Skip navigation
1 2 3 Previous Next

Mainframe Revolution [ARCHIVED]

229 posts
Share This:

In the United States, automobile efficiency is measured by miles per gallon (MPG). The higher the MPG, the more efficient a car is. Car owners can improve MPG by keeping tires inflated properly, using a clean air filter, and so on. When MPG suffers, car owners may take it to a mechanic for a tune-up.


MainView monitoring and management solutions are inherently efficient, but environmental factors could prevent them from performing optimally. You don't need to take your MainView solutions to a mechanic for a can tune them yourself by using the tips in these short videos:



Take these videos for a spin and see how much you can improve your MainView MPG!

The postings in this blog are my own and don’t necessarily represent BMC’s opinion or position.

Share This:

The z/OS operating system provides knobs and levers that mainframe professionals can use to limit exposure to excessive MLC Software costs.  But the use of these capabilities is not without risk, and therein lies the dilemma for IT.  IT can set "caps" on LPARs or groups of LPARs and control how many MSUs will be consumed by the work.  But - and this is the concern for many mainframers we've spoken with - limiting the MSU consumption means limiting the workloads that are trying to execute.  If those workloads that get limited are critical business services, the customers, and the business, will not be happy.  To really leverage the capping capability, IT would have to dynamically make changes and then in real time watch what work is trying to execute, so caps can be raised before business service is impacted.  Of course, no one in IT has the time to be doing this.


This is the challenge BMC has addressed with its latest innovative new mainframe solution, BMC Intelligent Capping for zEnterprise.  This solution does what IT would like to do in managing caps - it dynamically adjusts the caps, while being fully aware of the workloads that need to execute to keep the business running properly.  BMC Intelligent Capping, or iCap, employs user-defined policies that identify critical workloads and combines that with a workload-aware view of MSU consumption and capping activity.  The result is a dynamic capping solution that can reduce MLC costs while mitigating risk to critical business workloads.  What could be easier - or safer?


Check out iCap at

We have a champion!

Posted by Jonathan Adams Jun 16, 2014
Share This:

Congratulations to our own Phil Grainger for being named a 2014 IBM Champion for Information Management. Because it is rare for an employee of an independent software vendor to be named an IBM Champion, this is a special honor.


Phil is a thought leader for DB2 for z/OS. He spends a good deal of his time talking with users, presenting at IDUG, and helping BMC stay ahead of the curve.


Congratulations, Phil! 


The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.

Share This:

The mainframe has been an amazing platform for the last 50 years.  But the most exciting aspect of the mainframe is its power and potential for transforming our daily lives.  Mainframes play a role in everything from space flight success to multi-player gaming.  Nearly every person on the planet engages with a mainframe in some aspect of their lives - dressing for the day, buying something, visiting a doctor, staying in a hotel all involve mainframes.


Here are two ways to view the role of the mainframe:

Celebrating the Mainframe - ebook with some interesting facts about mainframes and our lives:


Mainframe in Daily Life - an Infographic:


Check these out to add to your mainframe groove.

Share This:

Where is the mainframe today, and where will it be going in the next 50 years?  How committed are organizations to the platform?  What is driving its growth?  What about Cloud, Big Data, Mobility impacts?  Skills issues?  You can contribute your view to these and many more questions in the 9th annual BMC Software Mainframe Survey.  Results will be tabulated and shared publicly in September.  You can access the survey by going to: 2014 Annual Mainframe Survey

The "Mad Men" Mainframe

Posted by Jonathan Adams May 20, 2014
Share This:

"Mad Men" shows us just how far we have come since the 1960s. In recent episodes, we have met their new mainframe - a status symbol on display for all customers to see.


While the "Mad Men" mainframe has its own glass room, it is less powerful than a basic smartphone today. The times indeed change, but the mainframe is still going strong.


The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.

Share This:

The 2014 IDUG DB2 Tech Conference now in its 26th year is the premier training event dedicated exclusively to IBM’s industry-leading DB2 product family. The conference includes a robust technical schedule, in-depth seminars, networking opportunities and a vendor exhibition featuring the latest innovations in DB2.


BMC is proud to have sponsored IDUG for over 10 years. Here are some ways you can engage with us and find out how to optimize your mainframe DB2 environment, from sessions to Vendor Solution Presentations (VSPs), to in-booth demos and giveaways, we've got a lot in store for you:


1. Session 1:  Tame Your Backups without Creating More Work (AO3)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 3:15 pm – 4:15 pm

Encanto A

Speaker: Paul Walters, Navy Federal Credit Union and Jim Kurtz BMC Software

Faced with a 10 year old backup process that was running in excess of 24 hours and impacting other database activities such as LOADs, MODIFYs, REORGs and normal system outages, the Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) needed to quickly and reliability deploy a new backup strategy that would meet their scheduling requirements without creating maintenance issues or impacting the reliability of their recovery process


2. Session 2: A DB2 Workload Tuning Methodology (EO5)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 8:00 am – 9:00 am


Speaker: Phil Grainger BMC Software


Instead of tuning your SQL one statement at a time, why not look to the advantages of tuning an entire workload of SQL instead? Workload SQL tuning can not only provide faster returns on the investment in tuning time and effort but will usually provide bigger savings of cpu and other resources. Workload tuning can also avoid the unfortunate “Silly Putty” situation where improving the performance of one SQL statement can have unexpected detrimental effects elsewhere! Apart from tactical emergency corrections to individual SQL statements, workload SQL tuning should be the preferred mechanism to ensure that application SQL and the underlying database design work together in the most efficient way possible This presentation walks through a typical workload tuning methodology


3. Session 3: DB2 11 Expanded RBA/LRSN – Does this bit make my tail look big? (AO6)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:15 am – 10:15 am

Encanto A

Speaker: Ken McDonald , BMC Software


DB2 has had a 6 byte RBA since the beginning and a 6 byte LRSN since DB2 Version 4. IBM is introducing the ability to optionally expand the RBA and LRSN to 10 bytes in DB2 11. This change will have fairly far reaching implications on many DB2 structures that have carried a 6 byte RBA since the beginning over 30 years ago. This presentation will raise some of those implications by discussing where RBA values currently reside in the DB2 universe. Details of old versus new formats will be provided. The source of the presentation title? Every page on a DB2 object, both table and index spaces, ends in a structure called PGTAIL. In the expanded world, this becomes PGBIGTAIL.


4. Session 4: Advanced Copy Techniques (G11)

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Maryvale A

Speaker: Tom Price , BMC Software

During the last several years, a number of new techniques have become available for making copies and backups of DB2 data.  Each of the methods has certain requirements e.g. special hardware or software licenses, has significant advantages in some cases, and may have problems in other cases. This presentation discusses the requirements, advantages, and problems with several new techniques.  This discussion should help you decide which methods are the best for your systems.

5. Session 5: Building your DB2 War Room – Your System Health at a Glance (E12)

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 2:15 pm – 3:15 pm


Speaker: Lindsay Keim, State Farm Insurance and Kevin Pintar , BMC Software

Meeting today’s service level agreements for response time and through-put while trying to reduce costs is a challenge that every DB2 Performance, Admin and Application team faces. This two part presentation will focus on monitoring techniques for making your performance team a success. We will explore a large DB2 installation’s approach to quickly identifying and resolving DB2 performance opportunities using custom built dashboards. Secondly, using BMC’s DB2 Health Navigator, we will rapidly diagnose performance issues in several key functional areas such as logging, locking, and buffer pools.


6: Workbench: BMC Workbench for DB2 - Secure self-service tooling for DB2 for z/OS (VSP 1)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Encanto B

Speaker: Phil Grainger, BMC Software and Jim Kurtz, BMC Software

As our typical mainframe workforce starts to look towards retirement, there is becoming a need for more functionally rich interfaces than the historical ISPF screens

BMC Workbench for DB2 brings the power of a graphical interface to the world of DB2 tools

Running in a web browser, thus obviating the need for ANY local installation of software, BMC Workbench for DB2 provides secure self-service access to both DB2 and to the BMC DB2 toolset

Initially targeting application developers, Workbench delivers catalog browsing, access path analysis, statement tuning, job submission and many more activities in a familiar graphical environment

Come to our VSP and see a LIVE demo of the latest version of BMC Workbench for DB2


7. DB2 Recovery: DB2 z/OS Recovery Pay Now or Pay Later (VSP 2)

DB2 for z/OS Recovery: Preparation and Practice

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Encanto B

Speaker: Chad Reiber

When was the last time you had to do a recovery? Or should I ask when was the last time you thought about recovery in your day to day activity. Let’s take it to the next level when was the last time you actually practiced a recovery?  Today many of us think our DB2 databases are recoverable because we have mirrored DASD to some remote site and recovery is as easy as bringing up the system on that alternate site. But life is not so easy – a little work now can save many sleepless days or should I say weeks when something goes very wrong.

It is not all about having the state of art DB2 recovery tools – it is putting in the time to build the process so if something happens (and it might just be waiting to happen) you are ready to react. This presentation will review potential ways to prepare and practice DB2 recovery.  Many BMC and DB2 native utilities and products will be discussed.


8. Tuesday Reception 5:30-7:30


9. Sponsor Showcase Theater

Tuesday, May 13 5:30-7:30 pm
Wednesday May 14 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, 4:30-6:00 pm
Thursday, May 15 11:30am - 1:00 pm


10. Workbench for DB2

BMC Workbench for DB2 provides self-service for application developers who prefer web based access to information about DB2, and for experienced DB2 DBAs who want an easy-to-use GUI approach for some of their tasks. BMC Workbench for DB2 is a component of BMC Object Administration and BMC Performance for DB2 SQL offerings.


11. SQL Performance for DB2

BMC SQL Performance for DB2 diagnoses application performance problems, thereby reducing overall costs. BMC SQL Performance for DB2 integrates the functionality of the following products and technologies into a single offering that helps you optimize performance and availability by tuning the application SQL or physical database design.


12. Backup and Recovery for DB2

BMC Recovery Management for DB2 provides automation and advisory-level features to enable rapid backup and recovery, including recovery any timestamp or log point, high-speed transaction recovery, backout recovery, and instant recovery using intelligent hardware.


13. Object Administration for DB2

With BMC Database Administration for DB2, you will ensure application and data integrity, improve productivity by simplifying DB2 catalog navigation and change management, mitigate risk by synchronizing changes with related objects and enhance application availability by performing maintenance with minimal outages.

14. High speed utilities for DB2

This solution provides catalog and change management tools and high speed utilities to support objects throughout the application life cycle, enables version control for added flexibility recovers inadvertently dropped DB2 objects and enables you to back-out changes.


15. MainView for DB2

As your business grows, so does your data—along with the costs to manage it. BMC MainView offers the most CPU-efficient monitoring and management solution in the industry, shifting up to 70% of monitoring overhead from MIPs to zIIPs. The result? More room to process business applications, and performance management that corrects issues before they even have a chance to cost you money.


16. MLC Cost Reduction – Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise

BMC Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise incorporates the complexity of MLC pricing into an easy to use solution for actively managing MLC costs.  By analyzing utilization and cost data, BMC Cost Analyzer for zEnterprise portrays the system peaks and cost drivers so you can identify cost-reducing strategies. Robust graphical reporting gets you started and powerful "what-if" planning capabilities let you test-drive changes and see the cost impacts those might have before you commit to any changes.


17. DB2 Reference Book

Get your DB2 Reference Book!



18. DB2 Reference Poster



19. Mainframe 50 T-Shirt

IDUG Shirt.png


20. Mainframe 50 Coin


Watch and learn

Posted by Jonathan Adams Apr 24, 2014
Share This:

Do you need to know how to manage mainframe SQL performance through a GUI? Or check DBRC List History through a GUI? Or manage z/OS, CICS, DB2, IMS, or WebSphere MQ through a GUI or 3270 interface?


You can learn how to do all this and much more by watching BMC Quick Courses on YouTube. Hundreds of short videos provide instructions on how to use a variety of BMC mainframe products.


Check it out!


The postings in this blog are my own and don't necessarily represent BMC's opinion or position.

Share This:

Guest post by Warren Harper


The mainframe – already by that word, most people who question me about my job either have no idea what I’m talking about, or are shocked that one even exists anymore. One person even asked me, “Why would you want to work on something so old?”  What’s interesting to me about this comment is its uniqueness to computing. Ford came out with its first automobile long before IBM came out with its first mainframe, but engineers and designers of cars are not hassled about working on dinosaurs. So, what’s the difference here? Why is old synonymous with obsolete in our industry?


I think the cause of this is visibility. And I don’t mean this in some kind of abstract manner; quite literally, the general population, for all intents and purposes, doesn’t see or hear about mainframes. Cars can be seen, touched, and explicitly used every day. Likewise, people use their smartphones, tablets, and PCs constantly. But 20 years ago, people weren’t walking around with smartphones and tablets. It might seem like a revolutionary change, but for the most part people are still accessing much of the same information. The difference is the device we use to get to it.


If we imagine the auto industry taking on this same trend, there would be something like an “iBench” which carries people around. Moving the bench would be a car driving underground with a big magnet that applies the necessary force. After years of not seeing wheeled cars driving around, of course people are going to doubt the relevance, and probably even the existence, of cars. However, the need to move people from one place to another doesn’t go away. Likewise, the need for reliable, fast computing isn’t going to disappear with the next iPhone. The mainframe satisfies this essential paradigm, and has for a long time, so it’s hard to imagine a future without it.


What do you think about the mainframe as a career choice?

Share This:

To celebrate the mainframe’s 50th anniversary, BMC has created a commemorative coin for mainframe users.  This coin is a celebration of all the amazing things mainframers have accomplished with the mainframe over the years.  And, it is our promise to you that BMC will
continue to deliver incredible innovations to help IT take the mainframe into its next 50 years.  Each 2” polished nickel coin has a unique serial number, so every coin is a one-of-a-kind remembrance of the mainframe.  You can request your own coin here: [link to coin form page]

Share This:

At SHARE Anaheim, BMC introduced the mainframe 50th anniversary commemorative coin as a way of paying tribute to not only the history of the mainframe, but also the future we look forward to.  There has been a lot of interest, and much appreciation for the tribute to mainframers embodied in the BMC coin.


MF50 coin front.png

Now, those who are not at SHARE can request a coin of their own online.  Coins are available only as long as supplies last, so if you want to get this piece of mainframe history, request one at the following link:

Share This:

The last fifty years of mainframe contributions can be broken into five periods in which mainframes transformed business and
government.  Here is an “E”asy way to think of them:


Empower (2000-present): mainframes empower transformation as part of the technology ecosystem


Engage (1990-2000): organizations’ customers engage more directly with the business on the shoulders of mainframe systems and data


Enrich (1980-1990): mainframes open up entire new vistas of possibilities by providing rich data on business, markets and customers


Expand (1970-1980): enterprises recognize the ability to expand market offerings through mainframe systems


Enable (1964-1970): business, government and science start to do incredible things, enabled by mainframe computing.


For more on the timeline of mainframe history and innovation, visit

Share This:

I’m really excited about the upcoming SHARE conference at the Anaheim Marriott starting on March 10th. A wide variety of companies and technical professionals will come together to share their insights and knowledge from years of mainframe experience. In fact, it’s all about the 50 years of mainframe experience. 


Rock Music and the Mainframe

Think about it. When the mainframe was invented, the Beatles just hit the scene. Skipping forward, you met the music of Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Boston, Journey, Kiss, Van Halen, Heart, Foreigner, Styx, Rush, Jefferson Starship, and onto the likes of Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Matchbox 20. Excuse me if I’ve left off your favorite. The mainframe has evolved similarly. From being useful and new—to being great and powerful—to being something we cannot imagine our world without.


We were rockin’. We were rollin’. We were computin’. Can you say Data Jam?


Top Bands 1.jpg


We might see it all at SHARE

I’m anticipating that we’ll see some awesomeness at SHARE this year…unlike we’ve ever seen…and perhaps never see again (until Mainframe 100!).


For example, BMC will be putting on quite a show. When you arrive, you’ll be hard-pressed to miss our booth—not just because of its size, but because of its location—right by the food and beverage. So come on by, grab some food, and check out our stuff. Like free Mainframe 50 T-shirts, a commemorative Mainframe 50 Coin, and a Keurig coffee maker as a raffle prize.


You’ll also see great demos of industry-leading products, like Cost Analyzer (on the BIG screen, no less!). Staying at the Marriott? You’ll see us on your room key. Going to the sessions? You’ll see us on the session signs. BMC loves the mainframe, and we love SHARE. Here’s to rocking out with you at the conference!             


I’ll finish with an interesting question: I wonder what number we would see if we add up all the years of mainframe experience from everyone who attends SHARE in Anaheim….Wow!  Any guesses?

Share This:

Mainframers have been I.T. heroes for fifty years, helping their organizations grow, prosper, and transform on the strength of the mainframe platform.  In 2014 we celebrate fifty years of mainframe – but we also celebrate fifty years of the heroic actions of I.T.  The mainframes – and the I.T. heroes who support it – have always been ready to lead business into revolutionary ways of advancing the enterprise's success.  Many of you can (fondly?) recall nights and weekends spent in the data center ensuring the mainframe was ready to deliver the “next big thing” for your business.


That kind of effort deserves recognition, and so BMC has created a Mainframe 50th Anniversary commemorative coin, which will be distributed at SHARE Anaheim March 10 -12.  If you will be at SHARE, stop by booth 511 to get your serial-numbered commemorative coin.  Display it on your desk, to remind you – and anyone who stops by your desk - of all the amazing things you have done with the mainframe.

And, of the incredible things yet to come.

Share This:

The start of the mainframe heralded by the delivery of IBM(R) System/360 in April, 1964, enabled computing for business and government.  As business back-office work was computerized, IT was asked to manage the systems and not just operate them.  This meant having some way to find out what the systems were doing.


In 1967, Boole and Babbage (acquired by BMC in 1999) developed seminal programs, CUE (Computer Utilization Evaluator) and PPE
(Problem Program Evaluator) to report on how the resources in a computer were being used.  Not only did these software tools answer the immediate need for IT, they spawned systems management solutions that would continue to be invented and enhanced over the ensuing five decades of the mainframe.


BMC Innovations that Changed Mainframe Management (1964 – 1970)

(Watch this blog in coming weeks for reminiscences about these innovations.)


1967 - PPE
was the first tool to give IT visibility into how programs were executing and
using CPU resources.


1967 - CUE
was the first tool to give IT visibility into how devices were being accessed
and used.


You can also view a fifty year timeline and more information on our mainframe anniversary page at


(R) Trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, in other countries, or both.


Filter Blog

By date:
By tag: