Subscribers to Cheryl Watson’s Tuning Letter can find the latest 132-page issue, 2022 No. 3, on our publications website (https://watsonwalkerpublications.com/). In this issue, you will find the following articles:
- In response to their very experienced mainframers heading for the retirement exit, companies are starting to replenish their pool of mainframe skills. But where to find the people with the potential to become the mainframe experts of the future? Building the Next Gen, One Apprentice At a Time discusses how a Registered Apprenticeship Program can be a powerful part of your toolkit for finding staff that have the aptitude and that are likely to stay on board when their apprenticeship completes. This is a must-read article for anyone that has an interest in building up your pool of skilled mainframe staff.
- One of the enhancements delivered in z/OS 2.4 was XCF ‘Transport Class Simplification’. This has been available for over a year and a half, and is universally popular with z/OS customers (anything with ‘Simplification’ in the title has to be a good thing). The Using New XCF Metrics to Optimize XCF Buffer Use article by IntelliMagic’s Todd Havekost shows how you can use the new XCF SMF metrics to build on the Transport Class Simplification changes to optimize the number of XCF buffers, and better understand their use of storage (both virtual and real). Todd’s article was very popular with reviewers, so we highly recommend this, especially to Tuning Letter subscribers with large sysplexes or large numbers of XCF paths.
- This is a crazy world, and an increasingly insecure one. BMC’s recent Annual Mainframe Survey reported that over 1/3 of respondents reported that their mainframe had been accessed in an unauthorized manner. Part of improving the security of your system is to ensure your z/OS software is up to date and in support. In Software Risk Assessment, Broadcom’s Todd Gagle describes a generic process for checking and reporting on the status of your SMP/E-installed z/OS software. It is vital that you are aware of this requirement, and start working on your process before your next security audit.
- Using ‘Flower Boxes’ to Brighten Up Your Future takes a light-hearted look at an important topic – documenting your changes. While the reason for your change might be immediately obvious to you now, it might not be so obvious to a colleague that is trying to figure it out while you are on vacation, or even to the future you, 30 years from now. This short article contains simple suggestions for making your systems more manageable, based on real world experiences.
- Update on LE Non-Executable HEAPS and CICS User Experiences by our colleague Mario Bezzi provides an update on the inter-relationship between Language Environment, CICS, and the use of non-executable storage. This is related to the LE support for non-executable storage that was delivered in z/OS 2.4, so it should apply to all our subscribers. It also touches on the sensitive topic of security, which is also a topic that should be near and dear to all our hearts. If you use CICS in your installation, this article will be of interest to you.
- The z/OS 2.5 announcement mentioned changes in RMF to reduce the overhead of gathering Coupling Facility hardware statistics. What started as a 4-page brief description ended up as a 20-page journey into CF-related RMF enhancements over the years, with clear descriptions of how they relate to each other, and how to make the most of those enhancements, even if you are not yet running z/OS 2.5. Optimized RMF Coupling Facility Data Gathering should be of interest to anyone involved in managing RMF or CF performance.
- Plus, we have our ever-popular User Experiences and Tips, and descriptions of New Function and Performance-related APARs that can help you keep your systems running at peak efficiency.
You can find the full Table of Contents here. We hope you find this information helpful and timely. And please let us know if there are specific topics you would like to see in a future Tuning Letter article.
Thank you to all our subscribers for all your support and excellent feedback. It is greatly appreciated.
The Team at Watson & Walker