A Clear Picture

A Clear Picture

IT and business management are increasingly concerned with the rising costs associated with their highly complex and ever-growing mainframe and distributed systems data centers. They are also concerned about controlling outages and mitigating the lack of transparency that they have into cost drivers—including in their outsourced environments.

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Making a Modern Mainframer

It’s no secret that the dreaded “skills gap” is affecting the mainframe market. It’s getting harder and harder to find people who know COBOL or Assembler, and organizations that rely on these systems often have open job postings because there’s no perfect match for the positions they’re trying to fill. So what can companies and government agencies that rely on Big Iron do to foster the next generation of mainframers?

They should do absolutely nothing.

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What’s waiting round the mainframe corner?

Anyone who has been working on mainframes for any length of time knows that things are always changing. Many people can remember when DB2 was new (1983), the client-server period, and the need for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). And, I’m sure, can come up with a much longer list. I don’t want to look backwards at old ideas, I want to take a whirlwind look at what’s coming soon to (at least) a presentation near you.

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Does your Mainframe need an oil change?

Performance management is a key consideration on any platform.  A system may have several resources (CPU, I/O, storage, network etc.) that collectively work together to process a workload. To assess overall health of the system, mainframe system reports can be reviewed on certain key performance metrics on these resources. These metrics are measured and compared against the service level agreements (SLA), or performance Rule-of-Thumb standards.

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The New IBM z14: More Secure, Flexible, Powerful and Analytical Than Ever Before

Mainframe IT professionals always get excited when IBM announces a new version of its stalwart mainframe z Systems platform. And on July 17, 2017 IBM announced its latest and greatest mainframe hardware, dubbed the IBM z14. Coming more than two years after the IBM z13, the previous major upgrade z System upgrade, IBM is bolstering the platform with a slew of useful new and improved capabilities.

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7 Mainframe Taboos We Should Break

Having worked ‘on The Mainframe’ for almost 20 years at a variety of clients and sites I’ve come about a number of taboos within the Mainframe ‘ecosystem’ that are sometimes just doing my head in and just need to be broken.

These taboos can be seen across the playing field and when I say across, I do mean across. Ranging from banks to insurance companies, from airlines to pension funds and from governmental institutions to ‘narrow-lane truck and heavy container warehouses’ and heard through the vox populi. Yes there are actually global warehouses running their stuff on The Mainframe (and for darn good reasons too!), but that’s maybe something for another blogpost…

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Money for Nothing

My wife loves shopping – even for food; I don’t, but we need to get it done. Because we’re both busy with our jobs, we tend to do one big shop at the start of the month, to get much of what we need for the month. For the most part, that means the dry foods like pasta and crackers and breakfast cereal, the long-expiry refrigerated items like butter, eggs and some fresh fruit and veggies, as well as canned and frozen foods. This leaves us with only a few runs to the corner store during the month for short-expiry items like milk and bread.

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Optimize Your System z ROI with z Operational Insights (zOI)

Hopefully all System z users are aware of the Monthly Licence Charge (MLC) pricing mechanisms, where a recurring charge applies each month.  This charge includes product usage rights and IBM product support.  If only it was that simple!  We then encounter the “Alphabet Soup” of acronyms, related to the various and arguably too numerous MLC pricing mechanism options.  Some might say that 13 is an unlucky number and in this case, a System z pricing specialist would need to know and understand each of the 13 pricing mechanisms in depth, safeguarding the lowest software pricing for their organization!  Perhaps we could apply the unlucky word to such a resource.  In alphabetical order, the 13 MLC pricing options are AWLC, AEWLC, CMLC, EWLC, MWLC, MzNALC, PSLC, SALC, S/390 Usage Pricing, ULC, WLC, zELC and zNALC!  These mechanisms are commercial considerations, but what about the technical perspective?

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Why Can’t You Buy IBMz Mainframe Services from AWS?

The IBMz mainframe is the most powerful, scalable and secure platform on the planet. It’s also the most TCO-efficient. If you have any doubts about that, just take a look at these blogs: “Turn Out The Lights…The Party’s Over! Mainframes Rout Commodity Servers!and “VMware’s Success = Distributed Computing’s Failure in Masquerading as a Mainframe.

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eclipse

Should you call time on your existing mainframe development environment?

The traditional 3270 mainframe development environment deserves respect. It has enabled developers to create and support some of the world’s most enduring business-critical software applications running on ‘Big Iron’ boxes around the word. Many of these core systems continue to deliver today for banks, government departments and large enterprises, decades after they first went live.

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