Monday, October 19, 2009

Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Learn All About DB2 X for z/OS

IBM is hosting a free webinar on November 3, 2009, offering a technical preview of the next version of DB2 for z/OS, currently known as DB2 X (but we all know, err, ah, think it will be called DB2 10).

If you work with DB2 on the mainframe you will want to set aside some time to attend this informative DB2 X webinar. It will have information for DBAs, as well as for Managers, Application Architects, Developers, System Administrators, System Programmers, and System Architects... and that is just about anyone who works with DB2.

The speaker will be IBM Distinguished Engineer, Jeff Josten.

How do you participate, you may be asking? Well, that is easy. Simply click on over to DB2 X for z/OS Technical Preview and register yourself.

The webinar will be held on November 3, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, 4:00 p.m. UTC.

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Friday, June 12, 2009

The Mainframe is Number One!

Congratulations to the mainframe, just cited at #1 in the InfoWorld Hardware Hall of Fame.

Okay, so maybe they are listing the hardware chronologically, but I refuse to acknowledge that. The IBM System/360 mainframe is listed first -- and that means number one, right?

Actually, the entire list is interesting and entertaining, so take a moment to click over and review the InfoWorld Hardware Hall of Fame, which is littered with titans from the past (DEC, Compaq) as well as current offerings.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What is zPrime?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Today's Modern Mainframe

IBM mainframes process two thirds of the world’s business information every day, and have
been doing so for decades, because of the many strengths provided by the mainframe, such
as high availability, good redundancy, high performance I/O capabilities, and much more.

But have you ever been challenged by an anti-mainframer by a statement like "Oh, aren't mainframes dead?" - or - "Why would anyone still use a mainframe?" Have you wanted a ready response that is easily digestible and not overly techie? Well, IBM has a new Redguide book titled The IBM Mainframe Today: System z Strengths and Values that might be of help.

This publication describes the business drivers, their impact on IT, and how the System z platform can be a major player for the business solution by providing flexibility, responsiveness to customers and market needs, as well as cost effectiveness. It also discusses the mainframe hardware, software, and environment, with an emphasis on the features and capabilities that make the System z mainframe a good choice for businesses.

Also, you may have noticed the new term: Redguide. Similar to an IBM Redbook, an IBM Redguide is not quite as technical as a Redbook, but more in-depth than a brochure or other pieces of "sales" collateral.

So, if you are a mainframer like me, you'll want to download and read The IBM Mainframe Today: System z Strengths and Value. After all, the price is right (free). And you'll want to keep an eye out for additional Redguides from IBM. Susan Visser recently blogged about the first 15 Redguides here.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Free Statistics Software for DB2 for z/OS

I'm sure you've heard that age old expression that there is no such thing as a free lunch, right? Well, sometimes even the old tried and true sayings can be wrong. No, I'm not going to tell you how to eat lunch for free, but you can get some helpful DB2 mainframe software for free!

NEON Enterprise Software continues to offer free software for checking the health of the statistics in your DB2 Catalog.

Statistics HealthCheck for DB2 z/OS enables you to quickly and effectively analyze and judge the quality of your DB2 Catalog statistics. Checking the health of your DB2 subsystem is especially important considering the heightened sensitivity of DB2 V8 and V9 to bad statistics.

The extensive rule system used by Statistics HealthCheck is based on best practice recommendations for maintaining good statistics. Using a violation system, Statistics HealthCheck pinpoints precisely those objects that could benefit from a RUNSTATS utility health check... or that otherwise require statistics housekeeping.

Statistics HealthCheck is particularly useful as a prerequisite to Bind ImpactExpert during a DB2 version migration. First, Statistics HealthCheck identifies the RUNSTATs you need. Then, Bind ImpactExpert provides REBIND insurance to further guarantee consistent and improved access paths.

With Statistics HealthCheck, you know exactly what is “wrong” with your statistics so that you can proactively correct any problems that might negatively affect DB2 subsystem performance.

And come on, it is free after all. What do you have to lose by downloading it and trying it on your DB2 subsystems today?

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Mainframe Still Rocks!

Mainframe Executive, a new publication for CIOs and IT managers in enterprises with IBM mainframe systems, just published a list of 15 reasons to stay on, or move to, a mainframe. The list is a good one, covering reliability, availability, security, resource utilization, scalability, power consumption, staffing concerns, quality, and on and on.

Here is the list for those not inclined to click on the link:

1. Lowest outage costs from highest platform reliability, availability, and serviceability.
2. Lowest security breach risks/costs via most secure design, encryption, etc.
3. Highest resource use efficiency/utilization for mixed commercial workloads.
4. Widest platform scalability supports any workload size, mix, growth.
5. Consolidates many new workloads, extends traditional workload strengths.
6. Top data-serving capacity, performance, value—best Information on Demand host.
7. Highest QoS, best performance with fastest response times.
8. Best enterprise SOA platform; enables fullest reuse of mainframe application assets.
9. Much-improved cost model transformed mainframe economics.
10. Lowest power consumption, cooling, and data center floor space needs.
11. Lowest staffing and support costs for enterprise workloads.
12. Lowest total cost of ownership, total cost per user, and total cost per transaction.
13. Best customer investment protection for any enterprise platform.
14. Lowest business risk platform with best world class support.
15. Healthy, expanding mainframe ecosystem is supporting the platform.

If you are a mainframer this list won't come as any surprise to you... but it can be handy to keep it readily available for the next time someone attempts to convince you that mainframes are already obsolete, or should be.

In fact, maybe you can come up with additional reasons. After reading the list ( feel free to submit comments here with any additional reasons you might come up with!

Also, for those who don't know, Mainframe Executive is published by Thomas Communications, the same folks who publish the excellent bi-monthly z/Journal.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

History of the Mainframe

While researching some items on the web I ran across a couple of interesting mainframe-related sites that I'd like to share with you.

First up, on The History of Computing Project's site, is this entertaining and informative timeline of mainframe history. The timeline starts in 1939 with the creation of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer at Iowa State. If you are looking for historical events in the life of the mainframe, then this is a good place to start. It contains links to information about, and pictures of, some early mainframes including the ENIAC and the IBM 701.

Another interesting mainframe-related page is at Carnegie-Mellon's Software Engineering Institute site. I point it out not because I agree with the "stuff" written there, but because I find it amusing to see the word "LEGACY" stamped over every inch of the page. Wise up! The mainframe is not just legacy, folks!

And finally a nice little article with the proper perspective on mainframe architecture from IBM. I particularly liked the way this article ended:

As the image of the mainframe computer continues to evolve, you might ask: Is the mainframe computer a self-contained computing environment, or is it one part of the puzzle in distributed computing? The answer is that The New Mainframe is both...


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Mainframe Career Still a Good Idea!

Just a quick post today to point you over to an article that ran in eWeek Magazine titled Big Iron Remains Career Option. Those of us who have worked with mainframes for decades know that mainframes still run the bulk of the mission-critical, high transaction workload for the biggest companies. And we know that you can make a good career out of mainframe development, administration, and management.

But it is good news that others are starting to hear this message.