Subscribers to Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter can find the latest 146-page issue, 2021 No. 4, on our publications website (https://watsonwalkerpublications.com/). In this issue, you will find the following articles:
- 2021 ended with the world’s media full of stories about the ‘Log4j vulnerability’, and how it was possibly the largest ever security exposure. Log4j is an open source logging utility used by, depending on your source of information, somewhere between thousands and millions of applications (including many products). Our Log4j Considerations for Your z/OS article provides helpful background information about the problem, includes suggestions for checking your z/OS systems to determine if the vulnerable releases of Log4j are installed on your z/OS systems, and discusses the need to include z/OS in future open source vulnerability reviews.
- In the second part of our What’s really new in z/OS 2.5 article, we cover the many enhancements to DFSMS, SDSF, and Communication Server in z/OS 2.5. We also cover the enhancements that were announced in IBM’s November 23rd Continuous Delivery announcement. Of particular interest is the new z/OSMF Management Services Catalog, which we believe should be a key tool in every sites’ plans for getting the next generation of mainframers ready to eventually take over the reins of control. Even if you have no immediate plans to move to z/OS 2.5, many of these enhancements are also rolled back to previous releases, so this will be of interest to you too.
- Speaking of z/OS enhancements, you might have noticed the improved COBOL/Java interoperability that was included in the z/OS 2.5 announcement letter? Improved interoperability between Java and traditional programming languages is a hot topic, as sites try to extend the functionality of existing applications, while coping with a shortage of COBOL skills. Mario Bezzi’s A Deep Dive Into Java/COBOL Interoperability article describes what is and isn’t possible, as well as a significant restriction that was not mentioned in any of the announcement material.
- When Parallel Sysplex was in its first flush of youth, an average sysplex had one site, two Coupling Facilities, and maybe 20 structures. Many of today’s sysplexes have two sites, four CFs, and hundreds of structures – in fact, IBM recently announced that z/OS 2.5 increased the maximum number of structures in a sysplex from 2048 to 4096. Considering these changes, the traditional method of managing your Coupling Facility Resource Management (CFRM) policy is long overdue an overhaul. The new z/OSMF CFRM Policy Editor, available for z/OS 2.4 and 2.5 and reviewed in our Meet the New z/OSMF CFRM Policy Editor article, may be just what the doctor ordered. Check out our experiences, usage tips, and thoughts for potential future enhancements – we are sure you will be as impressed as we were.
- Who doesn’t love SMF? And Db2 and SMF? That’s like ‘peaches and cream’😊. In the latest installment in our series of articles about what you can learn from SMF, IntelliMagic’s Sally Mir describes some of the many valuable insights that can be gleaned from Db2’s Statistics SMF records. Not buffer pools – they will come in a later article – but many other aspects of Db2 optimization, including things I (Frank) never heard of before. If you want to ensure that your Db2 is a lean, mean, data serving machine, make sure to check out Sally’s Learning from SMF – Db2 Statistics: They’re Not Just for Buffer Pools article.
- One of the areas that can fall between the cracks is adherence to Cryptographic equipment certification requirements. Crypto is an area that many wise and experienced mainframe technicians are happy to leave to their Security colleagues. However, Crypto device certification is tied to hardware part numbers and firmware levels and service Bundles – things that Security people naturally feel are the remit of their mainframe hardware planning and management team. Even if you take an interest in this topic, finding the information that you need is not as simple as you might wish. If you have Crypto Express cards in your mainframe, our Crypto Hardware Planning and Management Considerations article should arm you with the information you need to ensure you stay ahead of the Crypto certification posse.
- Our popular User Experiences and Tips article once again delivers timely and valuable information, with topics ranging from z15 Sort Accelerator exploitation, to JES2 spool compression, and COBOL and Java interoperability to an interesting Request for Enhancement for IBM’s Copy Services Management product. Take a few minutes to check out this article – we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.
- And, last but not least, this issue’s News article contains 26 pages of reviews of Performance and New Function APARs, pointers to new or updated Techdocs, and information about upcoming user conferences. Customer response to the trimmed-down News article has been very positive – we hope you will like it too.
This issue was a real team effort on our side and contains something for all our readers. You can find the full Table of Contents here. We hope that you will find this issue to be both informative and entertaining. Please let us know your thoughts.