Mainframes and the Cloud: Made for Each Other

April 2018 marked the 54th anniversary of IBM’s mainframes. It is uncertain if anyone could have ever predicted such a long and successful life for them. A quick historical sketch: IBM launched the first modern mainframe, IBM 360, on April 7, 1964. With 229,000 calculations per second, it was the mainframe that played a key role in taking mankind to the moon. Fast forward to the current era: multiple banks, the healthcare industry, along with the insurance and government sector, still continue to use mainframes. Mainframes might not be trending as the hottest technology of the decade, but they act as the backbone for these and various other industries due to their reliability, availability, security, and transaction processing speed.

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IT Transparency

IT Infrastructure Transparency Vital to the Modern Enterprise

Today’s modern data centers are composed of many different systems that works both independently and in conjunction with one another to deliver business services. The hardware, software, network resources, and services required for the operation and management of an enterprise IT environment is commonly referred to as your IT infrastructure.

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IT Security

I welcome our new machine overlords

It’s been a while since my last overly alarmist IT security rant, and with the holiday season just past—when millions of IoT devices flooded our homes and offices—I figure what better time to scare the crap out of the general public.

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monitor service providers

Monitoring your service providers

Outsourcing has been the rage for years now, and the outsourcing of computing resources to the cloud leads the way. And why not? It allows you to increase efficiency (focus on core business activities instead of running a datacenter), cut costs (you don’t have physical datacenter costs), reduce risk (or pass it on to the third party), and scale when needed with (hopefully) minimal cost and fuss.

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Mainframe mobile challenges and solutions

The need for modern mobile solutions for mainframe data centers

Today most CIOs, CTOs and IT experts are aware of the impact of digital transformation (DX) on their respective businesses and IT organizations. Disruptive technologies like Big Data, business analytics, cloud (computing and storage), digital payment, and more recently the algorithmic economy and the Internet of Things (IoT), have and are making their impacts felt. However, the most impactful of all DXs may very well be mobile.

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Improving Bottom Line

Improving the Bank’s Bottom Line: Reducing Cost per Transaction

A few years ago, I invited a group of CIOs to become an Advisory Board for my company. Their role was to advise us on the direction the company should go, and how we should position our products and services most effectively from the perspective of the Fortune 500 CIO. To this day, we still engage our Advisory Board on many subjects.

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Mainframe News Out There

Mainframe news out there – July

Once a month we like to pick articles from other blogs that we feel are interesting enough to talk about on the Planet Mainframe blog. Here are this month’s picks:

Data Lineage Matters More Than Ever

Very interesting article by Denise Kalm in a recent edition of the DestinationZ online publication: “Data Lineage Matters More Than Ever”.  Data lineage can be thought of as the lifecycle of your data. Where does it come from? Where is any given piece of data moving to? Where does it end up? It’s all about understanding how data is used and where it’s being used. In many cases, the path is quite complex and will vary based on inputs to the transaction and other state data.

See more here: DestinationZ article.

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A Brief History of (Mainframe) Time

Timing, timekeeping, time synchronization, more specifically accurate synchronization, is a key requirement for modern information technology systems.  This is especially true for industries involved in transaction processing such as the financial industry.  As such, the IBM Z sysplex needs highly accurate timing/timekeeping and synchronization technology to ensure data integrity, and to also provide the ability to reconstruct a database based upon logs. There have been 3 phases in the evolution of time synchronization on IBM Z.

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validate files

Validating your files

Mainframe files/datasets are liable to change quite often. After all, people are using those files so they are likely to be modified/updated. So how could you tell whether there had been a legitimate change to the file or it had been hacked? How can you verify that your z/OS files have remained intact and your data is secure?

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Legacy Enterprise Software

You Do Not Need to Replace Your Legacy Enterprise Software

I recently read an interesting article on a vendor website – I got there after one of their spam emails caught my eye – “8 Signs You Need to Replace Your Legacy Enterprise Software” – I had to read that! I know a little bit about legacy software, and I was really curious about what they had to say. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed.

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