Wednesday, March 28, 2012

How good are your passwords?

Like most users of high tech gadgetry and online computer systems, we all have passwords.  In some cases lots of them.  According to one article, "the number one way hackers get into protected systems isn't through a fancy technical exploit. It's by guessing the password."

So what is the most common password out there?  How about Password1?  It actually fulfills a lot of what many security algorithms look for:  an upper case letter, a number, and nine characters.  The problem is something like 5% of all passwords in use contain the word  "password".

So if you are using Password1, you may want to change it.  Here's a link to the article:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Take advantage of large screen support in your terminal emulator

If you are taking a look at OMEGAMON XE For z/OS V5.1 or OMEGAMON XE For CICS V5.1, one of the nice features of the new enhanced 3270 is the ability to support various screen sizes and formats. 

When you use a commonly available emulator, such as PCOMM, you have a choice of various screen sizes (such as 24x80, 32x80, 43x80, etc).  What size you may use is a matter of preference.  For example, a good size to use in terms of ease of use combined with ease of readability for many users is 43x80.  Or you may prefer a different size.  You have the flexibility to specify it.

Here's a neat tip from my colleague Ernie Gilman.  You can set the screen size up to as high as 62x160.  Why would you do that?  Well one reason is you can get more data on the screen at once without having to scroll the displays.  Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

To get this screen size you need to do two things.  First you need to configure your emulator to support a 62x160 session.  You then need to logon to OMEGAMON using a different logmode (the required logomode is d4a32xx3).  When logging on you can often pass the logmode option as part of the logon string (for example - logon applid(omappl) logmode(d4a32xx3). 

You get more data on the screen.  Try it out, you might like it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Upcoming webcast on OMEGAMON DB2 and DB2 10

If you are looking at going to DB2 10, you may want to take the time to attend this webcast on "What's monitoring DB2 10? Only OMEGAMON XE for DB2 Performance Expert on z/OS".  The presentation will cover such topics as how to fully monitor the day-to-day functions of DB2 10, how a new feature called Extended Insight improves application response time, and how to combine batch-reporting capabilities with real-time monitoring and historical tracking. 

The presenters will be Steve Fafard and Norbert Jenninger from OMEGAMON DB2 development.  The webcast will take place on April 3rd at 11 AM Eastern time.  Here's a link to attend the event:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Youtube video on OMEGAMON CICS V5.1

If you are interested in OMEGAMON CICS V5.1, here's a link to how you can use the enhanced 3270 ui to address a short on storage issue:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Share presentations in Atlanta

I'm also doing two presentations as part of the Share conference in Atlanta.  I'm covering two topics.  The first topic I presented on Tuesday and was titled  "Understanding The Impact Of The Network On z/OS Performance".  In this presentation I look at the overall application time line, and how the network and z/OS interact to impact that time line. Here's a link to the presentation:

I'm also doing a presentation on Thursday on "Understanding, Monitoring and Managing z/OS Enclave".  This is a new presentation I created that goes into a little more depth on the story behind enclaves, the various type and functions of enclaves, and how to monitor and manage enclaves.  Here's a link for the presentation material:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Share conference

I was at Pulse last week.  This week I'm attending the Share conference.  Share is always one of my favorite events, and it never lacks for interesting topics and discussions. Just like with Pulse, "cloud' is one of the popular buzz words, and you see quite a few presentations with cloud as part of the topic. 

Here are a couple topics that are cloud related that you may find of interest.  The first is "The Cloud Computing Cookbook: The Hypervisor Side".  This presentation relates to the "Virtualization Cookbook" for System z, which in the past has been a Redbook, has been updated for 2012 and renamed "The Cloud Computing Cookbook".  Here's a link:

Another interesting presentation was "Don't Let the Cloud Fog Your Vision: An Update for the z/OS Sysprog".  This was a thorough conceptual overview done in the context of z/OS.  Here's a link:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Some more OMEGAMON z/OS V5.1 demonstration videos

Here are links to some additional OMEGAMON V5.1 videos going through some typical problem analysis scenarios using the new V5.1 enhanced 3270 interface. 

Here's a link to a looping task scenario:

Here's a link to a resolving an enqueue scenario:

And here's a link to a z/OS health checker scenario using both the Tivoli Portal and the new enhanced 3270 user interface:

These are nice little demo scenarios, and if you are interested in enhanced 3270 it's worth taking a look.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A quick recap of Pulse

If you want to summarize Pulse in a single word, I think that word would be cloud.  Pulse had four key themes: cloud, mobility, smarter physical infrastructure and Security/compliance.  But, more than anything, it was cloud, how customers are moving towards cloud, and the systems management challenges of cloud that seemed to be the common thread that linked it all together.

After the general session there were breakouts into the four primary threads.  The kickoff for the could thread was a panel discussion that included customers and IBMers.  The most interesting statement of the session was made by the CIO of American Greetings who said (and I'm just paraphrasing), that cloud was important to American Greetings because it was important that they be able to use cloud to provide the consistency, integrity, and stability to open systems platforms that people take for granted with the mainframe.  The mainframe was a platform that everyone could count on and they wanted to use cloud to achieve that same reliability in their other computing platforms.  Interesting perspective, isn't it?