Mainframe.US.com Capability Statement

Experience Summary
  • Storage Management
  • Capacity Planning
  • Assembler Programming
  • Systems Availability Enhancement
  • Performance Analysis
  • Disaster Recovery Planning and Execution
  • MVS Catalog Design and Management
  • RACF Security Management
  • Applications Programming
  • JCL Production Control and Scheduling
  • MVS Operations

We have experience in all aspects of IBM MVS mainframe business systems. We have operated, installed, configured, modified, debugged and supported all levels of IBM's MVS z/OS operating system and associated program products.

Companies / Corporations and Associated Projects
  • 2013 - Avatier Software (RACF Internals and Interfaces / Ongoing Mainframe Support)
  • 2013 - Banner Health - (Ongoing Legacy Support, z/OS v1.12 to v1.13 & OEM Upgrades)
  • 2012 - Minnesota Power (z/OS v1.11 to v1.13 and CICS v3.2 to v4.2 Upgrade)
  • 2012 - Treehouse Software (z/OS v1.8 to v1.13 Upgrade CICS, DB2, IMS on ADCD zPDT)
  • 2011 - TIAA-CREF (z/OS Performance Measuring and Tuning)
  • 2010 - MOI (Dept. of Defense - USAF - z/VM to z/OS conversion)
  • SRP (High Availability Enhancement)
  • DHL (High Availability Enhancement)
  • Charles Schwab (Sysplex High Availability Enhancement)
  • Banner Health Systems (z/OS & Program Product Upgrades)
  • National Data Corporation (OSA & TCP/IP Implementation)
  • Verizon Wireless (Conversion from VMS to MVS)
  • Cyclone, Inc. (New Install & Configuration of MVS)
  • American Express (MVS Support and Development)
  • Northrop Grumman (MVS Support and Development)
  • Crocker National Bank (Mainframe Operations)
  • Open Mainframe Solutions (New Install & Configuration of MVS)
  • ViaSoft, Inc. (TCP/IP activation)
  • Arizona Department of Transportation (Upgrades, USS, Websphere, IMS Connect)
  • Compuware Corporation (O/S and Program Product installs and upgrades)
  • Stae Tech, Inc. (Small SYSPLEX establishment, HMC customization)
  • Stonebranch, Inc. (Outsourced General SYSPROG duties)
  • Hyundai Motor America (Upgrade MVS and outsourced SYSPROG duties)
  • Develop Custom Mainframe Training for Charles Schwab and Wachovia Bank Powered by Trainframe, Inc.

Make Us Your MVS z/OS Mainframe Partner. We can provide:

Mainframe Specialists / Project and Program Managers / IT Managers and Directors for:

  • z/OS Consolidation & Integration
  • z/OS Installation & Daily Support
  • z/OS Disaster Recovery
  • z/OS Internals and Diagnostics
  • z/OS Program Product Support
  • Mainframe Assembler Programmer
  • Coding VB or Web interfaces
  • z/OS Debugging and Troubleshooting
  • z/OS Availability and Situation Management
  • z/OS Operations Support
  • z/OS Technology Sales Support
  • Mainframe Computer Training (Custom to your needs and your applications)

Skills
  • MVS z/OS Installation, Support, Operation
  • Unix Systems Services
  • CICS Programming and System’s Support
  • IMS Programming and System’s Support
  • DB2 Programming and System’s Support
  • Database Analysis and Management
  • Hardware Configuration Dialog (HCD)
  • Webspherez/OS with IMS bridge
  • MQ Series
  • IPCS Debugging and IBMLINK
  • Assembler Coding (User Exits)
  • Upgrades
  • Crisis / Situation Management
  • High Speed Networking to/from Mainframe
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Consolidation and Integration
  • MVS Subsystems - JES2 VTAM TCPIP etc.
  • SYSPLEX
  • Extended Remote Copy (XRC)
  • OEM Product Installation and Support
  • Unix Administration
  • FLEX/ES Installation, Support and Migration
  • PDT and PID IBM System Support for IBM Partners

Specifics

As senior and lead mainframe systems programmers, we have been responsible for trouble-shooting, supporting, maintaining and implementing new and existing technologies. As a plus, over time, we have learned a lot about other non-mainframe environments too. This has served us well because of the complicated interfaces and dependencies on other platforms.

z/OS on zSeries and zEnterprise

We have worked with IBM mainframes since 1981. Some of our staff started as MVS operators and worked my way up to an MVS Systems Programmers by the late 80's. Along the way, we have worked on every IBM architecture since (not to mention Amdahl and Hitachi versions of CMOS processors, when they were still in the game). Over the past several years, all of the hardware that we have been working on has been zSeries running z/OS and z/VM. We have been involved with upgrade challenges such as MVS/XA to MVS/ESA conversion, 31-bit to 64-bit conversion, planning and executing JES2 cold starts during upgrade(s), retrofitting user exits, converting catalogs, RVARYing RACF databases, converting from WLM compatibility mode to Goal mode, many, many hardware push/pull upgrades (or downgrades).

TSO & ISPF

Working with TSO/ISPF is mandatory when administering MVS systems (unless the customer is a Wylbur shop). We consider ourselves expert in TSO/ISPF. In August 1990, Joe Polizzi published an article in NaSpa magazine detailing how to drive ISPF dialogs using assembler coding techniques and macros. We can provide a copy of this article upon request. We can customize logon PROCs and allocations using LIBDEF statements. We frequently use REXX and CLIST programs to execute custom and canned ISPF applications.

SMP/E

Again, working with SMP/E is mandatory as an MVS systems programmer. Over the years, we have maintained third party products such as CA, Compuware, MXG, ASG, LRS (to list a few) using SMP/E receive, apply and accept methodology. In our experiences, each shop rolls out fixes and upgrades differently, however, the SMP/E steps are the same. The SMP/E zones will often vary from shop to shop, for instance, we used an "X" "Y" "Z" zones at American Express where "X" was always the backout version, the "Y" zone represented current production, and the "Z" zone was where we would roll new updates to. Once the zones are updated, each shop always has their own roll-out to production methods (direct zone updates, clone across, etc.). We have implemented hundreds of PTFs and have experience with CBPDO and ServerPac installations from scratch. In all cases, back-out is of utmost importance!!!

Workload Manager

While contracting at Hyundai, we were responsible for converting the systems from Compatibility to WLM Goal modes. During this process, we had to create (and tweak) WLM policies based on their business goals and the types of transactions they ran on their systems. We had to back out a couple of times due to response time problems, however, after some diagnosis, we were able to tune WLM properly, and Goal mode stuck thereafter. The key was, we were available, on site, measuring and monitoring and was able to back out quickly with barely an impact.

MXG, SAS, SMF

As a systems programmer, we often have to wear the "capacity planner" hat. We have worked with MXG and SAS in the past to analyze past SMF data in order to plan for future expansion. We are very knowledgeable about SMF record types, and the type of information that can be extracted from SMF. We have installed and upgraded MXG and have run IVPs to test functionality. In many of the large shops that we have worked, we had dedicated capacity planners and performance analysts, but in some of the smaller shops, we do it all. We have written many programs in SAS, mainly for basic report writing. Now, some of us prefer REXX. SAS is preferred with MXG, as it is based around SAS code and interfaces.

RACF & ACF2

We have upgraded RACF many times. In all major upgrades, we have had to perform a RACF database conversion to upgraded levels and templates. Testing, backup and back-out is key. Also, during RACF maintenance, (for instance, when increasing the size of the database) we’ve had to RVARY to switch between the primary and secondary databases and dynamically vary them offline/online in order to perform the upgrade without taking a system outage. For administration purposes, we are capable of granting / removing access and privileges to users, groups, generic profiles and other RACF defined resources. In many shops that we have assisted, we have performed the similar functions using CA's ACF2 and Top Secret.

DFSMS, DFHSM & Storage Subsystems

As mainframe system folks, we have always had to understand our way around the storage environment (both software and hardware). We have dynamically updated SMS ACS allocation routines. Weare expert with utilities such as DFDSS / ADRDSSU and ICKDSF. We have assisted with mass data migrations from one storage subsystem to another due to a hardware push/pull. We have written dynamic allocation routines using assembler coding techniques and macros. We have defined large storage systems to z/OS using HCD - defining several channels through switches to various tape and disk storages systems (ATL and VTS). We were heavily involved in implementing STK Tape Silos at American Express. We have had lots of experience with catalog utilities, such as the many options of IDCAMS, including import connect / disconnect and backup utilities. Once at Hyundai, we had to forward recover one of their user catalogs (recover from backup and forward recover from SMF).

VTAM, TCP/IP & Channel Extension

We have supported, upgraded and maintained both. We have frequently updated and maintained VTAMLST and VTAMLIB members as well as exit points within VTAM. When NCP was prevalent, we were responsible for performing NCP gens. We helped NDC (formerly Walsh America) with configuring their OSA adapters and properly defining their TCP/IP configuration to get their IP network online. We did the same for ViaSoft on their small P/390 mainframe running OS/390 at the time. We designed and implemented American Express' worldwide channel extension equipment where we extended high speed printers and tape drives from Phoenix to Brazil, Japan, UK, Canada and Australia. Much of this technology was based on a modified version of the IP Stack.

CICS, DB2, IMS & IDMS

We have supported many systems and SYSPLEX’d systems running CICS/DB2, IMS and IDMS. We have implemented PTFs and researched APARs associated with online systems. We have created DB2 databases for various subsystems requiring DB2 to function on the mainframe (such as Mobius ViewDirect). We’ve captured and analyzed CICS and DB2 dumps using IPCS for various problems that we have been involved with over the years. We know right where to look when trying to find out more regarding transaction errors and DB2 lockouts. We are also skilled at using various performance monitors (such as Mainview and Omegamon) when looking at and trouble shooting the online environment.

Internals, Dump Reading & Working with Control Blocks

We frequently use IPCS and ABENDAID to format and read many system and application dumps. We have used both assembler and REXX to extract system information contained in control blocks. We have coded authorized programs that have taken advantage of Dataspace and Hiperspace.

Job Control Language (JCL) & Utilities

You cannot be a MVS Systems Programmer without mastering JCL. We can code JCL from scratch, however, that would be silly, as we probably have something in our libraries that will work with little modification. As SYSPROGs, we have used every IBM (and third party) utility at one time or another.

Hardware Management Console (HMC)

On the HMC, we have experience in defining new LPARS, Coupling Facilities and other SYSPLEX related resources. At times, we’ve had to adjust LPAR settings related to storage and CPU resources. We use the HMC frequently to troubleshoot hardware problems and identify bottlenecks.

Pulling Cables, Wiring, Plumbing & Networking

Oh yeah! The fun stuff... Many times we have strapped on the knee pads, put on the gloves and hunted for the floor puller. We have worked with everything from BUS/TAG to Fiber to Category 5. We have planned for electrical, A/C, Water Chiller, Security Cameras and sensors, Rack cold/hot aisles and switch / director devices (mainframe and non-mainframe).

Hardware Configuration Dialog - HCD

Once you have everything "wired-up" then you have to tell the hardware and O/S what's out there. We have made IOCDS updates and associated HCD SYS1 IODF updates. We have implemented such changes via schedule Power on Resets POR or dynamically using the MVS ACTIVATE command.

Languages

    We can proficiently code in the following languages:

  • Assembler - HLASM - ALC
  • REXX
  • COBOL
  • SAS
  • CLIST
  • JCL
  • Visual Basic 6 - VB6
  • Shell Scripting - Various Flavors
  • ISPF
  • Xerox PDL and FDL
  • Fortran
  • Various Report Writer Languages
  • HTML
  • Captivate (formerly RoboDemo)
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