How to handle the Mainframe skills gap

It has been an interesting 12 months in the Mainframe world. 2014 saw IBM celebrating 50 years of the Mainframe and in January this year the latest incarnation of the Mainframe – the z13 was launched. Propelling Mainframe back into “cool new” technology territory the z13 has been designed specifically with the mobile economy in mind.

More good news for Mainframe emerged earlier this year from Compuware’s Global CIO Survey which delivered some positive messages around Mainframe’s role within big business:

- 88% of CIOs agree that the Mainframe will continue as a key business asset over the next decade

- 81% of CIOs believe that Mainframe technology continues to evolve

- 78% of CIOs see the Mainframe as a strategic platform that will enable innovation

As heart warming as these messages are for those involved in the Mainframe world they come with a warning for the future:

- 70% of CIOS are concerned about knowledge transfer – with few younger IT professionals heading to the Mainframe to begin their careers and life-time Mainframers approaching retirement this is a very real concern.

- Despite that though 39% of CIOs admitted that they have no specific plans for addressing the Mainframe skills shortage

Plan for change now

Managing the skills transition efficiently will be vital for large organisations to ensure they maintain their critical data effectively and keep competitive in these challenging times.

The Options:

Outsourcing

Outsourcing mainframe services is certainly an option but it does bring with it many complications. Outsourcing to a third party means that the ingrained organisational knowledge of those currently managing the system can be lost. Although the outsourcing provider is no doubt highly skilled, they don’t have that intimate knowledge of the organisation which is built up over many years.

Training

Both IBM and CA are putting huge amounts of money and effort into training the next generation of mainframe experts by running education initiatives through universities in the US. However, training university students takes time to filter through the system and we are yet to see this trend crossing over to the UK.

Access to skilled Mainframe resource

It can be difficult to access skilled Mainframe resource. Triton Consulting provide flexible resourcing options to organisations who need to supplement their Mainframe skills. With the option to purchase a block of hours, our Consultancy on Demand solution allows organisations to access key skills as and when they are required. These consultancy hours can be used for training and skills transfer; to provide specific skills where they are lacking in the team or for specific project work. Working alongside the in-house team our highly experienced consultants can enable large Mainframe users to manage their resource requirements in a highly cost effective and flexible manner.

Find out more about Consultancy on Demand

Compuware Global CIO Survey

Posted in CIO, DB2, DB2 Training, IBM, mainframe, System Z, z/OS, zSeries | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Flexible Resourcing

Flexible IT resourcing can mean different things to different people.  It could be that your organisation needs access to extra IT skills quickly or on a short-term basis to plug a gap in the team due to unexpected leave.  Perhaps a new project means that you will need extra resources or specialist skills.  To some, flexible resourcing means the ability to call on a trusted supplier for resource on an ad hoc basis without the need to go through a protracted contracting process each time.

Some of the most common resourcing problems which we see from our customers are:

-          Ability to gain access to experienced support for specific projects or tasks

-          Need to supplement resourcing for short-term cover

-          Delays to getting resource on site due to long time-frame procurement and contracting processes

Triton Consulting have come up with a solution to help organisations better manage their resourcing requirements in a flexible and cost effective way.  Our solution is called Consultancy on Demand.  With this type of contract you can purchase a block of hours which can be used over a 12 month period for any type of DB2 related consultancy, project work, ad hoc support or training.  You only have to go through the procurement process once when the contract is set up and from then on you have access to the resource you need, when you need it.

Find out more about Consultancy on Demand

Listen to the podcast from our customer CPA Global on how they have used their Consultancy on Demand hours – Listen Now

Posted in CoD, DB2, DB2 Support | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares and How to Avoid Them #9

Number 9 in our Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares series. This month we take a look at what happens when organisations are not able to keep up to date with the latest DB2 technology. 

Posted in DB2 Administration, DB2 Support, DBA, Remote DBA | Tagged , | 1 Comment

IDUG EMEA 2015 – Call for Presentations

We are delighted to let you know that IDUG is now accepting presentation abstracts for the IDUG DB2 Tech Conference which will take place in Dublin from 15-20th November.

Being an IDUG presenter is a great opportunity to share your DB2 experiences and expertise with an audience of your peers.  If your presentation abstract is selected you will also receive one complimentary conference registration.

The Conference Planning Committee are looking for presentations on a range of DB2 related topics including:

  • New DB2 releases: migrating and effective usage
  • Analytics & Business Intelligence
  • New Technologies: Mobile Applications, Cloud….
  • Performance, Availability & Security
  • Application Development and Data Modelling
  • DB2 and Packaged Applications
  • User Experiences and Best-Practices; What did you achieve with DB2?

Visit the IDUG website to find out more

Posted in IDUG | Tagged | 1 Comment

Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares and How to Avoid Them #8

Number 8 in our Top 10 DB2 Support Nightmares series. This month we take a look at what happens when organisations are not able to keep up to date with the latest DB2 technology. 

Posted in DB2, DB2 Administration, DB2 Monitoring, DB2 Support, DB2 Tools, Remote DBA | Tagged | 1 Comment

IBM Launches z13 Mainframe

IBM have recently announced the launch of the z13 Mainframe. The latest version of the iconic Mainframe has been designed to deliver scale and economics together with real-time encryption and analytics to help meet the expectations of consumers for speed and safety for trillions of transactions in the mobile economy.

The highlights:

- First system to process 2.5 billion transactions per day, built for the mobile economy

- Makes possible real-time encryption on all mobile transactions at scale

- First mainframe system with embedded analytics providing real time transaction insights 17x faster than compared to competitive systems at a fraction of the cost

Read more from IBM

Learn more in an IBM z13 Technical Workshop

Posted in mainframe, System Z | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

DB2’s Got Talent: The Search Returns

It has been almost a year since our partner DBI Software crowned the current DB2’s Got Talent Champion, Mike Krafick. Once again DBI are searching for participants to enter the hugely successful annual contest and we are thrilled to be sponsoring the competition again this year.

DB2’s Got Talent encourages contestants to share their recent DB2 LUW or z/OS experiences, challenges and successes encountered during the past 12 months in an educational, informative yet fun and entertaining way. If you think you fit the bill and wish to compete for this year’s crown* you can find out further information on how to enter the competition here.

Not only will you gain great respect from the DB2 community, there are also some top prizes up for grabs.

This year’s prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Prize: One FREE IDUG Conference Registration to any IDUG Conference in 2015 (North America, Europe, or Australia) provided by IDUG, plus up to $1,500 USD travel expense allowance provided by DBI. Approximate value of prize package: $3,500 USD
  • 2nd Prize: One FREE DB2 Symposium Registration (3 Days) to any Event in 2015 provided by KBCE, plus up to $1,000 USD travel expense allowance (sponsor pending).
  • 3rd Prize: Apple iPad (approximate value $500) provided by Responsive      Systems.
  • Finalist Prizes: Each of the top 10 Contestants that are invited by the judges to participate in Finals Shows will win $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificates provided by ourselves Triton Consulting.

*no crown included

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The Nightmare Before Christmas

Imagine the scene – a broken database on an unsupported version of DB2, with no backups or log files to recover the database.

Yes – this one really was the stuff of nightmares!

 

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Top Five Reasons For Choosing Remote Database Support – Insecure Future

#5 Insecure Future

Over the last five months we have looked at the top five reasons why customers choose to engage with an external organisation to provide database support services as part of their overall IT infrastructure planning.

An “insecure future” may not be the most obvious reason but sometimes organisations are unsure of their strategic IT direction, particularly the choice of database platform. Investing in permanent staff to support and maintain a database that may not be in the long term plans for the business does not make financial sense. Finding a provider who can take control of ongoing database maintenance until a final decision has been made is a good way around this problem.

Organisations face many challenges in delivering a stable, efficient database infrastructure.  Budget pressures, demands for higher availability and increasing workloads can all mean that pressure is building on IT Management to find a cost effective and reliable way of managing the organisations’ DB2 infrastructure.

RemoteDBA from Triton Consulting provides the highest level of stability for business critical operations.  Our clients receive a superior level of personalised care – day or night – from our team of highly experienced DB2 professionals.

Find out more about RemoteDBA

Read the Top Five Reasons blog series

Posted in DB2, DB2 Administration, DB2 LUW, DB2 Monitoring, DB2 Support, Remote DBA | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Six Reasons to Love DBI Software’s pureFeat™ V6.1 Performance Management Suite

Our partners at DBI software have recently announced the release of the pureFeat™ V6.1 Performance Suite for IBM DB2 LUW. This tool makes it faster and easier than ever to fight the right fires fast. We think there are six top features which makes this the DB2 LUW tool to love:

1. Visual Lock Contention Map – makes it easy and fast to see which connections are blocking others, with the option to terminate either blocker or waiter.

2. SQL Activity – This display allows you to see what SQL statements are currently running and take steps to analyse and improve their performance. The information can be displayed in one of three ways – by CPU consumption, I/O resource usage and by execution time.

3. Last Used Default Schema – The default schema that was last specified by a user is now remembered and used in subsequent explains and physical design requests. A default schema is saved for each database and is unique to each user of the product.

4. New DBM & DB Configuration Displays – Two new tables have been added to the profile configuration panel to show current database manager and database configuration settings for a selected database.

5. Fast Path to Statement Compare from Database Compare – Users are now able to traverse from the “Database Compare Workload” panel directly to the “Statement Compare Workload” panel for the same timeframes. This is a great update because it eliminates the need to re-enter the before and after timeframes for the statement compare panel.

6. Multi-User Workspace Enhancement – Multiple employees sharing the same secure machine will have their user-specific settings respected. This is typically useful in environments using Citrix.

The pureFeat™ V6.1 Performance Suite for IBM DB2 LUW product was recently named as a DBTA trend-setting product for 2015 – find out more

Triton Consulting are exclusive providers of DBI Software products to the UK market, we recently helped Camelot implement the DBI Brother-Panther® product.

Find out more about DBI Software’s pureFeat™ V6.1 Performance Management Suite.

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