Friday, October 19, 2012

Catching up on my reading : Hot Topics, IBM Systems Magazine and Enterprise Tech Journal

Finally, I found some time to catch up with some reading.

Hot Topics, a z/OS Newsletter (August 2012)

Let me start with the Hot Topics Newsletter. Unfortunately enough, it will only appear once in a year from now on. You know, I just make a random selection of articles I particularly liked, but of course all the rest is worth your while. And that also goes for the other magazines.
I have the impression that z/OSMF is for many customers still a great unknown and people are hesitant to use it. Well, the article 'Don't just emulate it!' on the z/OSMF ISPF feature might be a good entry point. It describes how you can use z/OSMF to open one or several ISPF sessions in your browsers, use split screens or tabbed displays, you can even have several, parallel TSO/E user sessions at once.
Another article on the new GRS support of FICON CTC communication shows you how much your GRS configuration might be affected and how much planning you might have for migration.
Furthermore : hints and tips on migrating to z/OS 1.13, learn how z/OS 1.13 SPOOL migration lets you merge/consolidate volumes to new volumes in a non-disruptive manner within a few hours, an article on learning how to obtain new mainframe skills directing you to the Academic Initiative but also to (quite interesting) online course materials

IBM Systems magazine (September-October 2012)
Online Version - PDF Version

This issue focuses on data analytics in the broadest sense but I think the title of the intro by Greg Lotko sums it up nicely : 'Transforming Data Into Value' ! Of course this also implies there's a lot of attention for the new zEC12 including the cover article. There's a good article on Data Marts. Data Marts are great but tend to have some issues like rapid multiplication, a lack of architecture, administrative complexity and so on. This article shows how the zEnterprise can play a role in tackling these problems.
Ever heard about millicode ? Well, just check out Bob Rogers' article on the evolution of microcode and millicode. Great reading material.
At the end of this issue, you can also find the 2013 Mainframe Buyer's Guide listing a bunch of IBM partners. And, there's also an issue about Women in Technology which is not included in the .pdf version.

Enterprise Tech Journal (October-November 2012)

The Enterprise Tech Journal also focuses on the new zEC12 in its cover article but puts the emphasis on workload optimization. In other words : software performance is of the essence. I'm just not sure that when there's e.g. a forecasted performance improvement of 45% for Java Workload that this is already the case for the moment. Some of the new features like the new transactional execution facility is implemented but I have the impression it's not being used by any software for the moment. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Furthermore : a good introduction to the RMF Device Activity Report as well as to 'Rational Developer for z/OS', there's an interesting article on how backup strategies are important as they can have a significant influence on your recovery processes, Willie Favero helps you plan your upgrade to DB2 10, Marcel den Hartog (re)introduces us to "the dying art of performance management" for speeding up the mainframe and of course there's a lot more there to enjoy.

As I always say, just check them out !

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