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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3 dimensional thinking

The Mainframe: Three Dimensional Thinking In IT

This is not an article on multidimensional databases, 3D rendering, or spatial databases, but rather how CIOs in IT think, based on their education, experience and professional motivations.

A good friend of mine, Pete, recently asked me how many servers does it take to equal a mainframe? He’s actually quite a smart guy, a Salesman and former software Engineer, but has never worked in the mainframe business, and knows nothing about it. But it was a fair question, and I had to answer “x”—a variable. This did not satisfy him at all, as you might imagine, but that’s the truth—it depends upon many variables.

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Mainframes on Autopilot!

Yes, mainframes are now on autopilot, not unlike Tesla automobiles! While everyone is chasing the next big, disruptive unicorn like Uber or Airbnb, bright mainframe engineers are quietly disrupting the industry with new customer-driven innovations. If you are into capacity planning, then you would be thrilled to learn about these latest trends and innovations in the mainframe world.

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Settling for less

I was reading the news on CNN recently about a power outage in California, which reminded me of some serious black outs in Costa Rica a while back. A friend was there on business, and it ruined an important business meeting that he had spent months setting up. It also reminded me of the northeast blackout that happened here in 2003, which caused some problems for us at home.

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