois State University, Syracuse University, as well as others.

As an incentive for students to concentrate on learning the skills necessary to work with IBM mainframes we have partnered with IBM Destination…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 11 ’08

While in Boston last month, conducting a training seminar on business continuity planning, I was approached by a fellow from a large financial house who was delighted to hear my comments both on mainframes and on x86 server virtualization. He was concerned that the media hype around server virtualization, together with frequent meetings between VMware and EMC with business managers at his company, was pushing his company toward pulling the plug on its Big Iron platform.

In fairness, he said, “Mainframe costs are reported as a single line item in the IT budget,” making them…

Read Full Article →

Interviews

Dec 10 ’08

The State of Oklahoma Department of Human Services (OKDHS) delivered an application that might sound too good to be true—but isn’t. It’s a difference-maker for the business that achieved green initiative goals, lowered Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), eased management of system assets and their retirement cycles, and was delivered seamlessly and transparently to users.

Serving more than 100,000 children per year, the OKDHS was looking for more effective ways to orient field staff to results-driven performance. A major part of the effort was giving field and central office staff ready access…

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Dec 9 ’08

Some days, you’d think that Aristotle lives somewhere east of Washington, DC, and is making a living as a political pundit. The title of this issue’s column originally referred to the making of the scholar-prince in Greek society, but it’s also an interesting observation on the evolution of Linux distributions and the way we seem to be able to propagate special purpose items, or find some “generic” things in the oddest places.

Building a Linux distribution is a lot harder than it looks, and the value of buying a…

Read Full Article →

Dec 8 ’08

In a survey we recently conducted we found that IMS/DB, IBM’s original mainframe database platform, has maintained its position as the leading pre-relational database in the z/OS environment since the ‘70s. Millions of applications, running in thousands of blue-chip companies around the globe, continue to deliver secure, high-availability service to users in a wide range of industries. Thanks to IBM’s continuing investment in enhancements and supporting tools, these systems can now integrate with other legacy and Web services-based applications.

Again related to IMB/DB, our survey also found …

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 4 ’08

As an IT community, we’ve co-invented a very complicated industry. With each new architecture and “must-do” technology, we’re continuously challenging IT professionals to absorb and implement a dizzying array of technology solutions.

With the plethora of architectural blueprints and white papers to digest, IT executives often end up with indigestion. And to some extent, the need for vendors to design apparently complicated systems is due in part to the expected price point they hope to command. Add to this a healthy dose of historic distrust of the vendor community, and the…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 4 ’08

While BI certainly works for many organizations in a distributed client/server environment, the mainframe offers numerous significant advantages that can enhance the power of PC-oriented applications. Depending on the application and data volume, BI on the mainframe can be less expensive, less complex, less redundant, more secure, and more scalable.

The 44-year-old mainframe architecture, often supporting terabytes of data, is still the workhorse for many organizations, particularly in the financial services sector. The venerable architecture continues to see healthy expansion and market growth, with powerful new virtualization and workload management models, software offerings that host multiple…

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Dec 2 ’08

A question often asked regarding VSAM is: When should you reorganize a VSAM data set? Many recommendations related to VSAM reorganization can be misleading and confusing. Unnecessarily reorganizing VSAM data sets can waste resources, but not reorganizing VSAM data sets also can result in longer processing times that may represent lost resources. This article explores reasons for reorganizing a VSAM data set, specifically a KSDS (Key-Sequenced Data Set), and tries to provide guidelines to apply to this important decision process. Note that the reorganization guidelines presented here vary on whether the data set is processed online (e.g., CICS…

Read Full Article →

CICS / WebSphere

Dec 1 ’08

Shared Data Tables & CICS TS

A Shared Data Table (SDT) is simply a VSAM Key Sequenced Data Set (KSDS) that has been loaded into virtual storage and accessed as a table— reducing physical I/O and improving response time. The feature for using SDTs has been available in CICS TS since CICS/ESA 3.3, but SDT use has been somewhat limited in many installations for several reasons:

  • The amount of real storage required to support data sets defined as SDTs
  • The recommendation that SDTs be used for data sets that reflect a high read-to-write activity ratio or…
Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 1 ’08

A new age of performance management is upon us. More than ever before, IT personnel need tools that simplify management of today’s complex infrastructure, automate repetitive tasks, and ensure continuous availability of the computing systems required to run the business. Years ago, most IT infrastructures were simpler and all users were company employees; today, the user base is the entire world. Business applications span multiple operating systems and hardware platforms, and a diverse set of networking protocols facilitate communication. Companies are doing more work with fewer people. This article discusses tactical approaches to intelligently and cost-effectively manage…

Read Full Article →

Applications & Databases

Dec 1 ’08

Data Consolidation With Web Services in DB2

Most discussions of DB2 Web services position DB2 as a service provider. However, DB2 applications also can consume services provided by external Web application servers—either automatically, through a wrapped User Defined Function (UDF) triggered by a script or a stored procedure, or on demand in applications written in any programming language that supports SQL. Small projects that enhance existing DB2 applications to consume services from an intranet, extranet, or the Web can quickly show tangible results. At the same time, they leverage the enormous investments being made by Web service providers— up to $4.6 billion by 2013, according…

Read Full Article →

Security

Dec 1 ’08

With RACF for z/OS 1.2, IBM introduced the RACF UNIVERSAL group. What differentiates a RACF UNIVERSAL group from a standard RACF group? A RACF UNIVERSAL group can have an unlimited number of AUTH(USE) userids connected to it, provided the AUTH(USE) userids don’t have GROUP-AUDITOR, GROUP-OPERATIONS, or GROUP-SPECIAL privileges. Since RACF maintains the group connect information for a userid with AUTH(USE) authority connected to a UNIVERSAL group only in the userid data, there’s no limit to the number of userids with AUTH(USE) authority that can be connected to a UNIVERSAL group.

Read Full Article →

Operating Systems

Dec 1 ’08

IBM has a dedicated kernel development team that codes new functions for Linux on System z. There are three main areas for these development activities. First, many new features for the upstream Linux kernel are added by the community, some of which require architecture-specific back-ends. Second, our team tries to support features of the new System z hardware as early as possible. Third, Linux on System z is improved so it works better in the special hypervisor environments z/VM and LPAR.

This article examines a sampling of new features for Linux on System z developed in…

Read Full Article →

Storage

Dec 1 ’08

A major theme for organizations of all sizes in 2009 will be doing more with less, boosting efficiency while sustaining business growth in an economical and service-friendly manner. This article explores five major data management, storage, and networking trends for enterprise environments for 2009. General themes include:

• Continued focus on boosting efficiency and productivity with virtualization and other technologies

• Changing workloads, access and data lifecycle patterns

• Green IT computing and green storage

• Data footprint reduction and data management

• Data protection and security for virtual and physical…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 1 ’08

For the last three years now, we’ve done primary research in the mainframe market to understand where things are headed for the IBM System z platform. This has taken the form of a survey that touches approximately 1,000 respondents from some of the largest, most recognizable mainframe users around the world.

Each year, we pay particular attention to this question: “For every dollar spent on your mainframe operations, how much of it is allocated to software, hardware, labor, and other (e.g., facilities, energy, etc.)?” Our respondents report that software is always the largest…

Read Full Article →

IT Management

Dec 1 ’08

It’s “business as usual” for the mainframe this month— business class, that is. The z10 Business Class, IBM’s latest offering for the small to mid-size mainframe user, starts at less than $100,000, with an impressive 130 different capacity settings and top-end performance of around 2,500 MIPS from its 10-processor architecture (five general purpose engines and up to five specialty slots). As expected, the marketing rhetoric for the new system highlights the consolidation of distributed applications and energy saving—one specialty processor supports up to 7,500 Domino users, and 1,000 email users can be added for the…

Read Full Article →

Applications & Databases

Dec 1 ’08

Over the years, I’ve collected quotes, sayings, and proverbs that have some applicability to database administration and DBAs. With this in mind, I thought it might be fun to share some of them with you.

Unfortunately, I don’t know who originally uttered my favorite quote, which is, “The best thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.” But I’ll bet everyone reading can relate to it! Not to mention industry standards and regulatory standards, too. It would be one thing if there were one standard…

Read Full Article →