Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Redbooks revisited

I've noticed recently that there are a couple of new things on Redbooks that might be interesting to know.

First of all, it's nice to see that you can now also download redbooks in EPUB format.

This means you can read these publications also on an E-reader. This might of course also be your iPad or your smartphone. I guess. I'm not all that familiar with this world. Yet. But I know, lots of you are by now.

Second there seems to be a new type of Redbooks called Redbooks - Point-of-View publications.
(...) brief, strategy-oriented documents that represent an author's perspective on a particular technical topic. Written by senior IBM subject matter experts, the publications examine current industry trends, directions, and emerging technologies. They further outline how you can address business challenges with specific approaches, and explain the business value that your company or organization may gain by choosing the highlighted solution.
At about 5 pages in length, Point-of-View publications typically include solution highlights, a description of the problems being addressed, proposed solutions, and references for additional reading.
You'll find an overview of some over here.

But while I'm at it, let me also point out that that's not the only novelty at Redbooks we've seen introduced in recent times :
Point-of-View publications are one of the latest offerings from IBM Redbooks, which recently expanded its offerings to include video interviews, tutorials, and 3-minute Redbooks overviews; blogging on blogs; IBM Redbooks Product Guides; IBM Redbooks Solution Guides; and more.
As I always say, just check it out !

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Upcoming events and webcasts

I saw a lot of announcements for webcasts and so passing by, so I thought I might as well summarize them for you, along with some other upcoming events.

GSE Meetings in Belgium

It's perhaps a bit early for the GSE Meetings but here's already the date for the first z/OS Working Group Meeting.

March 13, 2013 - GSE z/OS Working Group Meeting
RealDolmen Huizingen
No additional information for the moment.
The other dates for 2013 should be June 12, September 10 and December 11.

IBM Events in Belgium

For the moment I can already tell you that the dates for the Total Solutions Event at the Brussels IBM Forum are already fixed. So you can already block your agenda for September 24 until September 26, 2013.

Webcasts and teleconferences

January 24, 2013 at 4 pm GMT, 5 pm Brussels
Save money from enhanced analytics with Tivoli support for zEnterprise zAware
Information and Registration

January 29, 2013 at 4 pm GMT, 5 pm Brussels
DB2 10 and Beyond - Celebrating 30 Years of Superior Technology
"You’ll also get a glimpse into the future and IBM plans for the next release, DB2 11"
Information and Registration

January 30, 2013 at 4 pm GMT, 5 pm Brussels
10 things you’ll want to know about Rational development tools – before you start that project
Information and Registration

February 5, 2013 at 4 pm GMT, 5 pm Brussels
Want to Modernize Your IMS Administration? We have tools for that
Information and Registration

February 5, 2013 at 4.30 pm GMT, 5.30 pm Brussels
Virtual IMS user group : Best practices: maximizing the use of your IMS data through replication
Information and Registration

February 28, 2013 at 4 pm GMT, 5 pm Brussels
Enabling the private cloud with CICS: An analyst perspective
Information and Registration

March 12&13, 2013 at 3 pm GMT, 4 pm Brussels
IBM DB2 10 Migration Planning and Real Customer Experiences – PART 1 & PART 2
Information and Registration

March 26, 2013 at 3 pm GMT, 4 pm Brussels
Modernizing your DB2 environment with DB2 Utilities and Tools for z/OS
Information and Registration

And there are still some more. If you want to see all upcoming webcasts, have look over here. For all upcoming teleconferences, you can take a look over here.

z/VSE Live Virtual Class

February 13, 2013 at 4 pm Brussels
z/VSE Release and Version Upgrade, Migration Considerations
Information and Registration

As I always say, just check them out !

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

IBM Reports 2012 Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Results

I used to write about the financial results of IBM from time to time, but it's been a while. Why now again ? Well, I must admit, with the economical crisis and all the pessimistic talk about the mainframe, I'm at least a bit surprised about the excellent results of System z. So, next time people tell you the mainframe is dead or is only bought by the largest banks, you can at least refer to this quote :
"Total systems revenues(...) increased 4 percent. Revenues from System z mainframe server products increased 56 percent compared with the year-ago period; revenue in the growth markets increased 68 percent. Total delivery of System z computing power, as measured in MIPS (millions of instructions per second), increased 66 percent versus the prior year and represented the largest MIPS shipment quarter in the company’s history. New workload specialty engines, including Linux, represented one-half of the MIPS shipped".
56 percent ? So, the new zEC12 has really been a success so far. And the growth is even larger in the growth markets, so this is even better news. That can only leave us curious about what 2013 will bring us . . .

Oh, by the way, you can find the full press release over here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Arcati Yearbook 2013

Last Friday the new Arcati yearbook was published. We have the usual vendor directory listing vendors, consultants and service providers in the mainframe environment. The media guide points out some newsletters, magazines, blogs, user groups and information resources. Do take a look at it, it contains some good references also listing quite a lot of interesting twitter accounts. The yearbook closes with some technical information, time tables and the mips tables for the zEC12 are also already there.

Next to that there are also three articles : 'Where is the COBOL in your SOA?', 'Lost without a trace?' and 'Challenging times lead to new tools for z/OS control and network management'.

But of course there's also the annual User Survey providing a snapshot of the System z user community’s existing hardware and software configuration, and also their plans and concerns for 2013. There's special attention on how mainframe applications participate in Web services/SOA. There's also a question on how fast System z-related expenditure is increasing, in terms of the technology itself and the people needed to support it. And on how mainframe costs relate to the entire IT budget and how mainframe costs are growing in relation to the growth in the distributed environment.

You can download the Yearbook for free over here.

As I always say, just check it out !

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Your company's choice for virtualization : z/VM of course

If you're looking into virtualization and you still think the mainframe is too expensive or if you're eager to virtualize or continue to virtualize with z/VM, then take a look at this study from Solitaire Interglobal. It makes a comparison between z/VM and virtualization solutions on Unix and x86. it's based upon the input of almost 80,000 (mostly larger) customer sites. It takes two angles for looking into it : the business perspective on the one hand and the technical perspective on the other hand. If you want to build a case for z/VM, you might use this as a basis for structuring your arguments.

Let me walk you quickly through some of the topics that are covered. First of all there's the business perspective.
  • Customer satisfaction : "The more complex or volatile the environment, the more all
    aspects of customers reported high satisfaction with z/VM".
  • Total Cost of Ownership : this reminds me of this other document that unfortuately enough has not been updated since 2004, the Dinosaur Myth, that also proves that when you look at TCO instead of TCA you get a completely different picture.
  • Staffing : "Staffing is far more effective with z/VM, the same number of people can support up to 3 times more VM images"
  • Availability : "The more virtualized the environment, the more critical the availability becomes. z/VM requires fewer platform and VM reboots than competitive platforms with very little downtime, either planned or unplanned".
  • Agility : "z/VM users are reporting faster deployment times by as much as 5 times".
The second part covers the comparison from a technical perspective.
  • System Efficiency : "The z/VM platform allows more IT workload to be done with fewer overall resources".
  • Security : "z/VM supports all forms of security control and isolation, including those required for highly secure implementations, separating resources for memory, network, I/O and access".
I didn't cover all topics but it gives you a pretty good idea where this study is heading at. If you follow the link, there's a 9-page management summary and of course also the 36-page full report.

As I always say, just check it out !