Hot Topics content connects you with System z technical leaders and experts who design, code, test, document, teach, and support z/OS and its products. This archive site contains PDF versions of all previously published Hot Topics articles and magazines. For the latest Hot Topics articles, visit IBM Z Hot Topics.
Hot Topics 2022
Managing Compliance with Ease on IBM Z
April 2022 | by Jessica Doherty, Pradeep Parameshwaran, Matthew Meck
Simplifying and automating the compliance process.
Red Hat Open Shift Container Platform on IBM z/OS Container Extensions
March 2022 | by Anthony Giorgio
Introduction and discussion of the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform for z/OS Container Extensions.
Changes coming to ftp servers and sending documentation to IBM
March 2022 | by Dianne Gamarra
Changes are effective August 31, 2022.
IBM Z and LinuxONE Content Solutions
March 2022 | by Colton Cox
Enterprise IT is used to solve some of the world's most complex problems. Getting started with that technology shouldn't have to be a challenge, too—that's why we developed content solutions: simple web resources connecting all the information and resources needed to get started with an IBM Z or LinuxONE product.
February 2022 | by Galina Gorelik and Neil Shah
The HWIREST API provides a new REST-like interface for applications to use to access many unavailable attributes.
Hot Topics 2021
zHyperLink Write Support
November 2021 | by Tariq Hanif, Brian Lee, Dale Riedy
zHyperLink technology now provides update write capability for both simplex and metro mirror environments.
Improving Protection against Logical Data Corruption
November 2021 | by Randy Blea, Tariq Hanif, Tabor Powelson, Bill Rooney
IBM has improved the DS8000 FlashCopy and Safeguarded Copy solutions managed by IBM Copy Services Manager by significantly enhancing their performance and minimizing application impact for these solutions.
September 2021 | by Anthony Giorgio
zCX Constraint Relief
Faster Db2 Active Log Writes with Media Manager Parallel Write Support using zHyperLink
August 2021 | by Pooja Bhargava, Julie Chen, Neena Cherian, Brian Lee
Performance measurements using zHyperLink writes for active logs show that substantial reductions in log write I/O wait time have significantly improved transaction latency for update workloads.
User Key Common and Restricted Use of CSA
July 2021 | by Peter Fatzinger, David Hom, Steve Partlow
Overview of z/OS RUCSA feature - What it is, what it solves and how to migrate it.
Getting Better Network Performance for your zCX Containers
June 2021 | by Mike Fitzpatrick
Learn how to optimize the network communication to and from your zCX instance.
Hot Topics 2020
z/OSMF Software Update Lets You Skip SMP/E Drudgery
December 2020 | by Susan Shumway, Kurt Quackenbush
The new z/OSMF Software Update task provides a GUI that z/OS system administrators and system programmers can use to manage updates for installed SMP/E managed software.
Managing zFS File Systems With the BPXWMIGF Migration Command
November 2020 | by Daniel Acevedo
The BPXWMIGF command can now be used to non-disruptively manage your zFS file systems.
What’s New in z/OSMF?
November 2020 | by Li Zhi, Wayne O'Brien
A new UI for enabling z/OSMF services helps you shorten the server start-up time.
Shared Memory Communications Unleashed: Multiple IP Subnet Support
October 2020 | by Randall Kunkel, Jerry Stevens
SMC-D Version 2 and ISM Version 2 lift the single IP subnet limitation for an IBM Z system.
Rapid Containers: Improving zCX Runtime Performance
September 2020 | by Anthony Giorgio, Nick Matsakis
To improve zCX performance, IBM made multiple enhancements both to the virtualization and networking code that manages the Linux guest.
OAM Supports Object Data in the Cloud
August 2020 | by Erika Dawson, Peter Sobik, Andrew Wilt
OAM uses a new access method—Cloud Data Access (CDA) Services—to store, retrieve and delete data to the cloud.
ServerPac Installation Using IBM z/OS Management Facility Streamlines Software Management
July 2020 | by Marna Walle, Lindsay Baer
The offering is now available as an IBM z/OSMF-consumable Portable Software Instance, leading to a streamlined and uniform installation experience.
Enterprise COBOL for z/OS (COBOL) Migration Portal
June 2020 | by Nicole Trudeau,Dan Zhang
The one-stop COBOL Migration Portal is now live in the COBOL Knowledge Center (KC) for easy access to COBOL migration-related information.
Try z/OS Container Extensions With the New 90-Day Trial
April 2020 | by Caroline Turner
The z/OS Container Extension (zCX) Trial grants full zCX capability for a continuous 90 days, allowing you to experiment with the full functionality.
Run Linux on IBM Z Docker Containers Inside z/OS
January 2020 | by Jerry Stevens, Erin Zhang
Networking support and best practices for zCX.
Hot Topics 2019
ICSF Delivers With the FMID HCR77D0 Release
August 2019 | by Bob Petti
Cryptographic Support for z/OS V2R2 - z/OS V2R3, also known as ICSF FMID HCR77D0 or web deliverable number 18, was released in December of 2018. The updates contained in this release vary from support for new algorithms and new security features to availability enhancements for the ICSF started task.
The Pervasive Encryption Information Goldmine
July 2019 | by Jacky Doll, Cecilia Carranza Lewis
Pervasive encryption is a consumable approach to enable extensive encryption associated with protecting data and achieving compliance mandates. With the z14, you can encrypt all data—in flight and at rest—faster, and less expensively. Pervasive encryption capabilities on the z14 enable you to protect data efficiently, allowing you to encrypt data at the database, data set and disk level, with no changes to applications.
z/OS Cloud Broker Enables z/OS Resource Consumption
July 2019 | by Ivan Dovgan, William Keller
To give developers a friendly user experience when developing for IBM Z*, we need to shift away from traditional models of resource consumption and understand how resources are readily consumed in the rest of the development world. With the click of a button, developers can now receive databases, application servers, message queues and seemingly endless other resources. Developers’ ability to manage their own environments is now a staple. Without it, agility and efficiency is lost. This is precisely where IBM z/OS Cloud Broker helps bridge the gap for workloads on z/OS.
IBM zCX Frequently Asked Questions
May 2019 | by Caroline Turner, Kim Betros, Gary Puchkoff
IBM z/OS Container Extensions (zCX) is a new z/OS 2.4 feature that enables clients to deploy Linux on Z applications as Docker containers in a z/OS system to directly support z/OS workloads. This is done without provisioning a separate Linux server, maintains operational control within z/OS and is supported by z/OS Qualities of Service (QoS). This article provides answers to the most commonly asked questions about zCX
Trusted Key Entry Policy Wizards
March 2019 | by Garry Sullivan
Do you have IBM Z host crypto modules and want to manage them using the most secure tool and processes available? Do you find the thought of using Trusted Key Entry (TKE) overwhelming? Well, don’t worry. TKE has a set of wizards for you to use to help uncomplicate things.
Cultivating Talent for IBM Z
January 2019 | by Troy Crutcher
I work on the IBM Z Academic Initiative team and each day I hear similar questions. Are young folks interested in this technology? Are schools teaching the mainframe? How have other companies addressed their retiring workforce? A large percentage of my team is retirement-eligible, can you help? Do these questions sound familiar? If so, you’re in the right place! We helped some amazing clients and students to share their stories with you.
Hot Topics 2018
IBM Z Hardware Management Console YouTube Videos
November 2018 | by Eric Weinmann, Brian Valentine, Christine Smith
IBM Z Hardware Management Console (HMC) customers wanted a quick way to learn about some of the latest HMC features. In response, we created some YouTube videos, which provide task-centered visual instructions to complement the documentation we already provide.
Confidently producing secure PDFs by using Signed Secure PDF Transform for z/OS
October 2018 | by Anthony Mingo, Tariq Choudhry
The IBM Signed Secure PDF Transform feature enables users to sign PDF documents produced by IBM Print Transform from AFP to PDF for Infoprint Server for z/OS. It builds on the base of the AFP to PDF product to produce a digitally signed PDF by applying a digital certificate to the PDF content. It also provides additional security to prevent changes to sensitive transactional documents and to enable tamper detection.
IBM Z Content Solutions
September 2018 | by Jacky Doll, Nicole Rae, William Keller
With hundreds of z/OS and related books in the IBM Knowledge Center along with countless other resources scattered throughout the web, finding information about z/OS offerings can be overwhelming. When you do find information, it can be difficult to know where to start, and what steps to take. The resolution to these challenges? IBM Z content solutions.
Container Pricing for IBM Z Brings Predictability to Cost
July 2018 | by Andrew M. Sica, William Keller
Container Pricing for IBM Z* allows IBM to deliver a revolution in the pricing of qualified solutions on z/OS*: pricing that’s not affected by the cost of unrelated software or whether the solution runs during a peak time. IBM has designed a set of solutions around the framework, each of which targets a key requirement of z/OS clients.
Confidently Secure Your Data with Hyper Protect DBaaS in IBM Cloud on IBM Z
May 2018 | by Pradeep Parameshwaran
In the present cognitive computing world, data is everything. By the year 2020, enterprises will have accumulated 44 ZB (zettabytes) of data. Much of that data includes highly valuable information about an enterprise itself or the individuals associated with the enterprise—for example, the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of employees or customers. To protect such data, an enterprise must have a secured infrastructure and databases.
What’s New With ICSF HCR77C1
May 2018 | by Bob Petti
Cryptographic Support for z/OS V2R1 - z/OS V2R3, also known as ICSF FMID HCR77C1 or web deliverable number 17, was released in September of 2017 and has many things to brag about. The updates contained in this release vary from usability improvements, such as an ISPF-based browser for CKDS key material, to integrated support for a PCI HSM configured CCA coprocessor.
Be Prepared! Tape Delivery Disappearing!
April 2018 | by Lucy Miller
As stated in the IBM Software Announcement 218-118, dated March 6, 2018, you soon will no longer have the delivery on tape media option for your z/OS product or service orders. As of July 1, 2018, the only supported delivery methods will be Internet and DVD with an effective date of July 16, 2018. Now would be a good time to begin using an alternate delivery method. Internet delivery is the recommended method and is used for nearly 90 percent of z/OS software orders. If you require a physical delivery method, choose DVD.
z/OS V2.3 Migration Book Is Transformed to a z/OSMF Workflow
March 2018 | by Wayne O'Brien, Marna Walle
Looking for the “z/OS* V2.3 Migration” book? Don’t look now, but it’s been transformed into an IBM z/OS Management Facility (z/OSMF) workflow. For the past decade, whenever you upgraded to a new release of z/OS, you turned to the venerable migration book. You’ve come to rely on this critical asset for all the important details.
Terminal Talk: 'The Mainframe Podcast I Didn’t Know That I Needed'
March 2018 | by Jeff Bisti, Frank De Gilio
Think back to your first day working on the mainframe. You were probably completely overwhelmed and wondering why everything had to be so complicated. To make matters worse, the mainframe has developed its own culture, terminology and library of acronyms that seem like they were inherited from a sci-fi novel. It’s confusing and there’s so much to learn. How can someone new to the mainframe platform ever expect to catch up, much less have fun with it? This is where the “Terminal Talk” podcast can help.
Transform z/OS Output to Accessible PDF for the Visually Impaired
February 2018 | by Anthony Mingo, Tariq Choudhry
Learn how to augment information from AFP input and produce accessible PDF output that’s compliant with the ISO 14289-1 PDF/UA standard or WCAG 2.0 AA.
IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS Helps Organizations Become Service Providers
January 2018 | by Hiren Shah
z/OS V2.3 delivers enhancements to the z/OS platform’s cloud capabilities that you can use to begin your transformation from an IT cost center to a value-generating service provider, delivering world-class services internally over the intranet or externally over the internet. These enhancements, referred as IBM Cloud Provisioning and Management for z/OS, were also rolled back to z/OS V2.2 (with PTFs UI42847 and UI46543) and z/OS V2.1 (with PTF UI43814).
Hot Topics 2017
RACF Ghost Busted: Easily Finding and Fixing Ghost Profiles
December 2017 | by Jun Ogata, Scott Woolley
Is your RACF database still haunted by ghost profiles? Do you enter the SEARCH command and still find (apparently) generic profiles that you are unable to change? Well the folks that brought you the “RACF Ghost Hunters” Hot Topics article have some great news for you. Your RACF ghosts are now busted!
Crypto Statistics Monitor Watches Resource Usage
November 2017 | by Eysha Powers, Ronald Edick
Security is a principle concern in today’s world, and the secure handling of data is an essential component of security. Cryptographic Support for z/OS V2.1 to z/OS V2.3, provides a means for the secure and reliable handling of data with Crypto Statistics Monitor. It helps security administrators and capacity planners monitor the use of cryptographic resources and shows which resources are being used, how much these resources are being used, and who is using these resources.
Monitor the Cryptographic Protection of Your z/OS Network Traffic
October 2017 | by Chris Meyer, Dave Wierbowski, Michael Gierlach
With the increasing number corporate, industry, and government regulations regarding cryptographic protection of data in flight, as well as discoveries of weaknesses in existing cryptographic protocols and algorithms, it has become very important that z/OS administrators and auditors have a way to assess the quality of the cryptographic network protection being applied to their key z/OS workloads.
Aggregate Content for IBM Z Products With IBM Doc Buddy V2
October 2017 | by Alicia Mao, Emily Siu, Yvonne Ma
With the IBM Doc Buddy mobile app, you can search messages and codes issued from IBM Z products online and offline. You can also locate helpful Mainframe information (including blogs, videos, and IBM Knowledge Center topics) on the Doc Buddy App.
Metering and Capping on z/OS for Apache Spark
September 2017 | by Jessie Yu, Michael Gildein, Elpida Tzortzatos, Tom Rankin
The new Metering and Capping support allows the system capacity planner more granular control over CPU and memory consumption for various workloads and enables the system to host new workloads more easily. You can use this new support to ensure resource-hungry workloads, such as z/OS Platform for Apache Spark (z/OS Spark), coexist nicely alongside other production workloads.
IBM z13 Configuration Best Practices
August 2017 | by Kevin McKenzie
The end of Moore's Law has meant that hardware no longer gets free performance boosts every generation; instead, IBM provides capacity by increasing the number of engines, and by making architectural changes to both the hardware and software to make sure they work well together. Be sure to check out these configuration best practices.
IBM Machine Learning for z/OS Is Supported By Apache Spark
July 2017 | by Francois Puget, Mythili Venkatakrishnan
Businesses must constantly adapt to changing conditions: competitors introduce new offerings, consumer habits evolve, the economic and political environment change, etc. While this isn’t new, the velocity at which business conditions change is accelerating. This pace of change places a new burden on technology solutions developed for a business, creating a unique opportunity for machine learning, which is designed to address the fluid nature of these problems.
Previous Hot Topics Newsletters
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #29
Featured topics: Security.
The printed copy of z/OS Hot Topics, issue 29 has incorrect technical information in "Track down GRS requests with SMF" on page 30. The first two sentences have been revised and the paragraph under the topic for "Enter global resource serialization" has also been revised. The revised article is in the online PDF on this webpage.
To see the solution to the word search on page 25, go to the z/OS Hot Topics page on Facebook. While your there, make sure to "Like" us!
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #28
Featured topics: Smarter Computing with z/OS V2R1: cloud, analytics, mobile, social, and security.
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #27
Featured topics: z/OS V2R1, IBM zEnterprise, Flash Express, zAware, z/OSMF.
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #26
Featured topics: The fine art of z/OS.
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #25
Featured topics: z/OS: a smarter operating system for a Smarter Planet.
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #24
Featured topics: zEnterprise gets you where you are going.
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #23
Featured topics: Face to Face with business resiliency and problem determination.
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #22
Featured topics: Nothing gets past z/OS! Security and auditing.
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #21
Featured topics: Simplification
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #20
Featured topics: 10th Anniversary Special - Memories of a mainframe
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #19
Featured topics: On to V1R10 - And a greener data center
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #18
Featured topics: RAS to the Rescue - Stand-alone dump best practices
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #17
Featured topics: Meet zIIP and zAAP IBM's specialty processors
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #16
Featured topics: All things data
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #15
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #14
Featured topic: z/OS: Simply secure
February 2006 bonus PDF
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #13
Featured topic: An apple a day . . . keeps the PMRs away! An overview of IBM Health Checker for z/OS
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #12
Featured topic: Hidden treasures: Making the most of your 64-bit SVC dumps
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #11
Featured topic: Infrastructure simplification
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #10
Featured topic: z/OS download for dummies
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #9
Featured topic: Tools
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #8
Featured topic: Migrating to z/OS
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #7
Featured topic: Security
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #6
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #5
z/OS Hot Topics Newsletter #4
Hot Spotlight Articles
Our Hot Spotlight section features Web articles (not included in the latest issue of the z/OS Hot Topics newsletter) that provide great information on a host of System z topics.
Driving home the mainframe memories: Forty-four years of disk-drive development (PDF 103KB) John Eells continues his mainframe retrospective with our third installment about the history of IBM disk drives.
Ask Mr. Catalog: Answers to common ICF catalog questions (PDF 99KB)
Another in a set of questions and answers about catalogs from Stephen Branch, Mr. Catalog himself.
Mirror, mirror (on the site): Deployment scenarios for TPC-R on z/OS
Learn how to deploy TotalStorage Productivity Center for Replication (TPC-R) in your z/OS enterprise by Nick Clayton.
Life begins at 40... Happy birthday, CICS
Celebrate 40 years of CICS with a birthday salute from David Reynolds and Nick Garrod.
Latch onto better contention resolution
Learn about how to handle latch contention in z/OS V1R11 with global resource serialization (GRS) from Chris Brooker, Nick Matsakis, and Steven Partlow.
Enhance your I/O performance with IBM System z
Read about the latest enhancements to I/O performance including FICON I/O operations and the IBM System Storage DS8000 solid state drive (SSD) technology by Harry Yudenfriend.
z-the Difference: Sysplex availability
Read about how the System z sysplex makes all the difference when it comes to availability.
Please DO touch that dial: zFS performance tuning
Find out how the zSeries File System provides the best in performance tuning of zFS.