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LongEx Mainframe Quarterly - February 2017


Resilience and Reliability

In this issue we're continuing to look at resilience and reliability, but from our own unique point of view.

In our management section, we talk about measuring reliability of mainframe systems and applications, and how we've seen it done at some of our customer sites.

In this issue, we're including two technical articles. The first tells ghost stories of how we've seen z/OS systems fail in the past. We also look to see how these failures were fixed, and if this is still relevant today.

In the second, we take IBMs IPCS, and see if we can make it work as a z/OS monitor.

Longpela Expertise also presented a webinar with Compuware on behalf of our partner CPT Global last December. In this presentation we talked about how CPT and Longpela Expertise have achieved CPU savings using Compuware Strobe. You can see a recording on Compuware's YouTube channel.

We hope you enjoy this issue.

management: How to Measure Reliability

In October, 2015, Australia's St George Bank experienced a mainframe failure, affecting its customers and partner banks for some days. And this isn't the only high-profile mainframe outage over the past few years. But it still comes as a surprise. Mainframe applications and systems are expected to be reliable - very reliable. And they usually are. But how can you really measure how reliable a mainframe application or system is? And does anyone really do this?


technical: Five Things That Stopped or Crashed z/OS

Today I'm going to give some 'ghost stories', stories from my past when I saw a z/OS system crash, or at least come down to its knees. But I'm going to do more than try to scare you. I'm also going to discuss how each problem was solved, including any steps that didn't work. But I'm not going to stop there. These ghost stories are from my past as a z/OS systems programmer, and so are quite a few years old. So I'm going to talk about whether they are still relevant today.


technical:Ten Ways IPCS Can Be Used As a Monitor

When I first started with z/OS (MVS in those days), you would print out dumps as a big block of paper, and then start working through them. The good news is that IBM introduced their Interactive Problem Control System (IPCS) tool a few years after I started. A TSO application, IPCS is brilliant for those of us that still need to wade through dumps.

However IPCS can do more than just analyse dumps, it can look at things that are happening live in the system. Or in other words, it could be used as a monitor. Here are 10 interesting things you may not have known you could do with IPCS without a dump.



LongEx Quarterly is a quarterly eZine produced by Longpela Expertise. It provides System z Mainframe and z/OS related articles for management and technical experts. It is published every November, February, May and August.

The opinions in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of any other person or organisation. All trademarks, trade names, service marks and logos referenced in these articles belong to their respective companies.

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